How to Become a Casino Dealer

The only way to become a casino dealer is to learn the tricks of the trade, get a casino dealer license, and apply for a role at your nearest land-based casino. Training courses and workshops are a great way to gain a deeper insight into the industry, but top tips from expert dealers around the world is bound to help too.

If becoming a dealer appeals to you, this guide will teach you everything you need to know to get up to speed on what it takes to become a casino dealer in 2019.

Dealer at a casino

Fast Forward to:

Is Being A Casino Dealer For You?

Working in a casino resort might sound like a glamorous occupation, but being on the other side of the table is a world away from the experience you'll have when you visit as a player.

You're there to do a job. If you think a dealer's life is all fun, games, and $100 dollar tips, think again. To even be considered as an applicant you'll need to possess a few important skills and attributes first.

Skills & Abilities

  • A good head for doing math
  • The ability to stay calm under pressure
  • Great hand-eye coordination
  • A professional yet friendly personality
  • A clean and well-groomed appearance
  • The flexibility to work unsociable hours

Remember, the dealer is in charge of their own table. This includes calling bets, announcing results, and taking a bit of ball busting from the occasional drunk punter. It's not 100% fun all of the time.

Other Casino Job Opportunities

Of course, being a dealer isn't the only line of work the gaming industry offers. So, if you don't think you're cut out for the life, there are still tons of ways you can find employment at a local casino resort near you.

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bartender

Resorts, in particular, look for experienced bartenders with knowledge of current drink trends and the ability to make cocktails quickly.
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server

Getting drinks out to the casino floor is a servers main purpose, as well as relaying orders to the bar staff and kitchen.
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CASHIER

Casino cashiers are responsible for converting player's money into chips and cash out requests. Experience handling transactions is a bonus in this role.
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manager

The casino manager oversees operations. This is an advanced role, which requires previous experience in a similar position, as well as hospitality training.
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security

Security personnel keep the casino safe and intervene if any trouble breaks out. On the item training is provided, but previous experience is beneficial.
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chef

Restaurants are a big draw for casino resorts so having enough chefs on staff to keep orders coming out on time is vital. You'll need the proper training and certifications to gain employment as a casino chef.

Pitt Boss Versus Dealer - What's The Difference?

Another key role at any land casino is the pit boss, also sometimes known as the pit manager.

Rather than share the same responsibilities as a dealer, the pit boss sits slightly higher on the gaming industry rung. They're in charge of making sure the pit action plays out smoothly.

dealer

  • Responsible for the action at a specific table in the pit
  • Rotate positions throughout a shift
  • Direct dealings with customers making bets at their table
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pit boss

  • Sits two rungs above dealers on the casino ladder
  • Little interaction with the floor staff, unless a major issue needs resolving
  • Directly manage casino floormen, who in turn oversee operations at three dealer's tables (any issues the floormen can't fix are escalated to the pit boss)
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Pit bosses are usually internally recruited from within a casino. So it's not uncommon for dealers with years of experience to advance into this role. You need to know the ins and outs of every game the casino offers.

Conflict resolution experience will also go a long way as you'll have to straighten out any problems that crop up in the pit, including instances of cheating.

Types of Dealers

Dealers run each table in the casino pit. Without them, there'd be no poker, roulette, craps or blackjack to play.

But, different types of dealer also come with their own unique responsibilities. And what type of dealer you become depends on the game you look after. Here are a few examples:

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Croupier (or roulette dealer)

Croupier is the name commonly given to the dealer who works the roulette table. It's the croupier's responsibility to spin the wheel, drop in the ball (in the opposite direction), and issue chips of different colours to each player. The croupier also announces the result, collects losing bets, and pays out winning players.
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Card Game Dealer

If you work a card table at a casino you're responsible for keeping the action moving in games like poker, baccarat, and 21, otherwise known as blackjack. It's the dealer's job to shuffle and deal the cards. Making sure to dispense the right number, and present them face up or down according to individual game rules. Card table dealers also prompt each player to act when it's their turn.
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Craps Dealer

Craps tables are unique in a casino in that they're the only dice game in the pit. They also typically have more than one dealer overseeing the action. If you're working a craps table it's likely you'll do it in tandem with another dealer. The job of the craps dealer is to collect bets and payout wins to players. And each dealer will be responsible for looking after half of the table.
live dealer

Live Dealer

Live dealers don't actually work in a land-based casino. Instead, they're employed by online casinos and work out of a studio, in front of a camera that broadcast over the Internet. For that reason, live dealers don't have any physical contact with players. But they can communicate with them verbally and everything they do and say is witnessed by the players taking part.

Become a Card Dealer

Dealers and croupiers are the glue that holds land-based casinos together and becoming a card dealer doesn't take years of experience. So, how exactly do you build a career as a casino dealer? Well, to be honest, avenues into the industry vary, but there are five steps that seem to apply in most gambling jurisdictions. See our five-step guide on how to become a card dealer listed below.

Dealer at a casino

How to Become a Card Dealer in 5 Steps

  1. Research the industry. Learn the ropes.
  2. Qualify. Study at an accredited dealing school and earn a casino dealer license.
  3. Practice makes perfect. Put your new skills to work and practice with friends.
  4. Get a job dealing smaller table games in a casino first.
  5. Develop your skills. Perfect your craft. Work your way up to the poker table.

While it's technically an entry-level role (with a casino worker salary to reflect it), some experience will put you at an advantage over the competition so it’s worth investing your time in perfecting your skill.

What Qualifications Does A Dealer Need?

Most dealers will be given extensive, on the job training in-house. However, if you've already worked in a casino environment (even in another role) this could help your chance of securing a job. Typically, casinos are looking for the following attributes in any dealer hire:

  • Basic High School Math

    Dealers will need to be able to add, subtract, and multiply in their head quickly and accurately to calculate payouts. So pit bosses will be looking for basic math ability in all dealer candidates.
  • Licence from State Gaming Board

    Casino dealers by law have to be licenced in order to work. To apply, you'll need photo I.D as well as proof of your residential status. Although this might not be required at interview stage, having a licence does mean you can start work straight away.
  • Good Communication Skills

    Being able to communicate clearly and confidentially is a vital part of a dealer's role. Casinos will get a sense of this at the interview, but they typically make you perform an audition, so they can see how good you are at the table.
  • Perfect Colour Vision

    Dealers have to be able to differentiate colours clearly, something that, unfortunately, those that suffer colour blindness are unable to do. If you don't declare colour blindness at the application stage, it won't take long for a pit boss to spot during your live audition.
  • Perfect Colour Vision

    Dealers have to be able to differentiate colours clearly, something that, unfortunately, those that suffer colour blindness are unable to do. If you don't declare colour blindness at the application stage, it won't take long for a pit boss to spot during your live audition.
  • Criminal Records Check

    Dealers are in charge of handling hundreds of transactions at their table, so they need to be trustworthy around money. Every dealer will undergo a Criminal Records background check as standard. So if you have a misdemeanour on record, be prepared for your employer to find out about it.

How To Practice Dealing

Casinos will be looking for flawless dealing when they put your skills to the test. So it pays to practice before you put yourself forward for a role.

Even one mistake can cost you the interview, so don't turn up unprepared. Here are some good ways to gain hands-on dealer experience:

Follow YouTube Tutorials

YouTube is a great online resource for learning how to do just about anything - including dealing cards. If you have a computer, tablet, or mobile, visit YouTube for tons of short and easy-to-follow video guides that teach you how to deal perfectly.

Read "How To" Books

If reading's more your thing, and you find YouTube demonstrations too fast to follow, buy a book that teaches you how to deal instead. E-bookstores like Amazon have a wide range of reference books about becoming a casino dealer. From dummies guides (fit for total first timers) to pro manuals like The Professional Poker Dealer's Handbook.

Role Play with Friends

Getting your buddies together for a home poker or blackjack game is a great way to test out your skills as a dealer. Assemble a group who regularly play in land casinos and are familiar with dealer behaviour and etiquette. That way you can practice under real conditions with players who know exactly what to expect.

Find a Mentor

If you really want to learn from the masters, try tracking down a mentor or coach who can spend time with you in the real world and get you up to speed. Working with an actual casino dealer is a great way to learn to deal to a professional standard. You might have to pay for lessons, but if it lands you that dream dealer job, it'll be worth it.

Like anything worth doing well, learning to be a professional dealer takes time and practice. For some people, it might come naturally while others can take a little longer to pick up the essentials. The key is not to give up. Find a learning style that suits you, and stick with it. The payoffs will come when you collect your first casino dealer salary.

Applying For Jobs & Nailing Interviews

The key thing to do (if you want work as a dealer) is to apply for an opening. Jobs do get advertised on online search engine sites (common Canadian ones include Indeed, Monster, and Canada Jobs), but you could also approach a casino directly and ask about dealer vacancies.

When applying for a job remember to include the following things:

  • Basic High School Math

    Dealers will need to be able to add, subtract, and multiply in their head quickly and accurately to calculate payouts. So pit bosses will be looking for basic math ability in all dealer candidates.
  • Licence from State Gaming Board

    Casino dealers by law have to be licenced in order to work. To apply, you'll need photo I.D as well as proof of your residential status. Although this might not be required at interview stage, having a licence does mean you can start work straight away.
  • Good Communication Skills

    Being able to communicate clearly and confidentially is a vital part of a dealer's role. Casinos will get a sense of this at the interview, but they typically make you perform an audition, so they can see how good you are at the table.
  • Perfect Colour Vision

    Dealers have to be able to differentiate colours clearly, something that, unfortunately, those that suffer colour bli ndness are unable to do. If you don't declare colour blindness at the application stage, it won't take long for a pit boss to spot during your live audition.
  • Perfect Colour Vision

    Dealers have to be able to differentiate colours clearly, something that, unfortunately, those that suffer colour blindness are unable to do. If you don't declare colour blindness at the application stage, it won't take long for a pit boss to spot during your live audition.
  • Criminal Records Check

    Dealers are in charge of handling hundreds of transactions at their table, so they need to be trustworthy around money. Every dealer will undergo a Criminal Records background check as standard. So if you have a misdemeanour on record, be prepared for your employer to find out about it.

Getting Into The Business

While the internet is saturated with online casinos, on land the story is a little different. Most provinces have just a handful of gaming centres or casino resorts.

Although these typically feature hundreds of real money slots, tables (which take up more space) aren't as well represented. Meaning stiff competition for dealer openings.

So, how can you best get your foot in the door and make sure you land that lucrative dealer job ahead of the competition? One way to show a casino how serious you are is by attending casino school.

Casino Schools Explained

Casino schools are special academic training institutions in the gaming industry that teach students the skills and knowledge they need to gain employment in the casino sector. If you're hell-bent on becoming a dealer, but haven't had success getting a position without formal training, a casino school is a great option to consider.

Specific dealer courses, which help train you in everything you need to know to operate on a casino floor, are perfect if becoming a dealer is your end goal. You'll learn the full scope of games, putting you in better stead to get a job after the course. Plus, your training is supplemented with math tuition, perfect if you struggle with this side of a dealer's duties.