Table Games Dealer Job Description
Table games dealers work in casinos. They operate gaming tables that can include card games and other games of chance, such as craps and roulette. This is primarily a customer-facing role, requiring a high level of attention to detail to possible fraud and cheating, while also keeping a game running and providing a positive experience to casino patrons.
While table games dealers need some familiarity with the rules of their games, most casinos provide extensive training and prefer candidates who have strong interpersonal skills, along with flexibility, stamina, and dexterity to work long shifts, often on nights on weekends.
Table Games Dealer Duties and Responsibilities
The specific duties of a tables games dealer can largely depend on the type of casino they work in, but many of the core duties are the same everywhere:
Operate Gaming Tables
The primary duty of the table games dealer is operating table games, such as roulette and craps, to card games, such as poker, blackjack, and baccarat. For table games dealers working at card game tables, this involves shuffling and dealing cards to all players and keeping the game moving. In this aspect of the role, table games dealers also collect players’ bets and determine when to stop betting.
Play House Hands
For card games, table games dealers also play the house hand, taking a more active role with players by determining, for example, when to bet or whether to deal another card in a game of blackjack. This aspect of the role requires strong judgment and extensive familiarity with the structure of a game and its odds to ensure that the house does not lose too much money and that players remain engaged.
Determine Winners and Payouts
Table games dealers also determine winners and payouts of their games. For roulette, a table games dealer provides a payout to customers who bet on the correct number or color, while a table games dealer working at a craps table needs to quickly figure out payouts for customers based on their bets and the outcome of the roll. Table games dealers working at card game tables determine payouts based on the results and the overall pot in some cases.
Provide Customers with Chips
Many table games dealers also provide customers with chips in exchange for cash. In this aspect of the role, the dealer needs cash handling skills and should be able to successfully keep track of the number of chips they have on hand. Table games dealers may also cash customers out on occasion, although this is more frequently handled by cashiers to encourage customers to continue playing.
Prevent Cheating and Scamming
Table games dealers also support casino operations by watching for cheaters and scammers. This part of the job requires excellent attention to detail, since the dealer needs to keep an eye out for suspicious activities while also running their game. If the dealer suspects cheating or scamming, they subtly alert floor managers, who can then observe the players and determine how to handle the situation.
Handle Problematic Customers
Finally, table games dealers manage their tables and the overall casino environment by handling unruly or otherwise problematic customers. To ensure that patrons have a positive gaming experience, the table games dealer may ask a customer to leave the table or correct their behavior. They may also alert security to problems with customers and have them removed from the casino.
Table Games Dealer Skills and Qualifications
Table games dealers work in casinos, interacting directly with customers during games of chance. Workers in this role typically have a high school diploma and the following skills:
- Gaming knowledge – table games dealers should have some familiarity with the rules of casino games, including card games like blackjack and poker and other table games such as roulette and craps
- Customer service skills – because they interact directly with customers, table games dealers should also have strong customer service skills and be able to manage unruly players while promoting a positive gaming experience
- Attention to detail – table games dealers also need excellent attention to detail to keep track of bets, follow proper procedures, and identify problematic customers, cheaters, and scammers
- Mathematical skills – in this role, table games dealers often need to make quick calculations for payouts and bets, so the ability to perform mental math is vital
- Physical stamina and dexterity – this role requires stamina and dexterity, since table game dealers spend long shifts on their feet and need to shuffle cards, spin roulette wheels, and otherwise manipulate game elements
- Communication skills – table games dealers need excellent communication skills to work with other gaming professionals and interact with customers and visitors
Table Games Dealer Education and Training
Table games dealers typically have at least a high school diploma or GED and some experience in a customer service setting. There are many opportunities for on-the-job training in this role, and most casinos conduct extensive in-house training or send new dealers to gaming school to learn the ins and outs of a particular game. Experienced dealers may also attend gaming school later in their careers to gain additional training in another game. Additionally, table games dealers need a license from their state’s gaming authority.
Table Games Dealer Salary and Outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), gaming dealers earned a median annual salary of $19,820 as of May 2017. The highest paid ten percent of gaming dealers earned more than $34,210 per year, while the lowest paid ten percent earned less than $16,790.
The BLS expects employment of gaming service workers, the category that includes dealers, to increase at a slower-than-average rate of two percent between 2016 and 2026.
We searched the web and found many resources if you’d like to learn more about working as a table games dealer:
“7 Characteristics of the Best Casino Dealers” – read this blog post to learn how to be a successful table games dealer, including using physical, mental, and interpersonal skills to bring players to the table.
The Cardslinger: Memoirs of a Casino Dealer by Robert Wagner – this book explores the day-to-day life of a Las Vegas casino dealer, with stories and examples drawn from the author’s career.
American Gaming Association (AGA) – the AGA is a trade group that represents the US casino industry, providing industry news and insight as well as advocacy and research.
Dummy Up and Deal: Inside the Culture of Casino Dealing by H. Lee Barnes and John L. Smith – this book is another insider account of working in the casino industry and explores a table games dealer’s training and daily role within the casino.
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