If cards and the gambling industry make your heart beat faster, then, of course, you have probably considered a job of a croupier. However, being not just a croupier but a very skillful and professional casino dealer means to know all rules of the most popular games and all tricks, have mathematical and logical thinking, be attentive to detail, patient, and person-oriented. It sounds demanding, doesn’t it?
Who is a casino dealer?
Firstly, let’s define who is a casino dealer (or a croupier — a card dealer synonym). A casino dealer is an assistant at a gaming table in casinos who manages a game, namely:
- announces rules;
- deals cards;
- distributes chips;
- doesn’t allow gamblers to cheat;
- calculates winners’ sums;
- checks pay-outs;
- monitors a game flow.
Does a card dealer accept credit card? The answer is obviously no. A player can’t make bets directly with a credit card. He or she will have to use an ATM to get cash.
It’s a responsible job because a croupier should know how to talk to people, even if they are angry with their failures and loss of money. However, assisting tables isn’t the only thing croupiers do at work. They also have duties that aren’t connected with communication and deal more with documentation and counting. A croupier counts cash, checks whether it equals to gaming chips, writes reports after a shift.
As for the working conditions, needless to say, casino dealers are on their feet for almost a whole shift. At the same time, the majority of casinos are open all day and night, and it allows workers to have a flexible schedule — they can choose shifts that are comfortable for them. Croupiers’ usual working hours are as following: they work for an hour and a half and then have a 30-minute break. It’s worth mentioning that a worker wears a special card dealer costume.
A card dealer salary: how much do they make?
A salary question is crucial for almost any job, and a casino dealer position isn’t an exception. Especially, if you are greatly interested in the profession.
The main thing to mention is that a casino dealer job is more often paid on an hourly basis. That’s why croupiers don’t get a fixed salary. However, it doesn’t prevent them from earning big sums of money. A skillful and experienced croupier can earn almost $100 000/year. Speaking about the average casino workers, their salary is approximately $10/hour.
If to consider an annual salary, it varies between $30 000-$45 000. According to the official figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national average wage of a casino dealer is $23 070/year. Its research also shows that 90% of dealers earn $33 830/year. Of course, annual income for the job doesn’t turn a dealer into a billionaire.
It should also be noted that dealers get tips and they sometimes significantly influence their financial situation. Many casino dealers pretend to be a client’s friend and are very polite and attentive in order to get more tips. A casino dealer who is interested in tips, should know how to make a positive impression, be a socially confident person and a brilliant actor. Extraverts usually have better results occupying this position because clients give more tips to them. Another important thing is the table limit. Lucky croupiers who work at high limit tables or in high limit rooms get more tips than their colleagues assisting low limit tables. Gamblers playing at high limit tables are more generous and sometimes casino dealers can get $50 tips hourly. Then again, everything depends mostly on dealers and their personal traits as well as on a gambling establishment itself.
It’s quite clear that dealers’ earnings also depend on how privileged a casino, a room in it and a game are. Some games aren’t so popular among gamblers as blackjack, roulette, or poker games and usually, there aren’t a lot of people at their tables. It means that workers have almost no chance to get tips. By contrast, tips in VIP rooms, for example, are always a big profit.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Being a Casino Card Dealer
Many people think that a casino dealer is a dream job for any gambler. However, when you are at work, you don’t play but assist in a game. Nonetheless, the job is very exciting and interesting for those who want to make a career in the gambling industry and to proudly wear a card dealer visor.
First of all, as it’s mentioned above, a casino dealer has a flexible working schedule. The job isn’t always a part-time but a dealer can schedule working hours and days-off. Another thing, if you are fond of card games, you spend hours in your best conditions and get money for it. Make efforts, develop your personality, positive attitude towards people, and professional skills, and your salary will grow. Thirdly, an experienced croupier with a positive reputation can easily find a vacancy in the best gambling establishments and get paid enough to live comfortably.
As we can see, being a casino dealer has many advantages but any job has its cons. Working with cards isn’t fun. It’s a difficult job, physically and mentally, — a dealer should have well-developed communicative skills, be tolerant and positive-minded. Moreover, players don't always behave well. Most casinos offer free drinks for guests and drunk gamblers don’t keep their temper in check sometimes. The same thing regards those players who run out of luck and lose money. A casino dealer should be an emotionally strong and cold-minded person under any circumstances and be able to find the right words for all guests.
Read more: Baccarat: What Kind of Game Is This?
A stressful atmosphere isn’t the only negative factor. Smoking is allowed in many gambling establishments, and cigarette smoke will influence physical health negatively. Another disadvantage connected with dealers’ health is night shifts. Not all people are able not to sleep at night and keep being fresh-minded, positive, and count well. A casino dealer should be concentrated on figures, players’ gestures, game rules and many other aspects simultaneously.
How to become a card dealer: beginners’ guide
Many croupiers start their way from a card dealer school. Such schools have special training programs that help students to master their skills as a casino dealer and often assist them in getting the first job. Gambling establishments collaborate with schools to find new employees there. Students mostly get technical knowledge and find out more about laws and regulations in the gambling sphere. After finishing school, students get a diploma which allows them to start a career as a croupier.
If you have made a decision to become a casino dealer, the first step to take is to find the right school or courses. It’s very important to choose a school with experienced teachers who will share their knowledge with students. A high school diploma or a GED certificate is obligatory for entering a school.
After completing a course (it takes up to 6 weeks), a student can apply for a position of a croupier. To prove that you are qualified for a job, an employer will check the following things:
- law violations connected with theft;
- criminal offenses;
- approved gaming license.
You will be also asked to pass a drug test. Casinos pay much attention to an employee’s personality and background. Candidates who have violated the law or have faced problems with drugs in the past won’t be able to get a job in a gambling establishment.
Read more: The Reasons for Pathological Gambling
An employer will check not only your technical knowledge in games and see how you work with cards, but will also evaluate your communication and interpersonal skills. Generally, some casinos are ready to offer on-the-job training, if a candidate shows excellent personal characteristics which are essential for being a croupier. A dealer who is in-demand is able to handle any situation and to find an approach to any player, even when this person is rude or impolite. Gambling establishments are also welcoming those dealers who are strong in calculations and are familiar with betting schemes.
A casino dealer is a specific job that requires many skills and personal traits to succeed in it. To become a skillful dealer, you should have significant knowledge of math, easily do sums in your head, concentrate on details and have developed logical thinking. Similarly, a dealer should know a lot about the gambling industry on the whole, from card dealing techniques to country regulations.
When starting this career path, a person should take into account all the pros and cons. You should be ready to endure many factors and be able to work in any atmosphere, under any circumstances. Casino guests aren’t always polite and behave well. They are rude and forget about self-control sometimes. A casino dealer is an interesting and exciting job, especially, if you can’t imagine your life without cards and know everything about roulette. If you feel that this job is for you, don’t hesitate to try.
As mentioned earlier, the British gambling regulator is going to issue new rules in order to protect people from the dangers of gambling.