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Topic: A question about BJ dealers
Message: Posted by: AMcD (Nov 23, 2017 01:02PM)
Hi all,

I know that many of you work (or have worked) in the casino industry. I could've ask individually but hey, it's still good for the forum to debate!

How long is a shift for a BlackJack dealer? And can you estimate how many shuffles/deals he does per shift? Are there statistics I could find somewhere and is it something the casino is tracking? They know when a dealer isn't fast enough I suppose.

I understand it may depends on the day of the week, or on the month (probably more players during summers than in the cold February), etc., but I'd like a rough estimation.

Message: Posted by: happy003 (Nov 23, 2017 06:54PM)
The typical casino may run 3 or 4 shifts with hours varying from 4 hours to 12 hours. The number of shuffles depends upon how fast a dealer deals and how many decks are in use. The casino will have an audit done randomly on dealers to determine speed. Generally this is done by surveillance and a report is sent to table games management. when the casino is busiest depends upon the customer base. I would assume if the customers are tourist they will be busy in the summer, however, locals generally play more in the winter because they have a lot going on in the summer with kids being out of school etc. Plus people like being outside during the warmer months. I have a chart that I used to use in order to rate our dealers, if I can find it I will send a copy over.
Message: Posted by: Cagliostro (Nov 23, 2017 08:37PM)
[quote]On Nov 23, 2017, AMcD wrote:

... How long is a shift for a Blackjack dealer? And can you estimate how many shuffles/deals he does per shift? Are there statistics I could find somewhere and is it something the casino is tracking? They know when a dealer isn't fast enough I suppose. [/quote]

Dealers normally work an 8-hour shift in Vegas and there are three shifts per day (Day, Swing and Graveyard roughly speaking.) Careful computational analysis will show that three shifts per day of 8 hours each totals 24 hours. (Just added that for the purists on the BB and to show I really know my stuff.) :confused:

Generally, dealers will work 40 minutes or one hour on the table, followed by a 20-minute break, or 45 minutes on the game with a 15-minute break. Of course, this can vary based upon the establishment, number of games open, how busy the joint is, etc.

Number of shuffles depends on number of players in the game, number of hands dealt before shuffling, depth of deck penetration, number of decks being used in the game, (one, two, six decks, etc.)

Best thing for you Arnold is to go to Vegas and get a dealing job. But if you do, be careful. Remember they have guard dogs in the casinos, 6'4" 300 pound all-muscled sadistic security guards, mandatory random strip searches of gaming personnel, lie detector tests at the end of every shift and other onerous measures. And... if they take you out into the desert, you must dig your own grave. That is specifically stated in your dealer employment agreement.

Keep in mind there are a lot of friendly scantily clad woman in Vegas, which may be an important consideration should you decide to become a dealer.

If you like, I can send you an employments application for the Bellagio Hotel Casino. They are always looking for someone who can deal seconds, hop the cut and riffle stack. Make sure you mention those accomplishment on your resume and employment application.

Or you might just simply go to: http://gaming.nv.gov/index.aspx?page=142 Possibly that site may give you [i]some[/i] of the answers you seek.

PS I may have had to much wine with my Thanksgiving day meal, so bear with me.
Message: Posted by: AMcD (Nov 23, 2017 09:57PM)
Haha, I don't plan to get hired, it's for some personal search. I'd like to know the "average" shuffling speed of professionals.

Thanks for your answers!

The few numbers I get are like 70-80 hand per hour for a full table. It seems very big to me! Eight players, shuffling, etc. Even considering tables with 1-deck game, 80 hands imply 1.33 hand per minute or 45 seconds per round. Sounds a crazy pace to me. And for 4-decks or 6-decks games, I find it hard to believe.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Nov 24, 2017 04:20PM)
In Blackjack don't forget that many times the no brainer hands take no time at all. A guy with hard 17 and up stays. When dealers have bust cards almost nothing happens but doubles and splits. So blowing through a round can be very quickly done.

Of course you are talking averages so when these really simple hands are averaged against the whole you have the number you found.
Message: Posted by: AMcD (Nov 24, 2017 10:23PM)
That's a very good point! Thanks.

I got some numbers. In some casinos, dealers are asked 15-20 shuffles per 20 min of time. Seems more realistic to me.
Message: Posted by: Magicguy1962 (Dec 30, 2017 06:37PM)
I have worked in the Casino industry as a Dealer, Boxperson, Floormans, Pitboss, Shift Manager and currently Table Games Manager since 1983, I have also been a performing magician since High school. it is funny to me how many magicians that do gambling demonstrations have no real knowledge of different games and rules or casino Procedures. often gambling routines are so wrong. But I digress. In response to the original post. Dealers typically work 8 hour shifts although ten hour shifts four days a week are not uncommon. Hands per hour are usually tracked by Management and are very important to profitability of games, typically 340-379 Hands per hour is in the expectable range, over 425 is excellent and anything less than 300 needs work. with the current popularity of side bets added to games these numbers are becoming harder to reach.

the industry standard has been 1 hour on and twenty off, although sometimes 40 on 20 off occur (as a Dealer I would hate this it cuts into the toke rate). it is becoming more common to work 1hour twenty minutes on and 20 off.

Magicians frequently fail to realize every Casino has their own house shuffle that cannot be varied by the Dealer. Procedures are designed so anything done different from procedure stands out to the Floor and the Sky. Most Dealers quickly realize Dealing Blackjack is glamorized assembly line work and can become monotonous quickly, Dealing Roulette, Craps, or even Baccarat is better than Blackjack.

Dealers frequently make less than minimum wage and the bulk of their income is in tips.

Feel free to let me know if any other casino questions arise.
Message: Posted by: Peterson (Dec 31, 2017 06:39AM)
Thank you for commenting Magicguy1962. 340-379 Hands per hour that is a lot of shuffles. I can bet there are some bad consequences for the hands themselves for people who work that way for a long periods of time.

"Magicians frequently fail to realize every Casino has their own house shuffle that cannot be varied by the Dealer."

Interesting. What is meant by the "house shuffle"? Is it an order of shuffles and running cuts or the mechanics of the shuffle themselves are different?
Message: Posted by: Doc Willie (Dec 31, 2017 08:19AM)
Excuse my ignorance, but aren't mechanical shufflers widely used in casinos? Seems to me that would speed things up. One deck in use while another is being shuffled. And with a 6 deck shoe, mechanics would seem essential.
Message: Posted by: Magicguy1962 (Dec 31, 2017 12:09PM)
Yes shufflers are now used in many locations, shufflers are a great way to increase hands per hour, put are expensive about 30k for purchase so leasing is the usual practice. also shufflers do break down and some high limit players prefer a hand shuffle.

the house shuffle will vary depending on the casino. it is a fine line to set shuffle that is quick and thorough. multipass shuffles take longer but are at less risk of shuffle tracking or slug play. the point is the dealers are required to shuffle exactly as the casino procedure states.
Message: Posted by: AMcD (Dec 31, 2017 08:39PM)

Thanks for the info. 425 hands per hour, it's about 7 hands per minute; that figure seems tremendous to me. 8.5 seconds per hand... Well, in fact less than that because the time needed for shuffling the deck(s).

What kind of game is that? Professional players games? I mean, how could a tourist enjoy a game where he has like 5 seconds for playing his hand? I understand, like Dannydoyle says above, that some hands are played fast, but I can't see how an occasional player could enjoy such a game.
Message: Posted by: Magicguy1962 (Jan 1, 2018 12:26AM)
It is fast, but that is the top of the scale and based on a seven spot layout.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jan 1, 2018 08:09AM)
If you look at the numbers it seems unreasonable. But spend some significant time at a Blackjack table and it becomes clear quite quickly. It is not about any one round, but rather the total of all day. When those "fast" hands I speak of come along on a 7 spot layout think of what really happens. For example a dealer hits a natural 21. Now you have 7 hands over in about 10 or less seconds. Dealer bust cards and players with 2 card pat hands are really quick with the exception of splits.

It seems excessively fast but don't forget when you are not playing the social aspect keeps you engaged. That is what keeps a tourist engaged anyhow.

I agree the numbers seem fast. In reality they are not so bad.
Message: Posted by: AMcD (Jan 1, 2018 11:15AM)
Yes, I understand. Some round might take less than 10 seconds, obviously: dealer's 21, guys who hit 19, etc. But today there are tons of side bets to take into consideration too.

Other people working for casinos in England, here, told me that they do ~80 rounds per hour/table with an automatic shuffler. I've been given numbers ranging from 70 to 90. With an average of 5 boxes, it's ~400 hands per hour. With a shuffler! That's why I found 425 a very high figure for a table where the dealer does the shuffles by hand.

Anyway, it's really a high pace you run in Las Vegas you guys. It's impressive.

Maybe someone can point to a video on youtube, vimeo, etc.? I found videos of dealer schools, with professionals training people, but obviously, as they are beginners, they are miles away from doing 400 hands per hour. If someone could show a few real rounds at a real Blackjack table, it would be valuable for this very interesting conversation.

Thanks to all.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jan 1, 2018 12:39PM)
I think the shuffle machines in Vegas are all leased. The repair and maintenance of them and the patent tech stuff being why.

A pretty large percentage of houses use them. Some even have the continuous machines. Those keep hands per hour even higher. (Although counter intuitively those can offer a better player edge.)

425 don't forget was his high end estimate. Average is about 350 or 360.

Don't forget that it is about money. With the sucker bets becoming all the rage that money is different. Houses know the difference in what it takes to deal sucker bets.
Message: Posted by: diamondjack (Mar 25, 2019 05:34AM)
I work as a blackjack dealer. We have 1 hour on. 20 minutes off and the usual shift is 8 hours. With increased side bets the number of hands dealt per hour has gone down but the casino profit has gone up because of the house edge on the bets. I have seen people win 10 hands in a row and still come out losing because they bet more on the side bet than the BJ hand.
Message: Posted by: iamslow (Mar 31, 2019 07:37PM)
Nowadays the new batch of bj dealers that come out of training absolutely suck... Im speaking on the casino that I work at....they spend mabee 30 mins. Of the 2 week training learning how to riffle shuffle and that's it.... And in the tiny 2 week window, they are also trained to deal no comission baccarat and one of the poker variant house game....last night a rookie had an ace and asked for insurance... Then he pulled his second card which was an ace, then he pulled a queen and proceeded to pay the table.... Of course I stopped the dealer, and corrected him...in the end, no reprecussion for the dealer
Message: Posted by: diamondjack (Mar 31, 2019 09:39PM)
When I went through blackjack training it was 3 weeks long and we spent a decent amount of time on hand shuffling 6 decks. In the 3 years I have been a blackjack dealer I have done maybe 5 hand shuffles. Nowadays, even if the shuffler breaks down the casino will just replace the shuffler.