A croupier is essentially a dealer in a gambling establishment. The term "croupier" is primarily used overseas as opposed to the United States. In America, blackjack is usually the first game learned by dealers, but roulette tends to be the first game of choice in Europe. Regardless of location, croupiers must posses requisite mathematical skills and obtain the necessary licensing before becoming a dealer. Additionally, croupiers must be able to work unorthodox hours in sometimes hazardous conditions.
Croupiers are not required to have any specific degree, although most establishments ask for a high school diploma or equivalent. When competition for jobs is greater, such as in a recession, workers with four-year degrees have an advantage.
Licensing and Certification
All dealers must be certified by a licensed school of dealing. Specific training may be required for certain games. Additionally, croupiers must obtain a state license from a gaming control board or other appropriate regulatory agency. Usually, employers will help an employee obtain the appropriate licensing if necessary. As most of a croupier's duties involve mathematical calculations, a math test is often given to potential employees.
A croupier's primary duty is to collect and pay bets at gaming tables. While blackjack and roulette may be the first games typically learned, the best dealers are proficient at a number of games. When dealing roulette, croupiers generally follow a specified order in order to place and collect bets properly. Other games, such as the dice game craps, require high-level mathematical skills and also follow a system to ensure proper bet collection. Croupiers work under the auspices of a supervisor, often known as a "pit boss," who authorizes large bets and payouts and also monitors the performance and procedures of a dealer.
Croupiers generally must perform their work in a noisy, high-pressure, often smoky environment. The job may entail standing for many hours and dealing with unruly or drunken players. Some employers look for croupiers who are particularly proficient at socializing with players, in hopes that players engaged in conversation will be less likely to leave the table.
Hours and Pay
Except in the United Kingdom, most croupiers make minimum wage or slightly higher, and depend on tips for the rest of their income. In the United States, this equates to approximately $16,300 per year on average, as of 2010. Dealers usually work nights and weekends, when gaming establishments tend to be more crowded. As most casinos are open 24 hours a day, some dealers are required to work graveyard shifts.
Gaming services occupations were expected to grow faster than average in the United States. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projected a 19 percent employment growth for dealers from 2008 to 2018.
- Photo Credit La cassetta degli attrezzi del croupier image by Cobra from Fotolia.com
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