Lots to say, answering some PM's and addressing something someone else had posted.
These days there are primarily Midi or Macau Style and Mini baccarat tables. The difference being, Midi/Macau the players handle the cards. The Midi table is the successor of the original larger 14 seat/3 dealer baccarat tables where the shoe was placed with the player in seat #1 and then travelled counterclockwise around the table to each player, upon a player making a winning Players hand. As long as the player made Banker hands, the shoe stayed with the particular player.
Generally, the house got smacked and smacked real hard on long/longer Banker streaks as compared to the Midi table of today. There are still some of the larger tables left at the bigger properties and they are always run with the players dealing the cards or the dealers, thereby making them large Midi tables.
Some players cannot stand the way people handle the cards. In all essence and for the spirit of the game, most times it is to the players advantage. If you don't like it and it messes with your thought process, play at the mini tables. True 100%, no player can change the cards after they are dealt, a dead monkey with strings attached to it, would flip and flop the same cards once dealt. However, at times there are players that will return winning hands the highest majority of times and other players couldn't return a winning hand if the other side had a total of zero showing. Wager with the driver or against, based on how powerful or weak he or she is with the cards. Sounds strange and wacked out to those that never played Big Table or Midi style but it really does boil down to that for so many.
I have considerably raised my wagers based upon another player's aura-actions and positive results in 'driving' at a Midi or a Big Table. Under certain circumstances if the dealer was flipping/flopping such as in mini, I might not have wagered the other side, but I most certainly would not have wagered lots of the larger bets I had---when the camaraderie and the person was not doing the 'scene'.
And there is either camaraderie or alienation here. Yes, a driver does not influence the cards/outcome WHATSOEVER, however and a huge however--the proper driver and the correct aura will influence wagers. And with the 'music of the street' present, meaning-the sounds and the banter of the floor, the dealer, the pit personnel, the other players, the on-lookers, the cocktail waitress, and everything else around, the correct driver(s) can be an explosive 'pat on the back' and motivator.
And the passion---OMG! Yes, absolute passion mixed with greed, desire and a bit of anger in most player's cases. The good times-the bad times, that happen at the baccarat tables around the country, around the world. For those of you who don't play baccarat or play only on-line, you will not relate or understand what really happens at the live Midi/Big Table baccarat tables anyway.
The personalities, the actions, the shenanigans, the talk, the banter, the build ups and the let downs. It's all there on a consistent basis, some nights are abundant with it all and others are lax. But play on a regular basis and it will prevail.
When a player that is 'driving' actually plays with his heart and soul and not to put on a 'show' he really does wind up putting on a 3 ring circus most times. I am sorry to those that don't agree with the statement I just said or if I despised myself, however; I am only relaying this information and what actually happens. I have tons of history with numerous gaming jurisdictions and I would just have to classify and say that, the Big Table bac days were the absolute best and far in every way--out does what happens with the majority of players and games at Midi tables today. Mostly for two reasons. The way so many players wager and believe in the 'cut' and their failure to play both sides, weak and strong. Also, throw in the disbelief of 'what actually happens or can happen in playing baccarat'.
There is no end to this thread. I merely wanted to start something that addresses the game in overall view without the technical aspect of it. Because in reality, there is a lot more going on than what the shoe produces!
One scenario. Playing Midi, full table. It was just chop-chop for numerous hands that followed a section of a few doubles and a couple of singles. A tie and no Fortune 7's yet. Around hand 25. The 2nd shoe into the evening with most. Last shoe nothing, everyone lost or is about even at best. Yes, the last shoe and a quarter was pretty much unwinnable. Meaning, whatever anyone thought or wagered on for whatever reason, it cut to the other side. Happens at times. Three Bankers just came out and the player driving wagered table max each time. First hand everyone was on Players and players had a 6. The sole player on Banker gets the cards and mumbles, '7 baby--7 baby, I need this please'. He flops a monkey and says '3 sides'. He turns the card long ways and starts the peel, real real slow. The players all on the Players side are getting frustrated, baccarat at its best. He slows down, puts the cigarette in his mouth and looks at the dealer. Tell the dealer, 'a hundred for you if you gave me a 7 or an 8'. He says no dot on it and turns it around. Now it has been at least 45 seconds if not more. Everyone is like come on bro let's go. He starts the peel and then slams the 7 right side up. Now the second hand is coming out and half of the players are on Banker with the same driver and half are stuck in the 'cut' mode of thinking. Once again the cards for the Player's side totals 0. Bankers side returns 2. Players side gets a card and the player driving says it a three line card. Squeezes the heck out of the one side trying for an 8. Turns the card and says maybe a 7, could be a six. The other players are saying, don't matter we will win with a 6. He flops a 6 after a few seconds. Dealer slide the driver once again a card for the obnoxious driver. I had $125.00 on Fortune 7 and the driver had $75.00 and most of the other players on Bankers had something on there and 1 player out of the Players side had a quarter up on the F7 as well. Once again, the cigarette into his mouth, he looks around the table and says, '2 side-3 side no 8 and we are good huh'? He takes a quick peek at the side and pops back up, '2 side baby, yes a 2 side--tie or hit the Fortune 7'. He scoots his chair back and his chest is on the rail of the table. I stand up and literally scream for a 5 and then say 5 for five thousand. The floor person comes over. The dealers at the next table are saying something about the nickel next to mine and the drivers' Fortune 7 wagers. Says, 'looks like $410.00 if you gave that guy a 5'. The dealers keep their own tips at this property. The driver is taking his time and yes, everyone is quite except for me. Then all of a sudden a female stands up and shouts, 'come the hell on' and mumbles something in Vietnamese that wasn't nice. The driver stops for a second, looks at the female, looks at me, looks at the dealer, then he reaches across two spots and rubs the card on the number 5 seat number on the felt. Rubs and rubs. Leaves it face down and tells the dealer, you turn it. It is a 5. Fortune 7. Yes Baby! Beautiful, absolutely beautiful. The same driver goes on to make 4 more Bankers after that Fortune 7 hit. wasn't a long run but a solid 6 and we are all good. That's baccarat with a driver that can drive.
What so many fail to realize is the power of camaraderie coupled with the influence and the motivating factor of it. Yes, at times it could work both ways but when it is positive and the table is flowing, it is much easier IMO and for so many I play with, to wager larger and win considerably more than at a mini table. As I said, the passion-greed-high fiving-large wins-players driving with guts and flopping the cards making it all go our way. It is the aura mixed in with the knowledge and conscious thought that we wagered on the person rather than the cards that makes this click in ways that are so hard to explain and define. When you see some of the players that really want to wager the opposite side that the great driver or the highest wagering player is not wagering, and then pulls his wager down and says, 'go ahead--I'm going to stay out'. That is class-real class, no matter if the wager would have won or lost. It is an unwritten move of sheer respect and class to do that. Happens all the time. On the other hand, if there is a person at the table that really feels like he has to wager the other side in that case, he normally would have the dealer flop the cards. Again, a sign of that unwritten respect for the other players.