A Guide to Becoming a Croupier
What You Need to Know
- Croupiers can be responsible for running a number of different casino games.
- Croupier jobs usually entail multiple other duties, such as looking out for cheats and calculating payouts.
- As well as these ‘hard skill’, croupiers also need specific personal qualities, including a calm demeanour and a gift for tact.
- You have to be licensed by the Gaming Commission to work on a casino floor.
- Despite the many bonuses of this line of work, it can prove stressful and repetitive, whilst the hours are generally anti-social.
- After a couple of years of experience have been gained, croupiers may be able to find opportunities at bigger casinos, or as gaming inspectors.
- When looking for croupier jobs it can pay to send speculative applications to potential employers, as it’s common for vacancies not to be advertised.
What Do Croupiers Do?
Croupiers and dealers throw dice, spin the roulette wheel and deal cards. Work includes checking that all gambling chips are placed on the table before the start of play, explaining the rules to players, collecting chips from losing bets, keeping a look out for cheats, and mentally calculating payouts to winners.
Croupiers have to work quickly and maintain concentration for long periods. An understanding of the different games, from poker to craps and roulette, is vital. Additionally, croupiers need a range of ‘soft skills’ to be good at their job. They must be calm, tactful, presentable, good with people and skilled at defusing the tension that can arise when someone loses a big bet.
It is also essential to have good numeracy skills and be able to make quick mental calculations. While most croupiers are under 35 years old, age is no barrier to entry.
Formal academic qualifications are not necessary, although there are some courses that give an introduction to the sector, with some colleges offering diplomas in Casino Operations, and Gambling Studies degrees are even available at some universities. Alternatively, a number of private training programmes are also available, including those run by Casino Gaming Education Services (CGES), while some of the bigger gaming operators such as Grosvenor have their own in-house training programmes. Contact casinos directly for details of trainee vacancies. You can also find a listing on the British Casino Association website.
At an interview, you may be asked to pass a mental arithmetic test to show that you can calculate odds and payments. If accepted, you’ll be paid to take an on-the-job training course lasting six to eight weeks. To work on a gaming floor you need a gaming licence, awarded by the Gambling Commission.
You cannot work if you have a criminal record, and checks on your background will be carried out by the Criminal Records Bureau.
Working as a Croupier
Being a croupier can be an exciting job, allowing you to enjoy the bright lights and the buzz of a casino while earning a wage, Additionally, it can also be highly rewarding, requiring good maths and people skills and the ability to stay calm under pressure. On the downside, the hours can be antisocial, while the work can also be stressful and, at times, repetitive.
Croupiers generally work shifts, which are often 2pm to 10pm and 10pm to 6am. This will include weekends and bank holidays, and workers can expect to be on their feet for long periods.
Croupiers’ pay starts at around £18,000 in London and £12,000 to £13,000 in the rest of the UK for trainees.
After two years’ work experience, it’s possible to apply to work on cruise ships or in the top casinos in Monte Carlo and Las Vegas. Competition is stiff and you will have to pass an “audition”, though the job can be very rewarding.
Once experienced, a croupier can progress to being a gaming inspector, managing two dealing tables. Inspectors check compliance with company procedures and standards and with the Gaming Act. Working under the direction of a “pit boss”, inspectors look out for suspicious behaviour, act as initial arbiters of any disputes with players, and check that large payouts are justified and correct.
Finding Croupier jobs
According to the Gambling Commission, around 32 million adults participate in some form of gambling every year in the UK alone. Thanks to this keen interest, there are numerous casinos open up and down the country, all of which are always likely to be on the lookout for talented new croupiers. Check with the casinos themselves for any opportunities, as new positions may not always be openly advertised.
Alternatively, there are also a number of specialist agencies working to place talented and qualified croupiers in casino jobs, such as Seefar Associates, which also provides personnel for cruise ship casinos.
- Visit the Gambling Commission website for more information on licensing.
- Croupier’s can work late into the night in high pressure situations. If you have concerns about the effects this might have on you, read this guide to your rights regarding work place stress.