Working in a casino as a professional poker dealer can be a fast-paced and lucrative profession. Casinos can be found in states across the United States. According to the American Gaming Association, nearly 400,000 people were employed in commercial gaming facilities in 2008, earning more than £9 billion. Besides an hourly salary, poker dealers make a living through tips. Poker dealers work in various areas of a casino, including high-stakes rooms and other varieties of the bluffing game, including five-card stud, Omaha and five-card draw.
A poker dealer tries to make the playing experience as pleasant as possible. A dealer stands at a table and doles out the required number of cards to patrons. Before a hand begins, a dealer also converts a player's money into casino chips and makes sure that all players have made wagers before a game starts. A dealer also verify winners, ensures the poker game is played fairly and properly, and rakes in a losing player's chips. Other duties of a poker dealer include making sure cards are in good order before dealing, recording wagers and answering general questions about the rules of the game and about the casino itself. Dealers work around the clock. Shifts typically last eight hours, with a short break for every hour worked.
Before getting hired, a poker dealer must acquire a special gaming license, because the job requires handling large amounts of cash. The job also requires the dealer to provide a valid identification, such as a driver's license, Social Security card and a birth certificate. Job requirements include a background check. Before being hired, a person needs professional training and certification, which can be done at a poker dealer school, where you learn proper technique and etiquette.
While many poker dealers earn minimum wage, they can make large sums of money on tips. Typically, the larger the casino, the higher the tips. The better service you provide to customers as a dealer, the more money in tips you will make. More experienced dealers can work tournaments, where you often make a portion of the money the house makes.
A poker dealer needs to have accurate counting skills and be able to deal with people from all walks of life. The more personable and outgoing you are as a dealer, the better your tips. Dealers must be responsible, accurate and quick when dispensing cards and handling money. A large part of the job requires representing the hotel in a professional and courteous manner.
During a shift as a poker dealer, you must be on your feet for the duration, and the job is very repetitious. Many casinos are not smoke-free so dealers must inhale second-hand smoke. It's a service job, so a dealer is required to interact with customers with many dispositions, include some who may be surly or get upset if they lose large sums of money.
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