I'm a dancing card dealer at a Vegas casino. I love my job — here's what it's like.
Victoria Silva, 27, works as a dancing dealer at Circa Resort & Casino in downtown Las Vegas.
She rotates between dealing cards at roulette and blackjack tables and dancing on a platform on the casino floor.
This is what her job is like, as told to freelance writer Molly O'Brien.
I've been working as a "dancing dealer" in Las Vegas for almost four years now. A dancing dealer is a [table games] dealer who also dances. We take shifts dealing, and then we dance in front of the people in the casino. It's our job to make sure people are having fun — whether they're winning or losing — so that they have a great experience and want to come back.
I currently work the night shift at Circa Resort & Casino in downtown Las Vegas. I deal blackjack and roulette. I enjoy working the night shift because it means I get to spend the daytime with my two daughters, who are four and six.
I officially get off work at 3 a.m., and get home and go to bed around 4:30 a.m.
My wakeup time ranges from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. depending on the kids' activities. It can be hard coming home late and then having to get up early, but it's worth it.
I normally get Sunday and Monday off, and I'll spend time with my kids as much as I can. Sometimes I'll have a date night with my husband, but most of the time when I'm off I'm just at home, relaxing.
Dancing dealers have the same official dealer certification and skills as any other regular dealer.
Before this job, I worked in retail, specifically at Hollister, for quite some time. I didn't grow up being a dancer, but my sisters and I used to make up dances as kids. I was also a cheerleader in school, which helped build my confidence.
As a dancing dealer, we don't actually have routines, we just freestyle. To be in this position, I don't think you need to be the best dancer in the world, but you need to be a good dancer.
I feel like since we're also dancers, people sometimes don't take us as seriously as a regular dealer — but we're just as qualified as any other dealer in town.
In order to get certified, I had to complete a two week training and pass an audition test. We had a trainer who taught us all the steps of dealing and then we each took an in-person test with a few other people. Once we passed we were set to work in the casinos.
I love my coworkers. We're like one big family and we look out for each other.
One of the best parts of my job is that I make a lot of friends. We're like a big family, the 60 of us girls who are dancing dealers. Another thing I love about my job is interacting with people and hearing their funny stories.
The hours can definitely be a challenge, but I think the only real downside is that not everyone who comes in is always nice. The majority of people are nice — but sometimes you get those tough people.
I never know how much money I actually deal out in a night, because it always varies. Weekends I deal out much more. The players can put down as much as they want at a table — but every table does have a max bet depending on where you are in the casino, which is why there are specific high limit betting areas. Most people bet around $100 a game, or maybe a little more — but we do have people who play in the $1,000s.
Overall, I definitely notice a difference in energy and clientele on weekdays versus weekends. Weekends are high energy and super busy, and weekdays are steady — but not as crazy.
Building relationships with regular customers is fun.
Since our casino is downtown, I think many of our customers are not as serious as on the strip because they're gambling to have fun, not to make money or for sport.
I get return customers all the time who play with me because they like me. I have one player who comes every single night. I have another very sweet couple who are regulars, and when I deal roulette they come in and play the numbers "17" and "20" every time because those are their lucky numbers. They'll bet the max amount and whenever they win, they tip big. The most I've ever seen anyone win at once is $50,000.
You have to have an always-positive attitude, but overall dealing is a fun job.
Normally we'll do an hour dealing, then we dance for 20 minutes, then we get a break for 20 minutes. It doesn't even feel like 20 minutes when you're dancing on the mini elevated boxes we have around the casino. There's always so much going on around me it makes the night go by faster.
I don't have any signature dance moves — I just try not to fall off the box! We dance on top of boxes in the middle of the "pit" in the casino, so all the players can see us.
To thrive in this sort of position, you need to have great people skills. You can't be shy because you're dancing in front of a bunch of people and when you're not dancing, you're communicating with them as a dealer. You have to be positive and happy so that your players feel good.
To anyone who's interested in becoming a dancing dealer, I'd tell them it's not the easiest job, because dealing with a lot of people can be tiring. At the same time, it's a really fun job because you're meeting people from all over the world. I'd like to keep doing this as my job forever.
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