How to Handle Dealer Accidents
When you think of an accident you think of a spilled drink right? When the dealer spills a drink, if one of the players spills a drink, any drinks are spilled don’t turn your back on the table.
Make sure you stay square to the game and you have the entire game in your line of sight at all times. You want to take several steps towards where the person spilled the drink. That way you can turn your body and have the entire table in your view at all times, while you are cleaning up the spill. Usually the table will have a rag or something underneath the table that you can go and grab and clean the drink up. Also, just let the floor supervisor be aware of it. “Spilled drink” you say, just so he knows.
When you are dealing, especially on blackjack, sometimes (this is totally by accident) the hole card flips over. Everyone can see what the hole card is. This does happen. Don’t worry! You are human. You make mistakes. The casino totally gets this. They recognize that you are going to make mistakes. It’s expected.
It’s not a big deal if you make a mistake. They are not going to fire you. NOW if you pay someone $20,000 instead of $20, yeah you are going to get fired for that mistake. But if you do normal mistakes like OMG my hole card accidentally flipped over, what do I do? It’s ok you are not going to get in trouble for this.
First thing you do, this is pretty much with everything, you are going to hear me repeat this several times, don’t apologize. Do not apologize. So you are the face of the casino. You are the front line of the casino. When the customers are interacting with you, that is their perception of the casino experience. You are the casino. So when you apologize you are admitting that you made a mistake, therefore the casino made a mistake. If you admit that you made a mistake, that means that the person that is wrong now needs to – things need to be fixed with them. You do not want to apologize.
I know there are several people out there who that is their default. Like you just apologize, that is just the way it is. You apologize for everything. Believe me I know, I am one of those people. That is the first thing you learn being a dealer, is you do not apologize.
SuperChat story: When I was dealing in Las Vegas, we had a woman who was hired at one of the casinos and she was hired because she looked absolutely gorgeous. But she could not deal. They put her on blackjack, after an hour or two, they realized how horrible of a dealer she was on blackjack that they had to take her off of blackjack and put her on Big 6. You can’t screw up Big 6. That is like the easiest game there is. They put her on Big6 and she screwed up Big 6.
So the first thing that you do as a dealer is you always take the losing bets first, and then you pay the winning bets. Never vice versa. So she went on the Big 6 and she just started paying everyone. She just forgot about taking the losing bets. She was just paying everyone, and they were like OMG get her off the table. So that is our story.
This is a question that I got in my email the other day. What do you do when the player is playing and they get mad at you and blame you for the money that they lost? This happens quite a bit. So what do you do?
Again, like I said you are going to hear me say this alot, first thing you do is don’t apologize. You call over your floor and he –
Call over your floor supervisor. For example, “Yes Sir, I understand you want to speak to a manager. No problem. We will get a manager over here for you. You can discuss it with the manager when he gets here.” So then call over your floor, and the floor will then take care of it. So when you call over the floor, your responsibility is shifted over to the floor supervisor. When you come to a situation like that you do not want to handle it. You want to call over the floor supervisor and then it is the floor supervisor’s responsibility to take care of it.
If anything else happens that is out of the ordinary, again remember don’t apologize and call over your floor. You can still be sympathetic with the person and empathize with them without apologizing. For example, “Yes Sir, I understand you are upset. I completely understand. I will call over the floor supervisor and he will help you through this.” No problem but do not apologize and do not say you are sorry.
The nicest part about being the dealer is as soon as the floor supervisor comes over, the responsibility has been shifted from you over to them. That is why we love our floor supervisors. Floor supervisors look out for us, they take care of us, and if anything happens you can call over your floor supervisor. He will be the one responsible. So that’s part of the whole manager thing. That is also a nice perk about being the dealer. Just call over the floor supervisor and the responsibility is automatically handed over to them. That is why as a dealer if you ever make a mistake, if there is ever an accident, if there is anything that happens that is not normal, let your floor supervisor know, because that shifts the responsibility over to them. That protects you as a dealer. And that is part of the floor supervisor's job to know what’s going on in the pit. So it is always good to tell them.
Q: I have one time where a player thought that I over took for rake in poker, and it took 3 players, me and the floor to count the pot.
A: Okay if anything like that happens where the player is accusing you of stealing, what you do is again, don’t apologize, and immediately call the floor supervisor. Just let the player know. For example, “Okay Sir, I understand you are upset. I will get the floor supervisor for you and he will help you with this situation.” Just whatever you do, don't apologize.
Q: I had a newbie dealer once hit soft 18 and bust. The table didn’t even cheer. It was afraid to.
A: Oh my!
Q: What is the most memorable accident you ever made or witnessed as a dealer?
A: Good question. I remember – the first thing that comes to mind is one time I was auditing for a casino. I was a brand new dealer. I had very little to no experience and I wanted to work at a casino so I auditioned there. What happened was I was so nervous and freaked out, my hands were sweating like crazy and I had to shuffle six decks and then put it into the shoe. I got through the shuffle just fine but when I was putting it into the shoe, I wasn’t using two hands, I was just using one hand. So as I was putting it into the shoe all of the cards sprayed everywhere. They were outside of the pit, in people’s laps and jackets and shirts. They were on the floor 10 feet to 15 feet away. And that was very embarrassing! That was an accident and I didn’t get hired at that job.
That is the reason why when you are doing auditions, like I always say, make a list one to ten and put the casino that you want to work at the most at number one. Put the casino that you want to work at the least in number ten. Then start applying and auditioning at the casinos at the lower end of the list. For example number ten then nine and then eight. Go through the application process, and the audition. As you do that you will make all of your mistakes, you will have all of your screw ups, you will do everything wrong that you are going to do wrong because that is just the way life is. It’s just going to happen. But by the time you reach casino number three, casino number two, casino number one, the casinos you really want to work at, you have gotten the audition thing down. Now you can go in there and you are confident and you know what to expect and you can ace this thing like you don’t believe. Again it’s just one of those things.
Q: How do you handle cheaters? Moving chips or taking chips away after losing?
A: Good question! So two points there. First point, always case your layout. So if you case your layout - which means at the very beginning of the hand, before any cards go out, you double check the players bets. Make sure they are inside the table minimum or over the table maximum. You want to make sure they are in between those amounts. You want to make sure you know what each person is betting. So that way by the time you get to the end of the hand and you are paying everyone, if you thought that player was playing $15 and now he is playing $45 what the heck! That right there is an alarm bell. It’s a red flag. You know that something just happened. That person more than likely just pressed their bet. That is something to keep in mind. Always, always, always case your layout. Make sure you memorize every single player's bet before the cards come out. Buy the time you go to pay them, if those are not the same amounts that you memorized at the beginning of the bet, you know that someone is trying to pinch or pass post on your table. Now if this happens, discreetly let the floormen know. Again, always tell your floor supervisor. Tell them everything.
Q: If anyone cheats, stop the game and call the floor
A: Yes! If anyone cheats, stop the game and call the floor. Also, sometimes you don’t want to be that obvious. It really depends on the situation. It depends on how the person cheated. It depends on what's going on. If it’s really heinous, yes stop the game, call the floor. But you don’t want the person know that you know what’s going on. Typically you discreetly let the floor supervisor know. There are certain things that dealers do, I don’t really want to go into it right now because it’s sorta a code, but there are certain things that dealers do that are non verbal on the table that lets the floor supervisor know that there is something going on. They need to be there. Dealers and floor supervisors have that. Now if you are a dealer at a casino and you don’t have that, you can easily talk to your floor supervisor and set something up. For example: “Hey when I do this, this means that something is going on and I need you at my table.” You can come up with something nonverbal signal between you and the floor supervisor. So that way if you are ever in that situation where someone is cheating, you can discreetly let the floor supervisor know without letting the players know what’s going on.
Q: What if the dealer inadvertently gives bad advice to a player?
A: Good question. So as dealers, technically we are not supposed to give advice. If a player is asking us how to play, as a dealer on blackjack you quote the book. For example: “The book says… “ That means that you need to have the book memorized. So that way when the player asks, “Hey what do I do with this hand?” You can tell them, hey the book says you do this. This keeps you from giving bad advice to the player by memorizing the book and quoting it to the players when they are asking for advice. That saves you because you are still helping the player but you're not technically dealers should not give advice. We are not therapists. So do not – no technique dealers are therapists – nevermind that is a whole different video. But anyway! Dealers do not want to give bad advice to the player.
Now what happens if you do? If you do give bad advice and the information is incorrect, let the player know, “Hey I made a mistake, that information is incorrect, here is the correct information.” If anything happened where that wrong information got you in trouble. Let’s say on a game where a player thought they won more money than they did. Call over your floor supervisor. Always, always, call over the floor supervisor. Don’t apologize! Call over the floor supervisor. Let the floor supervisor know what’s going on. And they will handle the situation for you.
Q: Your dress is cool, do you think you might be wearing it again, in another live stream, before Halloween?
A: Yes I will be wearing it again. I will be wearing it again next week.
Q: Would you want to be a floor supervisor?
A: Good question. No! It really depends. Here is the thing. Floor supervisors have more responsibility than the dealers. They have more work to do. There is a lot more placed on them that they need to do. A lot more responsibilities. They usually go to salary. So they work more hours. They have to come in during meetings. They will typically get paid a little more money or the same amount of money as dealers. Depending on the Las Vegas casinos, some dealers actually make more money than the floor supervisors.
No. Technically it is not that great of a position to be in. But, however there is always an upside to everything. It’s not always negative. People don’t have to wait two or three years to get full time. They don’t have to wait two or three years to get insurance. To have that kind of security. So they get vacation time, they get a 401K, that’s a lot of security that dealers don’t typically get in the first two or three years of their dealing career. Again there’s upsides and downsides to everything. It just depends on your situation and what means more to you.
Q: You mean you don’t break the cheaters hands Robert DeNiro style?
A: No, that was the 60’s. That was the 50s, 60s, 70s around there.
Superchat Story - Let me tell you a real mobster story. And you guys might have heard me tell this one before. I was born and raised in Las Vegas. I was born in the 80s. The 80s was like when the mob was just tapering off. When we were growing up in the 90s Summerlin was being built. Summerlin is like outside of Las Vegas. So as Summerlin was being built we would see on the news that they would dig up and find bodies from the mafia days. When the mafia would go dig someone or drop someone off in the desert. They were digging up these bodies from the mafia days. What happened was we had a friend that was a construction worker and he was telling us this story. He was saying what happened – well what first happened the police would come in and they would have to stop the project. Forensics or coroner – there would be a lot of hassle and would delay the project. So what they ended up doing was if they saw a dead body they would look the other way and continue pouring the concrete. So all through highschool and college all of my highschool friends and I were laughing because we would say “It’s Summerlin, all these people are paying millions, and millions of dollars for their houses and they have dead bodies in them from the mafia days.” So that is just an urban legend. I don’t know how true it is, but that was something we grew up with.
Q: Would like to know about starting to try and take blackjack and craps class while I’m waiting for Poker to open and could use some help in finding out about classes.
A: Where are you located? Location has a large portion to do with it. Every area is important. Las Vegas, yeah we have our dealer trade schools here. Of course, like I said, you don’t have to go to dealing trade school to get a job as a dealer. I can always help you with that. If you are in like the midwest or east coast areas then basically a lot of casinos have the dealing schools as part of the casinos. So when you get hired by the casino you will go through their process and you will get trained at their dealing school. So it really just depends on your location.
Q: Are dealers employees or 1099 independent contractors?
A: Great question. Dealers are employees but they are extra-board. That means they are part-time. Part-time, no insurance, no vacations, no set schedule. You can work 2 days a week. You can work 6 days a week. It just depends. They are employees, so they do get checks and they do have taxes taken out.
Q: Have you ever had a situation where someone got 86’d right in front of you? What happened?
A: I have more stories of people being 86’d right in front of me that I can remember. Way more stories than I can remember. The one that I remember the most would be the MIT guy. One of the MIT players. It was on blackjack. He was at my table. I was dealing on the game. After like 20 minutes or 30 minutes of playing on my table, the cops and security came and arrested him and he was arrested and 86’d for trespassing. He knew it though. He knew he was going to get arrested, and that is why he wasn’t trying to cover up how he was playing. He was just being very blatant about what he was doing. He was trying to get as much money as possible before they kicked him out. So that is that one.
Q: Make sure you dig the hole first, otherwise you could be out there all night.
A: Good advice for Halloween.
Q: Do you have your own casino?
A: No, I am not that rich. I do not have my own casino. I do have a dog who is begging for more treats.
Q: No classes available at the casino that I am working at.
A: Are there any dealing schools in your area? Foxwoods may provide a class if they don’t, are there any dealing schools in your area?
Q: New TV show coming: Summerlin Ghosts of Las Vegas
A: I think they might already have something like that.