Ever wondered what it feels like to be a casino dealer ? Most people will probably think it’s an easy job. Dealers are paid to deal cards and what could be so difficult in that? Players risk their money to get a “thrill” while dealers are paid to be in that same environment. Well, as good as that might sound, the dealer’s position is considered to be one of the most stressful jobs in the world.
When you’re ‘on the other side’ of the rail, things are not as “thrilling”.
Poker dealers and croupiers have to constantly perform their job within 3-4 feet of other people, who are constantly staring at them, judging their every move. Most of the time, they get the blame when people lose their bets even though the dealers have no possibility to change the outcome of a hand. Dealing requires the ability to perform complex mathematical solutions while maintaining a calm and relaxed exterior AND simultaneously socialise with guests. When dealing to someone who is rude, the dealer doesn’t have the option to walk away. He/She simply must sit there and ‘deal’ with it, at times throughout the duration of an 8 – 10 hour shift. Poker dealers handle tens of thousands of Euros on a daily basis, so a simple honest mistake could cost them their job, so their guard can never be dropped – unlike most jobs, which can often be done carelessly as long as they get done. Casino dealers work on every day of the year – holidays or not – and often do so up till the wee hours of the morning, sometimes without a set schedule. Having to constantly re-adjust their sleeping schedule adds further stress to an already very stressful job.
This may be the reason why 25% of people attending a “dealers training school” quit before actually dealing to real people in a real money game. The school is usually tough and tests the patience and ability to work under very stressful conditions. 1 out of 4 people don’t handle the pressure and quit. 2 out of the remaining 3 will quit the job before reaching the fifth year. The ones that remain are the ones that can’t do without it. Yes !! That’s right ! Some of us (including myself) are gaming fanatics and cannot imagine working in any other industry.
Some of us really love the job and even though the stress is a constant, we have accepted it as part of our job and handle it with experience and automatism. After some years, we give no weight to personal offences some people throw at us, and the payouts and procedures become second nature to us, which gives us the ability to entertain the players and thus entertain ourselves. Local players get to know poker dealers better and seem to respect them more but most importantly the dealers get to know their clients better and learn to give them their expected service.
Hopefully a glimpse ‘on the other side’, will help some players better understand how difficult a poker dealer’s job can be, and that dealers deserve more respect than that which they are given. Some players believe losing money gives them the right to raise their voice or be offensive, they don’t realise the person standing in front of them is just trying to do his/her job at their best. The next time you visit a casino, think about how it feels to be on the other side !