"Deal"ing with reality

Just a lil slice of life from a casino dealer's perspective.

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Location: Edgerton, Missouri, United States

I grew up in a small town, and live in small town now. Like to think I have more than a small town mind, but I doubt it.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Casino gamers aren't the only ones that occasionally demonstrate a lack of functioning brain cells. On occasion dealers can make a mistake or two (have a complete brain fart).

There are many reasons why these mistakes can happen. A dealer may be new and not have the confidence in themselves to get everything right. Or they may be on some particularly strong cold medicine. Then there are those that seem to be incapable of counting over 11 with their shoes on. Watching the last group are what keeps the suicide rate so high among table games supervisors.

One person in particular comes to my mind when I think about dealers who may have been lacking all the necessary skills (surprised then could walk and breathe at the same time) for the job. To protect her identity, and me from a lawsuit, let's call her Greta.

Most casino poker-style games are relatively simple. The payoff odds are printed on the table or a sign real handy to look at. The bets are usually fairly straight forward. It's not like Blackjack where a dealer may have to figure a 3:2 payoff when a player has $37.50 bet and hits a blackjack ($56.25). You can imagine my surprise when Greta pulled out a cheat sheet to figure out a payoff. I don't mean to see what the payoff odds should be, I mean she had to look to see how much money to give the player. Given that the payoff odds were 40:1 and the bet was $10, a Junior High student could have figured the $400 payoff.

Greta's problems extended past her questionable math skills. A number of poker-style games use automatic shuffle machines. The dealer simply puts the cards in the machine and take the shuffled, seperated, and pre-dealt cards from the front of the machine and places them in front of the players. Then the dealer looks at the players' hands, pays them (or not), and puts the cards back in the machine.

Apparently these simple tasks were beyond Greta. She forgot to take care of someone's cards. Not once, or even twice. She forgot four times. In one hour. One time she didn't realize her mistake until the entire next hand had been dealt out and she saw a player had too many cards. It was the player in the first position. She had dealt to them then four more players before she saw the extra cards.

I wish Greta lots of luck in her new chosen profession, whatever it may be. Hopefully it's something that doesn't require vast amounts of thought or mental power. Possibly something in the flower arranging field. Or maybe as a Presidential advisor for the Department of the Interior.

Sunday, August 27, 2006


This is hopefully the only double update I will do, but this story is too important to leave till Wednesday. If you want to read a regular post, feel free to scroll down.

I was made aware of this upcoming move by Steve Wynn. It is something that should make every dealer in every casino in the country mad, or at least nervous.

I'll wait a minute while you read the article......


Done yet? Ok, I'll wait another minute........

My biggest concern about the idea is obviously the tip money earned by dealers being taken from them. The three lowest paid jobs in a casino are generally the cocktail waitresses, the bartenders, and the dealers. Casinos tend to pay those employees little because of the amount of tips they earn.

My second biggest concern about the whole idea is the fact that supervisors would now have a vested interest in the amount tips dropped by dealers. It is something that could effect their decisions should a problem or mistake arise.

There are a number of incentives that can be given to supervisors that would make the position attractive without taking hard-earned money from dealers. Things like annual bonuses, extra holidays, stock options, or other bonuses.

I ask all you hard working readers out there to contact Steve Wynn and impress on him how truly moronic his idea is.

Casino Secret Techique

There are many conspiracy theories in this world. The fake moon landing. The Kennedy assassination. The Illuminati Society. Quentin Tarrantino movies.

Some theories are just too strange for even the supermarket tabloids. And most of those seem to relate to casino operations. One such theory was mentioned to me on the craps table by a very intellegent (stinking drunk) individual.

It was this gentleman's heartfelt belief that all craps games were rigged and technology was used to make the dice land on whatever number the casino wanted. While the result is commonly believed, it's the technique that he mentioned that was truly unique.

According to this learned individual (complete moron) the dice contained small microchips that could alter the result of a roll at the whim of casino management. The reason all craps tables have mirrors on them is so a laser beam signal can be reflected to the microchips in the dice instructing them how to land.

Apparently he had some inside source to get all this information. After explaining the method casinos used to cheat on craps (while playing the game) he insisted that Geraldo had discovered the secret and the gaming industry was paying billions of dollars a year to keep the story out of the mainstream media.

Gee, I hope the CIA doesn't start beaming signals into my brain for publishing this.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Road to Ruin?

Now I'm sure that many of the people that enter a casino and sit down to play table games have perfectly average IQ's. However, something seems to significantly lower that IQ once they pass through those doors and get a view of all the potential winnings (obvious losses) they can rack up.

The exact cause of this could be one of many things. A minor hypnotic effect from all the neon and flashing lights. The electro-magnetic field from all the slot machines interfering with the proper firing of neurons in the brain. Mass infusions of alchohol. Who's to know what the exact cause may be.

I don't mean that every person that enters a casino experiences a diminishing of brain cells. Just the vast majority of people do. From those that think they have come up with the perfect strategy to win every time to those who are entering a casino for the first time and think that everything should be handed over to them for just showing up.

With casinos all over the country people like these can be found anywhere. Just as each part of the country has it's own flavor and personality, so do the unique (moronic) people that decide to become casino patrons. I witnessed a woman being unique in a way that is special to the state I work in now.

The state legalized gambling and earmarked the taxes casinos pay for schools. Apparently this woman thought the little casino I work for should be able to tell the state legislature how to better spend their money. After entering the casino, without playing a single cent in a machine or on a table, she demanded to see a manager. When the Casino Shift Manager approached her she began to yell at him about the condition of the roads.

Apparently her husband was a truck driver and it was her opinion that the roads here were some of the worst in the country. Somehow the idea wormed into her head (musta been lonely there) that berating a single casino manager would get the government types to reconsider and begin fixing all the roads for her husband.

After talking at the manager for a number of minutes it finally became obvious to her that she wasn't going to accomplish anything. So, as she storms out the door, she turns on the little change light on each machine she passes by.

I'm not what her goal was, but turning on those lights certainly didn't make her appear any brighter.

Maybe there's hope yet, last week the state announced that it would be improving the condition of the roads.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Greetings and Salutations.

Hello all you blog readers out there. Thought I'd finally join the 21st century and get myself in this whole digital thing.

Just a little bit about me. I have been working as a casino dealer for 7 years now, mostly in small casinos. This blog will be mostly about some of the less intelligent (really stupid) people I have encountered during my time in the wonderful (really, really ugly) gaming industry.

For my first post I will explain a couple points of table games etiquette.

  • If you're going to be considerate enough to ask other players at the table if they mind you smoking, it's still rude to blow the smoke in the dealer's face.
  • If you have been playing at the same table for a couple of hours, enjoying yourself, and are about even, tipping the dealer would be a good thing.
  • If you have been winning and are ahead by a considerable amount, giving the cocktail waitress a $25 or more tip without tipping the dealer first is considered very rude. It is a great way to make certain you won't have any more chips to tip the waitress with.
  • Doubling your money in 30 minutes and losing it back in the next hour and a half does not mean the dealer hates you and only wants your money. It just means you hate your money and want to give it to the dealer.
  • Buying in for $20 and playing 2 hands on the cheapest table in the casino does not earn you a comp for you and your 5 friends to the $14.99 dinner buffet.

I think that is enough etiquette for now, next time I will probably bring you an example or two of the average IQ of casino table games players.