If you’re a keen gambler but don’t have the bankroll to fund your favorite hobby as often as you’d like, why not consider becoming a casino dealer instead? While it isn’t quite the same as being on the other side of the gaming table, it’s still a pretty exciting and lucrative career move if you have the personality and skills to make it in the world of casinos.
The life of the casino dealer may not be for everyone. It can be high-pressured. You need to deal professionally with gamblers, count gambling chips at high speed, and handle several things at once. There are also late nights and drunk players to contend with, as well as a poor rate of basic pay. However, there are also plenty of positives, too, not the least of which include high tips and the chance to travel overseas. Whether you opt to work in a land-based casino, on a cruise line or even in an online live studio, these days there are plenty of opportunities to succeed in a career as a casino dealer.
What Salary Can Be Expected?
The amount of money you can make as a dealer will vary depending on where you are based and the type of establishment you’re working at. An entry-level croupier in London, for example, will start on a basic salary of $17,000 a year rising to $27,000 within two years. Tips are also legal in the United Kingdom, and many good dealers in London will earn an average of $678 per month solely from tips. Outside London, salaries in Great Britain are a lot lower, starting at about $16,300 annually. And, while there will also be tips, they won’t match the amounts that can be commanded in London. In the United States, the starting salary for a dealer comes in around $23,000. Pennsylvania has higher wages than Nevada. Again, of course, high tips can be added to that, which can take the monthly paycheck to an impressive amount.
Training to Be a Dealer
If you’re wondering how to become a dealer, you need to know it isn’t something you can just jump straight into. You will have to do some extensive training, either through a casino-run training program or with a school that offers courses. In locations with a lot of casinos, it’s usually easy to find a gaming program and take a six-week course that will teach you the tricks of the trade, such as the rules and procedures for every game, as well as the laws and regulations for their jurisdiction. Once you have trained, you’ll need to audition. This is when your personality will play a key factor in getting you the job. If you plan to work in the United States, you will also need to apply for a gaming license, which means that a background check is necessary before you can be cleared. You will also need a sheriff’s card in some states, such as Nevada.
What Are the Chances of Finding A Job?
There are often plenty of jobs in the United States for qualified casino dealers, with more than 20,000 job openings in casinos nationwide annually. With opportunities as either a tournament dealer or a cash-game dealer, there are jobs to suit a range of people. The cash game opportunities are often a little more stable and secure, however.
The Benefits of Being a Casino Dealer
There are numerous benefits of being a casino dealer:
• The social element – there is usually a lot of camaraderie between dealers in casinos and there is also a lot of interaction with the punters to enjoy.
• The tips – extra financial rewards are one of the best perks of the job.
• The chance to travel – casino dealers can get jobs around the world, and that means the chance to work overseas.
• The chance to enjoy your favorite casino games without having to spend your own money.
• The chance to meet famous players from around the world.
• A great way of learning new playing skills.
The Downside of Being a Dealer
As with any job, there are some negatives to choosing this career path.
• Learning the different variations of each game can be hard.
• Handling the mathematical side of the job can be challenging.
• There can be some awkward customers and people trying to cheat.
• The hours are unsociable and often very long.
• The basic salary is often low.
Tips on How to Become a Good Dealer
Being a casino dealer can be an extremely rewarding career path, both financially and socially, if you can secure appropriate training. Here are some tips to be successful in the industry.
• Begin your career in smaller establishments. This will give you the chance to get more experience before moving up to a venue that is more prestigious.
• Get as much training as possible and learn about the different variants of each game as thoroughly as possible.
• Learn your multiplication tables. You’ll need them!
• Accuracy is paramount, but speed comes a close second.
• Be thick-skinned. Frustrated losers are likely to blame you for their losses.
• Develop a personable and friendly attitude. It’s the best way to accrue big tips.
• Remember people often pay higher tips for games with lower- or mid-range stakes.
• Don’t clock off early even if the room becomes quiet. You might miss out.
What Qualifications Are Necessary to Be a Dealer?
While there are no specific qualifications that are essential to become a casino dealer, you will need to have the right positive attitude, an appealing personality, good team-player skills, and customer service experience. Good numeracy skills are also vital. In some countries, there are specific industry qualifications. However, these are not always necessary since training is often done while already in the post. Dealers must also be presentable; they are the public face of the casino. Strong communication skills are also valuable since croupiers are very similar to entertainers. They keep players engaged and involved while dealing with all the action going on at the table. The ability to handle bad losers is important, and strong concentration is also key. Experienced gamblers often look out for unfocused dealers to exploit. Of course, it also goes without saying a casino employee must be trustworthy and have no criminal convictions, as well as a clean financial background.
Where to Be a Dealer
If you have a choice about where to become a casino dealer, you will want to consider the kind of lifestyle that you’re looking for. While life on a cruise ship isn’t for everyone, the salary is often tax-free and tips are high. In Las Vegas or London, wages and tips will also be higher. However, there are casinos all over the world, and the salaries and benefits packages can vary dramatically. You can even work privately, being hired out for weddings and events rather than being based in a single establishment. But not all casinos are created equal and, from the employee point of view, some should definitely be avoided.
Dealer Working Conditions
Nowadays, almost every casino is open 24 hours a day, especially in major cities and areas with a strong link to gambling. That means all casino dealers must operate on a shift pattern that will include unsociable hours on weekends and overnight. Depending on the casino, croupiers may have a day off each week or may have a rolling system with everyone occasionally having a weekend free.
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