On Sunday, I finished my first week working as a Table Games Dealer with Rolling Hills Casino -- in Corning, CA -- and I've much to say about it, and I know most of you were interested in how it went, so here I go!
I've broken things down to make it easier for me to write and for you all to read... hopefully!
I've been assigned swing shifts, and I work Thursday through Sunday from 8:00 PM to 6:00 AM. These are 10-hour shifts, yes, but for every 4 days I work, I get 3 days off in return. Not bad, right?
In terms of breaks, I'll typically receive one 20-minute break after 40 minutes of dealing. That means I'm sitting down in the employee break/dining room for 3 to 4 hours per day, depending on customer volume. It's another glorious job perk in disguise.
From the looks of it, my work schedule is a little dynamic; it could change at any time -- it'd again be based on perceived customer volume -- but they'd have to let me know at least one week in advance. I'm assuming if I ask for time off well in advance, then for that week, my schedule is locked.
There's a commute associated with this job, and to most, it's not a pretty one. I spend 3 hours a day driving to and from home. I've gotten used to it, though. As with all long drives, this one got easier as I became familiar with all of the freeway exits, landmarks and towns I passed by.
What I Like and Dislike:
Rolling Hills has got to be one of the most relaxed casinos I've ever visited. In my opinion, it's far less stuffy than Cache Creek or Thunder Valley, and the people are far more friendlier than those at Red Hawk. The employees, and my colleagues, are very nice. Everyone knows everyone else on first name bases, and they've welcomed me into their family very quickly. I love it.
What's there to dislike? My weekends are shot, and I wish my work schedule would let me hang out with my friends again on weekends. Gamblers can get really angry if the cards aren't going their way, and of course, I'm the one to blame. If I have to list a third thing to dislike, then it has to be the cigarette smoke but only if it's being blown directly into my face. The casino is pretty well ventilated, so I don't have the problem of being forced to inhale fumes much.
Oh... I just remembered a fourth thing to dislike, which I'll talk about next.
I remember when I applied for a dealing position, the job description stated "the ability to speak a second language is a plus." Here, they were hoping I knew how to speak Spanish. Unfortunately, I don't. Not fluently, that is...
More often than not, I get a table full of non-English-speaking Hispanic players. Most of them know how to play Blackjack and clearly call out their intentions [to hit, double, split, stand, etc] with hand signals. Others don't, however, and it becomes a challenge for me to tell them what their options are. Try explaining the concept of Insurance to them!
What I do to make them feel as welcome as possible, though, is give them their hand totals in Spanish. I've taken two years worth of high school Spanish, and I can count from 1 to 10,000 easily. When I started speaking in their native tongues, they appeared to become more comfortable with me. Mission accomplished!
In the Gaming Department, the Slots division is fully independent of the Tables division, so unfortunately, I can offer very little "insider" information about machine pay back rates and the like. Bummer, right?
I can, however, tell everyone about the games we offer. There are 800 machines in all, and there appears to be a good mix of old and new games. The big 4 manufacturers (Aristocrat, Bally, IGT and WMS) equally control most of the gaming floor, but there were a handful of Multimedia Games titles. Notable games include...
• Aladdin and the Magic Lamp
• Betty Boop's Love Meter
• Deal or No Deal Join 'n' Play
• Epic Monopoly (the ONLY Monopoly-themed game on the gaming floor)
• Gone with the Wind
• Life of Luxury Deluxe
• The Lord of the Rings (3-Reel Mechanical)
If you're a Wheel of Fortune fan, then you might be disappointed; we only have the mechanical 3-reel, 1-line, 3-coin wide-area progressive games and only in quarter or dollar denomination. I also saw none of the variants like Multi-Level Progressives, Multi-Win, Secret Spins or Super Spin.
Overall, though, I think there's enough variety to satisfy the seasoned slot junkie.
I know there's a lot more I probably haven't covered, so I'll open it up to questions from here, if any of you have any!