Press Coverage and Testimonials
Nick Kallos and Casino Gaming School are frequently mentioned in
articles related to casinos, gaming and dealing. A few examples are show
Also, be sure to check our "Nick
on TV" page to see the TV shows that have featured our school.
Education in ... Las Vegas?
By Pauline Frommer
Frommer's Travel Guides, May 8, 2007
Care to know how the
residents of Las Vegas live? How they learn their trades, hone
their skills, pursue their ambitions, and kick back? In a city
as weird as this one, those subjects can be more interesting
than you'd think.
In Vegas, the American Dream is built on tips -- gratuities.
Thousands come here every month because they know that the lack
of a college degree won't hold them back as it will in other
parts of the United States; that a high school graduate, or
someone who never even made it that far, can earn between
$45,000 and $70,000 a year just parking cars. Skilled jobs offer
potentially bigger rewards. To help newcomers acquire those
skills a number of schools and classes have sprung up around
Most common are the "dealer schools," where anybody who's
reasonably math-savvy and coordinated can learn how to rook all
of us vacationers . . . er, I mean deal cards. Some are
fly-by-night operations, to be sure, but there's one with such
an impeccable reputation and track record that it's considered
the Harvard of gaming schools.
That standout, the Casino Gaming School (900 E. Karen Ave.,
Suites 216, 218, 220; tel. 702/893-1788; www.learntodeal.com),
is run from a large second-floor suite at the back of the
Commercial Center strip mall. Admittedly, it has no ivied walls
or campus. But despite its faceless, somewhat grubby appearance,
this is a dedicated center of learning, as intense in its own
way as an Ivy League university. And that's largely due to the
efforts of owner Nick Kallos, a slight fellow with bristly
salt-and-pepper hair and a goatee, who has the looks and manner
of a more-groomed Ratso Rizzo, but the enthusiasm, energy, and
love of teaching of a Mr. Chips. Nick and his staff of veteran
dealers (every teacher here has at least 5 years' experience
working in a major casino) patiently teach novices the rules and
rituals of each game.
Because the school is always looking for new students, they
allow outsiders to come in and audit classes for free. You can
stay for an entire morning or afternoon session, or come and go
as you please. You don't even have to pretend to reside in the
city. The no-nonsense but ultimately friendly Kallos, whose
school has appeared in numerous Travel Channel specials, is
rightly proud of his operation and welcoming of visitors.
Watching a session has varied pleasures. You'll definitely come
away with some strategies for your own gambling. If you're like
me you'll also leave with an appreciation for the complexity of
the dealer's work. I spent about 10 minutes on my last visit
just watching students practicing the mechanics of the job: One
fellow pitched cards endlessly on a blackjack table ("You want
Ray Charles to be able to read that from across the room," the
teacher next to him exhorted) as another worked on picking up
the chips without spraying them all over the table (harder than
it looks; it's all in the pinkie), while still a third would-be
craps "stickman" arched his stick in the air over and over,
working to cleanly pull the die aside in a movement that seemed
to have as much to do with fencing as gambling. "It's not brain
surgery," says Kallos, "but it does take time and practice."
Just as intriguing to peek in on are the sessions discussing
various strategies for blackjack, poker, and the like. Anyone
who enjoys gambling will get a kick out of hearing an insider's
point of view on these topics.
Tokes and Mokes!
By Kimo Akane
KimosVegas.com, Jan 1, 2006
I've noticed that local folks
are usually generous tippers. This observation has been
supported by the many dealers, waitresses, maids and others
I've spoken with. "Hawaii people are great... always happy
and good tippers" is a familiar refrain. Generosity is part
of our nature our mana, our Aloha spirit. We do it without
thinking and without expectations it's as innate to us as
I've done my share of over tipping for the right and wrong
reasons but what I've always wanted to know was... what the
baseline should be. Then you can be generous or tight as
We all know that the usual and customary tip for nice sit
down meal is 18%. But how much should you tip the dealer?
When should you tip the dealer? What about the change person
in the slot area? What about the maid, the bell captain and
Most people in Las Vegas do not earn great salaries but they
don't pay State income tax this coupled with a low cost of
living makes for a good lifestyle if you can take the heat.
Because most of the jobs are in the service industry just
about everyone supplements their income with tips.
Tipping is a personal choice and the following guidelines
should be a good starting point. Give a little less if the
dealer is no fun and more if they are watching out for you.
One of the least understood tipping protocols involves
tipping (or toke-ing in the casino vernacular) the dealer.
Who better to answer the question than Nick Kallos Owner of
the Casino Gaming School of Las Vegas. They have taught more
Vegas dealers than anyone else.
So when should we tip a dealer? Nick says "a good rule of
thumb is when you double your buy in. If your initial buy in
is $20 you should toke the dealer when you are ahead $20. If
you buy in for a $100 and you've got $200 in front of you
that's a good time to toke the dealer".
Tipping or toke-ing the dealer is a very personal thing and
gamblers can be superstitious preferring only to toke when
they are leaving the table. Other players chose to tip as
How do you toke the dealer? Again this is as individual as
the player. One thing to remember is the dealer can never
take anything from your hands. All exchanges must be placed
on the table.
Some like to just give the dealer the tip... put the chip(s)
down and say "this is for you" or "thank you".
Another way to toke the dealer and most dealers prefer this
is to place a bet for the dealer. You can put this wager on
the felt in front of your wager or to the right of your bet
(depending on the layout). Some players may even place a
dealer bet on top of their own wager. When you put the
dealers toke on your wager you are under no obligation to
give it to the dealer.
Dealers are not allowed to press bets made on their behalf
(let the bet ride for double the wager).
How much should you tip? Nick advises that if you buy in for
$20 a buck or two after you double-up is appropriate and $5
is a fair amount after you've doubled your $100 buy-in.
What if you've doubled your buy-in but are still down for
your trip? Well now that's a personal choice.
Remember a tip for the dealer is really a tip for ALL the
dealers as most casinos split the tip money between all the
dealers. Sometimes this is done by shift or game but it's
almost always split.
Vegas Radio Show
by Kimo Akane
This week an all new Kimo’s
Vegas TV show, we’ll chat with the guy who's taught almost
every dealer in Vegas, Nick Kallos.
Listen to Kimo's radio interview with Nick Kallos!
(Fast forward to 31 minutes, 45 seconds)
Do you have to be a math wizard to be a casino dealer?
By Sin City USA
Yahoo Answers, July 31, 2007
If you can count up to 10
then you can do the job. The school is not that hard, it's
just knowing the rules of any game that you deal, and
practicing over and over again till you have it down. I am a
poker dealer here in Las Vegas and I went to the Casino
Gaming School of Nevada. It is on Karen Ave and is run by
Nick Kallos. His school is one of the best in all of Las
Vegas for sure. Go to
www.learn2deal.com and you can see what it is all about.
It took me 3 months to get to the point where I was good
enough to go for a job, but some only spend 1-2 months there
before they go out for a job. The hardest part for me was
learning how to pitch the cards right, and knowing what was
in each pot, it takes a little time to do it right. For
example if you have two side pots, and a main pot, you have
to know what is in each one so you can rake the right amount
from each. But the more you do, it the better you will get
at it. The only downside is the stress in the job, and the
fact that you will have to start at a low level casino for a
year or two before you can move up to a prime job. Most
casinos will hire you onto there extra board, this means on
call for the most part, and you will get a lot of weird
shifts as well, plus you may even start of as a chip runner
at first. But this is the way it works.
As far as going for a job, just hit the casinos and ask
them if you can show them how you deal your game, never ask
if they are hiring dealers, and never just call, always go
in person dressed in your black and whites. If they agree to
take a look at you, they will have you enter a real game,
just do the best you can and when you get tapped out they
will tell you what they liked, and what they did not. Also
give any tips to the dealer that taps you out because it is
his table you are at, and it is his tips you are taking.
So make sure your game is good enough that your not
wasting the floor managers time in the first place. If they
like you they will send you to H.R. to fill out an
application. Then if they hire you, you will have a drug
test, and orientation classes, then you can get to work. I
like what I do, and even though I had to rough it out at
first I can't see myself doing anything else. Just make sure
you have positive out-look and good people skills are a
must. If you don't like other people I would not do this for
a living. Fees can differ from school to school, but most
are 200-300 for one game, or 500 for any two games, besides
poker. Poker in the school I went to was 799.00, and it was
well worth it. good luck.
Additional Comments by same author on May 7, 2007:
I deal poker in Las Vegas and I went to a professional
dealers school [Casino Gaming School] of Las Vegas.
It is owned by Nick Kallos, he has been featured on many
shows on the travel channel and other shows. You can go to
and see for yourself. His school is the most respected in
all of Las Vegas. If you walk into a casino card room,
everyone knows who Nick Kallos is. He has been in business
for over 20 years. I think it's 399.00 plus tax to learn
HOURS OF OPERATION
Hours are 9:00 am to 7:00 pm,
Monday through Friday.
Learn To Deal:
Click on any
game for more information.