The casino gaming department is broken into two parts: poker and table games. Generally a dealer is either a poker dealer or a table games dealer. In smaller jurisdictions outside Vegas, dealers may move in between these departments, but they’re pretty segregated in Las Vegas.
Poker dealers tend to “go for their own” meaning that they keep the tips they earn. These dealers must be prepared to deal a variety of poker games: no limit, limit, and pot limit style, in tournament and live action games. They’re typically equipped to deal stud games, flop games, and draw games, though the predominant game at the moment is Texas Hold’em.
Table games dealers tend to move around a bit. The more games that a dealer knows, the more valuable they are to the casino. The main games include: Blackjack, Roulette, Craps, Baccarat, and Pai Gow Poker. Specialty games include: Pai Gow Tiles, Single Zero Roulette, and Big Baccarat. Carnival games, such as Ultimate Texas Hold’em and Three Card Poker, are not considered main games as they are quite easy to learn. However, casinos tend to expect that dealers know how to deal these games.
Prior to beginning employment at a casino, most dealers receive training at a Las Vegas dealing school. There are currently five full schools operating in Las Vegas: Gold Star School of Gaming, Crescent School of Gaming, Let’s Make a Dealer, Casino Gaming School, and PCI. Tony Shelton also offers a poker training school.
This website periodically runs specials for Gold Star School of Gaming. Right now, if you enroll at Gold Star School and mention this website, you can add free Carnival Games (Let It Ride, Ultimate Texas Hold’em, and Three Card Poker) to any new package enrollment. Package prices begin at $499. This is a small investment to make in a school where the earning potential can be vast. See the Toke Report for more details.
To be clear, the dealers at casinos like Bellagio, Wynn Las Vegas, Cosmopolitan, Mandalay Bay, and many other strip properties generally start at smaller casinos and work their way up. It is unrealistic to expect a job at Bellagio straight out of dealer school. However, it is not unrealistic to expect to be on the strip with one or two years of experience. Some dealers are fortunate and do begin their careers on the strip, but they tend to be the exception.
Many poker dealers begin their careers at the World Series of Poker. In fact, Gold Star School of Gaming has a perfect record since opening. 100% of Gold Star poker students who auditioned at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) were hired.
If you are interested in becoming a dealer, check out Gold Star School of Gaming or one of the other Las Vegas dealing schools. The schools have stood the test of time, as they have all been open for multiple years. Take a tour and get all of your questions answered. Dealing can be a very fun and lucrative career if it works for you.