Of course, cheating does happen occasionally, but usually the casino is the victim. In other words, it's more common for a dealer to cheat the casino, either by colluding with a player, conspiring with another employee, or simply by working alone (usually stealing chips). Security procedures make these scams relatively rare, but a casino is still a big rich target, much more attractive to cheaters than an individual player.Casino-perpetrated scams against players are uncommon because casinos already have an advantage. Standard gaming earns them a sizeable profit. If you owned a billion-dollar casino, would you jeopardize that golden goose for a trifle of extra sauce?
Also remember that a dealer's primary job is to "protect the integrity of the game." This requires a lot more than just pushing cards around. Dealers must handle money and chips. They're looking for cheaters. They're calculating payoffs. They're at the center of an intricate system that is designed to protect you and the casino. Spend ten minutes with a poorly-trained dealer, and you'll see what I mean. It's a real drag to have your chips or cards mistakenly scooped up.
By the way, dealers typically earn near-minimum wage, and they depend on tips for most of their income (tips are known as "tokes" in the casino industry). A recent study by Nevada's Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation found that the average hourly wage for a blackjack dealer in Southern Nevada is $5.94 (not including tips), poker dealers earn $6.12, and craps dealers earn $6.39. Tips vary widely depending on the property, but the additional income is usually in the range of $10 to $15 per hour.
So, if you have a good session, toke your dealer. The gratuity will be much appreciated.
And here's a suggestion to help you win more so you can pay for those tips. The "deck holder" is called a shoe, and it's typically used in multiple-deck games. If you play blackjack, then you should look for single- or double-deck contests (games that have a dealer "handling the cards") because you generally have a better chance of winning when fewer decks are in play.
Enjoy the game!
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