What Bartenders Can Learn from Casino Dealers


At first glance, a bartender and a casino dealer might seem like fairly different jobs – besides the fact that they are both customer service positions and you’re behind a barrier from your patrons. But on further examination, you’ll see that these two occupations are far more similar than you would think.

Wondering how to be a better bartender? See what casino dealers can teach you.

Being the best at your job means the best tips

Casino dealers, when they are at the top of their game, get the best tables, shifts, and – more importantly – tips. An expert dealer can work a high roller table and gain thousands of dollars in tips from their wealthy patrons!

The same goes with your bartending. The better you are at your job (which actually isn’t just making and serving drinks) the better tips you will get. If you get good enough at your job, you’ll be able to work at exclusive bars where the tips can flow freely. Becoming the best at your job is a mix of people skills, fluid efficiency, presentation, and attitude.

Become an expert at reading people

If you have spent enough time playing the tables, you’ll learn that the best casino dealers can easily read a table, making quips and facial expressions that will have the players spending hours at a time with them. You might even have people crowded around a table when there aren’t even huge wins going on – people just enjoy the dealer. The bigger patronage a dealer has, the better chance they have to earn more money.

Reading people takes practice. In a busy bar, you won’t get much of a chance to do this. When the bar is quieter however, you’ll be able to practice this more easily. Take more notice of the people approaching; how they walk, what their facial expressions are saying, how they talk, if they seem playful, dejected, distracted… You get the picture. Once you can read people, you can select the appropriate response to their mood and behaviour.

Stay cool as a cucumber

When you’re a casino dealer, you’ll have to put up with a lot. This includes rage and aggression from others, perhaps if they are losing more than they intended to, unwanted passes at you, which you’ll need to brush off with gentle ease, and sloppy behaviour from drunk patrons. Dealers have the ability to deal with all this without blinking an eyelid. They also require the ability to discern when a player is being a real nuisance and require actual assistance from security.

Sound familiar? If, as a bartender, you blew up at every rude, annoying, or drunk patron, you wouldn’t be in your job for very long. Patience is a virtue! If you are struggling with keeping your cool you might like to start practicing meditation and/or breathwork, as this can be a very handy mental tool.

Heightened observation skills

There’s no doubt that as a casino dealer, you need a heightened sense of observation: to check that patrons are placing their bets in time, not stealing other drunk patrons chips, or trying to cheat in some other way. Money can be a powerful motivator!

You know what else can be a powerful motivator (especially to drunk people)? Alcohol! You will need to keep an eye on both your till as well as the rest of the bar to ensure no one is trying to do anything sneaky. Be aware of others trying to distract you while a friend goes and tries to get up to no good – a classic move.

Finesse of your tools makes you a star

Ever watched a great dealer and how exact they are with their mastery of cards? The work with such finesse that they even outshine the magician with his cards – it actually looks like it could be magic. You can see this first hand online at well-run online casinos that have live dealers.

In bartending, you work with different tools – bottles, glasses, muddlers, and more – but the principles are still the same. If you become a master of your tools, you too will look like a magician behind the bar, making you highly employable.

Unfortunately, there’s no cheat way to master your tools, it takes practice, practice, practice. Being good with your hands in the first place can put you ahead, but it’s experience that counts.

Want to up your game? Try flair bartending for that extra wow.

Want to know more about the skills required as a casino dealer?

Take a look through this list and see what skills casino dealers are adept in and how they stack up against the bartending trade. You’ll be surprised at how closely they align! So while you might not be plotting your next employment move just yet, if you feel like a side step from bartending at some point, then being a dealer at a casino might just be a good move. But in the meantime, watch and learn from the dealers to see how to improve in your own job.

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