Originally, the term ‘croupier’ was used to describe someone who stood behind a gambler with extra money to back him up during the session. The word derived from ‘croupe’ – the rump of a horse – and was later used to refer to someone who was employed to collect money from a gambling table. A ‘dealer’ was the name given to the person who was responsible for distributing cards, and the role could be undertaken by a player.
Croupiers were then transformed and hired by casinos, and tasked with conducting the game, and now undertake training and attend ‘dealer school’ to ensure gameplay is kept correct and fair.
Read on to discover the history of the casino dealer, and how the role evolved into that which we see today.
The first casino
The very first casino opened in Venice, Italy, in 1638 – sparking the casino craze. The Casino di Venezia stands proudly on the Grand Canal, and was built in the 15th century to be used as a theatre. During shows’ intermissions, the audience would gather to play betting games, which naturally needed a host. When the Renaissance palace opened as a casino, the role of the croupier/dealer became essential.
Women get their foot in the door
It wasn’t until 1943, when casinos and gambling houses were heavily influenced by males and seen as a place for rest and unwind, that the first advert for a female operator was placed in The Nevada State Journal. The majority of male workers had been called to fight in the Second World War in 1939, so by this point, the advert was only placed out of absolute necessity.
Realising that a female croupier attracted more males to the casinos in Reno, in 1971, Las Vegas followed suit, and the Silver Slipper hired their first female cards dealer.
Upon the development of the Las Vegas Strip, and the first “super casinos” and resorts coming into play, the essence of the Strip offered no less than the Hollywood lifestyle. It eventually becamethe famous and star-studded Sin City, with the likes of Elvis Presley and Marylin Monroe becoming frequent visitors.
Casinos typically found fame for being a ‘playground for the rich’, with players dressing up in their fanciest attire to represent their wealth. With this, heightened the demand for the Las Vegas Strip to become more inclusive, classy, and give people the opportunity to get suited and booted. This carried on, and even casinos we see today require participants to dress suitably in order to capture the essence of the true casino atmosphere – dealers included.
The dealers we see today
The dealers we see today are fully qualified and trained on each of the games they are hosting, and their role is to interact with players, explain the odds, and how each game works – running the game fairly, in alignment with the house rules. Most casino croupiers will be seen wearing full black-tie attire or cocktail dresses. What’s more, there’s now so much more equality for both males and females within the casino, and you’ll often see female croupiers sporting a suit, still ensuring that you’re provided with the ultimate casino experience.
Dealers we see today are also often trained to host live casino games, where they’ll become adept to technology and host the games in a specialist studio; still utilising all their people skills and knowledge of the games, with the help of cameras, live chat, and even the addition of animations to provide players with an immersive, portable, online casino experience.
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