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How Do You Become a Poker Dealer?

Being a poker dealer is an exciting job. You get to be in on the action, offering support and structure for skilled poker players, all while getting paid. Those excited about becoming a poker dealer might want to jump in without a second thought. However, before you can get a job, you need to know how to become a poker dealer.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to become a poker dealer, you’re in the right place. It isn’t as easy as stepping food inside a casino and asking for a job - there are many prerequisites you must have. Keep reading to learn more about the qualifications for becoming a poker dealer, if a degree is necessary, and other helpful information.

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Qualifications for Becoming a Poker Dealer

Like any other job, there are qualifications you must have to become a poker dealer. Some casinos hire those right off the street, but that’s rare. Most poker dealers must have met several qualifications before they can be hired and placed on staff as a poker dealer at a professional casino location. 

Here are a few of the qualifications necessary for becoming a poker dealer:

      Knowledge of the game

      Basic foundational skills course, typically 4-8 weeks

      Residency near a casino

From this point, the casino will build up the dealers and hire them or send them off to another casino location.

Moreover, it’s a good idea to know all the rules for various poker games before becoming a professional poker dealer. A foundational understanding of this information will make you look professional and will ensure you’re able to handle the games without reading a piece of paper the entire time.

Is a Degree Necessary for Becoming a Poker Dealer?

A degree isn’t necessary to become a poker dealer. However, there are some significant advantages to those who have a degree when compared to those who don’t. If you want to learn as much as you can about the industry before becoming a poker dealer, there are a few degrees you can achieve.

Common degrees earned by poker dealers include:


      Hospitality Management


Many schools, such as the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, offer majors in items like hospitality with a minor concentration on topics such as gaming. Those who want leverage over their competition when applying for jobs on the casino floor might benefit from achieving at least a bachelor’s degree in a casino area of their choice. 

Related: Do You Need a Degree to Work in a Casino?

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Is it Hard to Become a Poker Dealer?

Although a few formal qualifications are recommended for becoming a poker dealer, there are far fewer than other jobs on the market. If you’re looking at it from an angle of practicality, it isn’t tricky to become a poker dealer. It also will cost less to become qualified than someone who wants to be a lawyer or a doctor.

Of course, to be a poker dealer, you will need to be adept at the following:

      Poker rules

      Mental math



      Attention to detail

You are more than just a worker on the casino floor. Poker dealers should be able to know the rules of poker, deal with the cards and chips, converse with the players, wait for each hand to be up, and calculate various odds and winnings. It’s a fast-paced job.

Also, being a poker dealer means you must perform your job amidst the hustle and bustle of the casino floor. Often, there will be loud music, intense conversations, and light noises from slot machines and other games. The job isn’t made for everyone. 

Related: UNLV: How it Supports Students Entering the Gaming Industry

Do Poker Dealers Make Good Money?

If you become a poker dealer and are excellent at your job, there is the potential to make some excellent money. Typically, the money you will make as a poker dealer will vary depending on your experience and where you are a poker dealer. Someone at a small offshoot casino will make less than one at the Mirage in Las Vegas.

Poker dealers reportedly make $20-$100 an hour, with Glassdoor reporting that a standard annual salary for this position is $45,000-$78,000. There is also the potential to earn more money in tips, bonuses, commissions, and profit sharing. 

It will take work to make excellent money as a poker dealer. However, it’s worth it if you love the idea of working and living a lifestyle based on the luxury casino environment.

Where Do Poker Dealers Make the Most Money?

If you’re determined to become a poker dealer and want to make the most money, it’s an excellent idea to know where to work. This includes the physical state where the casino is located and the company that created the casino - each will impact your annual salary in a standard work year.

The states where poker dealers make the most include the following:


      New York

      South Dakota




Surprisingly, Nevada isn’t a top contender on this list. When looking at specific casino entities, the top payers to work for if you’re a poker dealer include Wynn, Caesars, PENN, Parx, and MGM. All these locations pay more than $50,000 per year, and they have casino locations in multiple states for those who don’t want to work in Las Vegas.

Final Thoughts

To become a poker dealer, you typically need to take a 4-8 week foundational course on poker dealing and achieve a residency at a casino. For some people, a bachelor’s or master’s degree might be an excellent addition. Some poker dealers can make an excellent income, and it’s very exciting if you want to be right in the middle of the action.

We hope this information was helpful! Although the requirements to become a poker dealer aren’t as intense as if you wanted to be a doctor, there are still qualifications put in place for a reason. Carefully consider your options if poker dealing is in your future.

You May Also Enjoy: How to Play Poker (The Basics)

Becoming a poker dealer | Dealing poker | Poker dealer | Casino industry | Gaming industry | Unlv

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