When you play poker a lot, you get to see a new dealer every half hour. When you sit in the box, you get to see new players every half hour. I know what my personality is: I like to have a little fun, if its on a lower limit table its with the players, if its on a higher limit table it’s with myself, just commenting silently at how the narcissistic douchebags think that the world revolves around them.
To the funner tables they see me as a fun dealer, with some dry humor. I am also very patient with the newer players, or players that need more attention. To the not so fun tables, I’m just an automated machine spitting out hands faster than most. As the more hands you deal the more tips you get. I’m fine with that perception, you have to give the customer what they think they want.
It isn’t until I started to play more, that I really paid attention to the other dealers in the room, and in the other poker rooms I tour to see how many different personalities we all have, and how well they mesh with the players. Before I didn’t pay much attention, only seeing how they behave on the last hand before I pushed in. I also hear players talk about the “last guy” in the box, that wasn’t so attentive. Or how he made a huge mistake, comments they made, or ways they handled a situation either well or poorly. From this I can only draw my own assumptions. I can also see how people behave in the break room as they talk about the things that were said on a table, or how something happened from their perspective.
The more you play the more dealers you see. So I will try and list out some generalized dealer personalities that I can lump dealers into. Of course everyone has their own style, personality and demeanor. And I only witness one or 2 dealer downs with them.
The Foreign Dealer – Bigger rooms with have plenty of foreign born dealers, with their deep accents and funny way they say things. Poker is everywhere around the world, and whether they got their start in their home country or learned to deal poker here, they add their own flair to the job. It’s always entertaining to hear they way they say a common phrase wrong or have some broken translation. Our seclusion in our daily lives generally doesn’t have a lot of interaction with foreigners, and to have them on center stage for you is usually entertaining. Of course I hear from the higher limit players how the language barrier makes it difficult for them to understand their insults and tirades. Douchebags.
The Other Parts of the Country Dealer – Depending on where you live and play you get the dealers from the east coast with their thick jersey accent, chest hair or Snooki hair (depending on gender, sometime they have both) gold chains and penchant for very foul language. But they are probably my most entertaining dealers. Telling stories from the “Bronx” about how Guido used to run this home game… Then you have the southern dealers, also with their thick southern drawl, usually missing teeth and very evident reflection of the educational system in the south. But they are very high on southern hospitality and manners, which more than makes up for everything else. Midwestern dealers who grew up on the farm and our West Coast surfers round out the geographical personalities. I don’t see a lot of the same tendencies from either.
The Hot Girl – She may not be in every card room, but every card room will have their own version of her. It kind of like the trailer park princess, she may be trash in a suburban neighborhood, but she is the queen of the double wides. She gets hit on every day, by every guy. They sit their with the mouths open astonished that she can actually deliver cards to you, and run their game. Male players shovel them handfulls of chips when they win pots, or lose pots, or get drunk. They come up to them even when they aren’t on the same game and give them money. Must be rough. The high limit players all think they have a shot with them, and with the right amount of bought drinks after their shift, and flashing enough money, they might. But the higher limit players also get frustrated with them when they lose or make a mistake, albeit maybe not as mad, because they are “nice to look at”.
The Know Everything Guy/Girl – Of course all of these personalities exist everywhere outside of the card room, it’s interesting to see them in the box, because they are now running your game. This guy knows everything about everything, he butts into every conversation going on at the table and gives his 2 cents. They come in different varieties, some specialize in sports, politics, auto repair or all of the above. It’s actually interesting to see them be quiet on the higher limit tables because those douchebags don’t give shit about what you have to say, they feel you are a minimum wage machine that is best seen and not heard. Watching the know it all dealer, wait for some kind of a conversation to jump in on, they may start one with a player walking by, or just try and bring up something, and gets ignored.
The Mechanic – I’m not talking about the guy that fixes your cars, and it’s an older term generally referred to by guys that used to be able to cheat by shuffling or stacking the deck to their favor. The modern day version is the dealer that has all the tricks, whether they are chip or card tricks. They are flipping things left and right, little nuances that actually make it interesting to watch how they deal their game, as well as incorporate all the little techniques. The downside to this is it generally slows the game down, exposes flaws in the game security (flashing cards, messing up bet sizes, playing with the pot, etc. ) and it gets old on every single betting round watching some obscure little trick. The lesser version of this is the dealer that has their own signature move. The guy that flips the jackpot dollar chip from one side to the other, onto the deck, can spin the cards with their pitch at an RPM not known to other humans. Can push the pot, kill the hand and the board in split seconds and have the next hand going faster than you can blink. Can walk a chip on the back of their hands, or do the Antonio Esfandiari magician trick with the chips. Can pitch a card perfectly into any place or chip stack architecture. Can do a little hand dance with a tip before stylishly throwing into the tip box or pocket.
The Poker Expert – The dealer that thinks or does know everything about the game. He gives his insight on how every single hand should have been played. He talks about his last 24 hour session and how he “crushed” the game. He gives his knowledge to the low limit player who might actually appreciate it, and to the high limit player who rolls their eyes because they feel they are the kings of the world and don’t need advice from peasants.
The Quiet Dealer – This can be a little frustrating, as you can’t hear raise calls, or explanations or calls for service or floors. There is no entertainment value from these dealers, but some people are just quiet and shy. Honestly this may not be the line of work for someone like that, but everyone is entitled to a shot.
The Never Pay Attention Dealer – This dealer must have extreme ADHD and can’t pay attention to save their lives. They are watching every waitress walk by, every customer walk by, they watch the TV’s all the time and every once in a great while they watch what is happening on their table. When something happens they have no clue what it was, they can’t recreate anything for a floor, they make mistakes all the time. They also do very badly in tips as the key to a fast moving game is to politely drive the action.
The Chatty Kathy – You know this dealer, and they know you and everyone else’s business. Every time they sit down they start a conversation with one or more players and gossip about anything and everything. Not only do they get the dirt from everyone else, you get the dirt from them about everyone and themselves. They love to talk about their lives and kids and friends and everything that happened to them. Again its another way to be distracted and not keep a game moving.
The Robot – This dealer does everything mechanically correct, by the book. They announce actions and run through all the motions as if they were a robot dealer. Usually not much personality, but quite a few people like to have a dealer that is not personally vested in anything and just does their job. I once went a whole week on the higher limit games not saying one word about anything other than that hand in particular. I was a robot, but they don’t care about personality anyways, so it didn’t hurt my bottom line.
If you can think of any other personality types, please leave them in the comments below.Brought to you by Your Poker Dealer