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Work in a casino: Croupier jobs

You can make £500 a month in tips.
Work as a croupier in a casino.

Remember your high school maths classes - were you always the first one to put up your hand with the right answer? Did you blitz the probability module? If the answer is yes, a career as a croupier could be your calling.

Lady lucks wanted

Despite the rise of online gambling, working at a casino gaming table is still a popular job. The universality of it means workers can, and often do, take their skills abroad either on cruise ships or to resorts.

Couple that with the fact most croupiers are under 35, and you have a fresh and constant demand for new staff.

There is a particular calling for females, too. After all, it’s Lady Luck who gamblers like to have on their side.

Number crunching

Croupiers throw dice, spin the roulette wheel and deal cards. They’ll also check that chips are placed on the table before the start of play, explain the rules to players, collect chips from losing bets, keep an eye out for cheats and mentally calculate payouts.

It’s speedy work, requiring unstinting concentration and manual dexterity. The ability to make quick, accurate mental calculations is the most vital requirement.

But you don’t have to be a maths whizz, insists Steve Alexander, head trainer at the London Academy of Gaming.

“Most people who train with us are a bit rusty on arithmetic but are surprised to find it comes back to them pretty quickly.”

When you’re smiling

Even with a whirlpool of numbers swooshing around in your head, as a croupier, it’s essential to remain calm.

“Casinos are now putting much more emphasis on PR these days, so they like croupiers to be outgoing, friendly and always smiling,” says Alexander.  

“Croupiers are dealing with addictive gamblers, who can be quite moody and petulant. When people start losing money, they get snappy and you are the easiest person to take it out on. But a good croupier will be able to stay professional and polite in the face of it all.”

Learning the odds

Although there are no formal qualifications required to become a croupier, casinos are increasingly hiring trained staff, rather than providing tuition themselves.

London Academy of Gaming offers a five-week course in roulette, blackjack and three-card poker, with a guaranteed job as trainee croupier upon completion.

“Apart from mechanics of games, which are quite complicated, you have the different odds to learn and you need to be able to add up the bets,” says Alexander.

“There’s certain processes you learn on the tables, including pattern bets you need to recognise.”

In order to work as a croupier, you’ll need a Personal Function Licence from the Gambling Commission, which costs £185. This is on top of the course fees, which, at the academy, are £980 for a guaranteed job in London and £750 for a position in a provincial casino.

You’re in the money

Once you’ve landed a job, expect to work a probationary three-month period as a trainee on a basic of £9 per hour in London and £6 outside of the capital, plus roughly £500 per month in tips.

Move up the ladder to an inspector/supervisor role and earn about £25,000.

This is not a job for nine-to-fivers. Since most casinos are open round-the-clock, croupiers usually work a 40-hour week in eight-hour shifts, any time of day or night.

If the shift work gets the better of you and you eventually decide to pack it in for a new career, then don’t worry, your skills won’t go to waste.

“Most former croupiers end up working in the City, or even starting up their own businesses thanks to their high level of mental arithmetic,” says Alexander. So the odds are in your favour, then.

» The five-week course run by the London Academy of Gaming (londongaming.net) runs Monday-Friday 1-5pm.

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