How Much Do Blackjack Dealers Make? 

Table of Contents

Blackjack dealers earn varying amounts based on location and skill level, but the hourly average

 across states is currently $16.03. Some States may pay less or more - between $7.69  and $24.04 - so applicants may want to consider that as they look for opportunities. The annual salary is an average of $33,333 across the states. A beginner will make around $14,700 annually in most states or between $7 and $8 hourly. 

Most casinos naturally hire depending on demand, with summers when tourists flock into cities being the most ideal for job hunting. Taxes apply just as is the case with other jobs, and a dealer will ideally work 8-hour shifts with probable overtime, especially during peak periods. 

Salaries in the US and UK 

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Nevada, California, Washington, New Jersey, and Florida have the highest numbers of dealers in general since they have higher 

concentrations of casinos when compared to other states. Casino employees in these two countries can expect benefits such as health and dental insurance, 401K plans, and annual paid leave. 

The rates in some of the top-paying states are as follows, reflecting the salaries of dealers with at least three years of experience in the industry. 

City Hourly Rates Annual Averages 
Nevada$ 10.59$ 22,020
California $ 17.80$ 37,020
Washington$ 22.62$ 47,050
New Jersey$ 25.06$ 52,120
Florida$ 16.93$ 35,200
Uncasville, CT$23.45 $67,294 
New Orleans $21.81 $62,584 
Detroit$19.23 $55,180 
Philadephia $17.79 $51,055 
Milwaukee $16.23 $46,584 

According to the Economic Research Institute, the rates in the UK come close to those in the US, as the average hourly rate for a seasoned dealer is £13 and £26,167 annually - based on full-time employment status. The highest-paying cities in the United Kingdom are: 

City Rate Per Hour Annual Averages 
London£11.95£27,646 
Brighton£11.53£26,661 
Manchester £11.13 £25,738 
Great Yarmouth £10.43 £24,119 
Blackpool£10.39 £24,016 
Nottingham £10.10 £23,349 
Westfield Stratford City £9.96£23,035 

Job Description for a Blackjack Dealer

The job description is almost always the same from one casino to the next, so the job has excellent skill transferability. You will be:

  • Dealing cards. 
  • Collecting bets and paying out wins.
  • Ensuring players follow the rules.
  • Keeping the players in check during the game.
  • Keeping track of the game.
  • Managing chips and the casino’s bankroll.
  • Enforcing the casino’s policies, including looking out for cheats. 

Some of the perks of blackjack dealing include the flexible hours that allow employees to pursue other income-generating ventures, the reasonably lower education requirement, tips from players that could exponentially increase one’s salary and benefits linked to employment. One is considered seasoned after being in the industry for at least four years and with certifications to prove advanced game knowledge.  

Qualifications 

Most gambling houses do not require dealers to have a college-level education. A high school diploma will usually suffice if you have notable soft skills. You will need to know the game's rules to handle a table of players of all levels. The basic knowledge of blackjack rules and strategies is handy and will be even more ingrained during training. Soft skills are ideal as some players get emotional when they lose, and the dealer will be counted on to restore order when things threaten to get out of hand. The position will require you to be the most level-headed person at the table, even when situations demand otherwise.

As the game involves a lot of counting, a dealer will need math skills to calculate returns, bets, and hands as required. Dexterity is also a great skill in this line of work, as you will often be shuffling and dealing cards at expectedly high speed. A successful blackjack dealer will have excellent customer-handling skills to read the room and steer conversations to where they need to be.

Some players may be chatty, while others prefer to play in silence, so the dealer must balance the table to ensure everyone’s comfort. Most gambling houses will conduct background checks to catch any criminal record that could disqualify an applicant, as the job requires integrity. 

Casinos will require dealers to undergo training to prepare them for the job, which could take a few weeks or even as long as three months in some states. A dealing school trains you to play the game like a pro, the rules, state regulations on gambling, dealing and shuffling cards, handling different temperaments as players will vary, and calculating odds. 

Some casinos will pay for the training and even offer continuing education to keep dealers updated on changing regulations and strategies. Others prefer to hire fully trained and licensed dealers. Training school can be intense, so dealers will do better if they can play blackjack.

Career progression is possible when you excel in your role as a dealer. You could be promoted to Shift Manager to be in charge of the dealers of various table games. You could also become a Pit Boss who ensures the integrity of the games and resolves customer-dealer disputes. If you have excellent organizational skills, you could be assigned tournament director to oversee quarterly tourneys held at the casino. You will need to demonstrate leadership skills to progress to these higher levels. 

Conclusion  

While we’ve discussed hourly and annual salaries, we must mention dealers make tips depending on the clientele and establishment. These will vary, naturally, but one could make between $15 and $50 an hour on a good night. They could make less if clients aren’t too keen on tipping. Remember to include the tips when filing your annual income tax to avoid prosecution for tax evasion. 

As a note, these incomes reflect online and land-based casinos but are not cast in stone. Dealers can negotiate for better than the average based on their experience, the establishment, location, and state. 

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