This is a question that some poker players ponder and others ignore. In fact, I was one of the players that ignored it for many years. I thought it would be impossible for dealers to get away with colluding with players. I figured that could be grounds for some serious consequences, including job termination and possibly even jail time. However, it depends on how hard management comes down on those dealers, which relates to the manager/dealer relationship. If a poker dealer goes out for beers and attends family barbecues with management, then the consequences aren’t going to be severe. And this happens more often than you think, but a lot depends on the poker room.
Obviously, I know of at least one poker room where this kind of thing takes place, but I can’t mention any names, which is for my own protection. And the collusion aspect doesn’t necessarily pertain to the dealer cheating. It pertains to the dealer and manager always favoring the regulars over the tourists, traveling poker players, and others in floor decisions and other marginal spots.
If you read The Dark Side of the Felt, then you know what poker room I’m talking about. But that’s far from the only poker room where this kind of thing takes place. If you want to make sure this doesn’t happen to you, then stick to the bigger poker rooms.
For example, the Hard Rock poker rooms are corporate entities and would never mess around. If a dealer or manager were showing favoritism, they would be out of a job in a hurry. It would also ruin their careers. Big poker rooms that are owned by corporations make too much money to operate in that manner.
It’s the smaller poker rooms where you need to worry about it. If you play poker in Florida, then it could be a dog track where almost everyone knows each other. Another type of collusion that can take place is player/player, where they continue to raise everyone out of pots and share the profits after their sessions. Even f the dealer and/or manager don’t allow it, they’re less likely to pick up on it in a smaller poker room. They’re not watching everything like a hawk in those environments. I know this because I played at every poker room in Florida. The atmospheres and approach to managing the game are extremely different depending on the location.
If you would like to read The Dark Side of the Felt, click on the button below for more information. The second installment of the trilogy will be published within one week. Hope you enjoy.