Dealers periodically visit the Reddit poker section and reveal the details of their profession. We have translated some of these interviews.

The hero of the next AMA on Reddit was a dealer working offline in the US. He explained why tips are better than a high salary, recalled the most egregious cases at the table, and finally told us how many cards are in the deck.


The hero of the latest AMA (ed. – ask me anything ) is a dealer who works for the first time at the World Series. This time, readers were most interested in marked cards, tips, and the nastiest players.

– I have been a dealer for 6 years, but this is my first time at the WSOP. The first week I dealt in tournaments, then moved to cash – high stakes in the King's room and medium plus low limits in the regular room.

Ask what you want!

– After how many years/months of work as a dealer did you hate all the players?

I used to be a player myself, so I knew what I was signing up for. With players, I have a "disarm them with kindness" philosophy. I consider myself a good dealer, so I struggle with frank rudeness with fast and efficient work. Players are usually immediately reassured by this.

How much do you earn per evening on average? Your record session? Who gave the most generous tips?

– At medium and low stakes, I get about $350 tips in 8-9 hours. For high stakes in the region of $ 80-100 per hour. At the World Series, dealers in an expensive game receive an additional $30 per hour from the casino ($10 base pay and another $10 per shift, changing every 30 minutes).

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The most generous tips are left by stereotypical whales. For them, the standard is $100 for a pot over $15k. My most successful day was when I worked in a hall where they played poker and against the casino at the same time. Made $2,900 thanks to a guy who played very big Ultimate Holdem and left $25 tips when he got trips or a pocket pair.

Surprisingly, Jamie Gold turned out to be very generous. Despite losing in the session, he still gave me $5, even when he won small pots. And at the very end, when he lost the rest, he gave me the last $5 in $1 chips. In general, he behaved very dignified, it was very pleasant to give him.

For the entire World Series, I expect to earn $16k-18k after all expenses. And the average income per year is $70k-80k.

– Do the dealers' incomes in cash games and tournaments differ a lot?

– Dealers earn $40 an hour in Hold'em tournaments and $50 in mixed games on this series. The cash rate is $10 per hour plus tips. The slowest dealers tend to go to tournaments because they won't earn anything in cash. You have to be really good at dealing. I focused on cash games solely because the income per hour is higher there.

– Can a dealer choose where to work?

– Yes. At the beginning of the series, I did tournaments, because I simply did not know that I could completely refuse them. One day, I accidentally noticed a manager who handles shifts in the office and asked if I could go to the cash games. He was surprised at the question and said "of course". After 15 seconds, I already had a new schedule, consisting of 100% of cash games.

– You watch the players all day, probably read them like an open book?

– I don't really try. When I deal PLO, I don't care at all. I only think about how big the pot will be after each player's action. The only situation where I can figure out who has what is after an all-in on the river when the player thinks about calling for more than five minutes. There's nothing else to do anyway, and I'm trying to guess the range that this Jerry from Iowa has been thinking about for so long. At showdown, he most often turns out to be better.

– The most vile players, in your opinion?

– *** regs from Europe. Seriously, most of them are quite adequate ... but sometimes they are quite terrible (they usually also stink accordingly).

– I'm a grinder from Europe, I invite you to have a couple of drinks when you have a day off. It's time to break these stereotypes about Europeans :)

“Ok, grab deodorant, beer on me!”

– How to get a job at the World Series?

A remark from one of the readers: "All you need is a pulse. "

– Shortly before the World Series, an announcement was posted in the dealer group on Facebook. I applied on the Caesar's website, then had a short online interview. They asked very basic questions, for example, what is the maximum sizing you can open from UTG in PLO at 100/200 blinds. By the way, at interviews I have never been asked to show how I deal cards. Usually, I just answer questions, fill out paperwork, come for the form, and go to work the next day.

What do you like and dislike about being a dealer?

– I like money, of course. On my worst days, I make $20-30 an hour, and on my best days up to $100. But I warn you that not everyone reaches this level of earnings, even with several years of experience. I don’t want to seem arrogant, but I consider myself one of the strongest representatives of the profession, which is why I managed to reach such a level.

– Do you have a gambling streak yourself?

– Probably somewhere in the depths of my soul, because it gives me a strange pleasure when the players hit a one outer on the river.

– Did you attend any courses? Do you know the rules of all games?

– Honestly, no. I never went to dealer school. My first job was in a small poker room in the ghetto, and I was taught how to deal as I played. Then I learned everything myself from videos on youtube, dealt out cards to myself at home. I learned the basic rules when I was playing. So it didn't become a problem.

At my second job, the main game was PLO, which I played but never dealt. It took a while to get used to, but all the problems disappeared when I learned how to quickly calculate the size of the pot. Now this is my favorite game.

The next location held a mixed games tournament once a week. But I only did it a couple of times. I didn't know the rules, but I was lucky that I had a good relationship with the regulars. Right at the table they suggested how to deal. Thanks to them I learned the rules of games like Stud, Big O, 2-7, Razz, and so on.

– The most stupid mistake in your career?

– I remember a curious incident that happened already at this series during one of my first sessions in the King's room. I did not yet know that cards should be dealt even to those players who have moved away from the table, since they pay rake on time. One guy came back when I had already started to deal and was very angry that he had no cards. I was about to call a misdeal, but one of the players told me to deal 5 cards to him at the very end (they were playing 5 card PLO). I made sure that no one objected, everyone supported him. I did so, and they calmly finished the hand.

This is not possible at low and medium stakes. The high-stakes players actually make up the rules themselves, if none of the players object. In order to have a successful career in an expensive game, it is better for dealers to keep quiet and follow all the instructions of the players. After all, it's their money. And at low limits, the game is already enough, so they strictly follow the letter of the law.

– Do you often notice marked cards? What do you do in such a situation?

– Yes, sometimes. After recent events, I have a new ritual when I come to the table – sit down, count the cards, and examine them for marks. And loudly declare: “It's all right. It seems that Martin (ed. – Kabrhel ) did not have time to play with this deck.

I've said this already three times – twice it caused a friendly laugh at the table, once I got $ 5 for a tip, though once the floor looked at me.

Seriously speaking, naturally, I came across marked cards. In one session, I noticed the mark on the ace of spades in two different decks. But the dealer can only call the manager and change the deck, this is where our authority ends.

– Do you know how not to show cards when dealing?

– Yes, if it's not a Stud game.