I’m a casino dealer who also enjoys practicing card and chip tricks.
Don’t expect to see any of these when you play at a casino, although the dealer may perform some tricks once in a while.
Here is a list of ten relatively common croupier tricks and techniques. Not the best quality/lighting but the videos had to be compressed anyway.
Croupier tricks (cards)
Not too difficult, to be honest. Works best with new decks, but unlike card fans, this is a move you can perform with any deck if you have the right technique.
Croupiers may be required to spread the deck when opening a blackjack table, or before dealing for the button in poker. Typically, this would be to show that no cards are missing.
You definitely won’t see this at a blackjack table, but it’d be pretty cool if you did. Croupiers must shuffle the deck following the procedures of the casino, and you can’t expose the cards anyway.
The standard shuffle for casino games, including poker, would be a riffle, another riffle, a strip cut, and one more riffle, followed by a single cut. With two hands, not one.
And here it is! Not much of a trick, really, but I had to include it in the list. Notice how the cards are lifted only a little bit, so that the players won’t see any.
Not that poker or blackjack players stare at the deck and try to figure out which card is at the top — but it’s the croupier’s responsibility to make sure the cards are not exposed. Not the coolest shuffle, but this is the one you’ll see in casinos.
Croupier tricks (chips)
One of the easiest poker chip tricks — learn this one if you want to impress your friends without hours of practice.
This is actually quite useful for the croupier whenever he or she has to spread a stack of chips that’s “dirty” (where the chips are not in order). The croupier can simply grab the stack with one hand and flip the top chip(s) with the thumb.
You’ve probably seen poker players do this, and it looks pretty cool. Not the hardest trick but it takes a while to get faster.
It’s basically a thumb flip with three chips where you drop the chip in the middle and rotate it with the second finger.
Don’t try this on a hard surface — it won’t work, and you may even damage the chip. The poker felt is usually ideal.
This is one of the less common chip tricks, but it looks kind of cool. The more you practice, the more it’ll look smooth, but you could just drop the chip until it lands back on top of the stack. So technically the easiest croupier trick ever.
You may see croupiers do this whenever they grab two small stacks at the same time. It may be easier for them to just shuffle the chips then grab the full stack.
The standard procedure would be to always put one stack on top of the other, though.
One of the first things you learn as a croupier (not so much as a poker dealer, although it does help regardless of which game you deal) is to cut down chip stacks.
Typically, the last pile must be spread to show the eye in the sky that each smaller stack is, say, five chips and not six. Note that the stack must be divided with the index, not the thumb.
Cutting down (roulette)
Same exact thing, but you do this vertically. Let’s say a customer has put thirteen chips on a number straight up, and the croupier gets out a few stacks of chips for the payout — how does everybody else know whether the payout is correct?
This is why all bets are cut down. It can’t be done horizontally, so you just cut the stacks in fives, one on top of the other. Looks easy but try to do it with a tower of 40+ chips while the players stare at you.
A famous coin trick. It can be done with casino chips as well, but they’re just too big. It’s much easier and faster with a small coin (I’m using £1 in the video).
Apparently, the world record for most coin rolls in a minute is 57. Millicent Convento did it in 2016 with a five peso coin. Pretty impressive.
Can croupiers perform tricks?
Not really. And as mentioned earlier, all standard moves such as cutting down stacks, shuffling the deck, pitching the cards, and so on, must be done according to standard procedures.
That being said, croupiers can perform a few tricks once in a while, especially if the table is empty.
So you may see a roulette dealer who’s bored and shuffles two stacks of color chips, or a poker dealer sitting at an empty table who practices the spread.
Depending on how strict management is, croupiers may be allowed to perform a few tricks when e.g. passing payouts to customers.
It’s really kind of cool, and it won’t look unprofessional unless you overdo it. You just need to make sure the atmosphere at the table isn’t too serious.
The one-handed shuffle and the coin roll definitely cannot be used in any way in a casino.
But some tricks can be useful.
For instance, you can use the thumb flip to rearrange the order of the chips with one hand. Or use the bounce trick when giving change to a customer.
They also improve hand dexterity which is key to becoming faster and smoother as a croupier.