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ImpromptuBoy
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Toronto, Canada
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Hi Everyone.
I was really interested in becoming a blackjack dealer. I plan on going to dealers school, where I'll get my training, and eventually, my certificate/diploma. Now, my parents think that the gambling business is nothing but dirty, dangerous, and they think that casinos are owned by mafias. I told them that none of this is true. Casinos used to be operated by mobs, but not anymore. The casino industry, from what I've learned, is very exciting, and will give you a decent amount of money to make a living with. I've tried to convince them, but they don't wanna believe me. I chose this job because I'm very good with cards. I've been doing card magic for about 6 years now. I study and learn very difficult sleight of hand with cards (cheating techniques specifically), and I handle cards very very well. I think I'm gonna do just fine being a blackjack dealer. I mean, if the casino industry was so dangerous, would people even choose to work there? no, of course not. That's why there are dealers working in casinos now a days. I was just wondering, what are other people's opinion about this.

Michael
Clock
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"...decent amount of money" - well...

Do you see yourself doing this the rest of your life, or is it more of a thing you want to do for a little while?

If you make it fun and have a good attitude, you could have the best time of your life. On the other hand, I see many dealers that just go through the notions and seem tired. Day after day, hour after hour dealings cards...fulltime. If it was me, I doubt I would want to touch a deck when I came home. BUT...if this is something you really have a passion for (dealing blackjack), then I say GO FOR IT.

I reccomend thinking about this descicion quite a bit though...dealing cards ALL THE TIME. I love card manipulation, but personally I would get sick of it in that industry.
Grant Carden

www.fastcompanydvd.com
art the magic guy!
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Just be wary of your card skills when working on the table. don't try to show off, that's a first class ticket to the unemployment office. you might think its impressive, but the customers wont see you in the same light after they know you can "do those moves" with cards.
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silverking
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I've worked with a lot of Blackjack dealers, and not one of them is considering this something they want to do for the rest of their lives.

Bottom line is it's potentially a very boring job.

If it's the juice you're looking for, I guess you could start with BJ, but you really want to wind up dealing craps or Hold'Em. Even then it's pretty easy to imagine it getting pretty tough to take week in and week out for months or years on end.

For a young guy, Clock has hit it on the head. Loving card manipulation and card work in general won't benifit you one single bit dealing cards for a living, and will most likely put a deck of cards as the last thing you want to see or pick up after a long difficult 8 hour shift dealing BJ.

You might want to look into casino management opportunities. There's courses available that give you those job skills.
Even the casino security field is potentially a lot more interesting than dealing for the rest of your days.

All of the above is only my personal opinion, and you may find others with a very different outlook on dealing cards. I'd listen to all the various ideas and use them to formulate something that makes sense for you.
Cheers.
MetalBender
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I could very well be mistaken on this, but doesn't dealer's school frown on accepting applicants who are magicians? Something about the temptation for us to mis-use our abilities being very great. I know I thought about dealing black jack for a while myself, but decided it would be far to boring.

I'd say think of it this way. What's the longest ammount of time you can play BJ, without losing your entire bankroll, or killing someone? Ok, now imagine that, six days a week, but you don't get to participate in the winnings. Also, if you are working in a sawdust joint (which you will for a while, noone goes straight to the strip) the tips aren't going to be that great, so I hope you like living in a crap apartment.

But look into dealer's school's attitudes towards accepting magicians. I could be wrong on that account, please correct me if I am. It may make your decision for you.
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Mr. Z
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Keep your mouth shut and your ego firmly in check with regards to magic and sleight of hand.

I don't know what it is like in Canada, but as a 21 dealer you're basically doing assembly line work and will have to deal with really horrible customers on a daily basis. Remember, everytime they lose it's YOUR fault and everytime they win it's because of their superior gambling ability.

Here in Vegas you have to be able to deal multipile games to be able to work on the Strip, so I'd suggest pursuing a more difficult game such as Craps or Roulette first.

No idea what the money's like in Canada, I'm sure it pales in comparison to this town, where only in a few of the joints do the dealers make six figures. Good luck.
Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


On 2006-05-20 02:50, MetalBender wrote:
noone goes straight to the strip



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Heh, yeah right. I know many that have. Juice and ability is what it comes down to.
"...if you have to say you is, you ain't."--Jimmy Hoffa
Andrei
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Hi ImpromptuBoy.

When you think about whether or not you should deal casino, forget all about your skills and only consider your passions. So, assuming tomorrow you suddenly forgot all about manipulating cards (and could never learn about it, ever again), would you still want to deal? The asnwer, either positive or negative, should be the same both in real life and in this scenario.

Finally, besides its ups (tips or whatever) you MIGHT (I'm not sure about Canada) also have to put up with the occasional threat of physical violence etc. Just like Mr. Z said, people can lose a LOT of money playing almost any casino game, and it's invariably the dealer's fault.

So, yeah, think it through, think about what other job options you currently have, and make a deliberate, thoughtful decision.

Andrei
sodman12
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[quote]On 2006-05-20 02:50, MetalBender wrote:
I could very well be mistaken on this, but doesn't dealer's school frown on accepting applicants who are magicians?

I don't think so. for one how are they going to know your a magi
and 2 being a magi doesn't really make you have a greater chance of cheating in a casino. its not like you have a special skill that no one else has. I mean it does take talent to work with cards at that level but there are many who can attain that level with hard work.
you can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all the time but never all of the people all the time.
The Dowser
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I was the same as you and was making the same decision . I actually thought my interest in manipulating cards made it a natural choice to do a job where I get to handle cards all day and get a break every hour . I was enamoured with stories about what great lengths Vernon and Miller went to learn cheating manouvers and apply them to magic . I imagined I would get into surviellance or some related area and be on the cutting edge of this "stuff" . Young and stupid ! I have also gone the supervisor and management route . If I had it all to do over again ...I would just try to book more shows as a magician .
Certainly there are others in my casino who love their jobs , and it has it's moments for me as well , but if you are romantisizing the idea of becoming a true game security expert by starting as a dealer and working your way up ... it may not be worth the investment .
Also , just as in this forum , there are a lot of posers and fakers in the casino industry when it comes to the area of game security...lots of self proclaimed experts and they are always competetive... prepare yourself for a lot of resistance to anyone who exels at anything and paranoia about "magicians". You may come to understand why people at one time were able to do horrible thongs like burn magicians at the stake .
Dowser
p.s. I see you are in Toronto ... If you do decide to enter the gaming industry I wish you all the best and will do whatever I can to assist you . Just p.m. me .
silverking
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I think we all tend to think of casino game security as similar to living the life of Steve Forte, Sal Piacente, David Malek, or Darwin Ortiz.

The reality is that those folks are all essentially in the entertainment business (books, DVD's, personal appearances) and they have far more in common with magicians than they do with anybody who actually works in a casino.

Having said that, the province of B.C. up in Canada has now started a training program for casino security personel that takes place at the same Justice Institute that trains police and other law enforcement officers.
It would appear that there is a move in casino management to turn casino game protection and security into something resembling more of a profession than many other jobs in the casino.

Working in a casino can certainly be a lot more fun and engaging than working in many other types of jobs, but going into dealing just because you love card magic and are good at sleight of hand isn't really the motivation that most folks working in these areas used as justification for getting into dealing in the first place.

If you're currently slinging burgers and see an add for card dealing school, that can seem a lot more positive as a working experience than the burgers.
If you're however a card handler, good at sleights who currently works at something fairly decent, moving to a casino job might not make as much sense.

But............., having said all of the above, when I was 18 or so I thought the ultimate job would be dealing Blackjack in Vegas. I actually planned the entire move out and considered that this was what I was going to do for a living.
It was also at this time that I got heavily into John Scarne's books (I'm an old guy) and those books forever changed the way I thought about casinos, and the games played in casinos.

They made me realize that what I was really planning on doing was spending the rest of my working life dealing cards to suckers, which Scarne basically used to describe anybody who would buck the edge and think they could win.
The less than 1% of players who would know what they're up against, and actually know what they're doing simply wasn't enough to make me continue to think that this would be exciting and interesting job over the long run.

I quickly got it clear in my head that all I'd really be doing day in and day out was taking money from suckers, which is something to really think about before considering a career of dealing anything except poker.

(my definition of a sucker as somebody who bucks the house edge is a subjective opinion that I have, flaming me on it won't change my mind and will just waste bandwidth! For all his ego and bluster, one thing Scarne did extremely well is impress on me that, over any length of time, which can be anything more than two succesive bets, you simply CAN"T win!)
Mr. Z
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Las Vegas, NV
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Quote:
On 2006-05-22 14:06, silverking wrote:

The reality is that those folks are all essentially in the entertainment business (books, DVD's, personal appearances) and they have far more in common with magicians than they do with anybody who actually works in a casino.



Steve is far from being in the entertainment business...
"...if you have to say you is, you ain't."--Jimmy Hoffa
silverking
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The word "essentially" prefaces the statement, which doesn't exclude whatever definition you wish to apply or add to Forte and his career.
Mr. Z
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Quote:
On 2006-05-22 19:44, silverking wrote:
The word "essentially" prefaces the statement, which doesn't exclude whatever definition you wish to apply or add to Forte and his career.


Still a silly statement regardless, but I see where you're going with it. It's wrong, but that's beside the point.

Steve and Sal both worked in the industry for many years, Steve moreso. So that sort of defeats the rest of your thesis there, in my humble opinion...

'tis all.
"...if you have to say you is, you ain't."--Jimmy Hoffa
silverking
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OK Z, whatever you say.
Patrick Differ
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Yeah, sure. I worked in the casinos for 16 years, and made it all the way to Surveillance Director for the properties I worked. I'll tell you this. It ain't the customers that won't want to see your magic or fancy moves or skilled hands. It's the bosses. They don't care nor do they want to see anything that they can't explain. Do yourself and everyone else a favor, and keep your mouth shut about magic and deal the games strictly by the procedures. You'll last longer

Another thing. You can train a monkey to deal blackjack, but it takes a real good brain and even better hands to be a decent Craps dealer. Blackjack dealers are a dime a dozen, but good Craps dealers are hard to find. Think about that if you want job security or a shot at getting a job on the Strip or something that will really strengthen your hands. The best advice I ever heard was to be able to tell a prospective employer, "I deal all the games, but my best game is Craps." You'll get hired if it's true. It worked for me.

And another thing. You will get out of the casino business exactly what you put into it. Go in positive, and you'll eventually walk out positive. Go in negative...well...you better just forget it.
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Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;
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iamslow
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Quote:
On 2006-05-23 00:54, Patrick Differ wrote:
keep your mouth shut about magic and deal the games strictly by the procedures. You'll last longer

Another thing. You can train a monkey to deal blackjack, but it takes a real good brain and even better hands to be a decent Craps dealer. Blackjack dealers are a dime a dozen, but good Craps dealers are hard to find. Think about that if you want job security or a shot at getting a job on the Strip or something that will really strengthen your hands. The best advice I ever heard was to be able to tell a prospective employer, "I deal all the games, but my best game is Craps." You'll get hired if it's true. It worked for me.



So very true regarding Dice... ive been exclusively in the dice pit for the last 9 years and that's the only game I will deal if I have to... Ive been trying to tell tell the same thing for a long time... why learn to cheat at poker when the pie is sooooo tiny and it only breaks off into a number of pieces... dice is the game... Hey Michael, I used to live in toronto as well, but I now live in B.C. and I work at one of the casinos here... let me know if you plan on applying this way and Ill try and help you out..you will have to start out with black jack though..
"Everyone is tough till they get punched in the face" Mike Tyson
BooRadley
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I agree with Patrick. I spent several years in casino marketing but hung around with a lot of dealers, pit bosses, etc. Craps is the high profile mark of excellence. It's nice to be able to deal all the table games, the craps dealers have the respect.

Dealers make a decent wage, but they also make tips...or tokes as they're called. Usually these are pooled and divided up by shift, pit, etc. Didn't see too many making six figures...but maybe in Vegas. Never worked with Strip properties.

The mafia no longer controls casinos. Period. Legislative action in the 60's and 70's wiped out all of that. Now...some of the patriarchs just went legit...but for the most part, big business moved in and took over. They don't cheat now because they don't have too. All of the games favor the house...and they will earn a percentage of every dollar wagered on any game. So their goal is get more people to wager more so the "drop" is as big as it can be.

I also agree about keeping quiet regarding magic. They don't need or want to know. Don't do tricks or anything that isn't in the official dealer manual. As Patrick said, they don't want to see anything they can't explain. Because observers from the gaming control board don't want to see it either...and they want them to be happy.

Now, I will say the best card mechanic I ever saw was a blackjack dealer that worked in one of the casinos I worked with. Every Thursday, some of the folks would get together to play cards and this guy was amazing. He could do just about anything you can imagine, but he made it very clear that he never--ever--did anything on the casino floor. Just showing a customer a trick while on break would be grounds for immediate dismissal and probable prosecution.

So go be a dealer...but learn craps and other games. And think about moving up into management down the line. It's an interesting life.

BooRadley
iamslow
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There's dealers in California right now making close to 100k a year... there's even a demand for supervisors because none of the dealers want to take a promotion and a pay cut... For Michael, I suggest you take the course at the C.N.E, because its only 150 bucks and they guarantee you a dealing job at the C.N.E... it's good experience and it's a cheap way to find out if you want to pursue dealing as your regular job...
"Everyone is tough till they get punched in the face" Mike Tyson
Clock
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100k?

...

swz.salary.com


That is with the bonus...take a look at the base.

If they are making that kind of money (almost 100k), I want to know which casino... I'm there!
Grant Carden

www.fastcompanydvd.com
Mr. Z
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Quote:
On 2006-06-02 22:42, Clock wrote:
100k?

...




That is with the bonus...take a look at the base.

If they are making that kind of money (almost 100k), I want to know which casino...I'm there!


Dealers make minimum wage plus tips in most districts where commercial gaming is offered. I know of properties in Canada and Indian reservations where the dealers are salaried.


Can't comment on California, but here in Vegas you live off the tips. The best job in town right now is at the Wynn where they average $450 a day, and that's the *average.* If a big George comes in they can make significantly more, for example in March they had their best day, a little over $1500 in one night. Needless to say they make over 100K a year. The next best jobs are probably Caesar's and Bellagio. Hard Rock's a great gig too. Generally, at the big strip properties it's between 40 and 80 grand a year. Still not bad for just snapping cards and pushing checks for 8 hours a day.
"...if you have to say you is, you ain't."--Jimmy Hoffa
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