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The player's hand has now been reduced to a total of 2. The player bettors will all have long faces and be disgusted by this turn of bad luck. But the bank bettors aren't home free yet. According to the printed rules, if the player has a total of 2 and the bank has 4, the bank must draw a card.

So, though the advantage is clearly with the bank at this moment, there is still a suspended uncertainty about the outcome of play. The dealer will now say, "Card for the bank," and the holder of the shoe will slide out another card, turn it over, and then give it to the dealer. Let's assume that this card is a queen, and therefore the bank's hand remains the same, at 4.

"Bank has 4, player 2. Bank wins," the dealer will say. Now all losing bets are collected quickly by the seated dealers. Then all winning bets are paid off, and the commissions due to the house on the bank's winning bets are noted in the small trays the dealers have in front of their seats. One dealer will handle seats 1-7 and the other seats 8-15.

The commissions on winning bank bets aren't collected immediately, but kept track of by the two seated dealers. After the cards in the shoe are used up and before they're reshuffled, the commissions are collected from those bettors owing them. A 5 percent commission works out to $1 for a $20 bet and $5 for a $100 winning bank bet. These commissions make little difference to a winning bettor, but if one has lost for the session and owes commissions, it can be quite debilitating.

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A "set-up" of two different colored decks costs about $25. The two colors are useful because they let you move the game more quickly: one player can deal with one deck while the next player shuffles the other deck. These cards are pricey, but they basically last forever-and you can order individual replacement cards for those that get damaged or lost. Beyond that, plastic cards are easy to shuffle, they resist incidental marking, and you can toss them into players' hands like Frisbees. In short, they are great to play with It is much cheaper to invest in casino-quality cards than to buy new decks of cheap cards that you will only be able to use for one session.
But if you can't bring yourself to pay $25 for two decks of cards, the plastic-covered paper cards you get at the drug store for a couple bucks are fine for an evening's entertainment.
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