The Role of the Dealer, the Role of a Lifetime
The role of the dealer, or croupier, is a prestigious and important duty, integral to the organisation of a casino. Everything that happens at the game table – from the punters and the chips going in, to the winners and the chips going out – is the responsibility of the dealer.
It’s the perfect transition for those who already know a bit about gambling – if you enjoy a good blackjack game from time to time then why not consider becoming a blackjack dealer? You can put that experience to great use and get paid while you win for the house. This is possible for land-based casinos as well as live casino sites.
But what makes a tip top blackjack dealer? Besides the knowledge of the game and its rules and strategies, there’s actually a collection of skills and qualifications that are often required to be a consummate croupier. Some of these can be studied, while other softer, non-technical skills are always a work in progress that can be built up and focused on.
Qualifications Helpful to Becoming a Blackjack Dealer
While in the UK there are no real qualifications that you absolutely need to kick-start your blackjack dealer career, there are some programs that can give you a little leg up against the competition. These are private courses that you can take to get a comprehensive blackjack training.
These courses, such as dealer courses offered at schools such as Ace Academy, teaches not only the technical skills and knowledge that underpin blackjack, but also the etiquette that is to be expected on casino floors, and how to navigate the interviews and table tests that you’ll come to expect as you navigate the entry-level casino world.
Regardless of technical skills and industry know-how, applicants to croupier positions are expected by most employers to have some basic qualifications – at minimum between 3 and 5 GCSEs, with English and Maths included in those. It also would help to have some experience working with money to show them you’ve got the right stuff.
Bear in mind that in being accepted in a position as a blackjack dealer, you’ll likely be onboarded in a vocational training scheme, and you’ll get the gist of how to behave, how to deal and all the other ins and outs for that specific casino. An outside course can never hurt to get your foot in the door, however.
Skills Needed to Be a Blackjack Dealer
In becoming a blackjack dealer, qualifications and knowledge can only get you so far. Sure, you can know your spades from clubs and the values of the chips, but without some of the soft skills that help finesse your craft, it’ll be hard to climb the ranks.
By soft skills, we mean those non-technical skills that define how we work. These are often interpersonal, problem solving, and organisational skills. They’re harder to work on than technical skills, but mastery of these soft skills will guarantee you success in not only a dealing career, but in every facet of your life.
- Communication: The best dealers wield a strong level of communication. On the casino floor emotions can run high, and it can be a very overwhelming environment with lights flashing, and alcohol flowing. To communicate clearly, directly, and with authority is a golden trait.
- Interpersonal skills:
- Customer Service: The punters that come to your table are paying customers of the casino that they’re visiting. You’ll need an open and compassionate approach to dealing with both accolades and complaints. Remember – empathy is key.
- Analytical Thinking: Blackjack is a game of numbers and chance. You’ll need to have a firm grasp of the quick mathematics that the pros use, to keep track of the game. There are always going to be some rotten eggs that seek to game the system and cheat, so part of your analytical thinking will be to detect any potential threats to the integrity of the game.
Although blackjack dealing is all about control and responsibility, you’re a dealer, not a robot. It’s important to make whatever guest is playing at your table to feel welcome and at ease. They’re playing to win, sure, but they’re also there to have a bit of fun.
Perks of the Job
Besides being around a game you already love, there are a few sound reasons why blackjack dealing could be the calling for you. Money is the first one – you’ll be surrounded with it all the time, and if you’re lucky some of it will rub off on you. Flexibility is the other, and you’ll be glad for it.
Blackjack dealers get a fairly decent starting salary, beginning at £17,500 a year and climbing once you prove your worth and get to more prestigious tables. Poker, for example, pays a bit better than blackjack, as the skills and attentiveness required to deal the game are a bit more advanced.
While it doesn’t happen as frequently as in the movies, from time to time big winners will tip the dealer a huge portion of their winnings in their ecstasy, and often you’ll get smaller tips too. Dealers can expect to net about £400-500 monthly in tips. It’s most common to have a shared tipping pool amongst the dealers at a casino, but most poker table dealers get to keep theirs, acknowledging the expertise that poker dealers put into the game.
As casinos are often 24 hour enterprises, dealers need to be present behind the table all the time. While this might sound bad at first, believe us, you won’t be working like a horse! This means that dealers get a huge flexibility of hours. If you want your days free, you can work evenings, and vice versa.
The gambling industry is going through huge shifts and changes in recent times. Part of that is growth, and casinos are continuously creating more professional opportunities for their dealers to step up and take a firm hold of their careers.
After entering the gig as a blackjack dealer, if you play your cards right and give a professional and consistent experience to your guests, you can expect to move up to becoming a pit boss, or a dealer inspector. You can even take it all the way to casino manager- the casino floor is your oyster.
A Professional Opportunity That’s a Safe Bet
When you reflect on all the responsibilities and skills that comprise the esteemed croupier profession, it all comes up a bloody respectable job. It requires some technical know-how, a handful of interrelated and indefinite skills, and a love of the game. What’s more, there’s no denying that it’s a classy job.
Frequently Asked Questions
There’s always bound to be some questions with starting a new job, and our readers are a very inquisitive bunch. We’ve compiled all the most common questions we get asked about how to become a blackjack dealer, check them out below.
How long does it take to become a blackjack dealer?
Find a job post and apply in no time at all, easy as that. You might be put through a training program beforehand that could last around six weeks, but if you have the knowledge of the game already, through a course or prior experience, you’ll be off to a great start. If you would like to know more about the game, check out our blackjack guide.
Do blackjack dealers make good money?
Dealers make decent money for an entry level job. £17,500 a year can be expected as a starting wage, but remember - you can add an extra £6,000 on top of that to account for tips if you can turn on the charm like the best. You will find that many of the best live casinos do not allow tipping, however.
How do you become a blackjack dealer?
Becoming a blackjack dealer is easy, and you don’t really need any specific training. Of course it helps, as does being a people person, good at customer service, and having a history working with money, but you can bring a good attitude and a general knowledge of the game to an interview and be successful. If you need to brush up on the rules of blackjack, then click to go to our detailed page.
How much do blackjack dealers make in tips?
Blackjack dealers can rake it in with tips - it’s part of the big draw to the profession. On top of their wage, blackjack dealers can expect to make an extra £400-500 in tips from a shared pool. It depends on the casino that you are playing in, and online casinos tend to be different.
Is it hard to be a casino dealer?
That’s a difficult question that changes from casino to casino, and situation to situation. Generally, casinos are pretty flexible with hours, and you can fit the job around your life. If you are a dealer at one of the top UK live casinos, you will also be working for a prestigious developer.