How would you like a job where people blow smoke in your face, and a few even call you names under their breath as you take their money? Add to that, the fact that you get to work on weekends, holidays, and all hours of the day and night. Welcome to the ‘glamorous’ world of casino blackjack dealing. Along with its drawbacks, however, this job can provide a comfortable income and an opportunity for world travel. It also serves as a stepping-stone in the hierarchy of casino careers.Blackjack dealers are adept at maneuvering cards, money, and casino chips; they should fully understand the rules of the game, “21.” Employees generally alternate between dealing a blackjack game for 40 to 60 minutes, and then taking a 20-minute break. Rich broke in as a casino blackjack dealer in downtown Las Vegas in the 1970s. He dealt other games as well. He was a second-generation dealer. Most Las Vegas dealers pay their dues at downtown casinos with the hope of moving on to the “the strip” to make better money at impressive venues. Rich thought dealing would be an interesting way to make a living, so he gave it a try and shares some of his experiences here.
Casino odds favor the house; therefore, dealers are expected to keep the games moving. Rich learned that point early on. There were blackjack novices on his table who asked questions, so he started to explain the finer points of the game to them. Apparently, he stopped dealing for too long-a cardinal sin in a casino. He was taken off the game by an older pit boss, “Son, you are being paid to deal, not to give long explanations. You’re costing the house money.” Needless to say, his future lessons to the customers were not long-winded, since he concentrated on keeping the game moving.
Dealers should be cautious of what they say to patrons. An elderly man and a younger woman were on one game. “Sir, where are you and your daughter from?” the dealer asked The man snarled back, “This is not my daughter; we are together.” As a dealer, if you have a slip of the tongue, just apologize and move on. Above all, never comment on the amount of money a customer spends.
Rich had an innocent smile on his face one day as he dealt blackjack. A player on his game …