"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

Oops!

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.

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