Wednesday, June 11, 2014

What it is like to a be a blackjack dealer

People wonder what its like to a be a blackjack dealer. Here is a video that shows a typical day.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Great player, how to clear a table fast

So I had a guy today that I guess is my new "hero" at Blackjack. Back story he played at UTH with me the other day and we were talking, and he has the mindset that he does not care if he loses, he just wants to have fun, he is about 70-80 years old, farmer and all that, he says if he does not spend the money his kids will get it when he dies and he will do with it what he wants.
Today he was on my table at, he always buys in for 500 min and tips fairly well. He is having fun, staying on his 12 and 15s to my 10s but winning, he says he just goes with his gut feeling. A couple guys who are semi regular guys, pretty rude usually and never tip, smell of weed and I am sure are pharmaceutical reps on the street sit down and they really start to annoy this guy by making comments about his play style, one of the guys had bought in for 50 and the other 100. So out comes the hand, everyone had between 12/16 except the old guy who had a KQ to my 6 showing. Everyone stays while the old guy splits the KQ, draws a K and splits again, and again one more 10 and a split and he was playing $100/hand at this point. Guy ends up getting a bunch of crap like 14's and 15's, I turn a 4 and draw a 10 for 20, this older guy starts laughing, the other 2 guys who were making wise cracks earlier were really upset. One of the guys says something to him about how it cost him 50 bucks, the old guy looks at him and tells him that it cost him 400 and that he will spend it the way he wants. So what happens next, well, similar situation except the old guy has 2 hands, $250 on each hand after rebuying for $1000, draws 10's and splits again, everyone is amazed, shaking their heads while the older guy just laughs, the two annoying guys really are mad and the old guy is laughing, he stays on one, doubles on the other, loses the double while winning on the one he stayed on. Over all, to prove a point this guy lost nearly $1000, cleared the guys from the table, tipped me $100 and had a good laugh. The point he was trying to make was that its his money, he will play it like he wants, he is not there to win but to have some entertainment.
Just thought id share.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Some players.....well, its all Karma

Day in and day out it seems that some players just never get the idea that they cannot win, they have a system, they have ideas, they know they will win, but in the end, all they end up is broke for the day at least, they end up mad, depressed and all that, and of course it is the dealers fault and so they never tip. This post is about one of those players.

I had a player recently, we will call him Fred. This was my first time seeing Fred and he seemed pleasant when he sat at my table and I started a decent conversation with him. We discussed everything from basic strategy to the weather and after about 20 minutes of him watching (on grave there is usually a few seats open) he buys in for $100. Fred starts playing and is winning, we are discussing this and he tells me all about his strategy for playing, that it is a guarantee and he cannot lose as long as he plays it. I just kind of smile and start asking him details of it, and then I ask him why he is not in the high limits room playing this strategy that is a guarantee to win, to which he replied that he was already there earlier and had lost about $3000. "I see" was all I could say with-out letting the smart ass remarks roll, I did ask him if he thought maybe the casino had a strategy and he said sure, but his was better.

This play goes on for about an hour, his $100 turns into $500 playing $15 a hand and at times pressing to $50, but never more. Its up and down but he is ahead and then it guessed it, he could not get a hand. Every hand I felt was either 20/21 and he just could not catch a break. He starts getting upset, cussing, pounding the table, he just does not know what happened, I had to have pushed a magic button below the table to change how the cards are coming out of the shoe (for the record, Iv yet to find a magical button). He loses, buys in for another $100 and gone in a heart beat. As he is doing this, another player named Carla (again a fake name to protect the privacy of my players) is playing, she is hitting some, losing some but she knows the game and is a regular on our shift. She throws a $5 chip for the crew, which although does not sound like much, it all adds up and on this night, she is the only one throwing money. She makes the statement "this is for you since nobody else at the table will tip". I love it when a player does that, Carla also understands since she was a dealer at another casino years ago, but anyways Fred decides to make the smart ass comment that dealers make to much for what they do and we don't deserve tips. I quickly interjected that we only make decent wages due to the generosity of our players, Fred was speechless and then buys in for another $200 to lose while Carla, on her $60 buy in is still playing. Fred decided he had enough and got up cussing, calling me tons of names and asking why Carla could win and he could not, of course my answer is it is the flow of the cards but Carla told him Karma, and that she is a bitch, I just died laughing and tend to agree. with her.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Tipping FAQ


As I posted yesterday, dealers in casinos work for tips. Most casinos pay the bare min when it comes to pay and therefore dealers are relying on the players for their income. I have been asked by many about tipping and so I thought I would post a quick entry explaining tipping and the methods that a player can tip. 

First off, we all know tipping is optional, but in our country tipping is customary for good service. If your dealer is personable, is talking and trying to make the game enjoyable then they deserve a tip as a token of appreciation, but if the dealer is dull, is not trying and is just an asshole, they deserve nothing. 

Lets talk about how the methods and amounts one should tip. 

There are two basic ways a player can tip a dealer. First off they can give the dealer the cheque (the proper name of a chip) directly. The easiest way to do this is to lay in down on the table at about the insurance line or center of the table if its not a blackjack table and just tell the dealer that it is for them. I know myself and my crew will announce sorta loudly “Tokes for the crew” or something similar as we thank you. Some dealers are louder than others, and often times, at least in my casino you will hear someone shout “Tokes for XXX” and another person yelling back “Thank you”, its all in good fun and is just a way to show excitement and showing you we do appreciate it.

The other way to tip your dealer is to place a bet for them. Proper method for placing a bet is to place the dealer bet at the top of the betting circle, that indicates for the dealer and surveillance that it is for the dealers and not a player bet. If you win the hand, the dealer will pay your bet and then pay the toke bet, but if the hand loses, both your best and the toke bet goes to the house. Please make sure you do not pull the dealer bet after it is paid. Some players will pull the money after it is paid, weather by mistake or on purpose. The first time is over looked usually but if you continue to make a bet, saying it is for the dealer and then take it back, your dealer and often times fellow players will start getting annoyed and it will show. I have seen players start cussing another player out for placing a bet for the crew, willing and then taking it. 


Should I bet it for you or give it direct?
       If you ask me, by policy I am suppose to take that money as it is not mine to bet (explained later). Personally, unless the table has been really hot or you have the luck of the irish, I prefer it directly over the bet anyways, I like a sure thing and a bet has a chance of going back to the house. 

How much should I tip?
      To answer this as general as I can, tip what your comfortable. The industry standard is table min, per player per hour. Some will go above and beyond this, others never give a penny no matter what. I recall a a Monday night a week after I started dealing. I had a guy at a $15 table betting anywhere from $15 to $1000 for himself and he was betting $25 a hand for the dealer, every hand.  

Do you keep your tips? 
      That depends on casino policy. Our property pools the tokes. What that means is daily they are collected and counted and then on pay day, the tokes from the previous 2 week are split among the dealers based on the number of hours worked.

Other properties, and in our poker room dealers keep their own tips. Some days that would be a good thing, but often times it is not, at least on the main floor as some games by nature do not generate much in tokes and that would be unfair for the dealers on those games. Also, swing shift tends to bring in a majority and therefore those of us on other shifts would be making way less. But on the flip side, you do have dealers who do nothing to make the game fun, they are like robots and a lot of players do not feel that they deserve the tokes. Dont NOT tip me because someone else was an asshole, that takes a way a part of my money as well. 

Do you accept gifts?
     Our property allows us to accept a gift, but if the value is more than $25 we must have management approval, also the gift cannot be bought with comp dollars. 

Does tipping guarantee a better experience? 
     That will depend on your dealer. I try to provide a great level of service to all players. Having said that, I am human just like the rest of us. If your providing tokes you are helping me pay my rent and car payment, you are contributing to my income and therefore I am going to work harder for you hoping that you will contribute even more. I am sure you would work harder for $40/hr than you would if you were making $2/hr (those numbers are just random), we are the same way. 

What annoys you the most?
       One thing that every dealer has heard and rolls their eyes at is when a player says “If I win, you win”. Most players that say that NEVER tip, win or lose. It is one of the most annoying things a player can say, its even more annoying than “Winner, winner, chicken dinner”. 
Another thing that annoys us quite a bit is when players win a big hand and tip the other players. 

So it is all about tips? 
      Tips are our income. But for me it is not all about tips. I have had nights where I had great players at my table, tipping next to nothing but we all were having a good time and having fun, joking, bantering and just killing the night. Sure I was not making money but I was working a job I was enjoying and sometimes that is worth more than the money. I have had nights where I had players that were tipping fairly good but were yelling, crying, annoying, those made for some long nights. Basically a player can make or break your night both with money and in spirit. 

I hope you found some of the info useful. I am sure I am missing some things and may do a revision to this at another time. Feel free to post questions/comments below. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Tips for a fun gambling trip

Gambling is suppose to be fun although it seems at the locals casinos, most people are there trying to make money and lose sight of the fact that the casino is not built to give money away, it is a for-profit business with the model that everything is in the houses favor. Having said that, I wanted to give some advice on how to make your trip fun even if not winning, I will also offer some etiquette for table games.


1. Remember, gambling is suppose to be fun. If your not having fun, it is time to go. Remember, if you go to any other entertainment establishment you typically wind up leaving with less money than you brought, the casino is typically the same. 

2. Do not gamble more than you can afford to lose. Never bet your rent money, your babies new shoe money or grocery money. If you cannot afford to lose it, do not even bring it. Leave your debit/credit card at home as well/ 

3. Learn the proper table etiquette. Do not use your phone at the table, do not ever hand anything to the dealer directly but instead lay it down on the table, Do not take photos, do not walk away from the table while the game is going on. Expect the dealer to follow your hand signals, not your verbal commands. If you signal for a hit on blackjack while telling the dealer to stay, either your dealer will ask which you want and demand a proper hand signal, or the dealer is just going to give you the card. Dealers are trained to follow hand signals as that is all the cameras have to go by and if there isa dispute they can review the tapes, the hand signal will be the deciding factor in those disputes. If it is mid shoe, ask the other players if they mind if you join in at a table. You should not criticize another players way of playing. Just because the book says do X, its their money and if they want to do Y, then let them, and don't expect the dealer to referee the dispute if your unhappy with another player, we are all adults and should act like it.  

4. Do not blame the dealers if the cards are not coming in your favor. 99% of the time the cards are shuffled buy a machine and the dealer is just dealing the cards as they come, they do not control the cards and therefore should not be to blame if it is not your day. Remember, if your losing at one table, you can try another table if it is really bad, it just may not be your day. 

5. Engage the dealer in conversation. Most dealers are social and enjoy talking. Iv had conversations about every subject under the sun and nothing you tell me will surprise me. Most dealers are more than willing to talk, joke around and just have fun with you, but if you become insulting or abusive, either the dealer will shut down and just deal, or will give it back to you. I am sure you would not like it if I came to your place of business and started berating you or wishing your death, us dealers appreciate the same.

6. Know your limits. Not just with the money but with alcohol. I know some properties will let you get totally smashed, ours will remove you from the property, usually in a cab unless you have a sober driver, and that cab ride is at your expense. 

7. Tip your dealer. Dealers are paid next to nothing from the casino and rely on tips for their income. I hear a lot of times that people do not know they are suppose to tip the dealer or they say they will only tip if winning. There is a lot of theory on tipping and I will be writing an entry about just that subject soon. Just know that tipping is appreciated and your dealer will be more friendly and also look out for you if your making a bad play if your tipping. 

8. If you are at a game and do not know what you should do, ask! The outcome may not be in your favor but typically your odds increase if you play the basic strategy of a game. Remember, the odds always favor the house. 

9. Side bets: They are not a good idea. Yes, the pay outs are good but as a general rule, if the casino offers it as a bet, it si not good for you. 

10. HAVE FUN, that should be why your there. If your not having fun, you should look for something else to do. If your unhappy it will spread and bring others down, but if you are in a good mood your positive energy will also be contagious. A lot of times players can make or break a dealers day just by their over all attitude. 

If you have anything to add, please comment below. 

"I think she is a whore"

Sometimes you just have those players that feel they are deserving of not only winning every hand, but getting paid when they do not play, that is what this posting is about.

Let me paraphrase by saying that the casino I work at is not in a great part of town. The area is rich in drugs, prostitutes and is one of the poorest parts of the city.

There is a girl, we will call her Amy who comes in on a daily basis, most of us know her by name and we know what she is about. Amy is somewhat attractive if your into her type and can be as sweet as can be yet can be the biggest ghetto bitch you ever met, just depends on her day and mood. Amy typically is the type that will bring a few bucks, play and then leech around, trying to get money from the players who she can charm, and typically it does not take much.

The day was a typical day on dealer land, I was dealing the UTH game when one of our regulars, I will call him Joe comes over and sits down with Amy. They are talking and having a good time, there are three or four other players at the table at the time and Amy buys in for $40 bucks, just enough to play one hand including trips with-out betting more than 1x on the play. Amy loses that hand and brings out a $20 and ask for all pink ($2.50) chips and my curious mind wonders what she is going to do with those. A few hands are played and Amy has yet to make a move with her pink chips but she is telling others how they should play, something that bugs me. Then she strikes, she ask the other players to play the pinks their trips, something our casino typically forbids because of issues in the past. I quickly try to shut her down but as anyone who works in my casino knows, the floors typically have no backbone and gives into the players 9 times out of 10 even when the player is not right, which this floor does for Amy. So she passes her pinks to everyone but one player who I think we shall call Bob. Bob decides to have no part in her little game but instead tells Amy that for every hand he gets paid on the trips, he will just give her $5. Now Bob is a player who is always there, plays this game often and knows the in and out of how we operate. Bob also does not like conflict, typically is a good tipper and a nice guy over all, he is one of the few honest players who will not try to cheat you.

So this goes on for about an hour and Amy gets up and decides to go to the restroom, not 30 seconds after she gets up Joe says "I think she is a whore" to which I smiled and said "No shit". I say it from experience, when I was in security she is the same one that was caught in the car in the garage on a previous post.

So Amy comes back, she has lost all of her pinks and only two players are left at the table not counting her. She gets several free drinks from the cocktail waitresses and never tips them a penny, she check changes $20 here and there so she can add to the trips bets of the other player who will let her and continues on her business. This goes on for several hours, every few hands asking for check change and she starts to heckle me, laughing at my frustration with her, and the fact that the guy who was tipping me $5 or more every time he hit on his trips is now not giving a dime to us dealers while she has a nice $200-300 in chips that she is getting from him for nothing more than sitting there looking pretty.

So a new floor came in as the other floor has a different skill set and they needed him else ware and this floor came over and seen what was going on and shot them down, its policy and this floor has a spine. To say, I am by the book, I don't vary from the rules unless my supervisor tells me to and so this just made me smile inside. About 20 minutes in from being shot down Amy ask Joe if she can join him for lunch and Joe ask her if she is buying to which she said "No" and Joe basically told her that he was not using his comps on a "dirty whore". I died laughing, Amy walked away with her stacks of chips, refused to color up and was gone.

Typically Joe and I do not see eye to eye, he likes to question how I am strict with the rules and not give in, he does not tip and is there all the times, for hours on end and at times never playing. But this day Joe and I were like best friends and it was great.

And because I like to poke fun, I was dealing to Bob a few days later and I asked him what he got from her for her $ and was confused, and when Joe told him she was a hooker he looked confused and acted like he had no clue.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Sex, Sex and more sex

This post goes back to around March of 2013 but I still have fond memories of this.

I was working night shift security at the casino at the time, it was a Friday night, normally I would be off but I was covering for someone else.

After our briefing I went up to the floor and was walking around just doing a normal foot patrol when I walk over by one of the bathrooms, it was a unisex restroom, one most would call a family restroom but we don't allow children in the casino so we will use the term Unisex. As I was walking by I heard what sounded like someone falling, so I knocked on the door and got not response and when I walked in, there was a couple butt naked looking at me in shock, and I am sure my look was even more in shock considering this couple had to be around 60 years old. I quickly asked them to put their clothes on and come outside the restroom. While waiting on them my manager came walking over and asked me what was going on, and when he seen the look on my face he asked me if I was alright or needed an EMT. I was fine but still in shock, not at the couple having sex but at the 60 year old couple having sex and leaving the door unlocked. I told him what we had just as they came walking out. The manager smiled huge and told them to have a nice night, but that if they wanted to have an awesome night they should leave and go get a room. We both told the older gentleman that we hoped we could have his stamina when we are his age, partly due to his comment that they were going to go home and finish what they started.

But the sex does not stop there. Its a busy Friday night and that is when the ladies of the night come out to play

So about 45 minutes after I saw the old couple going at it, I went outside to drive around the property. This was my favorite part of the job, I was able to work on my own, at my own pace and be as busy or not as busy as I would like to be. As I am driving, I pull onto the top floor of the parking garage which for a Friday had very few cars in it. As I am driving ever so slowly I see this guy climb into the back of a car which peaked my interest. After about 2 minutes I drive over and see this guy bouncing like a rabbit, but make and I see a foot in the window and another on one of the seats of the car. At this point, after following procedure and calling the "eye in the sky" I turned on the blue emergency light at which point the guy jumps up off her, butt naked hands in the air, thinking it was the police none the less. I approach the car and ask them to get dressed and step out. At that point the police came driving up, we did not call them but they have officers on site on the weekends and they wanted in on what was going on. The guy of course is as compliant as can be with both myself and the police but the girl wants to get loud and started trying to say we did not see a thing, they were just talking, had their clothes on and I was full of shit. You should have seen the look on her face when I told her that I beg to differ and that I don't think she realized she had an audience and was on candid camera. The police officers are really familiar with her as she works the area, is a known prostitute and had active warrants for the same. The "John" acted like they had been friends for years and that they were just getting busy in the heat of the moment but neither knew each others real name....true friends for sure.

And you think it stops, nope.

I won't post many details on this one but as I am driving back to the security office I get a call from survellance on the radio that they observed suspicious activity in the employee lot. I drive back and come up on the car in question where I find a couple of employees of the casino engaged in an oral disturbance, if that is what you want to call it. I quickly asked the gentleman to put his short comings away and let them know that the eye in the sky seen every move they made. After getting their info for the report I went inside. Oh, and the security manager was laughing and decided we did not need to do a report. Those two love birds are still employed with the property and no longer talk, he moved on and she ended up going back to her girlfriend.

She was driving us nuts

So yesterday I was running relief and one of my tables was a $10 blackjack table. Girl sitting on third base seemed high to start and was really annoying. I go around the table and everyone including her bust out. Afterwards a new player came up and I did the buy in, then this girl ask me what happened to her money, I told her the only money I touched was her losing bet. She then says she did not lose but that she won and that I took her money and she wanted it back, I called the floor who then called surveillance for a review, of course it came back she lost the hand, we took her bet and no other bets or money was taken after that point before the buy in. Five minutes later she tries it again and again the review shows we did not take anything other than the bet she lost. At this point the floor and myself are all but annoyed with her as I am sure survelliance is as well. Finally the original dealer comes back and this girl has the nerve to tell me that I stole her money and was unprofessional, at which point the floor kinda rudely (and she deserved it) told her that nobody stole her money, she lost her money and that is the nature of gambling.

For me it stops there, but next break I am in the EDR (Employee dining room) and one of the other dealers is telling me all about a girl who seemed cracked out trying to take shots, saying that this other dealer took her money and they had to called a couple times for review, only to find out she was lying. We compared notes and decided it had to be the same girl. Come to find out, this same girl tried it a week or so ago with another dealer.

Funny thing, this girl kept saying "I am watching the table, I know whats going on, I know everything about this" to which I WANTED to say "The cameras are watching you, they know everything about you..." But of course I did not. The same girl also claims to know everything about Blackjack but did not know not to hit a 15 to my 6 or that she should split 8's to my 7. Interesting people we have in our neck of the woods. 


Hey everyone,
   Thank you for finding my new Blog. This blog will be used to share different stories I have from working in a casino and also just a general blog about casinos and customs like tipping and such. I have been in the business since 2012, started working in the security department and then to table games. A lot of the stories I will post will be nothing new to those in the profession and I do not expect to have an exciting blog as others I have seen, but I find this as a better way to write about what I see than to post on facebook or twitter, I can give a few more details and make it a bit more raw, plus this gives me a way to have an outlet to vent or laugh myself away.

  I will accept questions from anyone that has one, but I will not be giving my name, my location or anything else that will be used to identify where I work. I am sure it can be found out rather easily but I do not want to make it too easy.

  Thanks for reading and I hope you find some of the stories at least humorous.