Day 1 as a poker dealer is in the books

A riffle shuffle being performed during a game...

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First day as a Professional poker dealer is complete. I worked for a total of six hours at “The Poker Room NH” on Tuesday, January 3.

Right after I checked in, I was assigned to deal at a Limit Holdem 2/4 table (2/4 means that the bets start at $2 for the first and second round of betting, pre-flop and flop, and $4 at the turn and the river).

I was being shadowed (an experienced dealer was right behind me), and I was all nerves. This poker room is where I have been playing for the last year and I have a high regard for the dealers and their professional demeanor. And now I am one and I am in the hot seat.

It was not as easy as I hoped it would be. It turns out that each poker table has character. I was having trouble shuffling the cards and did not know why. I have had hundreds of hours practicing at home and dealing at free poker events.

It was not until a few hours later that a fellow dealer pointed out to me that some of the tables are worn in spots that makes handling and shuffling the cards very difficult. Thank you fellow dealer for that very important and helpful tip. I was having a loss of confidence until I learned about the differences between individual table tops.

I was moved from the cash games to multiple tables tournaments. It was quite an experience. The big difference is that the betting amounts and chip values are different from the cash games. There is more demand on math abilities and concentration abilities.

The main goal as a dealer is to keep the game moving as smoothly and quickly as possible. Whenever I did something incorrectly, the players would let me know, in a nice way, since I was a first time dealer. I have a limited amount of time to improve as they will not be as kind the next time I err. That so called Honeymoon period, you know.

There is always something to learn, both from my experiences and from the suggestion of other players. Last week when I was playing in a tournament, one of the players suggested that when I was the dealer that I move my arms back to my sides as soon as I spread the flop cards (the first three cards to be displayed once the initial round of betting has concluded). She had a hard time seeing the cards until the dealer moved back.

Another player suggested that I put my cards down first before pushing the pot to the winner. Sometimes the betting causes all other players to fold before dealing is completed.

Normally, I place the deck down after dealing the river card, the fifth card.

I appreciated all the suggestions, both from my fellow dealers and from my customers.

My next day at dealing will be Friday and until then I am going to practice, practice, practice.

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3 thoughts on “Day 1 as a poker dealer is in the books

  1. I could never be a dealer even though I am a poker player. The math behind the dealing business is so out of my brain capacity, lol. I have so much respect for dealers as I know every hand they deal they must be 100% focused, I just can imagine the stress is involved there.


  2. Just now catching up on your adventure. Make sure you post an update. This is definitely an admirable venture. 

    As a dealer do you always know, or have to know, what is in the pot? Does your room have a drop on either side (room take, jackpot, plus your tip)

    • In tourneys, I need to make sure that all player’s bets are accounted for and correct change given back. As we play mostly No Limit, I don’t need to know the exact amount.
      In cash games I need to keep track of the pot size to determine the rake. At the room I work at, it is one dollar for every ten, capped at $5 in pots totaling $50 or more. In the limit cash Game, there is additional $1 taken one the pot reaches $20 or higher. This is taken for the “Bad Beat” jackpot. At those tables, I have three drops.
      A lot goes on behind the scene during every hand of poker that is dealt.
      I am enjoying every moment of it.

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