The Life of a Blackjack Dealer
A dealer from an American casino was willing to share with us the details of her blackjack career. We can’t use her real name, so we’ll call her Sandra, for example.
Sandra deals blackjack at Horseshoe Casino in Bossier City, Louisiana. The casino is located next to the Red River and is one of the leading casinos in the southern United States. It employs only the most capable dealers and staff. Sandra started here as a dealer with several years of experience and has been serving blackjack tables for almost 12 years. Thanks to her experience, she is placed on the busiest shifts. He works mainly at night and on weekends.
When she comes to work, she has to go to the employee zone, where her personal belongings are stored during the shift. The handbag she wears to work is made of transparent plastic so that everyone can see what is inside. When he goes through security, she puts away his personal belongings and changes into the uniform he must wear when dealing cards. The uniform is mandatory for all employees and serves an important purpose. It allows monitors of the camera system to immediately identify her as a blackjack dealer. Once she is wearing a uniform, she joins the other dealers who work on her shift and is in a meeting with the shift manager.
At this meeting, everyone is informed about important details regarding their shift. They have a table where they will start the shift and other details. When finished, each dealer goes to the chosen table.
A Typical Day of Blackjack Dealer
Sandra finds her table and stands behind the dealer who serves it. She taps him on the shoulder to alert him that his shift is over and takes responsibility for the table. With a clap of his hands to show that she has nothing in them and then she starts dealing another round of cards. After another 8-12 hours, she will deal cards to an ever-changing group of blackjack players. It will be a mix of loud players, quiet players, pleasant and unpleasant players. During all this, Sandra will smile and ensure that the game runs smoothly.
Her legs often hurt from standing in one place. She is at the other end of the verbal insult when the players lose and she is praised when they succeed. Believe it or not, Sandra hopes that the players win. When they win, they give tips to dealers, which are the big part of Sandra’s salary. Once an hour she is assigned to another blackjack table and after a few hours, she gets a break. This routine continues until she feels a slight tap on her shoulder, indicating the end of the shift.
Sandra takes her “take box“, which is a box containing her tips, and leaves the table. Once she finishes the paperwork and the shift manager approves everything, she exchanges the chips he received from the players for cash. Then she changes back to normal clothes and discreetly leaves the casino accompanied by someone from security, who accompanies her to a parked car for safety. Sandra returns home, tired but satisfied with the money she earned. Tomorrow everything starts all over again.
Sandra’s story, with a few exceptions, represents the life of a blackjack dealer anywhere in the world. The dealer’s work is tiring and often ungrateful. Many of them do it because they just love it and make decent money.
How to Become a Blackjack Dealer
Before you become a dealer, you have to go through training, during which you will learn everything you need to know. New dealers will learn the rules of blackjack, organizational structure and how to recognize card counters. You can become a dealer in two ways. You will either be taught directly by the casino or you will graduate from a croupier’s school. School is quite expensive, but if you want to make a dealer career, it’s a necessity. Casinos do not recruit dealers without training in at least one of the casino games.
At the croupier’s school, those interested learn blackjack and other games in classrooms. They pay an average of around $ 800 per game. In the long run, it is better to learn more casino games because casinos prefer to hire people who are more talented.
The croupier school also helps its graduates with employment. However, large casinos in the US do not take fresh candidates without experience, so they all usually start in small casinos, where they are poorly paid. If you want to become a dealer, you must have a clean criminal record and obtain a license, which needs to be renewed every year and is valid only for the state where it was issued.
How Blackjack Dealers Are Paid
Most casinos pay their dealers a minimum wage and have the rest from their tips. Blackjack dealers make more money on tips than from their basic salary. In most casinos, the tips are collected and evenly distributed among all dealers in a given shift.
After a three-month trial period, dealers in larger casinos will receive additional benefits such as health insurance and some type of commission based on the casino’s profit. In the long run, dealers earn an average of about $ 75,000 a year before tax. If a dealer works in a larger casino and is able to serve more games, he can earn over $ 100,000 a year. In addition, the more hours a dealer is willing to work, the more he earns.
Disadvantages of Being Blackjack Dealer
Dealing with blackjack can seem like an attractive job. It can be fun, but working as a dealer has several disadvantages.
In the past, many players smoked at the table, and dealers often stood for hours in a haze of smoke. Many players are downright rude. They blame the dealer for everything that happens to them at the table. When they lose, they blame the dealer. If the hostess forgets to bring her a drink every 10 minutes, the dealer is to blame. If they do not know how to play the game properly, it’s up to the dealer again.
In addition, dealers are the target of sexual suggestions by male players. In some casinos, dealers are only dressed in underwear, which makes the matter worse.
The work of a dealer has its pros and cons. Those who become dealers and love their jobs are doing very well. A successful dealer is a person who likes the game and likes to deal with people. Such blackjack dealers have a long and lucrative career.