Life As a Roulette Croupier

Behind the casino floor lies a whole other realm. Think of every dealer, from the slick première croupiers of Clive Owen’s big-screen film to the online employées in training, standing with chips in their hands, watching punters twist and turn roulette balls.

But it isn’t a job for everyone. It takes athletic ability, it demands lightning mental arithmetic, and it requires extraordinary people skills – plus the ability to work unsociable hours in challenging circumstances under intense stressors.

Game rules

Roulette is a game that just about every human who has ever been to a casino knows: a croupier stands at a table, and spins a ball around a revolving wheel; when the ball lands in one of two divisions marked either red or black, it’s winners all round (in accordance with their probability of winning, of course). A key aspect of the croupier’s job is to watch out for cheats, as players often try to ingratiate themselves with croupiers before cheating themselves.

Some croupiers specialise in games like baccarat, roulette or blackjack, and learn to excel at these skills, earning good tips from highroll customers who want the atmosphere of a true gambling game, but still have competitive odds.

In order to do the job well and maintain a good reputation among guests, a croupier needs to possess excellent interpersonal communication skills, excellent arithmetic skills (as you have to often calculate payouts for the customers very quickly), and a never-ending pool of energy as casino environments can be quite stressful at times, especially dealing with angry or emotional players will, in turn, become quite physically exhausting and draining. Because of the risk of developing gambling addiction that often comes with casinos, a croupier needs to be aware of this and be ready to provide help to oneself or a loved one if that ever happens.

Betting options

Croupiers stand over multiple casino tables. Experience of one table game or versatile skills in several games might see players get the most from their betting, yet croupiers themselves need a wide-ranging skill-set. Players will benefit, even if a job that, before it’s advertised in the classifieds, might seem low-stress and menial – counting bets, policing games, calculating returns – is actually highly trainable: no walk in the park by any means.

Sure, working long, fitful hours on your feet and dealing with unreasonable gamblers is both physically and emotionally exhausting. Yet the economic possibilities and growth opportunities are still attractive; those who love travelling might find work on cruise ships, dispensing magical shenanigans for excellent customers-on-holiday tipped huge by the ship’s high rollers. They might specialise in certain games, such as poker or roulette, or find other ways to move up the ranks, becoming pit bosses or even casino managers.


The croupier is the unknown star of table games in casinos, who shuffles the cards, pays the bettors and conducts every game, one after the other and one session after another.

Croupiers are also there to determine who gets paid out by the croupier or when they hands on. They keep a lookout for cheating: unusual body language, unusual playing patterns like card-handling that might indicate a person isn’t playing normally and give them a signal to alert the supervisor or the casino security of the individual engaging in activities worthy of investigation and possible banning.

Croupiers might specialise in one table game – baccarat, say – and learn all the minutiae behind it, offering players tips while they play. They’re well-tipped because their game knowledge is so deep, and they also work long hours. They’re on shift from morning until night, and weekends and bank holidays are all in a day’s work.


Croupiers need to be able to deal with all the possible variations of roulette, and know the betting parameters in their entirety so as to be able to serve the players. One learns the game, as well as the handling of playing chips, the wheel and the cards, the placing of and collection of bets, via training. Then there is also the need to be friendly and entertaining from the outset in order to attract players, and keep them playing!

Even skilled croupiers have to know not only how to handle the game, but how to read players and their moods. A player can go from being exuberant to furious in a matter of seconds, and the croupier has to be able to rein that situation in and keep the game moving.

There are many perks to being a croupier in both a brick-and-mortar as well as an online casino. For example, if you’re a specialised croupier, you can choose to work at a live table where you’re an expert in one form of casino game, such as blackjack or baccarat, to make the experience as genuine as possible, which will keep gamblers happy and ensure that you receive hefty tips from visiting international high rollers.

Josh Glover Glover

Josh Glover Glover

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