Monday, August 20, 2007

Manic Monday - Deal Me In!

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I've been a 911 dispatcher for so many years now that I think I have lost count but I've also worked a lot of other jobs in my many years. One of my very favorite part-time jobs was as a blackjack dealer at the Mohegan Sun Casino here in Connecticut.
I have always loved the game of blackjack and enjoyed playing the few times I was in Vegas or at Lake Tahoe when I could get a low limit table. As much as I liked playing, I didn't like losing money which is inevitable unless you're a professional - which I'm not. Rather than lose my own money, I decided to try giving dealing a hand and was able to get into a class at the Sun back in the summer of 2001.

For eight weeks I went to Dealer School every Saturday and Sunday for eight hours. At School I learned card handling, chip handling, math in relation to pay-outs, customer service, security - a lot more than what one might think. At the end of School you had to pass an audition before you could actually get out on the floor and become a real Dealer.

Because one of my brothers works surveillance at the Sun, I could only work the 5:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. shift and let me tell you, there were times when I couldn't for the life of me figure out how I made it out onto the floor for 4:50 a.m. when I had worked my full-time job at the PD until 10:30 the night before. Regular readers might remember how much I hate mornings, right? Yep, I really hated mornings then! But I wanted to deal and that was the only time I could do it so I would haul myself out of bed and hit the casino floor and hope for a busy table.

One of the biggest downsides to dealing is when there is no one playing at your table because - boy o' boy - can the time crawl by! You try standing behind a table for 60 minutes at a stretch with your hands in visible site at all times and see what fun it isn't! I always knew I was in for a great day when I would report to my assigned pit for the day and find out that I was doing a relief rotation. A relief dealer has three tables assigned to them and you relieve the dealer at each table for a twenty minute break every hour. I'd do three different tables in an hour, take a 20 minute break myself, and then start the string all over again. People either loved me or hated me as a relief dealer as I was either coming back to the table to get rid of a tough dealer for 20 minutes or I was there to wreak havoc on the people at the table until the "nice" dealer came back. I never took it personally because it wasn't - it was just the nature of the game.

I loved the interaction with people who would sit down at my table to play, especially if it was a group of friends out to have a good time. There were times when I had some real miserable SOBs at the table - people that I knew had a problem and were gambling away the rent money - but I always tried to be personable and polite as they were customers and they were supposed to be there to have a good time. At least that was my hope!

I gave away a lot of money and I took away a lot of money over the course of the 8 months that I was able to keep up that brutal schedule. I was always happiest when people won, and not just because that meant they were tipping the dealer, but because it made me happy to see someone take a little of the casino's money out the door with them. I knew how happy I felt when I would play in the past and occasionally win and I wanted people to take home that same feeling.

Anyhow, it's been a long time since I've stood on the dealer's side of the table or even sat on the player's side but I still like the game. It's the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat all at the turn of a card!

Mohegan Sun Casino

Oh, I also dealt a few other novelty games including Caribbean Stud Poker but there were very rarely any studs at the table and I was certainly no where near the Caribbean! Sort of seemed like false advertising but it was still kind of fun! For more fun, head over to Mo's and see what else he's dealt out for Manic Monday fun!

22 comments:

  1. I like to go in Casinos to play Roulette, but cards is not my cup of tea at all ! But I am a very careful player and take no risks must be boring for a dealer, lol !

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  2. I'm more of a slots girl myself.. when we were in Vegas for our wedding, I sat down at a $5 blackjack table with $20. Four hands later it was gone! :( So right back to the slots went I and the rest of my money :) I didn't win anything big, but it was still a fun weekend!

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  3. I find it's fascinating to hear about your job at the casino. Did you read "Bringing Down the House?" You would love it. I always wondered, if you are dealing with so much money, dealers must be paid well, right? I'm curious.

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  4. This separated at birth business has to stop somewhere. It's lucky I'm not independently wealthy or way to much time would be spent playing Black Jack. As it is, a couple of times a year (short, short) trip to a casino and playing for pinto beans at home will have to do me.

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  5. wow!! That would be a fun job to be a dealer, but you are right about the down time--that could be a killer. Great post! Happy Monday.

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  6. I didn't know you were a casino dealer! A brand new casino just opened near here.
    I'm with Tisha - more of a slots girl myself. I've never played cards in a casino.
    Maybe when we go to Vegas...

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  7. Totally cool! I'd never would ahve guessed you dealt cards...That's quite interesting.

    Not much of gamblers here...Hubby says that our idea of gambling is giving the kids thier allowance! LOL!

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  8. I had no idea that you were a blackjack dealer. How fun. Well, it does sound fun. What a great post on deal. Have a great MM. :)

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  9. wow! that is an exciting job.

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  10. With that schedule, I'm surprised you lasted as long as you did. You must've REALLY enjoyed Blackjack! I remember working @ the "other casino" for two years. Good experience, but it got old after awhile. One good thing came of it though, it's where I met "Mrs. Bulldog", when she came to work in the same dept. as me.

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  11. How much fun could that have been being a Black Jack dealer?!?! I only play black jack at home... my favorite at the casinos are the slots.

    SMOOCHES~

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  12. That's a good dealers-view of things.

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  13. Nice looking place, never been there but have seen poker from there on TV

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  14. i don't usually gamble but it looks like fun there! and sarge loves to go...

    smiles, bee

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  15. So, can we go to Vegas together and hang out at the tables?! I need an insider like you to lead me in the right direction! heh heh heh

    GREAT MM post.

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  16. If I ever get to a casino again, I'll still stick with the slots. Don't trust myself with cards as I can't keep track of them very well.
    I had no idea you had to have that much training to be a dealer though. Interesting, veddy interesting!

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  17. what a varied career you have had!

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  18. I can just imagine the interesting people you got to meet...

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  19. I always thought that would be a cool job to have. I never thought about how tedious it could be to stand around at an empty table.

    Happy MM!

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  20. There is quite a bit more to being a dealer than I thought. Looks so glamorous. But what fun that you did it!

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  21. I never knew there was so much involved! Great to read more about you multitalented lady! :)

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  22. Who knew you had so many different talents?!?!? I used to play a little Blackjack but now I limit myself to penny slots...what can I say, I'm a coward when it comes to losing money.

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