I’m a pretty easy going guy, even when I lose big at the Blackjack tables. I never get salty, and I definitely don’t take it out on my dealer. I like to think of dealers and players as having a close working relationship. It’s important for one side to ensure that the other can do their job effectively.
That said, I never trust my Blackjack dealer 100 percent. Now, before you react, allow me to explain first what I mean by that. I’m not one of those crappy and toxic players who claim their dealers are cheating, and that the casino hands them special decks of cards with certain cards removed. Like I said, I’m easy to deal with (or, in this case, easy to deal for). When I lose, I lose. And that’s the end of it.
But I always keep an eye out for any mistakes the dealer might make. A mistake on the dealer’s part could make the difference between winning and getting blown out of a table. I’ve seen one too many mistakes done, and since then, I always do due diligence whenever I’m playing at casinos. This is no different than counting the money that your bank teller hands you. They’re not out to scam you, but it pays to be safe. If you count your money in the bank, you should also count your cards at the casino.
I’ve also encountered dealers who are in the habit of giving playing advice, especially when I or another player loses. There’s nothing wrong with this, and the advice is sometimes good, but it’s usually pretty bad. And there’s a reason dealers love giving advice, even if they’re not exactly qualified to do so. See, Blackjack dealers almost always work for tips. They get paid a base salary, which isn’t exactly the highest, and that is why dealers will try to supplement their income with tips. Check out this article from Casino.org, which is like the bible of gambling. The article is about dealer salaries, and this entry caught my eye:
But you and I both know that this isn’t where the real money comes from in casino dealing. The tips are where the real cash is made (at least in the United States – in some countries, dealers don’t receive tips, but are compensated with a higher base salary), and that brings up the total amount a dealer might make significantly.
Figures on how much a dealer could make on average when including tips (and any benefits the casino provides for its workers) vary tremendously, but many peg it at somewhere between $30,000 and $60,000 a year. Some dealers may make even more than that, with some pulling in as much as $100,000 or more according to some sources (though new dealers should know that this is not typical).
On an hourly basis, tips can help dealers bring in anywhere from a few extra dollars to $50 or more per hour, depending on how busy they are, what game they’re dealing, and how generous the players are. The biggest tips come from dealing poker, but with all of the rules (which can also vary from house to house), players, and pots to keep track of, it is also the most challenging and skill-intensive game to deal.
This means that your blackjack dealer will want to give you a great experience, and hopefully, that will be enough to encourage you to tip well. And I can totally respect that. I respect everyone’s hustle. But sometimes a black jack dealer, in their mission to get on your good graces, will sometimes give you crappy advice.
How to Ensure Your Game Goes by Without a Hitch
I’ve encountered too many players who switch their brains off when they’re at the Blackjack tables. Normally, these people are tourists or recreational players. They’re not really there to win – which means they can afford to lose. And that means they’re not always bringing their best game to the table. They rely on the Blackjack dealer to add up the values of cards and generally keep the game moving.
That’s okay if you’re just playing Blackjack for kicks, but if you’re aspiring to become a pro player, you need to be vigilant at all times. And that means add up your own cards – and that of the Blackjack dealer’s – at all times. No matter how tiring or tedious it gets, that’s something you’ll have to do.
Again I want to be clear: I’m not accusing of Blackjack dealers of cheating. But if it’s tiring for players to play, it’s also tiring for dealers to deal. I read somewhere that Blackjack dealers can sometimes spend up to ten hours a day standing up. That’s a helluva lot of time, and that is extremely tiring. And when you’re tired – as I’m sure every professional player knows – you can make mistakes. Granted, most, if not all, the Blackjack dealers I’ve met have been extremely professional. But I still take it upon myself to count everyone’s hands, and make sure nothing is getting missed on the table.
And here’s the funny thing: do it right and politely, and the Black jack dealers will actually appreciate that. They key is to be helpful, not bossy. Read the table. If nobody likes it when someone takes the time to add up the cards, you can do it mentally instead. No point alienating the table – especially your dealer. Even if I don’t always trust my dealer 100 percent, I try to be polite and respectful at all times.
When in Doubt, Just Ask
If you have doubts about how the hand values are tallied up, don’t be afraid to ask. Your peace of mind and reassurance is extremely important to the casino. It might not seem like it, but it is. So if you have any doubts about a particular hand, the dealer will usually be forthcoming about any questions you might have. The key, like I mentioned a while ago, is to be respectful.