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The Education of a Blackjack Dealer, Part 3

"The school ends"

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Now it was time for the paperwork for the background checks, this was necessary in order to receive your gaming license. Many sought my counsel due to my law enforcement background, and I was plagued with many asinine questions and excuses.

I finally stated to all that if you were arrested for some violation and made a court appearance, even if the judge threw it out of court, to list it. That way no one could be accused of covering up some incident in the past. Our paperwork were submitted and then the waiting game commenced. One of my table partners used her smart phone on breaks to track the status of our applications to the state.

I felt a flush of satisfaction when she told me mine was approved. All too soon we were advise that the final audition was less than a 2 weeks away, everyone became nervous.

My lady friend Kitty-Licious' husband was already working as a dealer, he was among the first group hired in and would spend an hour or two at the end of his shift helping us improve our game. The clock was ticking down and this test would be for all the marbles.

The first week of September they posted the lists for the days and times to take the final audition. My core group of friends and I all took the first day, we made sure our times would be an hour apart, and we promised to wait for each other. The day of the exam I was so nervous that I headed downtown at 8:00am and arrived at the academy at
8:45am, I had 15 minutes to spare.

I was shocked that the academy was dark. 9:00am arrived and then 9:15am. Where was the instructor? Finally one of my classmates arrived to get some practice time in and informed me the test time was 8:00pm, embarrassed I went home and returned that evening.

 Only 3 people were allowed to wait in the hallway outside the testing room, the air was thick with anticipation and apprehension. At the appointed time I was called into the room. My mouth went dry and my heart rate increased as I took my place at the table. We began with the simplest task, card handling. First it was shuffling cards, even though a machine does it on the floor, you must have the skill if the machine breaks down.
Then dealing the cards, making sure it's a smooth movement and that no one can see the face when you pull it from the show. Proper placement on the table was checked. Then on to converting money into chips, the proper calls to make and the proper stacking of the chips. Then converting smaller denomination chips into larger ones and visa-versa, and the proper calls to make.

Then it was on to dealing. Remember you have to mentally keep the total of the cards in front of all the players. You flip your cards, dealers stop on a hard 17 but hit a soft 17. Doubling down and splits were covered. You collect the money of the losers and pay the winners. Then came time for the blackjack payout portion, and the sweat increased, this was my weak skill.

A player getting a blackjack, an Ace and any picture card, entitles the player to one and a half times his bet, the winner is getting his bet plus half. With five and ten dollar bets it's easy, the more money they wager the more difficult it becomes. They expected dealers to do the math in their heads, and I couldn't.

So I broke it down on the table and insured the player that this was being done for his and the cameras benefits. Now all through out the test you have to keep chatting, being upbeat and positive. Finally the coach said I was done and then asked me how did I think I did. I searched for a proper response. "I didn't do bad, and I will only get better," I responded. "Good answer", was all he said. I was dismissed. The armpits of my shirt was soaked and the back of my shirt looked like someone threw a glass of water on me.

I joined my friends at the outside pub downstairs, a great sense of relief washed over me as I ordered a beer. My stunning lady friend Kitty-Licious was so stressed she admitted she broke into tears during her test, and she thought she did terribly. Any confidence I had suddenly faded, as I believed she was 100% better than I was.

"If you make it and I don't," she announced, "I will take a job as a cocktail waitresses and walk by your table in my little costume everyday whimpering." We all kissed and bid each other good night and returned home. Now would come the waiting game.

We checked our emails everyday for a message, and nothing. I activated my job search engines and began the search for work. I chatted with my friends on the phone, they had not heard anything either. Finally about 6 days later I received a phone call from Kitty-licious, she was screaming repeatedly to,"Check your email, check your email." Sure enough in the 5 minutes since I had logged off I received an email saying that I passed the audition and was being offered a job as a dealer, all my friends made it too.

We could have 3 days rest and then return for the orientation process.
Written by The_Count
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