Ballpark Estimate: $400 to $2,000+
Casino gambling has never been more popular or accessible. New casinos seem to be opening on a weekly basis. The growth of casino construction is not limited to the United States, but is a worldwide phenomenon. As the demand for gaming continues, so too does the demand for dealers to manage the games at the thousands of new tables. There’s always an opening available in the traditional Las Vegas style hotel-casino resorts, Native American casinos, riverboat casinos, Poker Clubs, and the hundreds of cruise ships. Not to mention the scores of opportunities abroad.
Called a casino floor position, the age restriction is usually 21, but at many Indian casinos employees many work the tables at 18. Since huge amounts of cash flows through the dealers’ hands, thorough background checks and possible drug tests are routine for all applicants. Casino managers want to hire professionals with good personalities, but most importantly, they want to hire those with the skills and ability to manage a table. Training is required for managing all table games. These skills can be learned at casino dealer schools.
Casino dealer schools provide the gaming industry with a skilled resource pool for filling casino floor vacancies. Most schools offer flexible schedules for day and evening classes which are based on specific games. For instance, there are separate classes for blackjack, poker, baccarat, craps, and roulette, each priced separately. Some schools offer a multi-game combination for a lower tuition costs. The duration of each class varies from school to school but usually range from around 2 weeks for roulette to as many as 8 to 12 weeks for craps or Texas Hold’em poker.
Students get hands-on training in shuffling, pitching, giving hits, the use of gaming equipment, taking bets, and the rules of each game. Good schools will not only create an atmosphere that is similar to a real casino by using authentic tables and chips, but they will also simulate the noise and lighting of a real casino, and the stresses of dealing with unruly players. Upon completion a certificate is provided and at some schools a job placement program is also available.
Estimated Cost: (Price range depends on school and duration of class)
- Pai Gow Poker, Baccarat, Blackjack, Roulette: $400 to $700 per game
- Craps: $500 to $900
- Poker (Texas Hold’em, 7 Card Stud, Omaha): $600 to $1,000
- Pai Gow Tiles: $900 to $1,200
Recent graduates probably won’t start at the best casinos in town. Like in most job searches, prior experience is always preferred. The larger, well-known hotel-casinos, like those on the Strip in Las Vegas, or on the Boardwalk of Atlantic City, prefer applicants who have several years of experience in all phases of the profession. The criticality of previous experience is somewhat less at the smaller stand-alone casinos, the so-called “break-in houses”, and on riverboats and cruise ships. Employment at these establishments will usually provide the best opportunity for recent graduates to get their foot in the door and to receive on-the-job experience.
Since most casinos hire dealers for their expertise in specific games, graduates specializing in only one or two table games will find the competition extremely fierce, especially for the more popular games. Many major hotel-resort casinos, however, have in-house dealer-training programs to enhance the repertoire of their own or recently hired dealers.