If you’ve been to a casino, you’ve undoubtedly ran into a smiling blackjack dealer who happily took your money while collecting tips from other players at the table. You might have wondered exactly how much blackjack dealers make, and whether it’s a viable career choice. The answer is a bit complex, as blackjack dealers’ salaries range a lot depending on a number of factors. Generally speaking, blackjack dealers are some of the highest paid workers in a casino, as their trade requires a lot of specific knowledge and talent.
Tips are the lifeblood of a blackjack dealer. The hourly or salaried rates range by location, but blackjack dealers aren’t expected to make much from the casino itself – their money comes from happy customers, who tip the blackjack dealer when winning or even when losing (if they don’t go broke, of course). Generally, salaries can go from $25,000 per year to in excess of $90,000 once tips are included in the total. Most blackjack dealers’ salaries will fall somewhere in between these two extremes.
Location is a big determinant for blackjack dealers’ salaries. Since tips are extremely important, a blackjack dealer can be expected to make a lot more at a major casino, or any place with high traffic. At a casino on the Las Vegas strip, a blackjack dealer will make more than he would in Missouri, of course, but day-to-day earnings might be different – holidays will bring more business to a casino, leading, of course, to higher earnings for the blackjack dealer.
Of course, a black jack dealer can’t expect a good salary if he or she isn’t exceptionally skilled and trained. Blackjack dealers are expected to know every possible variation of blackjack, including extremely obscure versions, and mistakes in dealing (accidentally showing a card, etc.) can destroy a blackjack dealer’s reputation very quickly and cost him or her a job. A blackjack dealer’s hands must have an uncanny precision that can only be developed by dealing a lot of cards, and not just on game nights with friends.
A good blackjack dealer must also have a great personality, and know various tricks to encourage patrons to spend their money – as in any other business, casinos want workers that can turn the highest profit possible. Winning customers need to be encouraged and congratulated, and under many states’ gaming law a blackjack dealer must know when to advise a gambler to stop and recognize signs of intoxication. The occupation involves a lot of people reading, all while paying attention to the precise art of blackjack dealing. Despite the high qualifications for the job, competition for blackjack dealer positions is fierce.
If you’re interested in a blackjack career, know that casinos look for dealers with good training, and there are plenty of programs out there to train up and coming blackjack dealers. Expect to spend time at lower-pay casinos for a while, and build a resume. The best blackjack job positions will go to the most experienced candidates, but it can certainly be a lucrative skill for those lucky and talented few who are able to secure jobs as blackjack dealers at a major casino.