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Best of Frank Scoblete

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The Best Things Dealers Can Do

11 August 2005

There is a war going on in the casinos between machines and man, and this war is every bit as terrifying as the war between the machines and man in the Matrix series, the Terminator series, 2001: A Space Odyssey; Colossus: The Forbin Project, and a host of other movies, books, plays, poems that speculate what will happen when man is replaced by machines. It usually isn't a pretty prognostication.

Casino dealers already know what I'm talking about - the machines are going to replace them. They know it. I know it. The manufacturers and inventors of machines know it.

The machines are the dealers' enemy and if a dealer doesn't realize that then that dealer will soon be getting an unemployment check from, yes, a machine that has taken the place of a clerk at the unemployment office.

Look around any casino in the country and what do you see? Small islands of table games in a vast ocean of machines, and players happily feeding those machines, feeding the casinos' bottom lines, and making the casino executives figure out how to get ever more machines into the mix to make those bottom lines stand out in bold lettering and gold relief.

We all know the impact of the slot machines on casino gambling. From 1984, when machines first made more than table games for the casinos, until right now, the growth of the slots has been faster and more profound than the growth of the blob in the horror movie so named. But machines are now taking over the traditional realm reserved for humans - the table games. Machines are now shuffling cards; soon they'll be dealing the cards, rolling the dice, and spinning the roulette ball - I saw the prototypes of these at the 2003 Global Gaming Expo. Machines are analyzing people's play, making decisions on how much and how many comps they can get. It's impersonal, but highly practical.

Machines don't get tired; don't need medical benefits. If a machine malfunctions, it's fixed quickly or discarded - with nary a headache from the Human Resources folks. A machine cannot be perceived as insulting a player as can a dealer, whether the dealer intended to insult the player or not. Machines are strictly neutral. Their intentions are never misunderstood. They don't get into arguments; they don't have personality clashes; frankly, my dear, they really don't give a damn.

What is a dealer's best defense against the loss of his or her job to the machines? His or her humanity! That's the only thing that can save the rapidly dwindling dealer population. Dealers have to play up the one thing they have over the machines coming off the assembly lines of Shuffle Master, IGT, and a host of other machine-cubators. People want to interact with people -- caring, warm, intelligent, and, above all, pleasant people.

Not all players want this interaction, but most table-game players certainly do. Those players are the dealers' constituency; their happiness playing at the tables with this or that dealer is the dealer's job security.

Many players enjoy and some long for human company and many go to casinos to interact not only with Lady Luck but also with the dealers and pit personnel. For many players, a casino is like a club where you meet people who are glad to see you. These players look to the dealers for a certain amount of warmth and, yes, friendship - or, at the very least, cordiality. So here are the top 15 things that dealers must do to make players want to play at the tables with "humans" and not gravitate to the machines or not care when the latest model of HAL rolls off the assembly line and takes over for Janice who has two kids and a mortgage.

  1. Dealers should never do their job in a machine-like way.
  2. Dealers must act as if they are happy to be dealing.
  3. Dealers must act as if they are happy to interact with the players.
  4. Dealers must act as if they want the players to win.
  5. Dealers must never let the players think they are rooting for the house.
  6. Dealers at craps or roulette should never engage in "cross-talk" when even one player is at the table. Cross-talk is a conversation that takes place among dealers while the game is going on that has nothing to do with the game.
  7. Dealers should never chide a player when the player makes a mistake in protocol but should gently explain the procedure. A dealer must never make it appear that the player is frustrating him.
  8. Dealers must recognize that players truly believe they have a one-on-one relationship with the dealer and that players do not recognize the dealer actually has a one-on-many relationship with the players.
  9. Dealers must recognize that players are not aware that the dealer was harassed or was given a bad time by a previous player. All players judge dealers by their own personal experience with the dealer and have no idea of what the dealer actually experiences in a day.
  10. Dealers must appear to be actively involved in the game, on the side of the players, never disinterested in the outcome of the dice roll, or hand about to be played, and they must never appear to be bored with their job, their day, or their lives. Players do not want to know about the dealer's spouse problems, kid problems, health problems, money problems, in-law problems because casino gambling, for the player, is often an escape from just such problems.
  11. When asked what the "best" strategy for a given hand or game is, the dealer should tell the truth. When asked what the house edge is for a given bet or game, the dealer should tell the truth.
  12. Dealers must view themselves as professionals, not just "workers," because the player views the dealer as a professional.
  13. As a professional, dealers must understand the games they deal, not just the payoffs and procedures. They must know the odds and percentages and how these are arrived at.
  14. The dealers must view themselves as the first line in public relations for the casinos and they must view the casinos not just as their employer but as their investment, an investment that will bring a greater return the better they do their jobs.
  15. Every dealer must realize that every other dealer has the obligation to give the best service because all it takes is one bad experience with one dealer for players to go to another casino or to the machines.

The march of the machines might not be able to be stopped completely, but by following the 15 rules listed above, casino dealers have a fighting chance to stem the tidal wave and stop it from replacing them with metal, plastic, and a computer chip where a heart should be.

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Best of Frank Scoblete
Frank Scoblete

Frank Scoblete is the #1 best selling gaming author in America. His newest books are Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines; Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker!; Beat Blackjack Now: The Easiest Way to Get the Edge; Casino Craps: Shoot to Win!; Cutting Edge Craps: Advanced Strategies for Serious Players; Casino Conquest: Beat the Casinos at Their Own Games! and The Virgin Kiss.

Frank and Casino City Times columnist Jerry "Stickman" teach private lessons in dice control. Frank's books are available at Amazon.com, in bookstores or by mail order. Call 1-800-944-0406 or write to Frank Scoblete Enterprises, PO Box 446, Malverne, NY 11565. Frank can also be reached by email at fscobe@optonline.net.

Frank Scoblete Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com

Books by Frank Scoblete:

> More Books By Frank Scoblete

Frank Scoblete
Frank Scoblete is the #1 best selling gaming author in America. His newest books are Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines; Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker!; Beat Blackjack Now: The Easiest Way to Get the Edge; Casino Craps: Shoot to Win!; Cutting Edge Craps: Advanced Strategies for Serious Players; Casino Conquest: Beat the Casinos at Their Own Games! and The Virgin Kiss.

Frank and Casino City Times columnist Jerry "Stickman" teach private lessons in dice control. Frank's books are available at Amazon.com, in bookstores or by mail order. Call 1-800-944-0406 or write to Frank Scoblete Enterprises, PO Box 446, Malverne, NY 11565. Frank can also be reached by email at fscobe@optonline.net.

Frank Scoblete Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com

Books by Frank Scoblete:

> More Books By Frank Scoblete