Croupiers lead the fast-moving games of chance that are played in casinos and gaming clubs.
The main games played are:
Roulette, where a wheel and ball are spun, and customers bet on which number the ball will land on.
Card games, such as blackjack, stud poker and Texas
Craps, a game using dice.
A croupier will be expert in running at least one of these games, and usually more.
Customers exchange cash for plastic chips to play in games. It is the croupier's job to ensure the chips are placed before the game begins. He or she spins the wheel or deals the cards, then collects the chips from the losing bets, and pays out to any winners.
The croupier must also:
Croupiers are expected to work quickly. They are observed by an inspector, who ensures games are run under guidelines set out by the Gambling Commission. The croupier must ensure the inspector has a clear view of activity. Some gaming tables have cameras for this purpose.
The role requires good customer service skills. Croupiers are expected to create a friendly and relaxed atmosphere at their tables. With big wins at stake, they also have to be prepared to handle difficult situations.
Casinos are usually open from around noon to 6.00am the next day. An increasing number are now open 24 hours a day. They are open all year round, except for Christmas Day. Shift working is normal, including nights, weekends and bank holidays. There are regular breaks, to ensure croupiers maintain their concentration.
Part-time work may be available.
Large casinos may have ten to fifteen gaming tables, while smaller venues may have around six. At busy times, tables may become crowded, hot and noisy.
Smart dress and grooming are essential for croupiers. Most casinos provide uniforms.
New entrants earn from around £12,000 a year, or from around £17,000 in London. Salaries for senior croupiers may be around £25,000.
Highly experienced croupiers working in London may earn £40,000 or more.
Many casinos allow croupiers to accept tips from customers, which can increase earnings. They are collated daily and then paid to each member of staff through the payroll.
Just over 14,000 people are employed in casinos in the UK. London has 25 casinos, and there are around 100 more across England, mainly in cities and seaside resorts.
The biggest employers are Gala Group, Grosvenor Casinos and Genting Casinos. There are also some smaller, independent operators.
Visits to casinos are increasing, despite competition from online gambling. The rise in 24-hour opening is also creating more opportunities.
Vacancies are advertised in local press and JobCentre Plus offices, and through specialist recruitment agencies. Some jobs go unadvertised and it can be useful to approach casinos directly.
Croupiers must be at least 18 years old.
There are no set qualifications. Some employers may expect GCSE's (A*-C) in English and maths. Enthusiasm and experience in a customer service role may be more important. Mental arithmetic and manual dexterity are likely to be tested at the selection stage.
The Diploma in hospitality, which covers customer service skills and offers hands-on experience in the hospitality industry, may be relevant.
Croupiers need to gain a personal functional licence from the Gambling Commission, which regulates the industry. The application process includes a check by theCriminal Records Bureau (CRB).
Training courses are available from many providers. Some are expensive, and it is important to check that the training offered is useful and appropriate.
The National Gaming Academy (NGA) offers training designed for this industry. It is made up of three further education colleges:
- Blackpool and the Fylde College
- London Gaming College
- North Warwickshire and Hinckley College
The courses they offer include NVQ's at Level 2 in gambling operations - croupier or gaming machines.
The larger casino operators have in-house training schemes, lasting around six weeks.
The NGA offers a foundation degree in casino operations management. The degree is aimed at those wanting to move into supervisory or management roles. Applicants need experience in the industry. Study is over two years full time, or four years part time.
The University of Salford offers a foundation degree, a BA (Hons) and an MSc in gambling and leisure management. The courses include the possibility of work placements in the second and third years.
Oil Drilling Roustabouts and Roughnecks work as part of a small team on offshore oil or gas drilling rigs or production platforms. Roustabouts do unskilled manual labouring jobs on rigs and platforms, and Roughneck is a promotion from roustabout.
Roustabouts do basic tasks to help keep the rig and platform working efficiently and Roughnecks do practical tasks involved in the drilling operation, under the supervision of the driller.
After experience and further training, croupiers may progress to an inspector role, monitoring two or more tables. Beyond that, they may be promoted to the role of pit boss and then to manager.
For skilled croupiers, there are opportunities to work in prestigious casinos abroad, or on board cruise liners.
Blackpool and The Fylde College,
Ashfield Road, Bispham, Blackpool FY2 0HB
Tel: 01253 504343
Victoria Square House, Victoria Square, Birmingham B2 4BP
Tel: 0121 230 6666
National Casino Forum (NCF),
Carlyle House, 235 – 237 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London SW1V 1EJ
Tel: 020 7828 5410
National Gaming Academy,
c/o Blackpool and The Fylde College,
Ashfield Road, Bispham, Blackpool FY2 0HB
Tel: 01253 504190
North Warwickshire and Hinckley College,
Hinckley Road, Nuneaton, Warwickshire CV11 6BH
Tel: 024 7624 3000
People 1st (the Sector Skills Council for Hospitality, Leisure, Travel and Tourism),
Second Floor, Armstrong House, 38 Market Square, Uxbridge UB8 1LH
Tel: 01895 857000
Salford Business School,
University of Salford,
43 The Crescent, Manchester M5 4WT
Tel: 0161 295 5923
Additional resources for job seekers and those already in a job.