Croupier
Croupier
Joined: Nov 15, 2009
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November 17th, 2009 at 3:31:03 AM permalink
I am a dealer in England. anyone wanting to ask anything about working in a casino, or anything at all, ask away, and ill be more than happy to help in any way I can.

I think the Wizards sites are fantastic, so this is my attempt to try and contribute to the further success of the site.
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odiousgambit
odiousgambit
Joined: Nov 9, 2009
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November 17th, 2009 at 3:46:30 AM permalink
OK, here goes:

As someone who was introduced to casino gambling by a friend who neglected to tell me much about what to expect, and certainly failed to warn me etiquette was important, I keep thinking that the dealers I ran into while fumbling through the process could have been more helpful. I was somehow expected to learn the ropes on my own. Is it possible that the feeling really is, that I wasn't welcome if I didn't know the etiquette? And the tipping! I just had no concept that tips were expected. Couldn't the dealers have tipped me off? [no pun intended].

Maybe somebody should be walking around handing out a brochure or something [g].
The Dice, the cards, they not only have no sense of justice but are actually endowed with a sense of cruel irony. This devolves from the 'nature of random'. Ironically so, don't you see. 
Croupier
Croupier
Joined: Nov 15, 2009
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November 17th, 2009 at 4:18:36 AM permalink
In our casino we generally try to ecourage new members (to enter most uk casinos you have to be a member, but membership is free) and new players by giving them brief instructions on how to play the games as well as showing them around.

Etiquette is a difficult one to approach, as dealers are not sure how much the player actually knows. I try and approach breaches in etiquette when they occur in a friendly and jovial manner, rather than pointing it out as a mistake and making the player feel uncomfortable.

I understand your feeling that some dealers made you feel unwelcome, as this is also in evidence where i work. I personally take the approach that if people enjoy themselves, win or lose, they will return, which is good for business, therefor good for me. Some dealers however are arrogant enough to think dealing to new players is beneath them. Others are frustrated by new players as they believe it makes their job more difficult as it slows the flow of the game, and frustrates other players. This can be true, but i see it as part of the job to make sure everyone feel welcome.

As for tipping, tipping of dealers in the uk is a fairly recent thing, so discreet signage is placed mentioning that tipping of gaming staff is now allowed. Tipping I believe as I have stated elswhere, should only be a reward for service above and beyond what you would expect. In gaming this can be slightly different, as some dealers can feel underappreciated should you get a big win and not tip, but I personally never expect a tip.

The best general advice i can give to new players, is talk to the dealers, most of which will be more than happy to help. However as we are still human we all have bad days, which can affect our work. Also on busy games, dealers will be under pressure from above to keep the game at pace. So if you are new to casinos, try and go at a quieter time, or to quieter tables and have a chat with the dealer. Some casinos also have brochures dotted around on everything from the gamesd themselves to problem gambling.

There are also excellent guides out there on the internet on everything from tipping to etiquette, so research can be easily done.

Good Luck and hope this helps.
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Nareed
Nareed
Joined: Nov 11, 2009
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November 17th, 2009 at 7:43:36 AM permalink
Hi, Croupier, and thanks for the offer!

I've a question: is it bad manners to talk to or ask questions of a Blackjack dealer?

I know the player is supposed to signal rather than tell the dealer what he wants (hit me, stay, double, etc). So last time in Vegas I played switch blackjack at the Casino Royale. On my first pair of hands I could switch two cards to make a blackjack. Iasked the dealer if I could really switch. She looked annoyed and just showed me the switch sign. I switched.
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
marksolberg
marksolberg
Joined: Nov 14, 2009
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November 17th, 2009 at 7:58:38 AM permalink
As a former dealer myself I can tell you it is absolutely okay to ask questions. Often times dealers won't give unsolicited advice because if the player takes it and loses they may blame the dealer. They are often just waiting for you to ask so they can tell you. A dealer isn't going to tell you about tipping (unless you ask) because it would be like soliciting tips. This is not allowed.

Dealers aren't allowed to play your hand for you, but at the casino I work at you could ask the dealer on every hand what you should do and they will tell you. Now bear in mind that although dealers deal a lot of blackjack and think they know how to play many of them don't know basic strategy.
boymimbo
boymimbo
Joined: Nov 12, 2009
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November 17th, 2009 at 8:55:21 AM permalink
Quote: marksolberg


Dealers aren't allowed to play your hand for you, but at the casino I work at you could ask the dealer on every hand what you should do and they will tell you. Now bear in mind that although dealers deal a lot of blackjack and think they know how to play many of them don't know basic strategy.



Presuming that the dealer is an expert is something a player has to beware. And some players are wary of asking a dealer because many players believe that the dealers are out to earn the casinos revenue and will purposefully give the wrong advice. My experiences are that most dealers are more interested in earning tips and having happy players, but that dealers typically don't know some basic strategy decisions but in general are really trying to help the player win so that they will be happy and tip.

My best advice is to learn basic strategy or bring the card with you and play the best game you can without help.
----- You want the truth! You can't handle the truth!
DJTeddyBear
DJTeddyBear
Joined: Nov 2, 2009
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November 17th, 2009 at 9:25:25 AM permalink
Quote: odiousgambit

Maybe somebody should be walking around handing out a brochure or something [g].

Walking around passing out brochures? Nah. That requires a dedicated staff person.

Here in NJ, (and presumably elsewhere) there are brochures available on display either at the Security window or the Casino Control Commission window. They usually also have them in the pits - just ask.

Bear in mind that these are the absolute basics of play, not strategy.

And to avoid the solicitation issue, none of them mention tips.

Sometimes a casino offers lessons, but they tend to be held in the pits where it's too noisy to hear well, and also just gloss over the absolute basics. Of course, you DO have the opportunity to ask questions....

I know craps fairly well, but stood in a craps lesson at Stratoshere a few years ago. Some of the info was completely worthless and over the heads of a beginner, while some of the stuff a beginner really needs to know wasn't covered at all. I got the distinct feeling that the type of info presented is what is presented at a dealer school. And appropriate for dealer school, but not for player lessons.




Quote: boymimbo

...some players are wary of asking a dealer because many players believe that the dealers are out to earn the casinos revenue and will purposefully give the wrong advice. My experiences are that most dealers are more interested in earning tips and having happy players, but that dealers typically don't know some basic strategy decisions but in general are really trying to help the player win so that they will be happy and tip.

Although you will find some grumpy staff, all the floor personel want winners, because winners are happy and helps them be happy and helps the day go faster.

Any advice they provide, while it 'may' be wrong, will be their best advice for a winning decision.

So, yeah, go ahead and ask. But once you get your information, you still need to provide the hand signals - that's what the overhead cameras look for.
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Croupier
Croupier
Joined: Nov 15, 2009
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November 17th, 2009 at 9:26:47 AM permalink
Nareed - its is far from bad manners to talk to or ask questions of a dealer. Most dealers enjoy a bit of conversation as it helps to pass the day. the dealer in question was probably just having a bad day.

marksolberg and boymimbo are both spot on. I didnt know basic strategy until I made the effort to learn it. It is not a requirement of the job to know strategy. Although most players at the casino I work in think they know basic strategy and dont.

I never offer unsolicited advice, however I will offer subtle hints such as asking "are you sure" when players are making questionable decisions, and will explain when asked what i believe to be the correct play.

Hand signals are generally used to help settle disputes, but in our casino we also have table microphones and verbal answers are final. In other casinos Hand signals are generally difinitve, and if players use hand signals they are what i deal to.
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FleaStiff
FleaStiff
Joined: Oct 19, 2009
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November 17th, 2009 at 10:52:48 AM permalink
It was a long time ago for me but I too did not know that tipping was expected, indeed I did not think it was permitted at all since I had heard that dealers uniforms lacked pockets just so they would not be able to sneak chips into them.

Lessons? In the old days the school was a separate classroom away from the din and distractions of a casino floor, the lecturer was a dedicated instructor, not merely a dealer on rotation, and the material was covered albeit in an entertaining and a bit shallow manner. You received a "diploma" and some special chips that indicated your newbie status to the dealers in the casino who would know that having been graduated from the school you now thought you knew all there was to know about the game.

I know one young couple that steadfastly refused the cocktails because they didn't know they were free. Ignorance can really hurt in a casino.

I'd like to know why some craps dealers are very prompt to give advice to a player and others will let a guy go through a grand or so and then give advice when he is coloring up and leaving. Is there any casino policy about saying something such as "it looks like things are better on the Pass Line today"?

If someone walks up and tries to buy in for 300.00 and a dealer says "we are all out of chips" is such senseless and annoying banter really encouraged or are these just annoying dealers? I mean 9:00pm jokes might be okay but at 9:00am, I'm not in the mood for jokes.
Croupier
Croupier
Joined: Nov 15, 2009
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November 17th, 2009 at 11:24:23 AM permalink
As I dont deal craps myself, and the game of craps is very rarely seen in the UK, it is not my area of expertise.

However, in general where I work, unsolicited advice is not encouraged by management, and can often annoy the players. I however try dropping a few subtle hints if i believe it could help the player.

As to the banter, maybe the dealer is just trying to be funny and isnt very inventive, or is just on autopilot. We are encouraged to interact fully with players, and any Dealer with any kind of customer service skills will be able to tail the banter to the players after a few minutes.
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