I was a dealer on the Las Vegas strip for 14 years starting 1998. I saw many winners, losers, stories and techniques win that can help the average visitor to Las Vegas.
I was born into a small family in the respectable town in Orange County, New Jersey. I currently reside in the extraordinary and popular city of Las Vegas, Nevada. As a boy, I lived my first few years in New Jersey, but my family decided that a move was in order after Orange County began to lose its appeal to them. My parents took me and my two sisters to Virginia, where I would spend a large portion of my life.
The rolling hills of Virginia and the incredible Appalachian Mountains would fill my memories with fantastic views and landscapes. Virginia was the perfect balance of small, quaint towns and large, hustle-and-bustle cities for a person to grow and will always hold a special place in my memories. Richmond is the place I was raised and it played a large part in creating the person in which I am today.
Many of my childhood memories are in Virginia and it is actually where I spent a great deal of my adult life. My parents’ adventurous and risk-taking nature would rub off on me and help shape the (bold, or some other descriptive word) character I developed.
Growing up in Virginia can give you a sense of the beauty of the world. As a boy, I enjoyed spending my time outdoors playing multiple sports. I enjoyed baseball, football, and basketball. I still enjoy those activities to this very day. After high school, I headed off to college. While in college, I studied hard and worked diligently on my school work. Studying finance is no easy matter, so it required a lot of my time.
I would soon, however, realize that college was not suited for me and that I simply did not enjoy it. As many would agree, if you do not enjoy the direction you are going in life, it is your responsibility to change it. That is exactly what I did when I decided to leave college in Virginia.
After years of trying to figure out what I would truly like to do next, the idea struck. Just as my parents were not afraid to move to an entirely new area, I was not afraid to pack up everything I owned and move to a new city. After a lot of consideration, I set his eyes on the city of chance: Las Vegas.
The dazzling lights of Las Vegas and its incredible atmosphere are hard for any man to ignore, but especially one with a background in the study of finance. Putting those college courses to work, I made this move when I was 30 years old to have my try in Vegas, proving that it is never too late to follow your dreams.
Sin City would prove to be kind to me in many ways and I still call it his home after all of these years. In 2002 I purchased my first house in Las Vegas and it signified that I was making this incredible place my new home.
The city’s call was strong and I found myself being pulled towards one of the main reasons everyone goes there for: casinos. Over the course of a few years, I would find myself working in four major Las Vegas Casinos. The sparkling lights, the sounds of the slot machines, and the thousands of strange but anxious faces that poured into these locations made me feel at home.
Though I enjoyed my new home, I always felt like something was missing. This void was filled when I met a beautiful woman in April of 2009. It did not take long for me to realize that I had found “The One” and I was married in February 2011.
This marriage has proven to be an excellent decision and it also increased my family size. I now have a new mother-in-law and father-in-law in San Diego, California and a new brother-in-law, along with a niece and nephew, in Sacramento, California.
I’m happier than ever living in sunny Las Vegas with my wife. After being born in New Jersey, growing up in character and body of Virginia, and finding ultimate happiness and success in the Entertainment Capital of the World, it is safe to say I have had a full and adventurous life and I am looking forward to many more adventures to come.
The second month that I lived in Las Vegas, I went to a dealer’s school to learn Blackjack and Craps. (I paid special attention to learning the game of Craps as Casino supervisors and dealers told me that if you know Craps, you can get a job on the strip. After you finished dealer’s school, the students at the school will get hired at a “break-in” Casino. A “break-in” casino is a smaller, less prominent casino off the Strip, where you learn to deal with the gamblers. The break-in casino knows that you will make mistakes and they are a little more patient.
My break-in casino was in Jean, Nevada and that is 15 miles from the Las Vegas strip. Dealing with customers is the toughest thing when you work as a Blackjack or Craps dealer because when a gambler loses, it is always the dealer’s fault.
The first time I dealt Blackjack at the casino, I was so nervous that I couldn’t count to twenty-one. I made so many mistakes that the supervisor had to remove me from the Blackjack table to get me to calm down. When you deal Blackjack, you have to take care of the customer, but you also have to take care of the chips in your rack first.
A casino rack is where the dealer puts the chips after the gambler loses a bet. Dealing Twenty-one gets easier every day that you do it, but Craps is the hardest game to learn to deal and play.
It took me six months to learn how to deal Craps. When you deal Craps, you have to have soft hands because there is a certain way to handle the chips, a process referred to as to “cut the chips”. “Cut the Chips” means you must learn how many chips you have in your hand simply by the feel.
Many supervisors will think you are a rookie if you constantly look at your hand to see how many chips you have. Since Craps is a fast moving game, you also have to pay the players at a quick pace but of course, do it accurately.
The game of Craps has so many bets on the game that a beginner might feel intimidated. My advice for all first time gamblers at the Craps table is to ask your dealer how to play the game.
Also, if you are a first time gambler at the Craps table, go to the table when it is not busy so the dealer can give you his attention or many casinos offer free gaming lessons on all table games. Check with the Pit Boss to find out if your casino offers this service.