Being a croupier can be a rewarding career for the right sort of person, and it comes with plenty of benefits that most would agree outweigh any negative aspects.
A busy casino is an exciting environment to work in, perfect for anyone who can multi task and who enjoys meeting new people – plus the potential for good tips is always appealing.
Another key consideration is that you don’t really need any qualifications to start the job other than a good knowledge of the games and their rules, and that can be self-taught easily enough.
Of course, you can’t walk into a casino and land a job just like that, so how would you go about working as a croupier?
How to Train as a Croupier
These sorts of jobs aren’t often advertised so your best bet is to approach a casino directly and ask if they are running any in-house training. Some casinos do this as a recruitment exercise and you can apply for a place, but if they don’t you could always ask them of any training schools they would recommend.
Training schools can be hit and miss though, so do plenty of research before you pay for a course. There are some very well-respected ones out there that are recognised in the industry for their quality, but there are also some cowboy operations.
Training with a casino is the better option because you will probably be paid as you learn, whereas going to an external course costs you money.
It will take around 6 weeks, and during your training you will be taught how to handle chips, how to correctly shuffle cards, and how a few of the games work – probably blackjack and roulette as these are the most popular.
You can give yourself a head start here and impress your employer by playing and practicing at home online so you know the games inside out when you start. That way, the only thing you will have to master is the physical side of things and any processes specific to the casino you are training with.
Once you have completed your initial training, you will more than likely be let loose on the paying public as a trainee as you build your skills and learn other games to expand your knowledge and capabilities. It might take a year or so of this to achieve certified croupier status, but once you do there is no limit to how far you can progress.
The croupier or dealer is there to ensure the smooth running of the game above all else. You are the casino representative and the players are your customers, so as a croupier you are in the hospitality business as much as the gambling business.
Main responsibilities include:
- Running the game
- Swapping money for chips
- Paying out wins
- Explaining rules
- Spotting cheating or card counting
- Ensuring everything stays legal and within the house rules
- Keeping customers happy
The croupier does have to be aware of foul play and bad behaviour, but it isn’t really their job to deal with it. They should inform security or their manager if any real problems arise such as accusations of cheating (going either way) or player aggression.
How Much Does a Croupier Earn?
A croupier could be paid hourly or be salaried, although working part time on an hourly wage is more common especially to begin with, and the pay can obviously vary between different organisations.
Between £8 and £10 an hour isn’t uncommon for new starters working part time, and a full time croupier with a little experience can earn around £19,000 per year. There are croupiers earning more than this, but it’s unlikely to get much higher than £24,000 at this level. You would need to be promoted to earn more.
The pay can depend on your location too. Naturally, working somewhere like London is likely to offer higher financial rewards than working in Scunthorpe.
This doesn’t take tips and gifts into account, although these are in no way guaranteed.
Nevertheless, working in an exclusive casino or members club with high roller clients can see some eye watering tips handed over. One croupier working in Mayfair was once given a £50,000 tip from a customer who won millions on roulette.
Often tips are shared among all staff at the end of the month though, so receiving a huge tip isn’t all it’s cracked up to be unless you work somewhere that has an ‘every man for himself’ attitude to tips.
Gifts are not uncommon either, with necklaces, boxes of chocolates, watches and even designer jeans being handed over as tokens of appreciation. These have to go through management before they can be accepted, however.
Is Being a Croupier a Good Job?
The casino is a place where people go to enjoy themselves, and as a croupier you are a part of that. If you enjoy mixing with new people and sharing their victories as well as being empathetic towards their losses, you will skip to work each day.
For the right person, croupier work (or being a dealer) is the perfect entry level job for a career in the gambling industry. You don’t need to be the ambitious type though, it’s also great for anyone who wants to earn a little bit extra at the weekends.
A few of the main benefits include:
- Fun and safe working environment
- Ability to boost wages with tips
- Flexible work schedule and good for last minute changes
- Opportunities for career progression
- The bar for entry is fairly low
That last one isn’t a thinly veiled insult by the way. The bar may be low in terms of qualifications, but it is very high in terms of who you are as a person and your hospitality skills. A good head for numbers is useful but you don’t need a degree or anything; it is more important that you are polite, well turned out, sensitive to people’s moods, and know how to make professional conversation if the occasion calls for it.
Back room conditions for staff tend to be pretty good too, with some venues offering free or discounted meals and nice places to relax on your break. Speaking of breaks, a casino needs their croupiers to be on top form, so breaks come every hour or hour and a half – there aren’t many jobs like that.
On the down side you might end up working anti-social hours since casinos are open through the night, and the odd customer might be annoying or unpleasant, but these people are few and far between and security will be on them like a shot if they cause trouble.
Career Progression & Opportunities
It is actually possible to start at the bottom and work right the way up the career ladder when working in gambling.
A barman can become a croupier, who can then get promoted to a floor supervisor, move up again to become a pit boss, and even move into management after that. It’s perfectly possible for a casino manager to be an ex-croupier, in fact, it would probably make them better at the job.
This all takes time and you would need to prove yourself in each role that you take on the way up, but for dedicated and talented people working as a croupier can be the start of a real career.
A lot of the learning can be done on the job, and many big companies run internal training in order for their employees to skill up – they might even pay for external courses in the right situation.
What’s more, really good croupiers are in demand, so if you are excellent at the job you could take your skills and work anywhere in the world.
Cruise ships are a great option for those with no responsibilities at home as you get to see the world while being paid what is usually a better wage – plus, you don’t pay tax while working at sea!
You could also up sticks and move to Vegas, Singapore, anywhere that allows gambling really, including going to work as a live dealer if you fancy a life in front of the camera.