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Thanksgiving dinners around Sacramento!

Hi Sac-Reddit friends-

I am spending my first Thanksgiving in Sacramento, and my folks are coming into town to join me. As we are a small family unit, we typically do not do the home-made thanksgiving meal, and instead go out. Because I've only had a limited time to explore the area, I would love your suggestions for any restaurant (or Casino) that hast a good thanksgiving special dinner.

I'm not too highfalutin or anything, but I am ok with spending a bit more on the meal than a typical evening out, so I welcome all suggestions!

I was eyeing the buffet at Thunder Valley, but again, open to all input you have! Thank you in advance.
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[Table] I am a Blackjack Dealer in an Indian Casino (CA) AMA

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Date: 2012-03-04
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Questions Answers
Feather hat Indian or red dot on head Indian? Native American.
Would you prefer that I tip you directly or make a bet for you? I personally would prefer you make the bet for me, but it varies from dealer to dealer. Ask, most houses will let dealer decide.
What etiquette mistakes to players commonly make to the dealers and other players? Biggest mistake that I see players make to other players is offering unasked for advice. If someone wants an opinion, or has said that they are new and might need help its ok, but otherwise just let them play their cards. If you don't like the way they play, find another table. As for etiquette toward dealers, just keep in mind that A-we want you to win. If you are losing you are much less likely to tip, and we live off of our tips and B-We don't control the cards, we just deliver them. If you wouldn't scream at the mailman for delivering your bills, don't scream at us if you hit 15 and bust.
Do most dealers gamble in their free time? A lot of dealers gamble in their free time, but there on some who don't.
Has being a dealer made you more or less superstitious? I can't say that being a dealer has really changed my level of superstition, but it has greatly increased my basic math skills!
Are you Indian yourself? How do you feel the casinos are for Indians today in general? Nope, but I think that they are doing well by the casino, and that in turn they do well by the community it is in. I can't say that this applies to all tribes, but the one that I work for has done a lot for the community they live in with the money they've gotten. Opened a health clinic that offers reduced price health care to everyone in the county, spent quite a bit on highway upgrades that they weren't required to, supported many local charities, that sort of thing.
Have you seen a person actually count? And if so does security thorw them out? Yes, and not usually. Generally the people that are easy to spot aren't actually good at it, so they don't do very well. I suppose if it became VERY VERY obvious they might, but those people would most likely be in a high limit area, and I don't deal there.
What is the largest amount of money you've ever seen lost or won at your table? In one bet, had a guy bet 5,000 and lose. In one night, saw a lady buy in for 100 and leave with 20,000 at the end of 6 hours
I always expected casinos to be ritzy like in a james bond movie. Then I visited one in CA and it was all depressing, with hundreds of people playing cards who look broke and don't work in the middle of a weekday. Where do your customers get money from? Well, some of them have regular jobs with irregular hours, some gamble for a living, and grahvity isn't wrong, some of them spend their social security/fixed income here. If you want the ritz/glamour, try Vegas or Atlantic City, some of the nicer casinos there will give you that feel.
People play Blackjack to be entertained. Are you ever bored when you work? Sometimes, it really depends on how the players are. If they are talking to me, asking for help, pretty much in anyway interacting with me, then not really. There are some days when I just want to pitch the entire deck of cards and call it quits though :)
Do your employers ever tell you to load the cards, as in cheat? If so, how dy'a do it? Nope, as a matter of fact I would get in HUGE trouble if I tried.
Winner, winner, chicken dinner! Have you seen the movie "21"? How accurate is it? Have you ever seen someone playing with a system at your table? Have to admit, I HATE that saying! LOL, just cause I hear it soooo often. Never seen 21, but yes, I've seen players with systems. Some are good, some are bad, most of the are BS.
Could imagine, would annoy the crap out of me after some time, too! What happens when you notice somebody's playing with system? Depends. If it's truly just a system, and it's working, I congratulate them! If it is a system I know, and it is flawed, I will advise them of the problem with it. People don't seem to realize, as a dealer I don't want you to lose! If you lose, you don't tip, then we are both unhappy. If you win, you may tip me, then we are both happy. Which do you think we prefer?
Do people ever ask you if "everyday you're shufflin'"? Some do. I've said it myself a few times, usually gets a laugh.
Does tipping effect when you shuffle? The casino I play at is single deck and some dealers are super stringent on shuffling if I vary mt bets during the deck. If I'm a goood tipper are you more inclined to let me get away with it? Not at my casino. We have very strict rules as to when we have to shuffle, and very little leeway. If you are tipping well and the deck is going badly I would offer to shuffle sooner, but once the cut card (at my casino it is a red plastic card, clearly different than the playing cards) comes out, as soon as that hand ends we must shuffle. I have once or twice accidentally done an extra hand, but that is the most I've done. As for varying your bet, wouldn't effect me at all. Also thank you for tipping!!!!
Is it true that you don't have to be 21 in order to play at an Indian Casino? Depends on the casino. We used to have a casino relatively close to here that was 18 and up, but they recently went to 21. It is entirely dependent on the contract worked out between the tribe running the casino and the local government.
Are many players rude or disrespectful when they lose? Are they rude in general? Do you have the power to kick someone from your table if they're misbehaving? Some are. Really, it depends if they can afford to lose. Most people are polite, or at least quiet. If someone gets really bad I can ask my floor manager to have them leave. If they won't leave when the floor tells them to, security will generally escort them out. For the most part, I find that the other players will shame people out of being too big of a**holes. A little bit of complaining is fine, but I actually had someone throw something at me once. He was banned from the casino for life as far as I know.
What's the best way to get a whore at the casino? No idea!
What are your thoughts on the Martingale (Doubling your bet after every lose)? Then I would say that if you've lost 3-5 hands in a row, bet a little larger on your next few, because statistically you are likely to get a good hand.
Can you tell when people are counting cards? Usually, mostly because they aren't as good at it as they think they are
How strict are they, concerning whom they hire? Depends on how you mean. As far as I know they won't hire anyone convicted of a felony, though that may depend on the circumstances/how long ago. I know they hire people with HORRID credit, 'cause that's me!
Is it dumb to buy insurance? Best way to get a buffet comp when broke? I usually don't bother with insurance, because if you lose that and win your bet, you are still only making half the money. As for the buffet comp, at my casino, make sure you get and use your players card, always the points can add up quickly.
What casino? Red Hawk casino, placerville CA.
What do you make an hour before tips? Before tips I make just a bit over 8/hr. I'm still a relatively inexperienced dealer (approximately 3 years)
Do you "go for your own" or have to pool the tips? We pool our tips, which I vastly prefer.
Do you find that the native american casinos are more harsh on their employees since technically they have sovereign nation rights and don't have to obey state and federal laws in regard to workers? I've never had that experience, no. Actually, this is probably the best treatment I've ever received at a job, but I previously worked mostly retail.
Do you have to work all the odd holidays? I do work most holidays, which is kind of understandable. After all, holidays are when people have time to go out and do things, right?
Are you making > $125K a year in CA? I am only part time, so I make quite a bit less than 125K. If I were working full time I would make approximately 40K. I know that dealers can make considerably more than that, but the casino opened as the economy was tanking, so.....
The single deck games usually pay 6:5 for blackjacks, which make them unprofitable for a card counter. On the double deck games, how deep do you guys usually deal? 50%? More? Single deck is 6:5, which is why I generally prefer double. We are required to place the cut card with a minimum of 15 cards on single deck, and 1/2 a deck on double, beyond that it depends how many players I have on my game. My main objective is to be sure that I never run out of cards on the last hand.
Do you realized that you are taking all of nevada business? forcing us to change the way our state makes money, it is a bad and a good thing. Have you ever delt in Vegas or Reno? Never dealt in Vegas or Reno but we have quite a few dealers here who have, and I do know that we are taking quite a bit of business from Nevada, but I can't say I feel bad. After all, we need to make money too, right? :) I do hope that Nevada can find other ways to make income though, I like the state quite a bit.
How do you play craps? What are the rules and objectives? Sadly, I have no idea! I deal Blackjack (single deck, double deck, 8 deck shoe and a variant called Switch), 3 card poker, 4 card poker, Let it Ride, and Ultimate Texas Hold 'em.
What are the tips like for dealers? Is it a good job for a college student? Is there demand for dealers? Well, the tips I make range between $8-$12/hr. That is in addition to the base pay for me, which is a little over 8 an hour. It can be a really good job for a college student, depending on where you are. It is an awesome job if you like dealing with people, but the training can be kind of pricey if the casino/card room won't train you.
Did you have to go to some sort of card dealing school before hand? Or, did the casino just train you how to deal cards properly? The casino trained me, because they were new. I know they do rarely offer training to outside people, but this casino prefers to promote from within. If you can't afford to go to dealer school, I would say get on with a casino in a non-dealing position and watch for the next time they are going to offer training
Any proof? Will happily prove it, if you can tell me how to! :)
I've always considered dealing cards for work, it seems fun, and I hear the pay is good. What are your thoughts? Is it difficult to know how to play a hand, or are you required to follow specific guidelines? Are there opportunities for advancement? Do the players ever become unreasonable, and how do you deal with that? I love my job, and I think the pay is reasonable (works out to be about 20/hr) If you like working with people, don't mind noise and smoke and don't get too upset by jerks, then it is a great job. We are required to follow specific guidelines, so there isn't really any decision making so far as hands are played. Stay on hard 17+, hit on soft 17 or less. There are MANY opportunities for advancement, as a matter of fact a lot of the people that started training with me are now floor managers, and our Shift supervisor (that would be the pit bosses boss) started as a dealer. Players are sometimes rude/unreasonable, of course. So long as they aren't too bad, I just ignore it/try to jolly them into a better mood. If they get abusive/distracting to other players/dangerous, security will remove them from my table, or possibly the entire casino.
How much do you make from tips in your average hour? Average tips are 8-15/hr.
Do you get to keep all of the tips? how much do you usually make in tips on a night? We do a tip pool in 24 hr rotation. We average between 8 and 15 $ an hour in tips per night.
Why won't they let us play dice games? CA law states that all table games must involve cards, thus having Roulette and Craps with cards instead of ball/dice.
Have you played any blackjack or otherwise gambled yourself? Any luck? Do you think you're an expert, after watching so many games? I'm not allowed to play tables at my casino, so I don't play often. I do believe I know what I'm doing, and rarely leave down, so I guess?
Is it true that Casinos do not actively monitor people real time inside with the cameras? I hear they only use them to retroactively monitor, meaning that if something fishy is up, they will use the video to check back to see what the person did or something. I guess this makes sense in terms of operational costs, but to me it seemed like I always thought casinos hired 100 pple just to sit and watch screens all day.. with each person having like 20 screens.. Is this something you know about? I'm not in security, so I couldn't really say, sorry!
When you get table fills how often do you hear some HILARIOUS AMD WITTY player say "Hurr hurr, they don't need that! They're already taking all our money hurr hurr!"? Sigh* FAR to often! I wish there weren't so many idiots in the world! Still, most people get that I only get to keep what they give to me, not the house.
Any plans to get some experience and then make it to vegas? I have no plans on going to Vegas, mostly because my family/friends/life are all here. Also, we have a few dealers that were from Vegas who moved here to be dealers, and from what they've told me, I wouldn't like it.
Ever have someone who you can tell is not all there lose it all on your table, how did you react? I have, and so long as they seem to be with it enough to be alone in public, I do my best to treat them the same as anyone else. I try to be sympathetic if they are upset, but i can't not take the money, so...
Why did the dealer check with the boss when I hit on hard 13 vs 7? Just hitting on a hard 13? No idea, I would never have to do that. If you were doubling down I would call, because there is the possibility that you will bust, and the possibility that you are trying to count, since otherwise most people wouldn't do that.
How do you deal with all the people smoking cigarettes? does it get really bad? Depends on what shift you are on. I'm Sunrise (graveyard) so it isn't too bad, but it can get pretty thick on Swing. I guess I'm just used to it.
Do successful gamblers actually get groupies like in the movies? If so, how often do you see them? They can/do, and every damn day!
What is the strangest thing that you've ever seen while working there? Well, wasn't something I personally saw, but a friend of mine had a guy that was so into the game he refused to leave the table for any reason. Was wearing an adult diaper. Shit himself at the table and kept playing until he was made to go clean himself up by security due to the biohazard.
What was your training like? Well, I was in training 4 hrs a day, 5 days a week for about 8 weeks, but they were teaching us quite a bit more than the standard. I believe a basic school can teach BJ in about 3 weeks. Roulette and Craps would be a few months
I'm a craps dealer over in CT. And i've been thinking about finding some place new. What's your toke rate? We get about 8-15/hr, but if you are looking in the area I'm in there are a few older casinos that get better tokes. Try looking up Thunder Valley or Jackson Rancheria.
So I've been told to bet with the bank, bet with the player, and that 9 is a natural. Can you confirm this as correct? Well, assuming that you are talking about baccarat, I believe that 8 and 9 are both natural, but I don't deal the game, so I can't answer the rest of the question.
As someone who doesn't really play cards or gamble but wants to try. Should I play blackjack or play roulette? Depends, do you want something totally random or something with a little bit of strategy? Random, Roulette, Strategy, BJ.
Has anyone ever counted cards at your table? Yeah, quite a few people have tried. When you double down on 20 and get an Ace, its kinda obvious!
Do you have the light, or do you peek at your down card? We peek, have a mirror that we see the card reflected in so that we don't have to bend it.
In my experience, the only luck I have using a system is when the deck penetration level is around 75% on 6-8 decks. How much of the entire deck do you go through in a game? Depends on the number of decks. 8 deck shoe, I'd say we go through about 75% of the shoe.
How much bullshit to you have to deal with on a daily basis? I have not the words to express the amount!!! Of course, not all of that is at work :)
Have you ever wanted to literally "hit" someone? Of course!
Native American you mean? Sorry, didn't think before I titled it! Hate not being able to edit that, but yeah, that is what I should've said
Last updated: 2012-03-08 19:16 UTC
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