Dween
Dween
Joined: Jan 24, 2010
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January 10th, 2012 at 5:29:00 AM permalink
It's almost time for the annual charity event at the school/church I work at, and I have been asked to head up the Blackjack area.

I have insisted this year that I have at least a 2 hour training session for any volunteers that want to be dealers. There is also a good chance we will actually use chips instead of cash this year.

So the question I pose to you is: What are the most important things to teach the dealers?

Keep in mind a few things:
  • They are amateurs
  • They are volunteers
  • They may be drinking beer (But not if I have may way)
  • The players will likely be friends & family (Cheating? Possibly)
Of course, it's for charity, and we won't be able to rise to the professional level offered by a casino. Still, given a limited amount of time, what do you think are the most important things a dealer needs to know or know how to do, and how would you train them on that?
-Dween!
DJTeddyBear
DJTeddyBear
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January 10th, 2012 at 5:55:32 AM permalink
Didn't you post about a variety of problems you had with this when you ran it last year?

My first suggestion is to re-read that post. That should help you figure out what you need to focus upon.

Make sure they know most of the rules. Didn't you mention last year that one of your dealers was paying 2:1 for BJ?

Make sure they can add. I'd take a couple decks, take out a lot of the high ranked cards, add some extra aces, and do a flash card type of addition test. I suggest this because, although I'm good at math, when I'm at a BJ table, I often suddenly can't add 4 small cards. If they fail that test, show them some of the tricks to add quicker. Yeah, most of these is just to see patterns, but give it a shot.

Good luck, but remember that it's often hard or impossible to manage volunteers.
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Dween
Dween
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January 10th, 2012 at 6:20:09 AM permalink
Yes, I did post about last year's issues. I intend to address them first and foremost.

The "flash card" test you suggested is the kind of advice I am looking for. If you had no prior knowledge of what experience these volunteers have, what would you consider the top priority in training?
-Dween!
kaysirtap
kaysirtap
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January 10th, 2012 at 6:56:25 AM permalink
Being able to add is good, but I'm not sure they'll want to put the effort into recognizing card combinations.

If they are really beginners, a decent chunk of those two hours will probably be used teaching how the game is played (double downs, splits, insurance, etc.). After that, I think they should learn some of the basic procedures, like the order in which cards are dealt... when to pay or take money and in what order, how far to deal into the shoe before shuffling, etc. The rest of the time should probably be spent allowing the dealers to practice dealing to the other dealers.

Just my opinion. I've had to teach in a similar situation, and this worked for me.
Tiltpoul
Tiltpoul
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January 10th, 2012 at 7:32:10 AM permalink
I've never played "charity" blackjack, so I guess I have a few questions. First, do you actually gamble for real money or is it fake money where players receive a prize for winning? Second, what kind of crowd are you going for?

Personally, if it's just for fun and fun money, I'd kick out the Vegas rules and instead make it easier on you. I'd pay 2:1 on BJ (since 3:2 is tougher for some people to get) or do Super Fun rules, where BJ pays 1:1 100% of the time, and 2:1 in Diamonds. They can also double on as many cards, and 6-card charlies win. While it may seem more complicated, this eliminates the small card adding thing. Heck, make it a 5-card charlie.

I think it's great that you want to make it professional and casino-like. People who attend those things don't care about the realism, they just want to have a good time. Making the rules easier for your volunteers will make it a lot better for your customers.
"One out of every four people are [morons]"- Kyle, South Park
FleaStiff
FleaStiff
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January 10th, 2012 at 7:34:35 AM permalink
That is probably sufficient. Its just the same as a surveillance dept. in a casino wants: uniformity of action. All tables look the same, all dealers perform the same motions in the same manner. Remember, some of your dealers may be left handed.

I'd suggest a "cheat sheet" or Procedures Manual ... ONE PAGE.

Don't forget the important part: who shuffles, how and when. How and when are new decks obtained. Drinks get spilled on cards both accidentally and intentionally. Do you supply pre-shuffled decks? Sealed? Do you use Shoes? Discard trays?

Do dealers realize they must never leave their chip tray?

Frankly, ... have you considered outsourcing the Blackjack Pit to a professional Monte Carlo Night company?
They will give you quotes on equipment, space, setup time, chairs, tables, dealers, dress codes, cards, chips.... and I know the purpose is to RAISE money rather than SPEND it but you just might find that getting the quote will give you a ballpark figure.

And don't forget. Even volunteer dealers need bathroom breaks and dinner breaks.
P90
P90
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January 10th, 2012 at 7:49:11 AM permalink
Quote: Dween

So the question I pose to you is: What are the most important things to teach the dealers?


1) Hand rankings and outcomes.
BJ>21, A=11, high/low: high wins, bust/bust: dealer wins. The last part especially.

2) Say things aloud. At least read their cards and then total aloud. Less chance to make a mistake, more chance it will be spotted.
Might want to prefer verbal declarations over hand signals other than hit/stand, everything else verbal only, or there will be misreads (if both players and dealers are novice at it).
Better not bother with recognizing combinations, they are going to be misread.

3) Game protection, what FS said.


Quote: Tiltpoul

First, do you actually gamble for real money or is it fake money where players receive a prize for winning?


Real money, it's fundraising.
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Tiltpoul
Tiltpoul
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January 10th, 2012 at 8:04:50 AM permalink
Quote: P90

Real money, it's fundraising.



Okay, I'd still revert to Super Fun 21 rules. With a house edge of a bit over 1%, that still gives players a fair game than what they might find otherwise, for example, when pushes lose.

If it's for real money, then the cheating thing would be a concern. You might want to create an incentive for dealers who abide by all the rules (like giving a gift card or some sort of prize to those who make the least amount of mistakes).
"One out of every four people are [morons]"- Kyle, South Park
FleaStiff
FleaStiff
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January 10th, 2012 at 8:40:35 AM permalink
Quote: P90

Real money, it's fundraising.


Real money at buy in and cash-out but with chips, I hope. Has to appear "real".
Thats one advantage of an experienced Charity Gambling firm... they've weeded out the dullards and trained everyone sufficiently to be an attractive, upbeat dealer who knows what he is doing... and deals fast enough and accurately enough to make the evening be successful.
Now travel time and set up time and dealer salaries and equipment rental do add up... but depending on your volunteers and settling disputes can add up too.
Dween
Dween
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January 10th, 2012 at 11:54:26 AM permalink
Looking back on my issues from last year, and the suggestions so far, I think I'm beginning to get an outline for what I intend to do during the training session. Anything I haven't thought of, or anything I should change?

Training topics (Not necessarily in this order):
  • Know the basic rules
  • Try to know Basic Strategy
  • Dealing speed & procedure
  • Correct peek/no peek situations
  • Special cases (Split aces, soft doubles)
  • Learn "cheat sheets"
  • Speak out loud (totals and such)
  • Insist on hand signals
  • Practice, practice, practice

Rules & Setup:
  • 4 tables, 6-7 players each
  • 4 deck shoe
  • Blackjack pays 3-2
  • Dealer stands on all 17s
  • Dealer wins ties, except BJ vs. BJ is push
  • Double for less allowed
  • Split up to 4 hands
  • Split hands can be doubled, even Aces
  • No Insurance, no surrender
  • Limits = $1 - $10
-Dween!

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