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European Vs. American

Americans who play Punto Banco in Europe typically experience a certain amount of culture shock. The admittance procedures are awkward, usually requiring identification and sometimes advance arrangements. The casinos usually open and close on a rather arbitrary basis. American casinos will go to extravagant lengths to court high rollers; in Europe, overt attempts to attract such patrons are absent, and there are usually no free inducements to play except the occasional cocktail or sandwich. The casinos are smaller, and they are less noisy than their American counterparts, owing to the comparative unimportance of slot machines. Punto Banco is better suited to the ambiance of Europe.

Be aware that the aristocracy in Europe, who still run large elements of the casino industry, particularly in countries with a strong aristocratic tradition (including both royalist Britain and republican France), have a very elitist, almost snobbish attitude toward membership criteria. In some cases, there is a state of mind toward the American player that borders on the xenophobic.

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Collusion is something that people are genuinely concerned about with Internet poker, where particular players could be privately chatting with each other about a game in progress or where two or more players in a game could even be the same person. Internet poker rooms are on the lookout for this, but I have no idea how effective they are at preventing it. I have never positively detected malicious pre-planned collusion W a live game, but I have occasionally seen open collusion of the soft-play variety by players who have never taken the time to think that it might be an ethical issue. In casinos, drunken blackjack buddies who have stumbled into the poker room sometimes communicate and cooperate with each other without realizing that they are cheating. It also happens occasionally when a couple of players-usually losing players-develop an "us against him" mentality toward an opponent who is winning. These players will show each other their hands, tell each other what to do, and go easy against each other in order to collectively target the odd man out. A lot of this falls into the "fooling around" category, but it is not allowed by the rules and is flagrantly unethical. It can be hard to keep a poker game together after it turns into a team sport.
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