Casino dealers oversee the games played at this type of establishment by distributing the cards or playing equipment, instructing slot machine players, and paying out winnings after rounds. Casino dealers play a pivotal role in the financial success of a casino and the casino-patron customer relationship and serve as an integral part of the security network. If you enjoy playing card games and engaging with people, being a casino dealer may be the perfect job for you. In this article, we discuss what a dealer in a casino does, how to get started in the industry, and the salary and job outlook of this role.
What is a casino dealer?
Casino dealers run the games played by patrons within gaming establishments. For the card games, they deal the cards used, take bets from players, and monitor suspicious behavior to prevent cheating. During gameplay, the dealer also manages the betting pot and pays out winnings after each hand. For the games that don't require a dealer, such as slot machines, the casino dealers help patrons and payout winnings. Also acting as tip-offs to security, casino dealers watch players to ensure no cheating or theft occurs.
What does a casino dealer do?
Casino dealers' primary responsibilities include:
- Explaining the rules of each game to new players
- Dealing cards, drop the roulette ball and give players dice to throw
- Collecting the bets from players and deal out winnings
- Protecting the betting pot from theft
- Assisting with machine malfunctions
- Ensuring compliance with rules and regulations
- Liaising with security staff about concerns and suspicious behavior
- Communicating with players to create a positive atmosphere
How to become a dealer in a casino
These are the basic steps you can take to become a casino dealer:
1. Complete a training program
Before becoming a casino dealer, you need to successfully complete a casino dealing training course where you learn about the local and state gambling laws and regulations, the rules, tools, and procedures of each game, and the proper processes and procedures for working as a dealer. Students also learn about the security aspects of each game, such as techniques for spotting cheaters. The training courses can last anywhere from four weeks to several months depending on the number of games taught and the quality of the program.
Casino training schools are most often found in cities that are centered on the industry, such as Las Vegas. Students can choose whether to receive training in just one game or comprehensive training that covers all the games played in a casino. To improve job stability and flexibility, it is best to choose a comprehensive education so that you can work on multiple games.
Some casinos offer training courses directly within their facilities and offer successful students employment after course completion. This arrangement is most commonly available at new or expanding casinos.
Aspiring casino dealers should also possess good math skills, hand-eye coordination, a positive attitude and sharp people skills.
2. Get a state and municipal license
Requirements for a gaming license are state-dependent, so check the updated regulations for your state before applying for jobs. Most states require applicants to provide several items prior to approval, including:
- Background check
- Licensing fee
- Proof of identity
3. Find a job at a casino
After completing a casino training course and obtaining a gaming license, finding a job should be your next priority. As part of the job application process, casino managers interview the applicants to gauge whether their personality is suitable for the job. Applicants also audition casino managers to demonstrate their dealer skills.
Many casino schools offer job placement services or have teachers with connections to the industry who can help students find suitable positions. Casino managers sometimes meet and audition the students in the school's simulated casino or do so in the actual casino facility
To become employed, casino dealers must have:
- Obtained a high school diploma or GED
- Committed no prior felonies or theft-related misdemeanor offenses
- Passed a drug test
- Reached at least 18 years old or 21 years old in some states
Casino managers are looking for people who can handle the rigors of running the games and have the customer service skills to engage with the players positively. Being a dealer requires appropriately handling a wide variety of people, including those new to gaming and professional gamblers. Dealers need to remain outgoing despite the high-stress environment and keep cool in case a gambler becomes aggressive. Casino dealers also have to do quick mental calculations, with the exceptional math skills and analytical reasoning to calculate and payout winnings correctly.
4. Start work as a casino dealer
Once you are employed at your chosen casino, the casino will run on-the-job training covering the policies and procedures of the casino. As with other jobs, there will be continuous training as new policies and procedures are adopted. Casino managers will also have new casino dealers working on a trial basis to ensure they can handle the rigors of working as a dealer and provide the level of service expected.
Salary and job outlook
The average salary for casino dealers is $12.44 per hour, and it can range up to $28.53 per hour. The location, size, and reputation of the casino affect the hourly rate that casino dealers receive. Casino dealers may also earn an average of $200 in tips per hour, and the dealer's interactions with game players and the attitudes of the game players affect the tipping rate. Due to most states having active casinos, job availability is better than most careers. The job outlook for casino dealers is great, with the positivity spurred on by an expected average 2 to 10% growth over the next several years. Due to the minimal education requirements, good pay, fun environment, and transferable job training, being a casino dealer is an attractive career option.
FAQs about casino dealing
We've identified several frequently asked questions about casino dealing and provided answers. If you're thinking about becoming a casino dealer, you might ask yourself these questions:
- What hours will I be working as a casino dealer?
- How long does it take to become a casino dealer?
- Do casino dealers make good money?
- Do I need to be good at math to be a casino dealer?
- Can casino dealers gamble where they work?
What hours will I be working as a casino dealer?
As most casinos run 24/7, casino dealers are required at all hours of the day, including overnight. To successfully become a casino dealer, you may need to be flexible with the times you work.
How long does it take to become a casino dealer?
Most casino dealing schools run full-time courses that run for four to 12 weeks. Some schools run longer courses for those wanting to gain a comprehensive education covering multiple games.
Do casino dealers make good money?
The income casino dealers receive is location and casino-dependent, so pay varies. That said, most casino dealers make good money via the tips they receive from happy game players. The base wage is a safety net.
Do I need to be good at math to be a casino dealer?
Yes. Casino dealers must do quick, accurate calculations in their heads when paying winnings. They must also keep track of the cards dealt out and the bets placed by gamblers, so having great math skills is essential.
Can casino dealers gamble where they work?
It depends on the rules of the casino, otherwise known as house rules. Each casino has a different policy. Some casinos restrict dealers from gambling within their work casinos, other casinos restrict employees from gambling at all. There are some that allow dealers to gamble in-house, but never while working and not in the section where they deal.