What is Dealer?
Dealer → 1. Dealer is the person responsible for dealing the cards during a hand of poker.
Example usage → “The dealer burned two cards before hitting us with the river”
Dealer → 2. Dealer is the player who occupies the button position at the table.
Example usage → “It was folded around to the player with the dealer button”
Brick and mortar casinos have a designated dealer who is paid by the casino. The dealer deals the cards, makes sure players stick to the rules, and provides other services such as assisting with chip counts and monitoring the size of the pot.
When poker is played at home, it’s rare that a player is assigned designated dealer duties as in a casino, since everyone likely wants to get involved in the action. To keep things fair, dealer duties move around the table anti-clockwise on a hand-by-hand basis. This responsibility moves in accordance with the dealer button.
The dealer button is hence not only used indicate who occupies the favoured button position, but also whose responsibility it is to deal the cards during an individual hand of poker.
It’s possible to become a professional poker dealer provided we have a good grasp of the rules. Dealers need to know the rules of poker inside out, including rulings that the average poker player might be unfamiliar with. For example, how should a dealer respond when a player at the table makes a string bet? How should a dealer respond when a player at his table folds out of turn? How should the dealer respond when a player at the table makes a raise size which is not quite the size of a legal minimum raise? Most players never think about these aspects of the game, but the dealer has to know correct policy in all cases to ensure fairness of the games.
The Tournament Director’s Association might be a great place to start for any budding poker dealer since it contains a complete set of poker rules covering all unorthodox situations.
Casino dealers expect to receive “tips” (also known as “tokes) from the players at the table, especially after winning a big pot. Although such tips are not mandatory, a balance needs to be found. Never tipping could make a player unpopular with the dealer, the floor, and other players. Overly liberal toking can however, result in a player killing his winrate. Remember that edges in poker are already small enough – we don’t want to be furnishing the dealer with our entire profits. He is already paid by the casino after all.