Poker Rules For Dealers

Etiquette and general knowledge necessary for proper control of card game.

What exactly is expected of the professional and casual poker dealer?

Much more than one may think...

Control of the game, knowledge of the rules, general courtesy. and above all, proper etiquette. All poker hands should be enjoyed to the fullest, with the dealer being an intricate part of that enjoyment.

First and foremost, the dealers presence at the table must one of confidence and assertiveness. They should be present to decide disputes, but be sensitive enough to know that the less they are impacting a hand, the better.



As with any hand, the beginning of a poker hand is the shuffle and the deal. Most dealers are able to "inside/out" the cards as many would do within a friendly game, but a true professional dealer employs the "wash" method to satisfactorily shuffle the cards.

The "wash" is when a dealer spreads the cards in front of himself face down, and simply mixes the cards on the table for 10 - 15 seconds, using big "wax on/wax off" method. This sufficiently randomizes the cards without risking a bent or flipped card, as the "inside-out" method does.

The dealer then starts play by offering the player to his right the opportunity to "cut" the cards. This is done by taking one or several cards off the top of the deck and placing them next to what remains of the deck. The dealer then places the remainder on top of what was cut, then begins to deal.

Starting to his left, the dealer deals, one at a time to each player, 5 - 7 cards (depending upon the game). If the game is a "draw" game, all players then look at their cards, and decide how many they would like to discard. Any player may discard up to three cards (4 if they have an ace, which they must reveal to all other players, and the dealer takes those cards and removes them from the game.

The dealer then replaces the discarded cards ALL AT ONCE to each player. Players then decide whether they have the superior hand at the table, and gamble accordingly.

Keep in mind, at times there is betting, and at times there is not. There are several variations on the fabulous game of poker which should be independently researched. But for the most part, the responsibility of the dealer is complete.

Clearly, the great dealer knows all the rules and all combinations of the great game of poker. Indeed, often times the dealer is the best player at the table. Like the manager of a baseball team, to the coach of either football or basketball, they have more than likely "seen it all" which benefits them greatly.

AT all times the dealer must be aware of all aspects of the game, judging them objectively and fairly. In truth, all dealers could be players, but not all players could be dealers. Dealing poker is a delicate balance of control, knowledge, and discipline which, when practiced diligently, brings enjoyment to all.

© Demand Media 2011