LuckyPhow
LuckyPhow
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February 24th, 2017 at 3:12:38 PM permalink
A few days ago an EZ Pai Gow Poker thread got sidelined for a few messages while folks commented about whether dealers had a good job that paid (reasonably) well or not. I'll summarize (below), but you can read it here:

Ez pai Gow yay or nay


Long story short: Paigowdan sez some casinos hire at (or near) the minimum wage, sometimes getting dealers who cannot calculate the 5% House vig in Pai Gow Poker. Royalgeejoon, the thread starter, takes issue, saying many people like the job, noting it pays well (min. $20/hr), 20 minute break every hour, free food, and good benefits. PlayYourCardsRight sez he deals in a Midwest casino and makes $16/hr including tips, works 80 minutes for a 20-minute break, and food is not free.

Last December I had a table all to myself and had the opportunity to ask my dealer about pay. I've done this several times, and always get about the same info back: My Biloxi dealer reported a base pay of $4.50/hr (+tips), normal raise was 10 cents per year (i.e., 20-cent raise after 2 years, 30-cent raise after 3 years, if I understand correctly). Yes, they get "free food" (whatever was left over from yesterday's buffet, mostly). Also, annual performance appraisal usually docked part of your raise for something or other, so you never get the "full" raise. And, because the casino was marshaling all available cash that year for construction/renovation, there were no raises that year at all for anyone. But, my dealer really liked the job, notwithstanding the fact that her hourly wage was almost always totally consumed by income tax withholding, social security tax, and employee share of benefit costs, leaving only shared tips as her true take-home pay.

So, my questions are, "What are dealers paid in other places? And what are the usual working conditions (benefits, breaks, food, etc.)?"
PokerGrinder
PokerGrinder
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February 24th, 2017 at 4:04:18 PM permalink
Quote: LuckyPhow

A few days ago an EZ Pai Gow Poker thread got sidelined for a few messages while folks commented about whether dealers had a good job that paid (reasonably) well or not. I'll summarize (below), but you can read it here:

Ez pai Gow yay or nay


Long story short: Paigowdan sez some casinos hire at (or near) the minimum wage, sometimes getting dealers who cannot calculate the 5% House vig in Pai Gow Poker. Royalgeejoon, the thread starter, takes issue, saying many people like the job, noting it pays well (min. $20/hr), 20 minute break every hour, free food, and good benefits. PlayYourCardsRight sez he deals in a Midwest casino and makes $16/hr including tips, works 80 minutes for a 20-minute break, and food is not free.

Last December I had a table all to myself and had the opportunity to ask my dealer about pay. I've done this several times, and always get about the same info back: My Biloxi dealer reported a base pay of $4.50/hr (+tips), normal raise was 10 cents per year (i.e., 20-cent raise after 2 years, 30-cent raise after 3 years, if I understand correctly). Yes, they get "free food" (whatever was left over from yesterday's buffet, mostly). Also, annual performance appraisal usually docked part of your raise for something or other, so you never get the "full" raise. And, because the casino was marshaling all available cash that year for construction/renovation, there were no raises that year at all for anyone. But, my dealer really liked the job, notwithstanding the fact that her hourly wage was almost always totally consumed by income tax withholding, social security tax, and employee share of benefit costs, leaving only shared tips as her true take-home pay.

So, my questions are, "What are dealers paid in other places? And what are the usual working conditions (benefits, breaks, food, etc.)?"


I Dealt cards just after I turned 19 and worked in three different casinos. First one I made $14.16/ hour I think plus $0.90/hour in tips (tips sucked at that casino) and $1/hour night premium. Second casino where I worked for most of my dealing time I was paid $12.50/hour plus between $5-$6/hour in tips. The last casino that I worked at was the best, we were paid $12/hour and made about $12/hour in tips paid daily in cash.
You can shear a sheep a hundred times, but you can skin it only once. Amarillo Slim Preston
Paigowdan
Paigowdan
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February 24th, 2017 at 4:53:41 PM permalink
The pay is not great, the benefits and tips may be okay, and it varies greatly.

Some notes;
1. Some fancy casinos may pay quite well ($70K a year plus because of tips): The strip (like the Cosmopolitan, Aria, and Caesars), and top-notch casinos in scattered cities, etc.
2. Can be rough dealing to some upset and demanding people/shot takers day in and day out.
3. Can have plenty of back-biting politics in the pit, depends on the place, but generally not warm and fuzzy all the time in the pit. Everything the bosses sweat comes down onto the dealer at the bottom.
4. A job with a name tag is not a career in an office. If you don't rise up to an office job in the industry but instead wear a name tag, you have a job in which you might be easily replaceable.
5. Dealers often quit for other work or for better casinos. Good jobs (and good help) is hard to find and keep.

Edit: Food and breaks; generally 40, 60 or 80 minutes on, 20 off. Cafeteria food of hot dogs, fries, pasta, pork chops or fish & potatoes (fish is often tilapia), and an assortment of salads and sandwiches. Milk, soda, and coffee as bevs.
Last edited by: Paigowdan on Feb 24, 2017
Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes - Henry David Thoreau. Like Dealers' uniforms - Dan.
LuckyPhow
LuckyPhow
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February 24th, 2017 at 6:23:43 PM permalink
Quote: Paigowdan

Can have plenty of back-biting politics in the pit... Good jobs (and good help) is hard to find and keep.



Best I can tell from Biloxi dealers, casinos work hard to keep their (reasonably) competent dealers, and it shows when talking to the dealers. I hear comments that bosses will bend over backward to give early out on a given day to someone trying to get to a doctor appointment. Or, the late arriver (evening shift) who calls to say his son's baseball game has just gone into extra innings and he might be late. The boss checks to see who on the earlier shift can stay on for a while. I often see a real team spirit, both between dealers and with the pit bosses.

As someone into management dynamics, it is easy to spot when you see it. Likewise, if I am tipping the dealers (somewhat rare in Biloxi, unfortunately), pit bosses don't fuss (much) if my dice don't hit the back wall and are helpful to me in whatever way they can. As a bottom-feeder, I think they report other valuable aspects of my play (for example, first person to open a table, since many don't want to play unless others are there first).

And many in Biloxi can remember 25 years ago -- before casinos arrived -- when only a few worked at the military bases (good pay) and the rest worked in the fishing industry (poor pay). Compared to the fishing industry, casino jobs are great!
Paigowdan
Paigowdan
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February 24th, 2017 at 6:38:08 PM permalink
Good to hear.

I've seen the pit environment vary from cut-throat and pure drill-sergeant state-of-fear scare tactics (when there's more applicants than positions) to warmth when help is scarce. Some operators try to instill a super team spirit on a continuous basis - 'everyone is a guest!' - where Stations in particular tries in very good faith to instill warmth and decency among workers; others, well, not too good.

I've heard a few who left a poorer-paying but kind place regret the extra money at a new place where intimidation and 'job fear' rules, and for the extra $12K a year more.
Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes - Henry David Thoreau. Like Dealers' uniforms - Dan.
LuckyPhow
LuckyPhow
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February 24th, 2017 at 7:13:45 PM permalink
Quote: Paigowdan

Good to hear.

I've seen the pit environment vary from cut-throat and pure drill-sergeant state-of-fear scare tactics


Worst I ever came across was when a dealer told me the Table Game Director had once made the following negative comment about tips to the dealers: "Any money that goes in there [dealer toke box] is money I never get another shot at." He didn't just want my money, he wanted ALL of EVERYBODY'S money. Must'a been a swell guy, don'cher know.
100xOdds
100xOdds
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February 25th, 2017 at 1:51:31 AM permalink
poker dealer is probably the best dealing job in a casino.
in my state, $5/hr min and u keep your own tips. plus you get to sit down.

you avg a minimum of $1 tip per hand.
most people give more if a big pot. that cancels out the times people don't tip and mis-deals.

an avg dealer deals 30hands an hr.
so $30/hr tips + $5/hr base = $35/hr = $70k/yr if working full time
Craps is paradise (Pair of dice). Lets hear it for the SpeedCount Mathletes :)
SiegfriedRoy
SiegfriedRoy
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February 27th, 2017 at 10:28:02 AM permalink
On a slight off-tangent question. How many percent of dealers do you think gamble? I wonder if they get sick of seeing cards and never want to step onto another casino on their free time. I also wonder if they are encouraged by seeing some people winning and will venture off to gamble off shift.

I also find it a bit interesting that when I offer dealers a chance to take a toke or play for the dealer, 9 out of 10 times they choose the play option. With the house advantage, I feel like it's wiser to just take the toke. In the long-run they may earn an extra buck or two and hour. Do dealers do this to stand in solidarity with the players, do dealers get a kick out of "gambling" as a sidebet, or do they do it because of a chance to double down and some ploppies will fork up another dollar or two to match the dealers double down bet? If there is a dealer (formal dealer) who can shed light on this would be much appreciated. Thank you.
GWAE
GWAE
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February 27th, 2017 at 12:05:20 PM permalink
Quote: 100xOdds

poker dealer is probably the best dealing job in a casino.
in my state, $5/hr min and u keep your own tips. plus you get to sit down.

you avg a minimum of $1 tip per hand.
most people give more if a big pot. that cancels out the times people don't tip and mis-deals.

an avg dealer deals 30hands an hr.
so $30/hr tips + $5/hr base = $35/hr = $70k/yr if working full time



The other day I was taking to a dealer about that. He says that most dealers in this casino like their job


Your 70k a year is a little high though. There are in deed about 30 hands per hour however a dealer doesn't average 30 per hour. They usually switch tables ever 20 minutes so they will lose at least 2 hands on each switch. Plus they will have breaks which will cut their average. Then there are times when they are sitting around waiting for a table to open. I think they have a fair amount of down time. This particular dealer told me she made 47k last year. Still not a bad job or pay imo.
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100xOdds
100xOdds
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February 27th, 2017 at 12:15:10 PM permalink
Quote: GWAE

Your 70k a year is a little high though.
a dealer doesn't average 30 per hour.
They usually switch tables ever 20 minutes so they will lose at least 2 hands on each switch.
Plus they will have breaks which will cut their average. Then there are times when they are sitting around waiting for a table to open. I think they have a fair amount of down time. This particular dealer told me she made 47k last year. Still not a bad job or pay imo.


ahh.. forgot about switching tables.
at my casino, it's every 30min.

and yes, they sometimes sit at an empty table because it got broken up.

lets subtract 10% hands for that so 27 hands/hr.
$27 +$5 base = $32/hr = $64k/yr if 40hrs/week of tables with players.. lol
Craps is paradise (Pair of dice). Lets hear it for the SpeedCount Mathletes :)

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