South Florida now has something more to offer to the passing tourist than warm, sunny weather - gambling. The business is booming, particularly in the Palm Beach and Miami areas. With the casinos thriving, the demand for professional dealers is also getting higher. If you want to get in on the action, here are a few things to remember:
- Crime Doesn't Pay. An extensive criminal record, such as one containing several misdemeanors, more or less automatically disqualifies you for eligibility. Shoplifting, petty embezzlement, and violent crimes make you untouchable in the casino circuit, as does a history of gambling law violations. If you've got any of these red flags on you, you can kiss your dealer dreams goodbye.
- School Actually Is Cool. Thanks to the growing success of South Florida's casino industry, a number dealer's schools have opened in the area. Earn your dealer's certification by completing a 120-hour course, passing a written test, and getting through an audition.
Of course, you've got to do a little research before enrolling yourself for dealer school. Pay your prospective school a visit one day and watch how the classes go. School will set you back roughly $1,200. Lessons will cover the three games essential for jobs with a local casino, namely Texas Hold ‘Em, Omaha Hi-Lo, and Seven Card Stud.
You might also want to check out what casinos the school collaborates with, or which casino hires the most of the school's students. A quick call to the school's HR department should help you figure that out.
- Practice. Apply what you learn in dealer school by having regular poker nights with your buddies. You can practice shuffles, cuts and deals, all the while rehearsing proper betting procedures, card movement, and other technical aspects to the game. You can also work on your poker language in a real-world setting.
- Stay in School. Once you've got everything down, take the test and go for your audition. If everything goes well, you'll graduate and be one step closer to becoming a professional dealer. Realistically, however, it'll be a while until you get a job. In the meantime, do what other dealer hopefuls do and sit in on the games held in school. This will keep your skills sharp for that all-important application.
- Get Legal. Once you've graduated, get some certification that you did indeed complete the course. Secure a gaming work permit to make things official.
Now that you're a certified, licensed dealer in the state of Florida, go and apply for a job at one of South Florida's many casinos. Call or email the establishment in advance, and inquire about any openings. Good places to look into are the Seminole Hard Rock Casino and Dade County Casino. Some casinos will require you to audition, so it's a wise idea to practice right before the big interview. As long as you present yourself as a skilled, honest individual, you'll have a good chance of making it as a professional poker dealer.