How to Audition for a Casino Dealing Job
The casino audition process is critical to landing a dealing job. When you pass your final audition before graduating, I’ll give you a run-through but here are some tips.
The Casino Audition
Here’s what you need to know about auditions. Some of these things are more important than the actual test itself.
The appearance factor is very important. I’ve had guys come in with baggy pants, chains, a Harley belt and a short sleeve shirt. I tell them: black shoes, black socks, long-sleeve white shirt, crisp and clean. Most guys think “crisp and clean” means you go to J.C. Penney’s, buy a shirt and take the pins out — and now you’re ready to go. It still has that right-out-of-the box effect with creases and pin holes. That won’t work. You need a clean, pressed shirt.
Once we get past the clothes it’s onward and upward. Ladies should have modest makeup and men should be clean shaven. Hair should be cut with a nice neat look. Men with pony tails need to cut them off — you can’t tuck it into your shirt. If you want a dealing job you’ll need to do what’s necessary to get it. You’ve got to cut your hair.
Ladies, I suggest that you draw your hair back in a bun. You don’t want hair falling in your face while you’re dealing. Your long hair prevents the casino from seeing your eyes. This makes it difficult for the floor person to see how you’re reacting to customers.
You’re going to get tested every time you’re considered for a casino job so don’t even think about using drugs. You could fail to get the job just because you partied that weekend. Or you could lose your dealing job if the casino does a random drug test.
The company will run background checks on you through NCIC and Interpol. If you’ve ever had any “James Bond” activities in your life they’ll show up in these systems. Don’t lie on your job application because they will find out. Be honest, put everything down and accept the fact that it will be checked.
You will also have a financial background check. If you have financial problems it may affect your chances of getting the job. But again, tell the truth on the application.
Which Games Will They Test Me On?
The main games are Blackjack, Roulette, Craps, Poker, Mini Baccarat and Pai Gow Poker. If they ask you which games you deal, these are they only ones you should list. And only list a game if you are good at dealing it, not if you’re still learning it. Other card games such as War, Three-Card Poker and Let It Ride are considered “carnival games” by the casinos. Don’t bother listing them on your application. You can literally learn these games in a few minutes.
How to Get an Audition
I tell students to have their black & whites in their car on Monday morning. If we get a call from a casino then I’ll send out our most recent graduates to that audition. We’ll set up a specific time and the casino will be expecting you. You’ll be given the name of the floor person. Ask for that person, introduce yourself, and tell them you’re from Casino Gaming School.
If there are no calls we’ll send you out with a list of all of the break-in casinos and tell you who to talk to.
We have relationships with the better “break in” casinos in Las Vegas. Many of these are off the strip but they provide the best environment for breaking into the business.
Dealers who break in at these smaller casinos often move up through the ranks and get better jobs faster than someone whose first job was on the Strip. When you start at a smaller casino you get a real sense of appreciation for the job, and this will help you as you move up to a larger casino.
Setting Up Your Own Audition
If you walk into a casino to ask about auditioning, always be in your “black & whites” because they may give you an audition on the spot.
Always use eye contact when you introduce yourself to the floor person. Say something like “Hi, my name is Nick Kallos. I’m a graduate of Casino Gaming School and I’d like to get an interview and an audition.” Note that you aren’t asking for a “job”.
Even if they don’t have an opening, they may make an opening for you if you are very good.
Depending on the casino, you may be interviewed before or after your audition. They’ll ask if you have any previous dealing experience. If you do have previous dealing experience, you’ll want to compliment that casino when you’re asked about it. Never badmouth your previous employer. You can always say you’re thankful they gave you your break into the business. That’s a humble approach. They don’t want to hire an arrogant person.
Dealing in a Live Game
Unless you’re auditioning at a very small casino, the floor person will ask you to tap into a live game. In a smaller casino the floor person may audition you, but in a busy casino they’ll walk you into the pit and you’ll tap out a dealer.
The dealer will step off to one side — she’ll be out of your way but available if you have a problem. You’re taking over a live game with real cards, real players and real money. And it’s in real time. It’s not like in our school where you can stop everything and correct a mistake. You can’t back things up. If you make a mistake you must to ask the dealer or your floor person for help.
If you don’t know how to pay something, don’t fumble with the chips or make a guess. Pause a moment and think about it, or if you simply don’t know, ask the dealer or floor person. If you make a mistake on the table there can be a snowball effect, especially if you’re trying to deal faster than your mind and hands can work together. Take a deep breath and correct the mistake before moving on to the next hand. Never make a payment or any financial move unless you are confident that you are doing it correctly.
The Importance of Personality
I tell my students that if they don’t have a personality they need to buy one somewhere. The casinos like dealers who are outgoing because part of your dealing job will involve a little sales and marketing. There are always things like player’s cards, shows and events to promote. The casinos want their players to have a good overall experience at the table. Talking and being friendly is part of the game.
If you’re really too nervous to talk and deal during your audition, don’t try it. Just approach the table and say, “It’s my first audition and I’m a little nervous but we’ll have some fun and we’re all going to win some money. Good luck.” Smile and be friendly. The players will probably be extra nice to you, and the floor person will be impressed that you introduced yourself and wished everyone good luck.
If you are comfortable talking, that’s great but never slow down or stop the game to talk. The game has to keep flowing, otherwise the casino isn’t making any money.
How You Are Evaluated
The really great pit bosses will evaluate you for accuracy, personality and attitude. The critical issue is not speed at that point. The floor people don’t expect magic. They know you’re nervous. They’ll look at the shuffle, the strip, the pitch, the turn and the spread to be neat and clean. They’re looking for a dealer that doesn’t make mistakes, especially with the casino’s money.
After the floor person has observed you for a few minutes he’ll ask the dealer to tap you out. As you leave, thank the players and wish them good luck.
After the Audition
The floor person will usually give you some feedback on your performance. If the floor person doesn’t offer you a job on the spot, he might tell you that you did a nice job but your game is a little slow. He might say “Go back to school for another week and come back and see me on Thursday.” This is good news because they just want you to clean up your game a bit. They know you have potential. There’s a good chance you’ll get hired on your next audition.
On the other hand, they might just tell you they don’t need you. If that happens then you know you did poorly at that table. This sometimes happens on the first audition because of nervousness but it’s just part of the process. Come back to me and explain what happened. Then we’ll work on your weaknesses so you’ll do better next time. You’ll also feel more confident on your next audition because you’ll know what to expect.
Thanks for the Audition
After your audition, regardless of how it went, extend your hand and say “Thank you for the try” or “Thank you for taking the time to audition me. I appreciate it very much.”