Have you ever been sitting in a casino and wondered just how it goes for the dealers and croupiers? Would the grass be greener on the other side of the roulette wheel and blackjack table? You would certainly get to enjoy the glitz and glamour of the casino lifestyle and surround yourself with the buzz and anticipation that only being in a games house can supply. And, perhaps most pertinently, you can do so without feeling that crushing sensation should you leave the premises with a hole in your wallet, as unfortunately is an occasional side effect for punters. So what is life really like for a professional dealer or croupier and how do you go about becoming one?
Earn Your Stripes
Remarkably, working on the frontline of a casino is a career like most others, in the sense that there's a clear lineage of starting at the bottom and working your way up to the top. Like many vocations, the professional croupier often starts life in further education and training – either on the job or at one of a number of ‘gaming academies’ that have been established in the UK and beyond.
As far as qualifications are concerned, few employers will ask that specific programmes of learning are completed, e.g. an NVQ in Gaming, but a solid grade in GCSE level or higher maths is recommended. Via training courses, aspiring croupiers learn all they need to know about managing their station, from dealing the cards and counting chips to understanding the legal framework for gambling in a particular city or state.
There are tangible factors that would-be dealers can work on as well as interpersonal skills, such as clear communication and the ability to handle occasionally rowdy customers. The need to ‘scrub up well’ is essential in most casinos too. And really that’s about it as far as a job specification goes. Sound numeracy and communication skills are essential, as are a warm personality and a well-groomed appearance.
Plenty of Advantages
Like all jobs, being a professional croupier comes with its advantages and drawbacks. And you will certainly have to get used to working some pretty family unfriendly hours if your mission is to land a role in a working, brick-and-mortar establishment (live dealers online is a whole other story). Even so, if you can get your head around the unsociable hours then there are plenty of positives in becoming a casino dealer: