Blackjack at the Casino
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This question originally appeared on Quora.
I dealt blackjack and craps in the worst casino in St. Louis. It was in a rundown riverboat located in a not particularly vibrant and less than bustling downtown riverfront area. This was back when Missouri still had $500 loss limits and our casino closed every morning.
For me, being a dealer was the best job I ever had. That's not really saying much; I haven't had particularly good jobs. But even in the worst casino in probably one of the worst gambling markets in America, it had its definite pluses. It was not difficult work, though it could be hard work. The pay was good, though not great at my casino. We had the lowest base pay of any dealers in the city, and our toke rate was the lowest of all the casinos in the city. You got a 20-minute break every hour and 20 minutes (every hour when dealing craps), free soda and coffee on breaks, and one free meal, though the food wasn't that good.
There were two great things about being a dealer. The first great thing about being a dealer was that it was often a lot of fun. On a good night, it was a blast. There were times when I couldn't believe that I was paid to have so much fun. Two things made it fun: When my blackjack table was filled with people who were there to have fun and I was doing my best to make sure they had fun, it was great. It was like being the host of a raucous yet intimate dinner party. Craps was even better. Craps was kind of like being the bouncer and the entertainer at a rockin' club. But one of the best things about dealing craps was the rapport and camaraderie and banter you could establish when you were on a good crew who all got along and took pride in dealing the game.
The second and most satisfying thing about being a dealer, for me, was the sense of learning a skill and being a part of a grand tradition. Serious dealers took the game seriously, even while they were having a blast and showing off and talking smack with the players and the box man and the other dealers.
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Funny isn't it - thats why i play online and don't have the hassles of people doing that and worse like splitting 10's - f***** unbeliveable