News is out regarding two disputes at the game of mini-baccarat in Atlantic City, one of which has resulted in a lawsuit between a casino and its players. At issue in both disputes is cards that were supposed to be shuffled that, it turns out, weren’t.
By way of background, New Jersey’s regulations generally impose strict procedures (buttressed by a casino’s internal controls) regarding the shuffling of cards at the opening of a table. Traditionally, in any multi-deck game (such as baccarat and blackjack) all of the cards in all of the decks were required to be spread on the table and inspected, then subject to a “wash” shuffle where the dealer scattered the cards about the table in a washing motion. After that, the decks were all stacked up and subject to a traditional “riffle” shuffle. To open a table with eight decks of cards often took over 20 minutes.