The casino industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the US. Dozens of new casinos open across the country each year. However, the industry could not exist without staff to run the casinos. The dealers that work at the casino are perhaps the most important of all.
Casinos are a great place to work because they are often open 24 hours. This allows for shifts that fit anyone’s schedule. Also, a lot of casinos allow dealers to accept tips which can greatly increase your earning potential. Keep reading to find out more about how to be a casino dealer.
How Hard Is It to Be a Casino Dealer?
Being a casino dealer can be a great way to make a living. However, there are plenty of responsibilities that dealers have that players may not think about. One of the biggest parts of a casino dealer’s job is actually running the game they are dealing. That means dealing cards, handing out dice, or dropping the roulette ball.
Casino dealers have to know how their game works well enough to run it and explain it to new customers. Also, they may have to troubleshoot malfunctioning machines. As more and more technology is integrated into casinos, understanding new machines become increasingly important.
Casino dealers need to keep an eye out for suspicious behavior and potential cheaters as well. If they see suspicious behavior, card dealers must communicate the issue to the security staff. This also includes making sure all the players are following the rules of the game.
How to Become a Card Dealer at a Casino
The requirements to be a casino dealer will vary from one state to another. However, there are some common qualifications that exist in most states. However, for a more accurate list, check the dealer requirements in the state your plan to work in.
One of the biggest prerequisites to being a casino dealer is the education piece. Most casinos will require that an applicant have at least a high school diploma or GED. Many casinos even require applicants to pass a math skills test as part of the hiring process. As we stated earlier, math skills are extremely important for a successful casino dealer.
Outside of the high school education, dealers must also attend and graduate from dealer school. These courses will help a new dealer learn all the skills they need to be successful on the job. The requirements to get into dealer school will vary from one school to another.
Most dealer schools require applicants to be at least 18 years of age. Also, applicants must have a clean criminal record and a GED or high school diploma. In general, dealer school programs can last up to 12 weeks.
If you have a casino in mind that you would like to work at, see if they have assistance available. New casinos will often help employees pay for dealer school to ensure they are ready for opening day. Also, many casinos will offer on-the-job training as well.
Obtaining a Gaming License
Depending on the state you plan to work in, a casino dealer may need to obtain a gaming license. The requirements for obtaining a casino license will vary from state to state. Generally, requirements are set by the state’s gaming control board. Also, once you have the license, you must keep it up to date.
Each state has its own requirements, but many of the needed documents are the same. For instance, typically you will need to provide proof of residency. Also, you will need a photo ID and be able to pass a background check. In certain states, the age requirements may be set at 21 years old instead of 18.
Finding Employment at a Casino
If you are planning to work at a casino, it is important to explore the job market in your area. The Board of Labor Statistics projects the casino industry to grow by 5% from 2018 to 2028. That means that casinos near you could be looking to bring on new staff members.
What Skills Do You Need to Be a Card Dealer?
We touched on some of the skills you need to be a casino dealer earlier but there are many more. For instance, strong math skills and being able to detect cheaters are just some of what makes a good dealer. To help explain the skill set of a good casino dealer, we have picked a few more to highlight here.
As a casino dealer, you will deal with people of all skill levels. Some of the more seasoned players may need little more from you than to run the game. However, novice players may need extra help understanding how the game works.
Also, it is important to know ahead of time that many customers will not be happy with the game. Not everyone is able to win, and some people are sore losers. Also, many patrons may have consumed alcohol which could affect the situation. Being able to defuse the situation is an important skill. Depending on the state, players may also be allowed to smoke inside.
Part of great customer service skills is having strong communication skills. These will allow you to explain the game easier to new customers. It will also help when you are trying to reduce tension in a stressful situation. It can also be helpful when trying to communicate issues with your co-workers. For instance, you may need to communicate concerns of cheating to the security team.
Clear and patient communication is important for navigating the inherent obstacles at the casino. Players consuming alcohol is one such problem. Other issues could include things such as loud music that may be playing in the casino.
One skill that many people may overlook is the importance of physical stamina for a deal. Casino dealers at a poker table are typically sitting down. However, dealers at other casino games are usually required to stand for the duration of their time dealing.
Depending on the game you are working, you may also be required to bend frequently and stretch to collect chips. As we noted earlier, some casinos allow players to smoke inside. As a result, you may also frequently have to deal with cigarette smoke while working. It is important to stay on top of your tasks, such as detecting cheaters, while dealing with all of these issues.
Another skill that will help you be a successful casino dealer is having an outgoing personality. This can be difficult for people that are naturally introverted. However, engaging with customers will help make their experience more enjoyable. In the end, that can lead to more money in your pocket.
How Much Money Do Casino Dealers Make?
A dealer’s salary can range widely depending on the state that they work in. The average salary is $20.91 per hour. However, it can range as high as $29.59 per hour at certain casinos. Also, as a dealer, you will most likely earn most of your money from tips.
With that in mind, it is important to know the casino’s policy on tips. Most casinos have dealers carry a locked tip box with them during their shift. At the end of the workday, the amount in the box is counted and paid as part of your paycheck. This is important to comply with IRS regulations.
Many casinos also require dealers to pool their tips. In these systems, the tips from all the dealers are combined into one pot. Then, the amount is distributed to dealers based on the hours they worked that day.
Casino dealers are a vital part of the growing US gaming industry. Without dealers, there would be no live table games. If you are interested in becoming a casino dealer, take a look at dealer schools near you. For more about casinos, check out our real money casino online rankings.