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Professional Poker Card Dealers: What They Do

A professional poker card dealer distributes the cards to the poker players and manages the poker table. Each and every casino with a poker room must have a staff of poker dealers. Dealers usually are tipped. Their tips are more substantial if they are quick and efficient at dealing hands. The dealers who are quicker are usually chosen by the casino to deal in the higher limit games.

Casinos usually require anybody wanting to be a poker dealer to take a 4-6 week training course at a dealing school if they have no prior experience. Some drawbacks of being a poker dealer include having to deal with some players that are difficult or abusive, working long hours and sitting for long periods of time.

Poker dealers may also be hired by major poker tournaments. The coordinators usually hire dealers for the duration of the tournament, which can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Dealers usually have to cover their own travel expenses. Room and board may or may not be provided for the dealers.

In order to be a dealer, you must be proficient at shuffling the deck and dealing the cards. If the game calls for it, the dealer must also turn up the community cards in the center of the table.

There is a particular method to shuffling the cards that the poker dealer must follow. This method is defined by the casino itself.A professional poker dealer will always keep both halves of the cards very low to the table. First, the dealer must spread out the cards on the table and “scramble them. This is called washing the cards. Then the dealer must collect all the cards and square them into a deck. After that, the poker dealer will follow a particular shuffling sequence such as “riffle, riffle, box, riffle”. Finally, a cut card is placed on the table and the deck is cut into the card. This “cut” card is held on the bottom of the deck throughout the entire game to keep the bottom card from being seen.

There are two different methods to dealing the poker cards. They are American style and European style. American style is when the deck is held in one hand, and the corner of the top card is pinched between the thumb and forefinger of the other hand. Then the dealer throws the card to the player. The dealer has to be careful to throw it low to the table and in the right direction so the players cannot see the card.

In European style dealing, the poker dealer touches the top of each card being delt. Then he pushes the card off of the deck and onto the table in front of him. After this, he propels the card to the player. Usually he adds some spin to the care to insure stability.

After dealing the poker cards to the players, the top card of the deck is “burned” before the community cards are laid out. Burning of a card is just discarding it. This is because it is possible that a player has seen this card. This ensures that there is no cheating. When burning the deck must be held low and the card that is to be burned must always stay level with the table. Casinos always keep an eye on the dealers, making sure that the poker dealers d not flash the card to the players, therefore exposing the card. During a poker game that includes a flop, the flop is comprised of the community cards. The community cards are always turned up simultaniously. Never are they turned up one at a time.

Dealers are in control of all the action in a game. This may include, but is not limited to, telling the players to act, verbally announcing the actions of a player to the rest of the table and correcting any and all players who act out of turn.

The dealer also manages the pot. The poker dealer must verify all bets and raises placed by the players. The dealer must also collect all folded poker hands. The poker dealer must also read the players hands during a showdown to determine the winner. In poker games where there is a “rake”, the dealer must keep track of how much is in the pot and he must also subtract the appropriate ammount for the house.

As you can see, a poker dealer does not just deal the cards. There is so much more to being a poker dealer than what it appears. With poker dealers having to do so much, they deserve all the respect they can get.

Poker with Barack Obama Anyone?

Playing poker with Barack Obama sounds like a complete joy! Imagine playing poker with someone who shows all their cards the moment after they are dealt. And, it gets better – Barack Obama can’t (or doesn’t know how to) bluff his opponents. Rake in the chips and pay off the house when playing poker with Barack Obama.

Of course, Barack Obama may actually be able to play poker. It is highly possible he just doesn’t know how to apply his poker skills to being president. More specifically, Barack Obama doesn’t know how to apply his poker skills to the situation in Libya.

Barack Obama goes on television and announces that America will no longer be participating in the daily bombings of Libya. By the next morning, it was all over the news that Gaddifi had increased his attacks on his own people. Barack Obama spread his cards face up at the table and said, “This is what I have.”

Barack Obama promises, in another television appearance, that there will not be “boots on the ground.” No matter what, no American ground troops will be in Libya. He was much more emphatic about it this time. What happened? Gaddifi went to work and the attacks on the Libyan people once again increased. If Barack Obama only knew the power of the bluff!

Why on God’s green planet would Barack Obama announce to Gaddifi (and the rest of the world) that America would no longer be participating? Does he not understand that Gaddifi knows what America’s military and it’s bombs are capable of doing? To tell Gaddifi “no more American involvement on daily basis” is inviting him to wreak more havoc on Libya. Gaddifi accepted that invitation and did just that.

Barack Obama had said repeatedly there would be no ground troops in Libya. Why? America has the best trained and equipped military in the world. American Special Forces are capable of extraordinary things when dropped into a combat area. Even if there would never be boots on the ground, you should never tell the opposing side that. It is called a bluff. Gaddifi doesn’t want American forces on the ground in Libya because he knows what they are capable of doing.

“Play the player, not the cards,” is an old rule in poker. It seems that Barack Obama can’t play either one when it comes to Libya. Gaddifi was contained and not a threat to America, yet Barack Obama had to protect the interests of China and Europe. He made his little statement by sending our bombers to play with Gaddifi for a few days – his fingers crossed that this would keep China happy and willing to loan America money.

Gaddifi must be able to poker. Well, against Obama at least. Gaddifi played the player and not the cards. He slowed his attacks on his own country, wondering what was in Obama’s hand. Once Obama put those cards on the table, Gaddifi pounced.

Should Barack Obama ever take Michelle on a vacation to a casino, by all means, sit down at a poker table with him. It should prove to be quite for profitable for his poker opponents. If there is any doubt, ask Gaddifi – he’s the one with all the chips and laughing.

Poker Tournament Answers For The Intimidated Beginner

You’ve been bitten by the poker bug. You’ve seen the World Series of Poker on TV. You’re just learning the game; maybe dabbled online. Now, you want to give live tournament play a try, but you’re intimidated. You may feel your skills aren’t good enough, or you might think that you have to spend a lot of money to buy into the World Series or another big tournament. You can set those fears aside. There’s a tournament for every skill level and every bank account in nearly every legal card room in the country.

Getting Started

To enter a tournament you’re going to have to pay an upfront fee called a buy-in. That’s a set amount of money that will go to cover the prize pool for a particular tournament, as well as to cover the casino’s cost of running the tournament.

The prize pool for a tournament is determined by the number of players who buy-in; the more players, the higher the prize pool. Generally, the top 10% of finishers in the tournament receive a cut of the pool, also known as “cashing”, or “making the cash”, with the highest amount going to the top finisher.

Usually, the top finisher can expect to take home about 20% of the pool. So, let’s say 50 players register for a tournament and each pay a $30 buy-in. For the sake of simplification, the pool would be $1500. The top five finishers in the tournament would each receive a cut of the pool, with $300 going to the first place finisher.


Where depends on how much you want to spend on a buy-in. Every poker room in the United States runs daily tournaments; some even run multiple tournaments throughout the day. The buy-in for each tournament can be different. You can find buy-ins that range from $1000 a player all the way down to $10 a player.

Sometimes re-buys and add-ons are offered. A re-buy allows you to buy your way back into a tournament if you get knocked out in the early rounds. Add-ons allow you to purchase extra chips. You should take advantage of both opportunities, especially if you’re a beginner.

You can call different poker rooms for more information, or go to their websites for listings of tournament schedules, buy-ins, options, and games offered. Some tournaments can attract hundreds of players, while others may only attract a few dozen.

Why Lower Is Better

A general rule of thumb is that tournaments with lower buy-ins attract less experienced players. For the most part, that’s true. So, if you’re just starting out, a tournament with a lower buy-in may match you against players of similar skill level, allowing you to stay in the game longer. That’s good news, because the longer you play, the more your skills will improve.

If possible, find a tournament that features “deep stacks”. In “deep stack” tournaments you start with more chips, so your chances are better of staying alive longer. Also, a lower buy-in limits your loss if you are knocked out before making the cash. Chances are you’re going to play in a number of tournaments before you cash. Consider it paying for lessons.

What Can I Expect?

You can expect to play No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em. That’s the game that’s dealt in most daily casino tournaments, these days. However, you can also find some card rooms that feature Omaha, 7 Card Stud, and mixed game tournaments, as well.

Let’s take you through the process. You arrive at the card room of your choice. Make your inquiry about tournaments at the front desk of the poker room. Once you find out when and how much, you’ll probably be directed to the cashier’s cage in the poker room, or to another cashier where you’ll pay your buy-in. You should receive a receipt, often a slip of paper or a card with a table and seat assignment on it.

Go to that table and hand your paper or card to the dealer. Take your assigned seat. You may already have chips in front of you, or the dealer may slide them to you. Count them. If the starting stack for your tournament is 3000, then you should have 3000 in chips in front of you. Just make sure that the number of chips you have is the correct starting amount for the tournament you’ve entered.

Play will take place in rounds. Each round lasts a set amount of time, usually 20 minutes or half an hour. Blinds are set for each round, and go up every time the round advances. In Texas Hold ‘Em, blinds are the initial two bets made at the start of poker hands. In later rounds antes may also come into play. Each player remaining in the game will be required to ante up a set amount before the start of a hand.

Rounds continue to be played until only one player remains. Often, the final few players left in a tournament will decide to “chop the pot”. That means they’ve decided to split the money remaining in the prize pool. However, you’re under no obligation to “chop the pot”.

Go For It!

The only way to improve your poker game is to play. Tournaments are different than cash games, so if you want to improve your tournament skills, you have to play in tournaments. Play enough and you could one day be ready for the World Series of Poker and other big tournaments. There are tournaments out there to prepare you for just that, and the process doesn’t have to be expensive or intimidating.

Herbert Berta


Herbert Berta loves to play card games be it poker, blackjack or any other game. He also loves to ride his Harley which is his favorite past time after poker.

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