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A poker dealer is responsible for running a poker table and maintaining the cards, poker chips, and other elements of the game. He or she will shuffle the cards, deal them out, collect them when the hand is over, and dole out or collect chips as necessary. The poker dealer is also responsible for dealing with all players at the table; he or she must deal with difficult or abusive players, must keep an eye out for cheating, and must ensure that all rules of the game are being followed appropriately.
To become a professional poker dealer, a candidate often has to complete a training course that can last several weeks. During the course, the poker dealer will learn the proper way to deal cards, how to shuffle cards, casino rules that may apply to a specific casino, and other rules and regulations they must know in order to be an effective dealer. Casinos hire many dealers at a time to handle the high traffic at casinos, and the poker dealer has to work late hours, holidays, and odd shifts. Pay from the casino is often minimum wage, but the poker dealer will make tips from players as well, which often ends up being a substantial part of the dealer's pay.
Shuffling and dealing are the two most important aspects of a dealer's job. He or she must execute these practices flawlessly to keep the game going smoothly and properly. Shuffling methods vary from casino to casino, but most often, a dealer must shuffle the cards at least three times, then the deck must be cut. The cut is usually done by a player at the table, who places a blank, colored card anywhere within the deck. The dealer then takes the top part of the deck and places it on the bottom of the deck.
Dealing rules vary from place to place, but the essential practice means the dealer must dole out the proper number of cards to the players at the table. The number of cards dealt depends on the style of poker being played. Regardless of the type of poker being played, the dealer must ensure the cards reach the player face down so that other players cannot see the cards. The dealer must dole out cards quickly and accurately without revealing dealt cards or the cards still remaining in the deck. Dealers usually deal by holding the deck of cards in one hand, then pulling a card off the top of the deck one at a time. The card is then propelled across the table toward the player.