Rivers Casino offers 10-week long dealer’s school to start training and hiring dealers

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SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Rivers Casino is offering a 10-week long dealer’s school course in mid-October. No experience or schooling is necessary to apply.

What does it take to be a casino dealer?

“You have to go in and practice reading hands so here, I have sevens and deuces and a king kicker,” Poker Manager, Bruce Dixon, said.

Dixon says it’s all about the knowing the game.

“Now what’s your best possible hand?” he asks.

I’ve got no idea. I’ve got some work to do on my poker face.

“Right now is an ace and king of spades which would give you an ace high flush,” Dixon says.

If you’re not sure how to do that yet, don’t worry.

Rivers Casino is offering a 10-week long dealer’s school to fill 300 positions behind the table.

Now’s your chance to go “all-in.”

Rivers Casino is offering to train and hire dealer positions before they open next year.

Dealers will learn everything from shuffling cards to handling chips, but being a good dealer isn’t just about skill.

It’s about personality too.

“We’re going to assume people are coming in off the street and they don’t know anything about poker,” Trainer David Vatthanavong said.

It will be the same deal when Vatthanavong trains future dealers on the blackjack table.

Vatthanavong has been in the casino industry for 20 years.

In the game of blackjack, the first thing he’ll teach future Rivers Casino dealers- “250, 5. 25, 100, 500…”- is pairing simple math with counting chips.

“The more you do this, it’s just repetition. You get used to it. You just know, okay 5 chips is 175,” Vatthanavong said.

So what makes a good dealer? The pros here say it’s all about knowing the game, being fast and interacting with the players.

“We teach our students what they need to know to be successful on the casino floor,” Vatthanavong said.

Another table, another game.

“A good poker dealer is going to keep the action moving, follow procedure, and call the game out,” Dixon said.

He’s ready to turn anyone interested, myself included, into professional poker dealers.

“Dealing of the cards, how you handle the cards, the shuffle, the pitch, up pitch and cutting of chips. All of that will happen in the first week,” Dixon said.

So I tried my hand at the pitch.

Not as easy as it looks.

It could take up to a week to get it just right.

“We’re working on that for the first few days, maybe a week, depending on the person. You were actually pretty good for someone who is just starting out.” Dixon says.

Vice President of Gaming, Rosemarie Cook, says she’s looking forward to teaching people how to start a career in the gaming business.

“Looking for somebody that’s upbeat, happy, fun, is not afraid to try new things…” Cook describes of a potential dealer.

She says there are plenty of opportunities to move up and the job provides a competitive wage.

If you’ve got that drive and a smile, you’re bound to make some money as a dealer.

“Regardless of if they’re losing or not, if they’re having a good time with the dealer, they’ll tip,” Cook said.

She also says it’s important for her customers to be having fun while they’re on the floor.

“Providing a memorable and fun experience for our guests who come into the casino- That’s what we’re looking for,” Cook said.

Back on the blackjack table, Vatthanavong teaches me some professional tricks.

“And then you just let go and they push in,” he says.

And although I might need some work before I’m ready on the floor, you might be the perfect fit.

Training starts mid-October and deadline to apply is at the end of September.

If you’re interested in a career at the casino head to riverscasinoandresort.com/careers

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