Roles Of A Casino Dealer

After years of doing the same repetitive actions and movements in a casino floor, lots of dealers could feel demotivated. What is the exact problem and how can casinos turn these bored employees into radiant and inspired ones? Our expert Francisco Vidal gives some keys to get the balance right between capability and motivation.

By Francisco Vidal Caamaño, COO Admiral Casinos, Spain (Novomatic Group)*

Casino Terms Lingo & Jargon: G-H. George: casino jargon for a generous tipper both to table dealers and other casino employees. Grind: this term is used for playing it out on a consistent basis at the tables. This player is ‘grinding’ out planned bets based on knowledgeable probabilities of the game. The amount of tips a dealer earns depends on the policies of the casino where they work and the caliber of the clientele that play there. A dealer at a fancy Vegas Strip property can easily earn hundreds of dollars an hour in tips, though the average dealer tip-take in the city is more like $20-$30 an hour.

Roles Of A Casino Dealer

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While my previous article was focused on the quantitative part of the gaming industry, this one will be dedicated to which is arguably the most iconic type of employee in the land-based casinos: the casino dealer or croupier (for those that prefer to use the French term). The following analysis and conclusions most probably will be very controversial, even hard to swallow, especially if you have been or you still are a Table Game dealer. However, I won’t be speaking from a personal point of view (I was a dealer myself in the ‘90s, both in London and Las Vegas, and I did enjoy very much the job), but from the lens of the investor or the casino executive, whose interest are more related to the profitability and the value added by the table games department to the overall casino experience.

Taking as initial reference the opening of the Casino di Venezia in 1638, we could say that we have had casino dealers for almost four centuries so far, and with a few differences, the job they did then is not so different from the one they do know. Nevertheless, many things have changed outside the casinos lately: sophisticated videogames, Internet TV plus the introduction of digital gaming, to name just a few. In the golden age of Las Vegas in the ‘60s, the UK in the ‘70s, the Spanish casinos in the early ‘80s, and many other places in the second half of the 20th century, a dealer job was probably the best “factory job” that existed: the pay was very good, it had social prestige, and even a very special kind of mystique.

Today, on September 2019, you can walk through any gaming floor around the world and what you’ll see is plenty of dealers bored to death. After 2 to 4 years performing their jobs, their learning curve has become almost completely flat, especially on those casinos in which they have what I call ‘the basic offer’ (American roulette, black jack, and Caribbean poker). Those games are taught during the initial training school, so after a few months into the jobs, there is little novelty. Games like baccarat or craps (arguably, the most sophisticated of the five) could bring some emotion into the job, but many casinos do not offer them, either for reasons of cost and difficulty to learn (craps) or because players simply do not like them that much (baccarat in the case of non-Asian players).

If you could record the content of the conversations among casino dealers on the staff resting rooms in many casinos around the world, you would basically get how demotivated and frustrated they are, and truth be told, they may be right. Most casinos can’t do much in order to really change things. The possibilities of promotions are normally limited in small joints, the offer of games is what it is, and players, well, they behave almost the same everywhere. The problem is not the casino, but the job in itself: it is repetitive, became a routine, and lacks of novelty. Sometimes, instead of recognizing those facts, dealers prefer to criticize their bosses, the customers, or the weather, but that does not change the reality that the intrinsic nature of casino dealing is monotonous.

When reaching that status of absolute boredom, the natural option would be to resign and look for opportunities in other fields. However, not many dealers do that. They prefer to stay on their jobs, because of their comfortableness (the salary, the air conditioning, the predictability, the cleanliness), and the myth of the ‘60 minutes on the floor, 20 minutes break’ (there is not even one solid scientific study that supports the convenience of that system from a business point of view, but still reigns supreme among table games staff). In fact, the more free time they get, the more demotivated they become. So, the question is how casinos can increase the “life cycle” of casino dealers, and I do think that the possibility of learning other operational jobs, such as the reception, the cash desk, PR and specially the slot machines, could help in that process. The current system creates a huge number of potential victims out there. On the job market, 20 years of experience as a casino dealer does not have any real value in the current data economy, not only because the limited usefulness of the specific set of skills that a dealer may have, but because of the fact that you have been willing to spend 20 years of your life just doing that kind of repetitive job.

In summary, for the future, I see basically two options for the role: 1) casinos make a profound change on its operational system, with continuous training and development, allowing the table games staff to acquire a wide set of abilities that will make them capable to perform well in many different areas of the casino (in this way, their life cycle could expand from 2 to 4 years up to 6 to 8 at least), becoming much more employable during the process ( they would be ‘holistic customer service professionals’) or 2) an “Up or Out” system is introduced. In this model, a casino dealer position is not a job in which you will retire and get a pension paycheck, but a job in which to spend a few years and then, depending on your capabilities and drive, either you become ‘management material’ or you are invited to leave. Choosing one of these options, casinos will be able to offer a fresh staff to its customers. It is just a question of striking the right balance between capability and motivation. In the end, we all should know that the most important skills that a casino dealer could have are not the ‘technical’ ones (speed, smoothness of movements, panache, quick and accurate calculations, etc.), but the capacity to engage players and make them come back, again and again (the house edge of every game will do its job for the bottom line). In order to achieve that, you need radiant and inspired dealers, as simplistic as it may sound.


*Francisco Vidal Caamaño is the current COO of Admiral Casinos in Spain (Novomatic Group). He has an extensive professional career of more than 20 years in the industry. Vidal Caamaño served as casino manager or COO in the main global companies in the sector. He was in charge of the daily management of more than 40 business units in different countries of Europe and America.

If you are looking to take up poker dealer as a career, then you must be aware of all the poker dealer roles and responsibilities that one must follow in a casino. Being a poker dealer is not an easy job, as you need to be aware of a lot of things around you. You need to be observant and most importantly, be patient and deal for hours and hours without breaks.

First let us know what poker dealer does. Poker Dealer in general is responsible for conducting the poker games in a casino. Poker dealer deals and shuffles the cards when you are playing poker in a casino. Poker dealer is the one who decides the winner at the end of each round in poker. Also, poker dealer is responsible for distributing the poker chips to the winner at the end of the games.

In a casino poker dealers has to follow a lot of roles and responsibilities in general. In a casino, the games cannot be played without the help of the poker dealers. They are the ones responsible for conducting smooth games between many players.

In this article, I am going to mention the top 10 poker dealer roles and responsibilities that one must follow in a casino. These are the basic poker dealer roles and responsibilities that one must follow in order to become a poker dealer in a casino.

Top 10 Poker Dealer Rules And Responsibilites In A Casino

Poker dealers as a profession can be a lot of fun. If you are lucky, you might end up meeting a lot of top poker pros. You will have the chance to travel around the world as a poker dealer. And importantly, you can enjoy poker without spending any penny.

But, inorder to become one, you need to be aware of the basic roles and responsibilities that a dealer must follow. Usually, the casinos you join end up training you anyways, but you should at least be aware of the basics fundamentals and rules. So, here are the list of the top 10 basic poker dealer rules and responsibilities in a casino.

1. Poker Delaers must be aware of the rules of the various poker varients

If you want to be a poker dealer, then you must be aware of the rules of the various poker varients. Without learning the rules for yourself, you will never be able to become a poker dealer. Different poker varients have different rules and you must know the rules for most of the games or the ones that are played in the casino.

Learning the rules won’t be sufficient to become a poker dealer. You must play the games for yourselves and understand every aspect of the poker varients. Texas Hold’em poker is one of the most popular poker varient. So, start learning the rules from this varient. All the other poker varients are slightly different versions of Texas Hold’em poker. So, if you are confident with playing Texas Hold’em, then you can easily learn the rules for other varients.

2. Poker Dealers must learn to Shuffle And Deal the Cards

One of the main role for a poker dealer is to shuffle and deal poker cards. There are several things that you need to consider in order to shuffle and deal the cards. In order for a dealer to become a pro, he must avoid doing any mistakes when shuffling or while dealing the cards. Let us take a look at rules for shuffling and dealing one by one.

Shuffling The Cards

Shuffling the cards is the first step for any card game that you play. Shuffling is extreamly important when it comes to poker. You need to make sure that the cards that the players get are random and make sure the players are not aware of what cards you are dealing to others.

When you are shuffling the cards, make sure that you are not exposing any cards to the players. Usually, when shuffling the bottom card exposed the most. As a poker dealer, it is your duty to avoid such mistakes from happening. You must make sure to shuffle the deck properly, so that the players will not get the same cards as the previous rounds.

Now, when it comes to shuffling in poker, you have to follow various shuffling techniques. Some of those shuffling techniques are as follows. The over hand shuffle, Riffle shuffle, The Hindu Shuffle, The Strip shuffle and so on. Once you learn all these shuffling techniques, you must combine all these to do a proper shuffle in poker. You can learn the various shufflling techniques from this video.

Also, when you’re shuffling make sure to be gentle with the cards. You don’t want to damage the cards in anyway. Make sure to practice the various shuffling techniques by repating it many times before you shuffle in a real poker game.

Dealing The Cards

Now that you have shuffled the cards, your next role as a poker dealer is to deal the cards to the players. You cannot take dealing the cards lightly as you tend to make a lot of mistakes when you are dealing. Only with proper practice you will be able to deal the cards efficiently.

In a standard Texas Hold’em game, the dealers deal the cards from the left of the dealer button and deal in the clockwise direction. In a Texas Hold’em each player gets two hole cards. So, you only stop dealing once all the players receives two cards each. You should make sure that each cards dealt to the players are face-down, and are not visible to any other players in any way.

If by mistake, you expose any cards to other players, you must replace that card with another one. But, you should always try to minimize such mistakes as much as possible. You will only understand the complexity of dealing the cards once you start dealing the cards by yourself. So, practice a lot to avoid making any mistakes when dealing the cards.

Now, there are several ways you can deal the cards. One of the most basic way to deal is by pinching the card face-down and flicking it towards a player. This is the most common dealing that is followed in USA. There are several other way you can deal the cards. You can learn to do that by watching this video.

3. Poker Dealers must learn to manage the Pot

Managing the pots at the table is one of the most important poker dealer roles there is. Pots refers to the sum of money that the players wager at the end of each round. Usually, the pots will be in the form of poker chips. And it is the duty of the dealer to make sure the pot reaches the correct player after the end of each round.

The dealer must also keep an eye on each of the betting round and see that all the players making the right amount of bet. Also, if any of the player is not sure what the current bet is, it is the dealers responsibility to let him know.

The dealer must make sure the ante and the blinds are being paid by all the players. If any player doesn’t pay an ante or he forgets to pay the blinds, the dealer must notify him immediately.

Managing the pot is not an easy thing to do in poker. You have to play a lot of games inorder for you to manage the pot properly. Therefore, the only way to get better is to play plenty of games with actual chips and by following the proper betting rules.

4. Poker Dealers must verify the Pay-Outs with accuracy

Along with managing the pots, poker dealers must be able to verify the pay-out with accuracy. That is, the poker dealer must be able to tell the total chips count by just looking at the chips the player has. He must also make sure that each player gets the right pay-out at the end of each round.

The poker dealer must be able to calculate the exact amount in poker chips which is at the table after each betting round. If the round gets tied between two players, then equal amount of poker chips must be given to both the players.

To manage to do this, the dealer must memorize the amount for each chip colour and he must be able to do all the pay-out calculations in split of a second. This is only possible by having plenty of practical experience and by dealing countless amount of hands.

If any of the players ask what is their chip amount, you should be able to do it by just taking a look at the players chips. And you should do this with precise accuracy.

5. Poker Dealers must monitor and maintain fairness of the game

It is the duty and responsibility of a poker dealer to make sure each round goes smoothly without any trouble. The dealer must make sure to maintain a fair game for all. This can be achieved by properly shuffling the cards and dealing the cards in a proper manner.

The dealer must also monitor each round to make sure none of the players are cheating in any manner. In poker fairness is of utter importance, and if by any manner the fairness is not maintained, the dealer will have to take the blame. So, a dealer must make sure that the round is played with proper fairness and with no one cheating of any sort.

If any player is seen peeking at other players cards or is stealing some one else’s chips, then the dealer must immediatley spot it and notify it to the supervisor without failing. Maintaining fairness is one of the most important role for a poker dealer.

6. Poker Dealers must learn to read the hands quickly

As a poker dealer, it is your duty and responsibility to declare the winner after each round in poker. In order to do this, you need to read the hands of the players remaining at the end of the final betting round and decide the winner. As a poker dealer, you must learn to do this with utmost accuracy and must make sure there are no mistakes when you are declaring a winner.

As a dealer. you must keep reading hands with accuracy for hours and hours. In order to achieve this, you need to have a lot of concentration and focus. So, being a poker dealer is definitely not an easy role. You need plenty of game practice and read thousands of hands inorder to become a pro dealer.

7. Poker Dealers must stay calm and maintain peace when the games are being played

It is one of the main responsibilities of a dealer to not to disturb any players when the games are being held. When playing poker, players prefer a calmer environment with no distrubances as the players need to maintain a poker face and concentrate a lot.

If only the players request anything or ask any specific queries, the dealer should reply to them. If not, the dealers must just observe the game and not talk or do any activities that will disturb the game.

Also, during any games, if there are any outbreaks between the players, the dealer must immediately step in and make sure everything is back to as it is. The dealer is responsible for maintaining peace and order while the games are being held. If the dealer is unable to stop any outbreaks between the players, then he must notify his superior immediately.

8. Poker Dealers must appear in presentable appearance

As a poker dealer, you must wear outfits that are aprroved by the casino. If you want to be a professional poker dealer, then wearing appropriate dress when games are being held is one of them.

This might not seem important, but players must recognise a dealer when they see one. By wearing appropriate outfits, you will look professional as well be recognised by players as a dealer. So, make sure to wear right clothing when you are a dealer in a casino.

9. Poker dealers must be mentally fit inorder to play for long durations

As a poker dealer, you have to deal cards for hours and hours. Also, you need to handle the pots and maintain order when the games are being held. This takes a lot of focus and concentration. So, before you take up poker dealer as your career make sure you will be ready to play games for long hours without breaks.

Along with being mentally fit, you must also maintain a good physique. When you are a dealer, you need to sit in a chair for long hours and you might end up getting tiredness from that. So, having a good physique is always important when you are a dealer.

Roles Of A Casino Dealer At A

10. Poker dealers must attend meetings and trainings when required

As a poker dealer, you must be up to date with the rules and regulations for the games. Also, you need to have regular trainings so that you can develop new skills and tricks. You need to undergo lot of training and practice to become a pro dealer. So, you must always attend various meetings and trainings when conducted. It will surely help you to get better at dealing and other various dealer roles.

If you want to be a poker dealer in a casino, then you will have to undergo training to become a full time dealer. It is the basic necessity of becoming a dealer. You’ll need to attend various trainings and upskill your knowledge about dealing and other responsibilities as a dealer.

These were the top 10 poker dealer roles and responsibilities for someone who is thinking of taking poker dealer as a career. Also, make sure to read my other poker articles. If you have any queries regarding any of the responsibilities as a dealer, then please leave a comment below.

Roles Of A Casino Dealers

Poker Dealer FAQ’s

Who is a poker dealer?

Poker dealer is the one who conducts the poker games in a casino. Poker dealer is responsible for shuffling and dealing the cards to the players.

Job Description Of A Casino Dealer

How much does a Poker dealer earn?

A poker dealer can earn anywhere between $25 to $40 per hour.

What are the perks of becoming a poker dealer?

You can enjoy poker without spending any money. Meet some of the top poker pros during your career and also be able to travel around the world and conduct poker tournaments.


Roles Of A Casino Dealer For A

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