The words “croupier” and “dealer” are usually interchangeable. However, like all synonyms, there is a subtle difference.
“Dealer” means the person who deals casino games, in general. “Croupier” is more of a fancy word and it usually refers to roulette dealers only, although technically it could refer to those in charge of other traditional casino games such as baccarat.
“Dealer” is the most common one, and the one that sounds more natural. Depending on the context, “croupier” could sound strange, even for the casino connoisseur.
For instance, you wouldn’t call a blackjack dealer a croupier. And when referring to poker dealers, the word “croupier” definitely sounds odd.
I’m a casino dealer myself, and although I do like the French word, I almost always use the word “dealer” simply because it’s less sophisticated, and much more widely used.
Croupier vs dealer in Europe
Apparently, the word “croupier” was first used in the 17th century and referred to a person who stood behind a gambler (to assist them in the game and/or handle the cash).
It’s obviously a French word, and although it’s not very common in the US, it’s still widely used in France as well as the rest of Europe.
For instance, in countries like Germany, Spain, Italy, and the Netherlands, the word “croupier” seems to be the most commonly used.
Spain even has its own version of the word, which is spelt without the “o” — crupier.
The terms “dealer” and “casino employee” are also used, but they’re not as common as the French word.
Unless, again, you’re referring to those who deal poker games such as Texas Hold’em, in which case you would always use the word “dealer”.
The term dealer refers to those who — you don’t say — deal casino games.
It cannot be used to describe any other casino employees. Those would be pit bosses, inspectors, managers, cashiers, and so on.
The same is true for the word “croupier”.
Therefore the only real responsibility of a croupier is to run the games (and that itself can be very challenging), besides customer interaction.
Once croupiers level up, if they ever want to, they will have other duties and you’ll no longer see them at the tables.
Some croupiers choose to keep their job as dealers, rather than becoming supervisors, simply because they enjoy dealing and do not want extra responsibilities, especially if the pay increase is negligible.
Croupier vs dealer: which do you prefer?
I’m curious — which term would you rather use?
And if you heard the word “croupier”, would you think of dealers of casino games in general, or roulette dealers only?
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