My name is Heather Ferris and I am going to be teaching you how to pass an audition when you want to be a casino dealer.
First you have to get an audition. You can’t pass an audition if you don’t have an audition. The first thing you do is put in an application. Usually there will be an interview session before the audition. They want to get to know your personality, they want to know what kind of person you are. If you pass that first interview, then you will go on to the audition. When you pass the audition that’s when you will get hired as a dealer.
When you go to the audition, of course like any audition, you want to be clean. You want your hair to be done. You want your makeup to be on. You want to be wearing your salt and peppers. When I say salt and peppers, what I am talking about is a white collared buttoned down shirt with long sleeves, black pants, black shoes and black socks. Those are known as your salt and peppers. That is the attire that you want to wear when you go on an audition.
What are casino managers looking for when they audition dealers? The first thing casino managers are looking for is your personality. Are you friendly? Do you smile with customers? Do you talk with them? Are you engaging? How personable are you? If you don’t talk to the players, you’re mean, or have a straight face, you’re a little huffy or you are a little silent, they are not looking for that. They are not looking for that in a dealer. They want someone that can both deal the cards and be friendly and personable and talk with people at the same time.
Personality is a huge, huge, huge portion of what they look for when they are hiring a dealer. The reason why is because if you have a casino dealer that is friendly, personable, they will talk to the players and will keep the players chatting for hours at a time. This keeps people on the table. The longer players stay on the table, the more money the casinos make. So they don’t want a dealer who is stone faced, rude, cold, you know! Those dealers drive players away. Then the casino can’t make a profit. If you have a dealer who can deal the cards reasonably well, and they can smile, and talk. If the player is losing. If the player is not having fun, nobody is having fun. Certain types of dealers can distract the players by talking about their lives, or what they did for vacation, or if they have similar interests. They can talk about that. That is very engaging with the players. Again if the players are having fun, if the players like you the dealer, if they feel like you are their friend and they can sit and talk with you for hours at a time, that is what the casinos want. Again, it keeps players at the table making more money for the casinos.
Demonstrate Dealing Skills
The second thing they are looking for is your dealer skills. You don’t have to have excellent dealing skills to get hired as a dealer. Especially if you are a break-in dealer. If you are a break-in dealer you have never dealt before. This is your first audition to your first casino, do not sweat it! If you make a mistake that’s okay we will talk about that in a second. Do not sweat it! They realize that you’re dealing skills are not very good, especially as a break-in dealer. And they are not going to care. For break-in houses I should say, they don’t care if you can deal, if you can’t deal and the reason why is they will teach you how they want you to deal. So even though you went to school and paid all that money for school and then you finally go and you get an interview and an audition at your first break-in house, they are going to teach you a whole new way of dealing. You will learn how to deal at the dealing school, but now the casino is going to teach you how to deal. That is just part of it. That is why I say, you don’t really have to spend money for those dealing schools. If you practice at home, if you know certain information, you have someone you can ask questions to, like myself, you can get a job. You can get an audition, you can be a dealer without having to pay to go to dealing school. As a breakin-in dealer you are going to learn all this stuff over again anyway. So that is one thing.
If you are already a dealer and you want to get into a bigger casino, then they will be a little more strict about dealing skills because they expect you to know what you are doing. Let’s say if you are a dealer over at the New Orleans, and you want to become a dealer at the Venetian, yeah dealing skills are going to matter. They are going to look at that. So it really depends on what casino you go to.
What happens if you make a mistake?
If you are auditioning, you are like sweating bullets, you are nervous, it’s normal. It’s like stage fright. Actually it is very similar to stage fright, because when you are dealing you are an entertainer! You are on stage. You are on for these people. You are supposed to be doing certain actions at a certain time, while having a good personality and keeping up a conversation. It’s hard! There’s a lot to it. It’s hard. Mistakes are going to happen. It’s normal. Totally normal. I have had people that have been dealing for 20 years and they still make mistakes. Everybody makes mistakes. The casinos recognize this. So if you do make a mistake, especially on your audition, they understand that you are nervous and it’s not going to be as big of a deal. Just take a couple deep breaths, tell yourself you are doing great and go ahead and continue. It’s not a big deal. You don’t have to worry about it.
If you are on an audition, you will typically have a few floor people watching you. And the dealer shadowing you. When the dealer shadows you they are sitting right next to your shoulder. They are watching everything you do. And they are making sure that you don’t make any mistakes, or do anything inappropriate or wrong. Some of those things are following different procedures. Let’s say you learned one procedure over at your dealing school, you learn how to do something a certain way, and on your audition either the dealer or the floor man tell you to do something different, it’s okay. It happens, don’t worry. So don’t argue with them, just say okay. Do whatever they tell you to do. Please don’t argue with them. It’s not going to be a big deal. They are not saying that there is anything bad about you. They are not pointing out any mistakes or anything. This is just a typical thing that happens. If a floorman or a dealer tells you to do something different on your audition, don’t argue with them, just do it. Just go with the flow.
Let’s say they tell you to cut the deck a certain way. You say, “Wait a minute I learned to cut the deck this way, at this dealing school.” Yeah, don’t do that! What they are looking for is they want to see how easy going you are. They want to see how flexible you are. They want to make sure that if they tell you to do something a certain way that you are going to do it without question. That is what they are looking for. Go ahead and do what they are telling you to do, and don’t argue with them.
When you are going on to an audition, this amazes me how many people do this, when people apply for a casino job, they put table games on there that they don’t know how to deal. Like, “I know how to deal baccarat.” And they have never been on a baccarat game before in their life. “Oh yeah I know how to deal Pai-gow poker.” They have only dealt Pai-gow poker once and they have no clue what the third card rule is. It’s that kind of a thing. So if you put a game on your application, you can expect the casino to audition you for that game. So if you don’t know how to deal the game, if you won’t be able to pass the audition for a certain game, don’t put that game on your application.
When you are trying to get a job as a dealer I want you to do this. Make a list of ten casinos that you want to work at. No.1 being the casino that you want to work at the most, and No.10 being the casino that you want to work at the least. I want you to apply to No.10 first. And then I want to audition no.10, the one that you want to work at the least. The reason why is because if you audition and apply to the casino you want to work at the least, when you go on that audition, you are going to make mistakes, there are going to be problems, you won’t shuffle your best. You will basically be going to have your worst audition, your very first audition. So you want to get that out of the way with the casino that you don’t really want to work at. And then go up that list. Apply and audition at No.9. Apply and audition at No.8. Apply and audition at No.7 and so on. By the time you get to casino No.1 the casino you actually want to work at the most, you will have gotten all the mistakes out of the way, you are not so nervous. You are not so scared. You say, “I’ve done this ten times, I can totally handle this! I’ve got this thing.” You are going to go in and be confident, you are not going to make as many mistakes, and you are going to pass the audition a lot easier if you do that list. Start at ten and go to one.
Now again like I said, with the audition they are going to throw you on a live game. There will be actual live players. The floor man and maybe the shift manager is going to be watching. The dealer will be shadowing you. You are going to deal on that game anywhere from ten minutes to 20 minutes, 30 minutes, up to possibly 40 minutes. It really just depends on the people that are watching you. Then you will go from game, to game, to game and whatever games are on your application, those are the games that they are going to audition you for.
How to get an audition
I have had some people tell me that it is very hard to go and get an audition. If you want to get an audition, you always put your application in first. Usually you can go online and put your application in online. After they have your application, go to the casino wearing your black and whites, your salt and peppers, and ask for the shift manager. Okay! Ask for the shift manager. The shift manager will come over, introduce yourself. For example, “Hi my name is Mike. I really want to work here. I just put my application into HR so you have my application. Is there any way that I can audition for you guys, either now or maybe sometime in the future? I would really like to work here.” Usually the shift manager will do one of two things: They will say, “Yeah sure we are not doing anything right now, go ahead and get on a table. Let’s audition you and let’s get you a job.” The other thing that they can say is, “I’m really busy right now. I have meetings scheduled, there is just a lot going on at the moment, can you come back Friday night at 8 p.m. and then audition then?” And that is typically how you go about getting an audition. If you wait for an audition, if you wait to go through HR to do the audition, it might take a few weeks. They march a bit slow. If you need any help, if you are looking to get an audition, if you are looking to get hired, email me at [email protected] and I will help you out. We will help you get hired. There are several casinos that we can send you to. Either nice casinos, big casinos, small casinos, it just depends what your range is. If you are a break-in dealer, we have break-in houses we can send you to. If you want something a little bit better we can help you with that. We are here for you guys.
FYI: I am filming at the Boulevard Mall at Heads Up Experience. If you get a chance go to Heads Up at the Boulevard Mall and they have all of these really cool 3-D murals around. You can go around and take pictures with all of them. My favorite is the one with the dogs playing poker. Two of my favorite things. They have an alien mural where you can be in the alien’s mouth. The one next to me is a dinosaur where you pull the rope like a leash. They have a bunch of escape rooms here. They have ax throwing here. They have a lot of stuff here. They have something with dodgeball / archery. Check it out!
Q - How can I not be so nervous?
A - One of the ways you get over the nerves, so you are not so nervous, when you go in and audition you can go in with confidence, like you know you are going to ace this thing no matter what, the way you do that is you make a list one to ten. One being the casino you want to work at the most. Ten being the casino that you want to work at the least. When you go in and apply for an audition start at No.10 and go to No.1. Apply and audition at casino No.10, the casino that you don’t want to work at, so you can make all your mistakes, you can be nervous, you can sweat bullets, cards will go flying. You get all of that out of the way. Then you slowly go up the list. Apply and audition at No.9, No.8, No.7 and by the time you get to casino No.1 you have gotten all the mistakes out the way. You are not so nervous. You have done this ten different times, you are now more confident. You will be able to ace the audition for the casino that you actually want to work at. And that should help with the nerves.
Q - The Boulevard Mall? Isn’t that close to the University or old Hard Rock Hotel and Casino?
A - Yes, absolutely. The University of Nevada Las Vegas is down the street. Hard Rock is right across the University. This is one of our oldest Malls here in Las Vegas. A lot of the malls are sorta dieing or going dead. One of the ways the malls are trying to bring them back to life is offering these experiences. So at the Boulevard Mall you have the Heads Up Experience which is really fun. They have theaters, they have an aquarium which I am going to check out later, and an arcade. They have a whole bunch of stuff in here that is fun to do.