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View Full Version : Casino card dealers - how do they handle customers?



Mark Moore
11-28-2013, 08:29 AM
I'm writing a scene in my current "Blackjack Jill" story (set in Reno) where Jill is having dinner with a dealer, and the two of them are discussing their respective jobs. Jill is a cashier and bemoans the facts that management bends over backwards to please the customers, and the employees can't talk back to rude and/or thieving customers nor accuse them of anything.

Tiffany (the dealer) then describes her own interactions with customers. How are rude, threatening, and/or cheating customers handled? Is the dealer allowed to say anything (if so, what?), or is she to signal the pit boss (and how is this done?)?

Also, what are the casino patrons referred to as?

Finally, what are some typical (or even atypical) situations that dealers would encounter?

chompers
11-28-2013, 09:22 AM
I've never seen players get out of hand.

There are certain rules that players have to abide by, and the dealers will firmly correct the players if such a thing happens (no phones at the table; no sitting unless you're playing; etc)

The tables are always set up in like an island, and the powers that be are usually behind the dealers, so if there was a problem, the dealers just call out to them. Usually it's for stuff like needing to check IDs, VIPs, etc., but I'm sure they'd get their attention for rowdy guests.

Robbert
11-30-2013, 08:53 PM
My experience relates to gambling in Europe.

Venues differ greatly, from posh to seedy--that holds for the guests as well as the personnel. What does not differ, though, is the question of the undisputed ruler: The house. Always!

More often than not, disputes arise due to drunkenness rather than cheating. According to my observation, card-counting is the most common reason for the house to ban a player for cheating (?) at blackjack.

Casino patrons are being referred to as guests.

A good dealer is discreet. A dealer having heated arguments with a punter is something I consider highly unlikely.

Maxx B
12-10-2013, 09:17 PM
I spent 12 years in the casino industry (not US) as both dealer and surveillance. I don't know the specifics of how US casinos do it, but from my experience in other casinos its probably the same.

Casinos don't normally tolerate bad behavior as it causes distractions slowing up the games, which is bad for business. The inspectors watching the tables would usually placate loud customers, calling on pit bosses if needed. Cheats are never tolerated, although there is a caveat to this which I will mention later.

Management will appear to bend over backwards for the high rollers, but never allow cheating. They will tolerate bad behavior and excess if there is enough money to offset the disruption.

Accusing customers of cheating, staff would never do this directly, they would call their supervisor and let them know what happened. The surveillance tapes / recordings would be analysed and either the surveillance team or casino management would remove the offender to a private room for a chat.
Dealers deal with unpleasant customers in a number of ways. Being overly polite to someone who is looking to get a rise from them is the best way to annoy them. If the dealer really wants to say something to the player, there are several mandatory announcements or interactions the dealer has to say to customers, some of these can be altered, to disguise swearing or other offensive comments. If the customer tries to complain, the dealer knows that his/her comments sounded enough like the mandatory phrase that nobody else would usually pick up on it.
If a customer is being a dick, most of the other players will get just as annoyed as the dealer, so if the dealer uses humor to belittle the annoying player, the other player usually join in. Once you have the players on you side, any complaints from the dick will be drowned out by the other players defending you.

In the UK and a few other countries we call customers either players or punters.

Not sure if this is how US casinos do it, but after shuffling the cards, we offer the deck to a player for them to insert a cutting card. It's not unknown for a 'clumsy' dealer to catch someones knuckles with the deck when offering the cards for cutting.

If the dealer can't handle the annoying person, they will call the table inspector, as mentioned previously. Again I can't promise this is used everywhere, but to attract the attention of another member of staff, we used a kissing noise as it carries well in a noisy area. I believe this is common to most casinos.

Situations, I've seen it all, from your weekend drunks, to people pissing themselves rather than leaving a winning streak. I've seen a little old lady step over a guy having a heart attack to reach her bet on a roulette table and a guy tip a drink in his jacket pocket when his cigarette end fell in and set his jacket on fire. He continued as if nothing unusual had happened.

The one caveat I mentioned earlier is casinos do turn a blind eye to professional card players, who sometimes use a variation on card counting. The reason is that they never aim to win big, just to earn a wage almost as they play five or six days a week. These players also like a quiet table, so will happily approach an empty table and start a game. Normal players are reluctant to play on empty tables and an empty table makes no money. Once a professional player has started a game on the empty table, normal players will join them, this is were the house make their money.

I hope some of this helped.

Torgo
12-10-2013, 10:05 PM
So, back in the 90s my brother got a job as a croupier in London, and eventually decided that there was a lot more money in Vegas - in the UK at the time, if I recall correctly, you weren't allowed to accept tips, whereas in Vegas it was the main perk of the job and the reason croupier spots in the best hotel casinos were on a dead-men's-shoes basis.

My mum and I went out to visit him. He'd just got a good job, at Bally's, dealing blackjack mainly. I was about 17, 18? We tooled about the Strip for a while one day when he was at work and then thought we'd drop in to say hello. We wandered on to the casino floor and gave him a wave, whereupon he immediately told me to piss off as I was underage.

Anyway, we left and went to get lunch at the buffet. The buffet was not good. Lunch was, in fact, vile. So my mum, who had been quite taken with America's service culture and friendliness, said to me, "You know what the problem with Britain is? We never complain. Over here, you complain when your lunch is bad."

So she complains and everyone is very nice. Our server asks us to wait downstairs in the corridor and someone will be along directly. A mirrored, secret panel in the wall slides open soundlessly to reveal a small fat man in a white suit, flanked by two huge cro-magnon men in suits that don't fit too well because of all the weird muscles they are sporting.

The white-suited man, whom I would swear was Boss Hogg from the Dukes of Hazzard, enquires about our lunch very politely, and we tell him - but we're completely intimidated by this point, and Britishness levels have risen to crippling levels, so we play down the whole thing. Oh, it was nothing, we say. But still, he presses some free meal vouchers on us and is charming as anything.

"Are you over here from England?" he asks, as we're leaving. "Yes," says my mum. "We're over to visit my other son, who works in the hotel."

An hour or so later, we're back at my brother's apartment when he comes home from his shift, way early. "I've just been fired and I have no idea why," he tells us.

WriteMinded
12-11-2013, 07:00 PM
So, back in the 90s . . .

"Are you over here from England?" he asks, as we're leaving. "Yes," says my mum. "We're over to visit my other son, who works in the hotel."

An hour or so later, we're back at my brother's apartment when he comes home from his shift, way early. "I've just been fired and I have no idea why," he tells us.
HAH! :roll: I saw that one coming.

Mark Moore
12-12-2013, 06:23 PM
Thanks for the replies, everyone! :)


Anyway, we left and went to get lunch at the buffet.

First, this was an awesome story.

Second, I might as well ask this here instead of starting a new topic. Are bars (even bar & grills, serving light stuff like pizza or chicken wings) in the same room as the casino (but further away from the games, of course), or do you have to leave the casino to find someplace to drink/eat?

Also, are there any rules as to what types of food and beverages that players are or are not allowed to bring to the gaming table with them?

Does Nevada have a clean indoor air act, or are there smoking and non-smoking sections of the casino?

Torgo
12-12-2013, 11:39 PM
First, this was an awesome story.

Thanks! We, er, waited a couple of months before telling it to my brother...


Second, I might as well ask this here instead of starting a new topic. Are bars (even bar & grills, serving light stuff like pizza or chicken wings) in the same room as the casino (but further away from the games, of course), or do you have to leave the casino to find someplace to drink/eat?

In my experience, they're separate, but all under the one roof. Vegas casino hotels tend to be labyrinthine places with no clear sense of the outside world (no clocks, either) - so the gaming areas, which I wasn't allowed to be in at the time, are distinct from the family-oriented restaurants etc, but connected by corridors. You leave the casino to visit them, but you don't leave the hotel.


Also, are there any rules as to what types of food and beverages that players are or are not allowed to bring to the gaming table with them?


Seems to me that the casino is really happy for you to drink alcohol at the gaming table - they will in fact ply you with free drinks if they think you are gambling enough. Food, I'm not sure about - I suspect they're not going to let you perch a burger on the rim of the craps table.

Cath
12-12-2013, 11:43 PM
Are bars (even bar & grills, serving light stuff like pizza or chicken wings) in the same room as the casino (but further away from the games, of course), or do you have to leave the casino to find someplace to drink/eat?
Casinos want their customers to spend as much time at the tables/machines as possible. There are not only bars, but also waitresses in the casino bringing drinks to the customers.


Does Nevada have a clean indoor air act, or are there smoking and non-smoking sections of the casino?
No law, I think, since all the casinos I've been in were smoky. Smoke-free areas may be provided by the casino at their own volition