Professional Poker Dealer Salary

  1. Professional Poker Dealer Salary Calculator
  2. Professional Poker Dealer Salary Guide
  1. The national average salary for a Casino Dealer is $40,000 in United States. Filter by location to see Casino Dealer salaries in your area. Salary estimates are based on 40 salaries submitted anonymously to Glassdoor by Casino Dealer employees. How much should you negotiate?
  2. As for the yearly salary of a poker pro. Once again a small or mid stakes professional poker player will make between $25,000 per year and $500,000 per year. And a high stakes poker pro will again make.

As for the yearly salary of a poker pro. Once again a small or mid stakes professional poker player will make between $25,000 per year and $500,000 per year. And a high stakes poker pro will again make considerably more than this, usually well over 7 figures per year. Not many people know that two-time World Series of Poker champion Johnny Chan, or Layne Flack (who has total winnings of over $4.2 million dollars as of 2008) were professional poker dealers before going pro in the poker leagues. In fact, in the 2004 WSOP No-Limit Event, all three players were former dealers!

People often ask me these days what is the average professional poker player salary?
And to be quite honest, the answer varies depending on your skill level, what stakes you play, how much volume you put in and so on.
So in this article I am going to break it all down for you. This is the ultimate guide to a professional poker player's salary.

Professional Poker Player Salary Hourly Wage

So there are many different ways to look at a professional poker player's salary. The first is their hourly wage.
This is the most familiar for many people because in most traditional jobs you get paid an hourly wage. However, in poker this is not really a metric we often use.
And the reason why is because poker is not like a normal job where you earn a consistent steady wage for every hour you work.
Instead, your results will be all over the place in poker.
Some hours you will win big or win small. Some hours you will lose big or lose small. The same goes for entire days and even entire weeks at the poker table.
So there is no such thing as a typical hourly wage for a professional poker player. But if we estimate over the course of say a year, we could get an average hourly wage for a poker pro.
If we were to focus on the small and mid stakes professional poker players, they would average over the course of a year an hourly wage of between $20 per hour and $500 per hour.
It will vary tremendously as you can see depending on what stakes they play, how many hours they put in, and how hard they work on improving their poker game away from the tables.

For a high stakes professional poker player, their average hourly wage over the course of a year could be anywhere between $500 per hour and $10,000 per hour or more.
There are very few high stakes poker pros however because you legitimately have to be one of the best poker players in the world to consistently beat these stakes.

Professional Poker Player Yearly Salary

What about a yearly salary for a professional poker player though? How much will they typically bring home in an entire calendar year?
Well, this depends heavily on how much volume they put in. Or to put that in plain English, how much poker they play.
Some poker pros frankly are a bit lazy and just put in the minimum effort to pay the bills. Because after all they can do this.
There is no boss telling them what to do!
This is one of the best parts about being a poker pro. And this was how I acted actually through the first several years of my professional poker career.
That is, just putting in the minimum effort. Only playing a couple hours on the weekends, which was enough to pay my bills.
But eventually I smartened up and realized that I needed to take being a poker pro a lot more seriously.
So I started playing much more consistently, often 7 days a week for 8-12 hours every single day. And then my poker pro career finally started to take off.
I was also spending several more hours per day studying my own game and learning advanced poker strategies on the side.
Let's just focus on the average poker pro though who plays an amount of poker somewhere in the middle of these two extremes.
That is, a poker pro who plays about 5 days a week for 4-8 hours per day. What kind of yearly wage can this type of professional poker player expect?
Well, a small or mid stakes professional poker player's yearly salary in this case would be between $25,000 per year and $500,000 per year.
Again, it is going to vary tremendously on exactly what stakes they play and how much they work on improving their winrate (bb/100 or bb/hr).

And a high stakes professional poker player's yearly salary can be between $500,000 per year and $10,000,000 or more.
But once again it bears mentioning that there are very few poker players that will ever be capable of consistently beating high stakes games that are full of world class pros.

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How to Increase Your Salary as a Professional Poker Player?

If you are a professional poker player already though, or you are planning on becoming one, how would you go about increasing your salary?
The easiest way to do this is to increase your skill level.
For example, there are tons of high level poker training programs available these days like The Upswing Poker Lab which are taught by today's most successful professional poker players.
They teach you the advanced strategies that you need to know in order to crush your opponents at the poker table for the highest winrates possible.
I recommend studying The Upswing Poker Lab videos each night for a month or two (especially the advanced sections of the course), and your winrate (measured in big blinds per 100 hands) will likely increase significantly.

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Both my live poker video series and the The Upswing Poker Lab will make you a much more profitable professional poker player every time you sit down to play.
Or in other words, a much more efficient player, with a higher average hourly wage.
As a professional poker player, I highly recommend that you invest in your poker knowledge, by learning the latest cutting edge strategies, if you want to stay on top of the games.

Professional Poker Dealer Salary Calculator

Back to the Basics

What if you are still just starting out though and struggling to turn a profit at the lowest stakes?

If you are still struggling at the lower limits though, then you might not be ready for something as advanced as The Upswing Lab yet. You need to make sure you have mastered the fundamentals first.
In that case I would recommend checking out my best selling poker strategy book Crushing the Microstakes and the optional video course that comes with it as well.
Here I teach you the fundamental poker strategies that you need to start confidently beating the lowest limits and moving your way up the stakes.
Since I have some of the best results of all-time in these games online, you know you are learning the best strategies possible to win big in these games.
Lastly, I would also highly recommend using a good poker tracking program like PokerTracker in order to review your hands and study your opponents.
I have spent countless hours improving my poker game away from the tables in PokerTracker over the years. And it is absolutely one of the keys to my success.

Professional Poker Player Taxes

Now, something that a lot of people also ask me about is what taxes a professional poker player needs to pay.
And quite frankly, this is a difficult question for me to answer because of course it is going to vary widely depending on where you live (or where your tax residence is).
For example, some countries view poker winnings as a 'gambling windfall' just like getting lucky at the roulette wheel and therefore, they are not taxable.
Whereas other countries define poker as a game of skill, which it is proven to be, and therefore make professional poker players file a tax return.
And then of course there are many other countries where professional poker player taxes are basically one big grey area which are open to interpretation.
The best thing to do in all of these cases if you are a professional poker player is consult with a competent tax professional, and especially one with specific experience in dealing with poker or gambling related income.
This is going to be your best bet to make sure that you are obeying all applicable tax laws for a professional poker player in the jurisdiction that you live in.
They will also be able to help you perhaps setup a more beneficial tax residence in order to lower your tax burden as a poker pro, again if applicable (consult with a professional tax specialist).

Chances of Becoming a Professional Poker Player

Now with all of that said, what are your chances of even becoming a professional poker player these days? How many people even need to worry about all this stuff?
Honestly, the chances of becoming a professional poker players are pretty low.
As I discussed recently on this blog, the truth about being a professional poker player these days is often much different than the general perception of it.
And most people quite frankly do not succeed as a professional poker player for a variety of reasons.
In fact, most people do not even win at poker in the first place over the long run!
This is because poker is a very hard game to consistently stay on top of, both from a technical and mental perspective.
This is something that world class poker pros like Daniel Negreanu have discussed many times.
You need to be hard working, driven, have natural ability and have a cool and calm disposition in order to guide you through all of the inevitable lengthy losing streaks.

Professional Poker Dealer Salary Guide

Most people have one but not both.
Being a professional poker player can be a great career choice for a few people. It changed my entire life and allowed me the freedom to travel the world and be my own boss.
But the reality is that it doesn't work out quite so well for most people. Most people in my opinion should just keep their day job.

Final Thoughts

So what is the average professional poker player's salary these days?
Well, if you are a small or mid stakes poker pro, you can expect to make an average hourly wage of roughly between $20 per hour and $500 per hour.
High stakes professional poker players on the other hand will typically make much more than this because they play poker for a lot more money.
As for the yearly salary of a poker pro. Once again a small or mid stakes professional poker player will make between $25,000 per year and $500,000 per year.
And a high stakes poker pro will again make considerably more than this, usually well over 7 figures per year.
Becoming a professional poker player these days is definitely not easy though and requires a lot of hard work, patience and discipline.
I don't recommend it for most people!
Luckily though, it is much easier to learn how to quickly start making a nice part time income from poker these days while keeping your day job.
If you want to learn how to start making a decent side income in small stakes poker games, I recommend you grab a copy of my free poker cheat sheet.
A poker dealer

A poker dealer distributes cards to players and manages the action at a poker table.

Professional dealers[edit]

Any casino with a poker room must hire a staff of dealers. Casinos generally pay dealers minimum wage. However, a dealer's primary source of income is not salary, but tips from players. Tip income may be substantial for dealers who can deal hands quickly and efficiently. (In some countries e.g., in Sweden, where all the casinos are owned by the state, Dealers and other casino personnel may not accept tips from players. This rule is complied with strictly.)

To become employable by a casino, applicants without prior experience are typically required to complete a 4-6 week training program at a dealing school. Dealing in a casino may require working late hours and remaining seated for long periods of time. Dealers also commonly work holidays, since these are especially busy days for casinos. Having to deal with difficult individuals may be another drawback to dealing at a casino—some players are abusive to dealers.

Major poker tournaments also hire dealers. For a given tournament stop, the tournament coordinator will hire dealers on contract for the duration of the tournament, which may be a few days to a few weeks. Room and board may or may not be provided by the tournament management; the dealer is typically responsible for his own travel expenses.

Mechanics of dealing[edit]

Dealers must be proficient in shuffling the deck, distributing the cards to the players, and, if required by the game being dealt, turning up the community cards in the center of the table. There are two methods of distributing the cards, 'American'-style and 'European'-style.


To shuffle the cards, the dealer follows a sequence defined by the casino. First all cards are spread out on the table and pushed around randomly. This is called 'scrambling' or 'washing' the cards. Then the cards are collected and squared into a deck. At this point a typical shuffling sequence might be: riffle, riffle, box, riffle. Professional dealers always keep both halves of the deck very low to the table while shuffling. Some casinos have automatic shufflers built into the table that shuffle a different deck of cards while the previous hand is being played, which speeds up the game.

Finally, a cut card is placed on the table and the deck is cut onto the card. The cut card is held on the bottom of the deck for the entire hand, to keep the bottom card from being exposed.

American-style dealing[edit]

In American-style dealing, the deck is held in one hand, and the dealer uses the thumb of their deck hand to slide the top card of the deck toward their pitching hand. Poker table australia. The pitching hand clasps the card between the thumb and index finger while at the same time the mid-point of the card touches the face (nail) of the middle finger. It is the extension of the middle finger that 'pitches' the card off the top of the deck and a 'whoosh' should be heard as each card exits the top of the deck.

The ability to pitch cards accurately is critical, since the cards must be delivered in a way that players at the table can not see the undersides of the cards.

European-style dealing[edit]

European-style dealers touch only the top of each card being dealt. The card is pushed off the top of the deck to the table surface in front of the dealer. The dealer then propels the card toward the recipient, usually imparting some spin to the card to encourage sliding.

Burning and turning[edit]

Before dealing a community card, the top card off the deck is burned, or discarded. The rationale for burning is that the top card on the deck is visible to players during the previous betting round, so that a cheat might be able to spot a mark on the top card and therefore gain an advantage on his opponents.

When burning, the deck must be held low and the burn card kept level with the table surface. Casinos watch carefully to make sure a dealer does not 'flash', or inadvertently expose, the burn cards to players at the table.

In flop games, the three community cards comprising the flop are turned up simultaneously, never one at a time.

Responsibilities during a hand[edit]

Dealers control the action during a hand. This may include prodding players to act, verbally announcing actions of players to the rest of the table, and correcting players who act out of turn.

Dealers also must manage the pot. The dealer must verify the amount of bets and raises by players, collect folded hands, maintain side pots, and read players' hands at showdown to identify the winner or winners. In games with a rake, the dealer also must keep track of the amount of money in the pot and remove the appropriate amount for the house.

At times the dealer needs to communicate with the floor, or other casino staff. Some casinos equip the dealers with a headset or walkie-talkie for this purpose, while in other casinos the dealer must shout over the ambient noise. The following table shows some common calls a dealer may make, and their meanings:

'Floor' or 'Decision'Requests the floor manager to come to resolve a dispute.
'Seat open'Announces that a player has left the game and a seat is now available.
'Player in'Notifies the floor or brush that a vacant seat has been filled.
'Players checks'Requests a chip runner to retrieve chips for a player.
'Fill'Requests a chip runner to bring chips to fill the dealer tray. This tray must be kept full of low denomination chips in a high limit game, so that change may be made in the pot so that the rake may be taken out.
'Set up'Requests replacement decks be brought to the table.
'Pick up'For cash games, used when an absent player's chips should be removed from the table to free the seat. Also, for single-table satellites, used to request the staff to come collect the cash entry fees from the table.
'Playover'Alerts the floor that a new player will be playing in a seat taken by an absent player, until the absent player returns. Usually a 'playover box' or some other object is used to separate the seated player's money and chips from those of the person playing over.
'Winner'Used in single-table satellites to announce that the game has completed and the prize is to be paid.
'Brush'Calls the floor to deal with a game participation problem, for example if a game must be broken due to insufficient players.
'Service' or 'Cocktails'Alerts the floor that a player wants a beverage and/or food.

Online dealing[edit]

Online poker sites use Random number generation (RNGs) when dealing cards. A successful RNG distributes cards in an unpredictable and random way.

See also[edit]



  • Shulman, Barry (2001-06-22). 'Dealer Compensation'. Card Player Magazine.
  • Shulman, Barry (2002-03-29). 'Dealer Tipping and Economics'. Card Player Magazine.
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