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What’s the point of a casino dealer skills championship?
Grosvenor Casinos, UK have an annual championship that spreads across all its UK properties and is open to below and above two years’ experience.
Contests are held in house and finalists go through to region finals and then successful participants onto the Grand Finale held at their Coventry Arena Casino.
Does this serve a purpose to the staff, to the bottom line of the casino, to the enrichment of the customer experience?
Well, we think so, on all of the above.
Dealing staff feel there is a goal and recognition for all their time spent in improving their skills. This creates a culture of self-improvement and encourages staff to better each other.
This in turn increases the casino bottom line. More hands and spins per hour.
The final goal of improving customer service comes in the format of dealers working efficiently, listening to customers and supervisors, pre-empting bets that may need placing and faster payouts ensures the players keep the momentum of their customers' enjoyment and adrenaline.
Everyone’s a winner.
So, why isn’t everyone doing it? Apart from the European Dealers Championship what else is there to compete in?
We only heard of this because of feedback from our ex-trainees that persistently do very well.
We perfected a training module to ensure our dealers would always perform well.
Unlike other schools, we DID NOT teach AR, BJ and 3/5 card poker.
However, we taught calculation and chip dexterity. We tested each aspect of any chip movement and calculation techniques, everyday! Those results were fed into our home-made analysis program which pinpointed any particular weakness and highlighted any strength.
Later in their first week, (yes, their first week) we taught ball spinning but made it into a multitasking exercise. To develop the sponge-like brains of trainees, we included tapping out, customer greetings, monitoring the layout and listening to the ball in sufficient time to call no more bets. Meanwhile, the real test of the exercise was how many stacks they can pick up during a spin. Both left and right handed tables of course.
Once all trainees were “re-programed” to pilot the essential core skills, they then felt totally in control to begin to learn the games.
Week 2 focuses on posture, customer care, anticipation of customer expectations but with managing the game and pace of game to suit the volume of business. We incorporated dealing procedures of forthcoming casinos but with emphasis on efficiency. “Why make a payout in 5 moves when you can make it securely and faster in 3 moves”.
All this and on three games too.
Whilst employees were waiting for licences to be approved and starting dates they continued to follow the training program honing on their week spots. As any new school starting would be going through the same program this enabled us to teach and manage up to six different schools simultaneously with two trainers.
Some schools we have conducted who did not have a licencing waiting period so we had dealing staff on tables within two weeks.
So what does this have to do with the dealing championships?
Well, our basic skills taught are very much in line with the dealer championships’ criteria. In brief:-
Once a dealer has the core skills as a second nature, they are able to multitask and work on other areas such as the customer service and pace of game. When called upon, they revert back to the core skills to get them out of any difficulty they may find themselves in during a game.
How can we know? Well, two of our ex-trainees have won their casino championship three times within three years between just the two of them. Even more remarkable they don’t even deal! They haven’t in a while. Not even worked on the gaming floor at the time. One managing the poker room whilst the other in cash desk.
Our point, teach the core skills at the most important stage and they will stay with you forever there to be called upon when needed.
In addition, this week we learnt another AACASINO ex-trainee has been earmarked for training purposes in her casino in the UK due to her skills. Skills she learnt around 7 or 8 years ago.
Another batch of our trainees has set up their own training school which also happens to be the largest in Switzerland.
Many ex-trainees progress into different departments or roles in the casino and that is to their own credit. However, any compliments on their dealing we accept ;)
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