When it comes to being a casino dealer, Las Vegas is the best place to be. While the job of a dealer isn’t an easy one, a dealer gig in Las Vegas can definitely be rewarding.
So, how much do dealers make in Vegas? Typically speaking, dealers in Las Vegas make between $10,000 to $60,000 a year in base pay, but the total take-home pay can be much higher than that once tips are included. Tips, hourly rate, and full-time employment all affect the total yearly income of a casino dealer in Las Vegas.
The base pay of a dealer refers to the amount that their employer pays them. The 10k-60k number above doesn’t include tips, bonuses, and other income. The hourly rate of a casino dealer is a great place to start figuring out exactly how much they make. Let’s review the numbers below!
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Las Vegas Casino Dealer Salary
The standard base pay rate will provide a nice foundation for a casino dealer’s income. Many people think that these employees must make an incredible hourly rate. In truth, it can start as low as $10 an hour at some casinos. Others offer around $16, but you won’t find any that go much higher than that amount.
$10 an hour certainly isn’t enough to provide a livable wage, but casino dealers don’t solely rely on base pay. In fact, their tips make up the vast majority of income they make at casinos.
The average annual base pay salary sits at around $36,000 for most dealer jobs. It might be decent in some less expensive cities, but living in Las Vegas is not always cheap, especially if you’re renting an apartment or have a family to raise.
(Find out if Las Vegas is a Good Place for Families to Live in our article here).
Casino employers are completely aware that the base pay of their dealer isn’t going to be reliable enough. For this reason, they depend on customers to tip the dealer. Without tips, they probably would have to increase the pay dramatically.
Don’t worry, though! Tips are incredibly common, especially during busy weekends and holidays.
Three factors that help to improve the base pay of a casino dealer:
- Previous experience as a dealer
- Seniority with the casino that they’re working at
- Compliments and positive feedback from customers
Casino owners want to keep customers inside their casino. The longer they’re inside, the more money they’re going to spend. When they have a good dealer who the customers love to be around, the customers stay longer. Thus, the casino owner increases the base pay of the dealer to encourage them to keep working there.
If you’re thinking about applying to a casino in Vegas, you shouldn’t worry too much about the seemingly low base pay. While it doesn’t hurt to get upwards of $16 an hour, the current low of $9 in the city is still a great deal if you can manage to get decent tips. Unlike most jobs, base pay is only a portion of the total income.
How to Get Better Tips as a Dealer in Vegas
Tips are the lifeblood of casino dealers. Without them, most dealers wouldn’t be able to make enough to live in the city.
Many dealers can make upwards of $30,000+ a year just from tips. You might even see quite a bit more than that. Close to $50,000 or higher isn’t uncommon. It all depends on where you work and how busy it is.
While it might seem high, the $60,000 average high amount listed at the top of the article is still within the ‘average’ range. Some casino dealers in Vegas make over $100,000 a year when combining top-notch base pay plus tips at a busy casino. Although this isn’t to be expected, a handful of dealers manage to pull it off.
Casino dealers can work at a variety of tables, and the game that they’re dealing with can have an impact on how much money customers decide to tip. It can also affect how long the customers will stay at the table, which will affect the amount of money the dealer makes. At the end of an average day, dealers can get as much as $130+ from tips alone.
Note: Contrary to popular belief, tips should always be filed when tax season comes around.
Las Vegas Casino Dealer Jobs: The Benefits
Perhaps equally as important as the base pay and tips received are the benefits you often receive for being a casino dealer.
These might not be the same across the board, but many Las Vegas dealers receive medical insurance as well as a 401k. These two benefits alone help to bump up the hourly rate considerably.
However, the benefits don’t stop there. Here’s a handful of other pros of working as a casino dealer in Sin City:
- Some casinos offer college assistance programs to help pay towards a degree. If you’re looking for a way to have fun, enjoy the beauty and excitement of Las Vegas, all while getting some help to pay for college, this might be the job for you.
- Most casinos give free lunches/dinners to their dealers, depending on the time of day and shift they work. If you’re going on an 8-hour shift or longer, almost any casino will provide a free lunch from one of their delicious restaurants.
- Another common benefit is receiving discounts. The discounts offered depending on the casino in question, but discounts on various services and activities around town and in the casino itself are always a welcome perk.
- A few casinos offer commuter assistance pay as well. Since most Las Vegas casino employees don’t live in the center of the city by all the action, it can be quite a commute. Something that should only be a 10-minute drive will most likely be a 30-minute commute when the city is packed. However, having compensation for gas or parking makes it all worth it.
Do You Have What it Takes to Be a Las Vegas Dealer?
Before you consider becoming a casino dealer in Las Vegas or anywhere else for that matter, you’ll need to know if you have what it takes. Being a casino dealer can be a difficult job.
Here are a few of the top requirements needed to be a successful Vegas dealer:
- A friendly, outgoing personality can be a big benefit when you’re a dealer. The connection you make with the players sitting at your table can definitely affect the number and amount of tips you receive.
- The ability to be able to maintain a professional attitude when dealing with rude guests. Everyone loves you when they’re winning but can go so far as accuse you of cheating when things aren’t going their way. Regardless, you need to remain professional.
- Be able to spend your entire shift on your feet. Most table games require that the dealer remain standing for long periods of time. This can be tough on your body. Especially as you get older.
- Availability to work at all hours. Casinos in Las Vegas are open 24/7 and need dealers who are able to work day or night. You should be prepared to work the least desirable shifts, at first, as a new dealer.
- Be able to tolerate a smoky environment. Let’s face it, casinos are smoky. This is particularly a problem at smaller and older casinos. Newer casinos have much better filtration systems but dealing with second-hand smoke is still a daily occurrence.
How to Become a Dealer in Las Vegas
Now that you’ve seen all of the reasons that so many people want to be a dealer in Vegas, you’re probably wondering how you can become a dealer?
It’s actually quite a bit easier than you might think. All you have to do is take a 2 to 4-week training course (here’s a school in Las Vegas you can check out) that explains the basics of each game.
You’ll also learn about how to handle various scenarios that may come up in the course of your job.
(Find out if casino chips ever expire in our article here).
Most casinos don’t require any college experience to hire a potential employee. A quick course that costs about $500 is all that stands in the way between you and your dream job.
It should be noted that more complex games, such as roulette or craps, might take a bit longer (5 weeks or so). They’ll be taught in addition to blackjack since blackjack is one of the most common games at most casinos.
Las Vegas casino dealers make a decent income when tips and base pay are added together.
If you add in the fantastic benefits package, it’s easy to see why so many people want to start the dealer course sooner than later. The course is quick, and a few casinos will reimburse you for the cost if you stay with them beyond the probationary period.
Whether you’re interested in the job for yourself or you’re simply curious, these are the average numbers to calculate a dealer’s income:
- $10 to $16 an hour ($9 is the low-end, but it’s not common)
- Tips can be upward of $130+ a day
- Potential benefits include 401k, medical insurance, commute compensation, and more