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Quit your job, become a... croupier

Written by
Time Out London contributor

Archie Cork, 23, croupier at the Hippodrome

What is a croupier?

'We are professionally trained casino game dealers. I tend to specialise in craps, but we deal several games including blackjack, roulette and three-card poker. We're responsible for the integrity of the games and for entertaining the customers. Essentially, we're the face of the casino.'

So you do a lot of crapping. What attributes are needed for this?

'Basic skills in maths are crucial. You've got to learn your times tables! Hand dexterity is also important. The interview for the job is challenging. You do a maths test and take a colourblindness test. There are many different-coloured chips on the tables, so the casino needs to make sure you can differentiate between them. There's also a simple dexterity test to check that you can move your hands properly.'

What are the customers like?

'You get a real range coming in. There are serious gamblers and casual gamblers. You get people who have used casinos for years, lads who just want to get £20 to buy beer, celebrities, millionaires. It's really fascinating.'

Do they have a good grasp of the odds?

'A lot of people who come in don't know the games that well, but we're here to help and explain rules and odds. We're very open about the house advantage and how the games are run.'

Is it hard to watch people lose money?

'You have to distance yourself from it. Obviously you feel sorry for people. You don't want to take their money, but you have to. If it was up to me, no one would ever lose, but it's part of the job.'

Do you have to work crazy hours?

'There's a range of day shifts and night shifts. My main shift is from 10pm to 6am. But I do an 8pm to 4am as well. You get in and do an hour and 20 minutes on a table then have a 20-minute break. After that, you might go to a different table for an hour and 20 minutes. You get quite a few breaks because you need to be sharp. There's a lot of money flying around.'

Hours: 40 per week

Starting salary: £18k plus tips

Qualifications: Good maths skills and hand-eye coordination

Interview by Sammy Robson

Or why not become a winemaker?

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