Confessions Of A Trainee Croupier Sicily To Cardiff Bound

Confessions Of A Trainee Croupier

A new Croupier Training school has opened in Cardiff under the watch full eyes of Michael Dornan, Craig Whitwell and Nichola Montgomery called The Cardiff Gaming Academy. I have been looking for a while for a new trainee to record his thoughts whilst being trained to be a croupier and lucky the Cardiff Gaming Academy persuaded one of their very first candidates to do just that. I hope it give an insight to wana-be croupiers and brings back a few memories to those who have been there done that and got the T shirt. Although Vincenzo’s written English is excellent I have slightly edited his words ( I know that my command of the native tongue is not outstanding by any means) but I hope I have kept the essence of his words

Confessions Of A Trainee Croupier

My name is Vincenzo Giuliano, an italian 25 years old, and I come from Sicily. I always wanted to experience life in another country and the V Giuliano UK by a cool job for me. Being attracted by the casino’s atmospheric ambiance and  I chose to start a new career as croupier. Then I arrived  in Cardiff January 14 and started the course just one week later (on 20th of January). I was very excited to start finally what i’ve been waiting for a long time.

Confessions Of A Trainee Croupier Week 1

I met my two teachers, Craig and Mike, which I  introduced to by a close friend of mine living in Cardiff since 2011, they immediately showed me around the school and all the different areas: the main room with 1 american roulette table, 1 black jack table, 1 poker, texas hold ’em table and 1 three card poker table. The kitchen/living room, toilette, another small living room and their office upstairs. Everything was very comfortable.
The course focuses on 4 games: American Roulette, Black Jack, 3 card Poker and Poker Texas Hold ‘Em.

We started with the Roulette. Our first week has been all about manual skill and explanation of the basic rules. Every morning warming-up: “chipping up” about 1 thousand chips over the table as quick as you can and, most important thing, trying to feel in your hand 20 chips in a single stack. After that we started with “cutting” the chips in block of fives with each hand trying to develop the right fingers technique. Trust me, it wasn’t easy! At the beginning the most problematic thing in my mind was to learn the right technique with both hands in the same way.
In the following days we started to learn the main procedure on the roulette table which consisted of: start the announcement, spin the ball, keep the bets tidy, place the dolly on the right number, announce the number came out (loud and clear) and clear the layout in the right way. So many mistakes on the first times!
We’ve done some insertions of math, refreshing simple multiplications until get which we needed for the game.
At the end of every day we did a test with: chipping up, cutting and math, all timed.

Michael Dornan Training Officer

mike_headTrained in house in 2001 by Grosvenor Casinos, Michael’s skills and passion for excellence are second to none. He has previously trained inspectors and dealers plus managed both card room and gaming floor departments in the industry, winning a dealer competiton on the way. Michael’s professionalism and knowledge on the poker tables are exceptional have seen him to the heights of dealing televised. His avant-garde approach to training yet traditional standard’s set him aside as one of the best in the business.

Confessions Of A Trainee Croupier Week 2

Increasing our practice with chips, I became a bit faster and my left hand was starting to works. I realized that those skills was totally new for my hands (especially the left one) and if you get through from the first part everything become easier because you’re learning something that you’ve never done before.
We pretty much repeated some stuff of the first week, with a massive dose of practice spent on the table. At the end of this week the teachers, as well as submit to the usual tests, they have introduced new specific roulette test. Probably the most difficult factor for me was to assign different values to the chips.

Confessions Of A Trainee Croupier Week 3

Although some difficulties with new notions I felt really involved day by day, that was a perfect feeling when you start a new project.
Craig and Mike introduced a new challenging feature to learn: call bets.
Completely different from what we learned in the first two weeks. First of all they explained us the concept of this kind of bets. Everything was becoming more demanding when I was dealing a single spin, but in a meanwhile I realized that it was just a matter of time because I was wondering to myself how I felt during the first week…same feelings. Of course we kept doing the usual tests everyday and I impressed myself because I was improving in all the different discipline.

Craig Whitwell Training Officer

Confessions Of A Trainee CroupierTrained by the Stakis chain in 1996, Craig has worked in both independent and national casinos during his time in the industry. Craig has extensive experience running both Pit and card room departments so understands the standards expected by casinos of the croupiers. Craig has seen the industry grow and develop and knows the importance that customer service now has during the gaming experience. Craig has also won internal dealer competitions and excels in his skills on the blackjack and roulette tables.


Confessions Of A Trainee Croupier Week 4

This was the last roulette week. I already seen my progress in the past week but during this week it’s been all of speed and getting confident. I felt more comfortable on the table, less nervous or intimidated. I was trying to show all my technical skills acquired and was doing well. Sometimes one my biggest mistake was to feel too confident. I’m trying to put off this negative side and take a moment in more to be sure in everything i’m doing.
We’ve done other advanced math test specialized on conversion value.

Confessions Of A Trainee Croupier Week 5

Already loved the Roulette, but it was time to switch onto Black Jack table.
I was hungry to learn a new game. First and most important thing at the beginning was pull out the cards. The teachers showed us the right method to do it. You have to take the proper position on the table before to pull out the cards, it’ very important. Then accuracy while you’re pullin them out, as they always said to me “speed will come”. I spent my first 2 days on black jack table doing practice with that. At the end of the week we started some different test about black jack match.
Definitely easier than roulette math.

Nichola Montgomery Numeracy Development Specialist

Confessions Of A Trainee CroupierNichola is responsible for helping you find accommodation, getting your gaming license and generally assisting you and your move into your new career. Nichola has worked in the Casino Industry since 2009. She also has a background as a Numeracy Development Specialist so is on hand to help you with any issues you have.


Confessions Of A Trainee Croupier Week 6

In this week I started to change my attitude on black jack table, I was missing the roulette to be honest but was becoming more practical with the cards and starting to enjoy it as well. So I started to deal a “real” hand of black jack with the perfect procedure. I learned to shuffle the cards much better than before. Then my problem was to have the proper reactivity to count the right score in less time.
Test incresed, but they were very useful.

Confessions Of A Trainee Croupier Week 7

I was starting to enjoy the black jack too. I think it is a more interactive game because you play against the customers and when you get the right experience you’ll think to enjoy the moments with them and everything become lighter.
I was under more “pressure” with two teachers and other classmates playing in my table. In this week we learned 3 different side bets: 21+3, Royal Match and Perfect Pair. As always at the beginning it wasn’t easy, so many things to think, but it’s always matter of practice, you’ll start to act automatically about the basics.

Confessions Of A Trainee Croupier Week 8

Here we are at the last week. I felt quite ready to start a new job, but one last game left: Poker. We started with 3 Card Poker, basically a game with less “action” but definitely the most interactive one. You play against the customers and have fun for their reaction about the game. Tecnique is very simple compare to the other games. We spent about 2 days to learn in a proper way and I found so much fun to dealing.
Second kind of Poker was “Texas Hold ‘Em”, surely the most famous in the last 10 years. Maybe the easiest and comfortable game to deal: sitting, very slow action and you do not play against any customers. You have to be quick, focused to keep the action always in motion and fluent with the skills, but once you’ve done almost 2 month on Roulette and Black Jack everything became easier for you. Personally I really like deal this speciality of Poker, maybe because is the only one that I knew before to start the course. Finally I would to say thank you to Mike and Craig mainly, always treated me well and tried to motivate in some negative days…it happen but with them you can find again the energy to try something that you’ve been wrong before. Thank you guys!

If you would like to train as a croupier contact the Cardiff Gaming Academy NOW

Perhaps one day when your dexterity improves you may be able to manipulate chips in this way

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