Step-by-Step Guide on How to Become a Professional Poker Dealer

Are you a fan of poker and interested in making a career out of it? If so, poker dealing can be a great option for you. As a poker dealer, you will have the opportunity to work in some of the most glamorous casinos in the world, meet different people from various backgrounds, and earn a good income.

However, just like any other profession, becoming a poker dealer requires some essential steps and skills. In this article, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to become a poker dealer, including the required skills, training, and certification. So, if you are ready, let’s dive into the world of poker dealing together.

Qualities of a Good Poker Dealer

Being a poker dealer requires certain skills and qualities to perform well and create a positive experience for players. Here are some of the qualities that a good poker dealer should have:

  • Good communication skills: A poker dealer needs to be able to communicate clearly and effectively with players, especially when announcing deals or calling out actions during the game.
  • Confidence: A good poker dealer needs to be confident in their abilities and decisions, especially when dealing with difficult players or situations.
  • Attention to detail: A poker dealer must be accurate and pay close attention to each player's actions, bets, and chips on the table.
  • Quick thinking: In fast-paced games, a good poker dealer must be able to make quick decisions and know the rules of the game inside and out.
  • Maintaining a professional demeanor: A dealer must maintain a professional and impartial demeanor at all times, regardless of the outcome of the game or behavior of the players.
  • Customer service-oriented: Providing excellent customer service is key to being a successful poker dealer. A good dealer should be friendly, welcoming, and courteous to all players at the table.

Know the Rules of the Poker Games

Poker is a game of skill and strategy that involves a lot of rules and variations. As a poker dealer, it is crucial to know the different types of poker games, their rules, and how they are played LeoVegas.

The most popular form of poker is Texas Hold'em, but other types of poker games include Omaha Hold'em, Seven-Card Stud, Razz, and Five-Card Draw. Each of these games has different rules, and it is essential to familiarize yourself with them in order to deal effectively.

As a dealer, you will also need to know the ranking of poker hands, including high card, one pair, two pairs, three of a kind, straight, flush, full house, four of a kind, straight flush, and royal flush. You will be required to identify which hand is the winning one in any given game.

In addition to knowing the rules, it is also important to keep up to date with any changes or updates made to the game. For example, the introduction of new rules in some poker games, such as No-Limit Hold'em, can have a significant impact on the gameplay, and as a dealer, you need to be aware of these changes.

Learn the Basic Poker Skills

Before you can become a poker dealer, it's essential to develop a basic understanding of the game. Understanding the rules of poker and different variations of the game is a necessary foundation for becoming a skilled dealer.

Aside from the game rules, you should also develop an understanding of the basic poker strategies and commonly used terminologies. Familiarize yourself with the different types of poker hands and their rankings, as well as the different stages of betting in a game.

To gain a deeper understanding of the nuances of the game, consider watching professional poker games or attending live games at a casino. Observing the gameplay, the different hand rankings, and listening to the interactions between players can help you familiarize yourself with poker's finer points.

  • Key Takeaway: Knowledge of the game rules, strategies, terminologies, and gameplay are essential for becoming a skilled poker dealer.

Study and Practice for the Poker Dealer Exam

In order to become a successful poker dealer, it is important to study and practice for the dealer exam. This includes learning the rules of the game, understanding the ranking of poker hands, and familiarizing yourself with common terminology and procedures.

One way to study is to use online resources such as videos, articles, and forums. These can provide valuable information on the inner workings of the game and give you an idea of what to expect during your exam.

In addition to studying, it is also crucial to practice dealing in a simulated environment. You can do this at home with friends or family, or by attending a poker dealing school or training program. The more hands you deal, the better you will become at managing the cards and chips, and the faster you will be able to move through the game.

  • Tip: Don't be afraid to ask for feedback and constructive criticism from your practice partners or instructors. This can help you identify areas for improvement and fine-tune your skills.

Overall, the key to passing the dealer exam is to be confident in your knowledge and abilities. With dedication and practice, you can become a skilled poker dealer and embark on an exciting career in the gaming industry.

Explore the Different Types of Poker Dealer Jobs

At a Casino

If you want to work as a poker dealer at a casino, there are a variety of different jobs available. You could work in a small poker room at a local casino, or take on a more high-stakes job at a larger Vegas casino. Some casinos even offer dealer training programs to help you learn the ropes.

As a casino dealer, you'll be responsible for shuffling, dealing, and collecting bets during poker games. You'll also have to keep track of the pot, and be able to spot cheaters who try to get an unfair advantage. It can be a fast-paced, exciting job, but it can also be stressful and demanding.

At a Private Event

If you're not interested in working at a casino, you can also find poker dealer jobs at private events. These events can range from small house parties to large corporate gatherings. As a dealer for a private event, you'll be responsible for making sure everyone is playing by the rules, and that the game runs smoothly.

You'll also need to be able to handle any issues that arise during the game, such as disputes over bets or rule violations. It can be a fun and rewarding job, especially if you enjoy interacting with people and being a part of special events.


If you prefer to work from home, there are also opportunities to become an online poker dealer. Online poker sites hire dealers to control the action in virtual poker rooms, just like in a real casino. You'll need to be familiar with the rules of poker and have excellent computer skills to succeed in this job.

As an online poker dealer, you'll interact with players using chat functions, and you'll need to be able to handle multiple games at once. It's a job that requires a lot of focus and attention to detail, but it can also be a great way to make money from the comfort of your own home.

  • There are many different types of poker dealer jobs to choose from.
  • Whether you prefer working in a casino, at a private event, or online, there's a job out there for you.

Discover the Best Poker Dealer Course or Training Program

If you are serious about becoming a professional poker dealer, finding the right course or training program can set you on the right track. Before enrolling in any program, do your research to ensure that they are reputable and offer comprehensive training.

You may also want to consider online courses, as they can provide flexible scheduling and a cost-effective option. Look for courses that cover essential topics such as game rules, dealing techniques, and customer service. A good course will also provide hands-on experience with mock games and allow for individual feedback from instructors.

  • Check for Certification: Ensure that the course or program is certified by a reputable organization.
  • Consider Location: If you prefer in-person training, look for courses in your area or consider relocating for a more intensive program.
  • Read Reviews: Read reviews from past students to get an idea of the quality of instruction and support provided.

Remember that completing a course or program is only the first step. To become a skilled poker dealer, you will need to practice and refine your skills through real-world experience. With the right training and determination, you can succeed in this exciting and rewarding career path.

Get Certified as a Poker Dealer

Why Certification is Important

Getting certification as a poker dealer is important because it shows potential employers that you have the skills and knowledge needed to deal poker games. Certification ensures that you have been trained by professionals and have passed the necessary tests to be considered a qualified dealer.

Certification also gives you a competitive edge in the job market. Many casinos and card rooms require their dealers to be certified, so having this qualification can increase your chances of being hired.

How to Get Certified

To get certified as a poker dealer, you need to attend a poker dealer school or training program. These programs vary in length and price, but typically take a few weeks to complete.

During the training, you will learn the rules of poker, how to shuffle and deal cards, how to handle chips and bets, and how to interact with players. You will also have the opportunity to practice your skills through simulations and role-play scenarios.

After completing the training, you will need to pass a certification exam. The exam typically consists of a written test and a practical test where you will be observed dealing a live poker game.

Find a Certification Program Near You

There are many poker dealer certification programs available online and in-person. Some are offered by casinos or card rooms, while others are private training programs.

To find a certification program near you, do some research online or ask other poker dealers for recommendations. Look for programs that are accredited by reputable organizations and have a good reputation in the industry.

  • Research certification programs online
  • Ask other dealers for recommendations
  • Look for accredited programs
  • Choose a program with a good reputation

Apply for Poker Dealer Jobs

Now that you have completed your training and obtained your poker dealer certification, it is time to search for job openings. Many casinos and card rooms are constantly looking for experienced and qualified dealers, so you should have several options to choose from.

You can start by checking job listings on various websites, such as Indeed, Glassdoor, or Craigslist. Alternatively, you can directly visit the websites of your local casinos and card rooms and look for career opportunities. Some establishments might also have an online application form that you can fill out and submit.

When applying for poker dealer jobs, make sure to highlight your certification and any relevant experience in your resume or cover letter. If you have a particular preference for the type of establishment or game, indicate that as well. It is also important to dress professionally for job interviews and demonstrate good customer service skills.

Keep in mind that the hiring process can be competitive, especially for higher-paying jobs or positions at popular establishments. You may need to attend multiple interviews or auditions, and it might take some time to get hired. However, with perseverance and a positive attitude, you can land your dream job as a poker dealer.

Prepare for Poker Dealer Interviews

Research the Casino or Cardroom

Before your interview, research the casino or cardroom where you are applying to be a poker dealer. Familiarize yourself with their poker games, policies, and procedures to better prepare yourself for the interview questions.

Be sure to also research the dress code and expected behavior for dealers at the casino or cardroom.

Hone Your Math Skills

As a poker dealer, you will need to be quick and accurate with mental math. Preparation for your interview should include sharpening your mental math skills through practice and study.

Be sure to review basic math concepts such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Practice calculating odds and payouts to prepare yourself for potential interview questions.

Prepare Your Responses to Common Interview Questions

Practice your responses to common interview questions that are relevant to the poker dealer position. For example, you may be asked questions about dealing with difficult players or how you would handle a dispute at the table.

Prepare examples of your experience dealing with customers or handling stressful situations to help you better answer these types of interview questions.

Practice Dealing Skills

To stand out in your interview, consider practicing your dealing skills with friends or in a mock casino setting. This will not only help you feel more confident during your interview, but it will also show your potential employer that you are serious about the position.

Be sure to practice techniques such as shuffling, dealing to specific spots on the table, and handling chips.

Advancement Opportunities for Poker Dealers

One of the most attractive aspects of becoming a poker dealer is the potential for advancement in your career. As with any job, the more experience and expertise you gain, the more opportunities will become available to you.

One pathway for advancement in the poker industry is to become a floor supervisor or pit boss. This role requires a deep understanding of the game and the ability to manage both dealers and players. Floor supervisors are responsible for ensuring the game runs smoothly and in accordance with casino policies.

Another avenue for progression is to become a tournament director. Tournament directors oversee the organization and execution of large-scale poker tournaments. This role requires excellent organizational skills and the ability to manage multiple tasks simultaneously.

In addition to these specific roles, gaining experience as a poker dealer can also lead to management positions within the casino or gaming industry as a whole. Many casino managers and executives began their careers as dealers and worked their way up through the ranks.

Overall, becoming a poker dealer is an excellent starting point for a career in the gaming industry. With dedication and hard work, there are many opportunities for advancement and growth within the industry.

Pros and Cons of Being a Poker Dealer


  • Stable income: As a poker dealer, you can earn a consistent income, including tips from players.
  • Flexible work schedule: Many casinos offer flexible work schedules, allowing you to work part-time or full-time based on your availability.
  • Opportunities to socialize: You will have plenty of opportunities to meet new people and socialize with players at the table.
  • Minimal qualifications: To become a poker dealer, you don't need any formal education or experience. Most casinos will provide on-the-job training.
  • Potential for career growth: With experience and seniority, poker dealers can advance to higher-paying supervisory or management roles.


  • Long hours: Poker dealers often work long hours, including evenings, weekends, and holidays.
  • Sitting for extended periods: Poker dealing involves sitting for extended periods, which can be uncomfortable and lead to health problems over time.
  • Dealing with difficult customers: Some players may be difficult to deal with, including those who are rude or intoxicated.
  • High stress: Dealing poker can be stressful, especially when players are betting large amounts of money and the stakes are high.
  • No control over outcomes: As a dealer, you have no control over the outcomes of the games you deal, which can be frustrating for some people.

Skills Needed for a Career as a Poker Dealer

Becoming a poker dealer requires a unique set of skills that go beyond just dealing cards. A successful dealer must have strong communication skills, as they interact with players and casino staff on a regular basis.

  • Manual Dexterity: A poker dealer must have excellent manual dexterity and be able to shuffle and deal cards with precision and speed.
  • Math Abilities: Dealers must have strong mathematical skills to calculate bets, winnings, and payouts quickly and accurately.
  • Calm Under Pressure: A poker game can be intense, and dealers must remain calm and collected in high-pressure situations.
  • Customer Service: Good customer service skills are crucial for dealers, as they interact with players and provide a friendly and welcoming atmosphere at the table.
  • Observation: Dealers must be observant and pay attention to the game to ensure that players follow the rules and that there is no cheating or foul play.
  • Memory: Poker dealers must have a good memory to keep track of the cards and bets on the table, as well as recall players' names and preferences.

In addition to these skills, a poker dealer must also have a strong work ethic and be able to work long hours, as casinos operate 24/7. With the right set of skills and a passion for the game, becoming a poker dealer can be a rewarding and exciting career choice.

Poker Dealer Salary and Job Outlook


The salary of a poker dealer may vary depending on the location, casino, and experience of the dealer. However, the average hourly rate for a poker dealer in the United States is about $8 to $25. Tips are also a significant portion of a poker dealer's income and can range from $50 to $200 per day, depending on the casino and the games being dealt.

Job Outlook

The job outlook for poker dealers is relatively stable as the demand for casino games continues to grow. While new technology and online gaming may impact the need for physical dealers in some areas, there will always be a demand for skilled dealers in live casino settings.

  • Many casinos also offer opportunities for career advancement, such as becoming a floor supervisor or pit boss.
  • However, competition for dealer positions can be high, and entry-level positions may be more accessible in smaller, regional casinos.
  • Poker dealers must be willing to work evenings, weekends, and holidays, as these are peak hours for casinos.


Becoming a poker dealer can be a rewarding career choice for those who enjoy the fast-paced and exciting environment of a casino. While the salary may not be the highest in the industry, the opportunity for tips and career advancement can make up for it. As long as people continue to enjoy playing poker and other casino games, the demand for skilled and professional poker dealers will remain strong.

Tips for Becoming a Successful Poker Dealer

1. Know the Rules

As a poker dealer, it's essential to know all the rules of the game. Study various game variations, including Texas Hold'em, 7-Card Stud, and Omaha Hold'em. Understand the different hand rankings and betting procedures for each game variation.

2. Practice Proper Shuffling Techniques

You need to shuffle the deck correctly to maintain the integrity of the game. Practice different shuffling techniques daily, like the riffle shuffle, stripping shuffle, and Hindu shuffle. Master the art of shuffling, cutting, and dealing the cards without exposing the cards.

3. Maintain a Clear Head

As a poker dealer, you'll experience good and bad days. It's essential to maintain a clear head when dealing with difficult players or rude comments. Keep your emotions in check and remain professional. Remember, your role is to manage the game and ensure fair gameplay for everyone.

4. Enhance Your Communication Skills

Good communication is essential in any profession, and poker dealing is no exception. As a dealer, you must be able to communicate clearly and effectively with players and management. Practice proper verbal and nonverbal cues, including tone, body language, and eye contact.

5. Develop Your Math Skills

Poker dealing involves constantly calculating pot odds and payouts. You must have good math skills to perform these tasks accurately. Practice your mental math skills daily and familiarize yourself with different payout structures.

6. Stay Up-to-Date with Industry Trends

Like any other profession, the poker industry is constantly evolving. Stay up-to-date with current industry trends and regulations. Attend industry conferences, read poker blogs, and network with other poker dealers to keep up-to-date with the latest developments.

By following these tips, you can become a successful poker dealer and elevate your career in the poker industry.

Frequently Asked Questions about Poker Dealing

What are the requirements to become a poker dealer?

Generally, dealers need to have a high school diploma or equivalent and be at least 18 years old. They also need to complete a training program and obtain a gaming license.

What does the training program for poker dealing entail?

The training program usually covers the rules and procedures of the game as well as the mechanics of dealing. It may include both classroom instruction and hands-on practice.

Do poker dealers make good money?

Poker dealers can earn a good living through a combination of hourly wages and tips. The amount of money a dealer makes can vary depending on the casino and the location.

Is there room for advancement in the poker dealing profession?

Sure, some dealers may advance to become supervisors or managers, while others may move on to other positions in the casino. It all depends on individual experience and qualifications.

What are some important skills that poker dealers need to have?

Poker dealers need to have excellent customer service skills, good communication skills, and be able to work well under pressure. They must also be able to handle money and chips accurately and efficiently.