Las Vegas Blackjack Dealer salary
I am Antoniya Hamberg and I have been a Las Vegas blackjack dealer for over two years, working at Binion's Hotel and Gambling Hall (which used to be known as the Horseshoe), as well as at a couple of other properties. I'm what they call a party pit dealer; I deal blackjack while wearing lingerie. It is my responsibility to entertain the guests.
Most of the games I deal are really fun, and they make my work day/night go by really fast; after all, I get to play games for a living. It is not a hard physical job and I have room to grow in the company.
I make minimum wage, plus tips. Dealers share tips, which are collected from all the dealers' tables and distributed equally. Most dealers like that because we are on a different table every night and some games or tables make more tips than others. Full-time dealers also get benefits; however, there is a three-month probationary period and a six-month waiting period before those benefits apply.
Since I wear close to nothing (lingerie is my uniform) at my very public job, I often run into people who are compelled to make inappropriate comments. I've gotten used to fending those off pleasantly, but being a blackjack dealer wearing lingerie certainly has its ups and downs.
A typical working shift
It is a wild Friday night; everyone in Vegas is out drinking, partying and gambling. For most people this is the time to blow off some steam; for me it's just another busy night at work. I get to my table and tap out the day-shift dealer, taking over her spot. As she prepares to leave I take a glance at the table.
There he is, in the first seat, the "Inconsiderate Cigar Smoker." To have a good time in Las Vegas, apparently some guys need to have that fat Cuban cigar stuck in their mouths. Someone must have told them that the cigar is a symbol of status and manhood. I, however, look at the cigar smoker and think, "Great, another night full of inhaling his smoke, and coughing, sniffling and watery eyes." On the bright side, sooner or later his cigar will burn out.
Unfortunately I can't say the same about the guy we like to call "Mr. Nasty, " sitting in seat No. 2. Every dealer in the world has met this specific type - he is the highlight of our day. "Mr. Nasty" is the typical moron who has come to Vegas with the brilliant idea to take all the casino's cash, one hand at a time. He is also commonly known as the "F-word Guy, " since we hear him swearing on every hand he loses - or wins. He is the type of player that actually doesn't know how to lose; nothing is ever his fault. He lost a hand, let's blame it on the dealer. His beer is getting low - hey, how about we blame it on the dealer? The new payout on Blackjack Single Deck is 6 to 5, who should he blame it on? Oh, of course, the dealer. On the bright side, eventually he will run out of money and then he will probably say, "You killed me, no tip for you, dealer." He's the guy that makes it a tough night for everyone.
At third base (seat) tonight is "Mr. Bachelor Party." "Mr. Bachelor" is about to get married and he's accompanied by his crowd of unstoppable crazy pals who have come along to live it up one last time in Vegas. For everyone in the bachelor party, "respect" is not a word they know. They are thinking, "Respect the dealer? What is that? I'm here to party and I'm going to treat every party pit dealer like a stripper, because it's Vegas, baby!" Do I need to point out that we are not strippers? Apparently. Repeatedly. Politely.
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