Working in a casino is like something out of a movie; looking pristine and being in a glamorous environment that is the epitome of nightlife. It can be considered a fun and exciting career, crossing paths with thousands of different people from across the pond. But, without standard 9-5 working hours, many cannot keep up with the busy lifestyle.
If working as a dealer in a casino is something that has crossed your mind, have a look through this article to see what this profession involves and how you can receive the required training.
1. Research the profession
The role of a croupier (dealer) is mainly to controls the games that take place on the tables in a casino, or on an online gambling site. They are mainly Roulette, Blackjack and Casino Poker, although other games can be involved.
As a dealer, you will need to ensure that the game you control runs smoothly, with speed, efficiency and a very high degree of accuracy. A typical day will involve the following tasks:
- Set up the betting table before a game begins
- Welcome new players to the table and make them feel comfortable
- Ensure the required wagers are set up and all chips are in place before the start of play
- Remind players of the rules and explain the procedures to them if necessary; ensuring that every bet is within the maximum and minimum table limits
- Maintain game pace fast and smooth by handling cards, chips, money, dice and other equipment efficiently
- Keep a mental record of the bet amount accurately and collect bets from losers and pay bets to winners appropriately
- Report any illegal activity to the floor manager immediately
- Be aware of professional casino players and ensure they aren’t card counting
Essential skills and qualities
To succeed in this fast paced environment you’ll need a number of skills to engage with the variety of different personalities you will encounter. You’ll generally need to:
- Have excellent communication and interpersonal skills
- Have exceptional customer service skills
- Have great team working skills
- Have a polite, tactful and friendly manner
- The ability to think quickly and make fast mental calculations
- The ability to concentrate for long periods
- The ability to handle complaints and difficult situations in a professional manner
- Have a smart overall appearance and be well-groomed
- Have a reasonable mental arithmetic agility
- Ability to distinguish different colours
- Manual dexterity
- Have physical endurance as you may be required to stand on your feet for a full shift
- Be trustworthy and show good money-management
Working hours and conditions
If you’re someone that doesn’t like a standard routine and wants a more flexible schedule, then being a casino dealer may work for you. As more and more establishments are open 24/7, dealers are required at any time throughout the day and night. Shifts are generally 8 hours long and dealers are usually required to work on the dealing table for an hour, with a 20-minute break, then back on for an hour and the same pattern continues until the end of their shift.
A typical day shift runs from 11 am to 7 pm, Mid shift is 7 pm till 3 am, and Night shift is 10 pm till 6 am. The downside is that you are usually required to work public holidays, although you are entitled to the statutory 20 paid annual leave days.
Working conditions, on the other hand, are usually excellent. Most casinos don’t allow smoking and usually offer a clean environment for casino dealers to work in. Some casinos even provide free employee dining rooms. You may also be entitled to various benefits including retirement programs, health insurance plans and flexible time off.
According to payscale, the average starting salary of a croupier is £15,000 - £17,000, depending on your region. If you are in the center of London, your wage can be up to £20,000. You can also earn double the amount of your annual salary in tips alone while working at the casino. Luckily, laws changed in recent years which now allow card dealers to accept generous tips from their customers.
2. Get the qualifications
What’s great about becoming a casino dealer is that you aren’t required to complete a lengthy course. Some companies offer in-house training, although most card dealers complete a croupier course which normally runs for up to eight weeks.
Blackjack is one of the easiest games to learn, and students typically complete their training in two weeks or less. Roulette is more complicated and it usually takes a student up to four weeks to complete the training. Texas Hold'Em Poker is very popular with the full course taking up to five weeks to complete.
The cost of the course depends on each school but can cost up to £2,700. Before choosing your specified school, it’s best to talk to current croupiers about their recommendations. To enter the course, you need to be 18 or over, have GCSEs at grades A – C in English and Math, and have a clean criminal record.
3. Land your first job
Certain schools like guarantee finding you a job offer at one of their partners after completing your course. Alternatively, there are a number of online job boards that have job listings for such positions. Make sure you accompany your application with a well-written CV and cover letter to ensure you are ranking above the rest of your competition. Usually, after having a face to face interview, the casino will ask you to partake in a live mock test, where you will be required to handle the table and impress your potential employers with your skills.
4. Develop your career
By continuously improving your skills, having a good work ethic and a good track record you could advance to being a supervisor within two years. Eventually, you could become a pit boss, then a manager and earn more than £40,000.
Once you become more experienced as a casino dealer, you can work for online casinos as a games inspector, monitoring the performance of the automated dealer bots, ensuring that the flow of cards is natural and fits within casino standards. Additionally, inspectors can issue a casino bonus to players, to encourage them to continue playing.
If you are dreaming of becoming a casino dealer and working in this exciting and vigorous industry, you can start preparing for it today. Join a gaming program or find a casino that can offer you the training you need, and you are good to go!
Do you think this is the perfect career path for you? Let me know in the comments section below…