Is Being a Casino Dealer a Dream Job or a Nightmare?

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For those who love to gamble, being a casino dealer might appear like the best job in the world, although there are some critical factors that you might wish to consider before taking the plunge.

Being a casino dealer seems like a fun job.  You get to play your favourite casino games from the opposite side of the table, allowing you to win way more often than you currently do. Of course, you don’t get to keep the winnings, but you are eligible for some juicy tips from grateful players, and you’ll be at the centre of the action every time someone hits a big jackpot.

However, before you plunge into the professional gambling pool, you ought to consider the benefits and drawbacks of a casino dealer job.

Factors that Determine a Casino Dealer’s Earnings

Initially, a new dealer usually gets assigned to slower-paced and less popular games, where the tipping potential is also lower.  Also, demand for dealers is often seasonal, and during quiet periods there aren’t as many hours of work to go around, further cutting the earning potential.

For an average dealer, the amount of money that you earn boils down to what games you are dealing and how much the gamblers like you.  This means that skilled dealers with strong interpersonal attributes are poised to make more money. 

Keep in mind that some casinos work on a pooling system when it comes to tips, so no matter how much you personally get rewarded, you receive an equal share with the rest of your co-workers at the end of each shift.  Remember, the biggest whales are not necessarily the biggest tippers, so be ready to encounter a fair deal of cheapskates, even in the VIP salons.

Benefits and Training

To get onboard a dealer job, you don’t have to have extensive training.  A dealer school can put you through all the motions in two months, with the training costing in the region of CA$1,000, while some casinos offer inhouse training.  Additionally, since casinos operate 24/7, dealers often have the flexibility to choose preferred shifts that usually accommodate odd hour requests.      

Bigger casinos offer comprehensive health plans and retirement schemes to all their employees, as well as flexibility when it comes to scheduling vacations and other personal commitments.  You may even have the advantage of transferring to another casino owned by your employer or choose to work on a cruise ship if you are keen on seeing the world.

When Dealing Becomes a Drag

While working as a casino dealer can be loads of fun, there are some notable downsides to the job.  For one, be ready to stand on your feet for hours.  Besides poker dealers, all other croupiers stand throughout their shift.  You will, however, get 20 minutes off for each hour worked on the floor.

You will also need to grow some thick skin, since players can often be quite rude, blaming the dealer for their own poor play or bad luck.  Detaching yourself from emotions and being able to take money from a person who is spending their last few cents on a game is also part of the job. 

A casino environment is also not for everyone, and this is especially true when it comes to casinos that still allow smoking, which can be quite challenging if you don’t smoke yourself.  Luckily, most casinos now have separate non-smoking areas, and schedulers are flexible when assigning dealers to these if they perceive personal issues with cigarette fumes.   

How Much Does a Dealer Make?

Of course, the most critical question is how much money a dealer makes.  The money that casinos pay to you directly is usually pretty slim and ranges from CA$7 – CA$10 an hour.  However, the real money comes from the tips, and it’s not uncommon for a good dealer to cash in on average between CA$50 and CA$100 per hour in tips.  While tipping can be sizeable at any game table, poker tips are traditionally the most generous.

While for some, it is a dream job to become a casino dealer, for others it offers an excellent opportunity to make headway into the gambling industry.  If you’re a sociable person who loves the casino atmosphere and can deal with the irregular hours and income, then becoming a casino dealer might just be right up your alley.

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