casino dealer
Image source: Flickr

Introduction: Being a Casino Dealer: Dream Job or Nightmare?

If you’re a qualified dealer, then in today’s ever-changing and growing casino market place you’ll have no problem securing work. having said that, there are a number of important factors to keep in mind if you’re thinking of going down this road. As with all things in life, there’s the surface and then there’s the nitty-gritty. Let’s have a look at working as a casino dealer. We’ll check out the pluses and minuses to give you a better idea of the scope of the work. Also, you can learn more about the expressions and basic rules (that you must be completely aware of) in our online jackpot dictionary and in our other guides.

How Much Will I Make?

The number one question. There’s no definitive answer here. It all depends and varies from casino to casino. Like many service jobs, the initial pay or base pay is going to be very low.

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Your actual salary from the casino for dealing table games is going to be nothing to write home about. Starting salaries are around $7 – $8 per hour as a basic guide. Yes, that’s just about minimum wage, but remember that your income is dependent on tips. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the average pay for a casino dealer is around $14,700 per year.

Tips Make the Difference

But the real money is made from the customers leaving tips. Of course, we’re really talking about the US, as in other countries they choose to pay a proper living wage and so gratuities are unnecessary But as far as the US goes, it’s the tips that make up the loin’s share of the total salary. So, with tips a dealer should see between $30 – $60 per year. There are dealers with great contacts who are said to be pulling in around $100,000 per year, but they should be viewed as outliers.

casino dealer
Being a casino dealer isn’t as simple as it seems for the first time – Image source: Flickr

So, on an hourly basis, tips can bring hourly ate up to $50 per hour, which isn’t so bad. The biggest tips come from the poker tables. But dealing with all the rules, players and pots can be quite taxing, so it’s no surprise to find the most money here. you’ll need to be constantly concentrating and your skills will need to be top-notch to deal and get the best tips.

What Factors Determine How Much Money A Casino Dealer Earns?

As with many jobs, at the start you’ll be doing the less glamorous stuff. Maybe that’ll include working the slower tables. And because you’re last in the door, it means you’ll get the tables with lower tips. Keep in mind that the work has a seasonal element about it. With holidays and the like being the most busy periods, don’t be too surprised to be asked to cut back on hours sometimes. This will have a considerable impact on your monthly take home pay.

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Need to Like People

Also don’t think that working at the big named casinos in Las Vegas is going to see you paid more than settling in a smaller backwoods venue. Of course, we’re not talking about the high-rollers, but just the normal customers who pass by on a regular basis. A lot will come down to what games you’re familiar with. And, of course your personality. The players have to like you. Though a skilled dealer will make good tips, nothing will beat the tips coming to a personable one. This means that if you’re not a “people person” you might struggle, and in truth, it means that this really isn’t your chosen profession.

Casino Dealer: Not All Patrons are Generous

Another point is that, like many restaurants, many casinos pool all the tips together and then share them out equally. So you need to be sure that you are pulling your own weight here, and that the other members of the crew are doing likewise, and doing a good job. Don’t automatically assume that a whale will be a better tipper than an ordinary Joe. You’ll be surprised at the tales of successful professional players who are absolute cheapskates. Having said that, many recreational players tip well simply because they are having a fun time, without any pressure to win.

When Dealing Isn’t Fun

As part and parcel of being a people person, you’ll need to quickly develop the skills necessary to deal with customers who are ignorant and rude. Spend any time at the casino games table and you’ll of seen unhappy players berating the dealers for their bad luck. And if, as a dealer you make a mistake with this type of player, expect to hear no end to it. Again, there’s a level of bullshit you need to be able to tolerate.

casino dealer
Handiness is also a requirement

Casino Dealer: Hard on the Feet

This is a job where you’ll spend most of the day standing on your feet. In some casinos you may be able to sit down whilst playing at the table with customers, but others prefer that you remain standing. Typically, a shift will involve the dealer being on the floor for an hour and then taking a 20 minute break. But keep in mind that there will be a lot of standing and it can become very tiring over a long day.

Confident with Math

Accuracy is a must. You’ll be dealing with people’s money and so being absolutely correct is very important. You need to be able to handle large sums of money in a professional manner, without becoming stressed or flustered. And talking of money, you’ll need to be able to perform under the steady gaze of casino security. Your every move on the premises is monitored and recorded. Remember that the casino is more concerned about its own money than that of the customer. So that’s why they are paying a lot of attention to you.

Casino Dealer: Training and Benefits

Most would-be dealers in the US get there start by attending a dealer school. These are private institutions that’ll teach you everything you need to know about being a proper casino dealer. These courses cost around $1000 which means the bar for entry is set pretty low. There are casinos which offer in house training and many have refresher courses for their staff. You’ll be working shifts which is another thing to get used to if you haven’t done so already. because nearly all casinos are open 24/7, then there are always lots of scheduling options available.

Finally, these are all pretty big businesses and many are just a part of a larger company. To that end, many will offer a pension plan and free health care insurance. You’ll get to choose generous holiday time off and there are many discounts and offers from within the same group. Often, for a change, you can transfer to other casino’s within the same group and so get to travel. And talking of travel, there’s always the possibility of finding work on a cruise ship.

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