What does it take to be a gaming dealer?

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Like hotels and other major hospitality businesses, casinos need a large number of employees to run properly and look good doing it. There are the cooks for the restaurants, valets for the luxury parking, custodians for day-to-day maintenance, sales consultants for the casino's shops and many other jobs to serve the customers and guests.

Many of these casino jobs are behind the scenes, making sure that everything goes off without a hitch. However, the role of a gaming dealer is one of the most important because it's public-facing. Gaming dealers are some of the main sources of interaction between the casino and its customers. These employees must act and look the part of a helpful but authoritative figure within the casino. 

Despite the publicity of this career choice – one depicted in a number of heist and gambling films – many people are unaware of what exactly the duties and responsibilities of a gaming dealer are, which can make it a difficult career to get into. If you're considering becoming a gaming dealer yourself, it's important to know what the job entails. 

Dress professionally every step of the way 
It probably comes as no surprise to many that gaming dealers need to dress well. From stylish work shoes to bow ties and vests, most gaming dealers are dressed in formal attire and look sharp. Although these outfits are usually part of an elegant uniform, they help establish a feeling of authority and professionalism that the customers and guests are looking for. 

Because this way of dressing is so tied to the job, a former casino dealer wrote on Casino Dealers' News about the importance of dressing well prior to getting the job. She noted that people had come to interviews wearing flip-flops and T-shirts. This may be because they saw the formal dress as more of a costume than persona. She recommended that people dress formally throughout the interview process. This may allow prospective employers to see them in the role already. 

Know the games and the rules
Looking the part is only a portion of the job, of course. The rest of the role is much more important and focuses on knowing the rules and facilitating the play of a variety of card and other gambling games. While discussing prospective casinos in Massachusetts, Boston.com examined the skills that a dealer really needs to thrive. 

"To become a gaming dealer, you must be knowledgeable about the rules of a variety of games," the news source wrote. "Dealers' job duties can include operating games by dispensing the correct numbers of cards or blocks, comparing the house's hand against players' hands, and paying off or collecting money or chips from players." 

Another critical, and unfortunate, aspect of being a dealer is watching for cheating among the players. Although most guests likely won't cheat, it's important to be vigilant about those who are. This can mean anything from ending a game because you caught somebody cheating or discreetly mentioning a suspicion to a supervisor that can be followed up on later. 

Dealers may also play cards with guests as the house and ensure that all gaming supplies – cards, chips, dice – are in compliance with the casino's standards. 

Receive tips for a job well done
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are more than 98,000 people in the country who are gaming dealers. Many of these employees receive wages only slightly above minimum wage. But, unlike other low-paying jobs, this skilled position provides many dealers with tips from customers to supplement their pay. Of course, it depends on the casino and many other factors as to how lucrative tips may be, but it's a wage supplement nonetheless. 

Gaming dealers have a complex job that mixes gaming skills with a casino look to welcome customers over to their table. 


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