One of the things that makes for being a great dealer is consistency.
There are at least 42 steps to each hand that a poker dealer deals.
There is the shuffle, shuffle, riffle, shuffle. Making sure the blinds are posted. Dealing out the first hand. Collecting the bets. Burning a card. Dealing the flop. Collecting the bets. Burning a card. Dealing the turn. Collecting the bets. Dealing the River. Collecting the bets. Awarding the pot. Moving the button. (in cash games, dropping the rake (the poker room’s profit), and dropping the toke (the dealer tips). And this is just in one hand. (Note: I did not list all of the 42 steps).
In addition to the above tasks, there are also the collecting of antes, the counting of chips when a player is all in and the other player(s) need a count. There is also the creation of side pots in the events that someone is all in and two or more players are still in the pot. There could be up to seven side pots, heaven forbid.
At any given time, I do make mistakes,
I may miss a player altogether dealing at a tournament. (you must deal a card to each chip stack regardless of if the player is there physically or not). In cash games, you must deal to the actual people and not the chips stack. Some players walk away from the table for various reasons. Some are gone to play in a sit n go tourney and leave their chips behind. If a player is not at their seat for a cash game, they are still responsible to put up the big blind or small blind, I must take care to leave a token that says they owe for the big blind and/or the small blind and must settle before they can resume play if they choose to return and play.
So I must take care to not deal to someone that is not there in a cash game, but deal to the stacks in a tournament even when someone is not there.
Other ways I can err is to flip over a card when dealing it to a player. I can miscount chip stacks when awarding a player chips from another player.
Oh the things I could do wrong are numerous.
This brings me to the point of this blog. Too many errors at one time and some players get very upset. Some even get vocal. Some are downright mean in their comments. But they are the customer and the custumer is right.
So I always apologize for my error(s) and try to keep on going. Now the problem is that after it happens I am now trying too hard to not make an error. Oh well.
The good news is that all dealers are rotated from table to table every 20 or 30 minutes, for the most part. This gives us the opportunity to walk away from our mistakes and start fresh at a new table. As a dealer, I need to get over the bad expierences quickly and move on. After all, as they say, it is nothing personal.
In spite of the downsides of having to deal with upset players, the upside is the satisfaction when things run well. When the players get excited to finally be getting good cards. Yes I am that dealer that gives out the dreaded 7-2 or 2-8 or 3-9 or other garbage hands to players, sometimes two or three times in a row. At least that is what they tell me.
On the plus side, I now have players that greet me warmly when I approach their table. I now know many players by name and the banter is friendly or at least cordial. After all, they are here to play and/or have a good time while they are doing it.
My favorite table to deal at are are the ones where most of the players are smiling or laughing and having a great time.
Now if it could aways be that way …
Next post: Bad Santa ….