How to Deal Poker Like a Pro

Have you ever wondered how to deal poker? If so, you are in the right place to learn.

Today, we will discuss card distribution techniques for a variety of poker games, some poker rules, dealing practices, and much more to teach you how to deal poker like a pro.

How to Deal Poker Like a Pro

When you are dealing in poker, there are several things to consider and some important things to keep an eye on.

  • Distributing the Cards

The first thing you want to do is shuffle the deck of 52 cards thoroughly. There are shuffle machines in the market, and many casinos use high-end shuffle machines, but you can always use your hands to shuffle manually.

Professional dealers or casino dealers around the world use a three-step card shuffling process for the most complete and thorough shuffling of the deck. The first step is washing the cards, the second is a regulation casino-style table riffle shuffle, and the third is the overhand shuffle.

Of course, you can shuffle any way you want, but this is the standard for poker dealers in casinos. The important thing is that you maintain card secrecy and practice enough to shuffle at a decent speed. If the dealer compromises card secrecy, it results in a misdeal, something you may never see with a professional dealer.

Professional dealers in casinos also use a cut card to cut the shuffled deck and hide the bottom card before dealing.

In Texas Hold’em poker, once the deck is shuffled, you deal the cards to the players and maintain track of all the bets, calls, raises, and folds while dealing the flop, turn, river, and burn cards. We will discuss this in detail ahead and how to deal in poker Five-Card Draw.

A key thing for dealing cards like a pro is to manage the pot according to the gameplay or flow of the game. You must take note of all the bets from each player and manage the pot at the end of each betting round.

  • Developing the Characteristics of a Dealer

The dealer is an integral part of the game of poker, and to deal like a pro, you must develop the characteristics of a professional dealer. Here’s how

  • Practice Often

The best way to become a pro dealer is to practice often. Make it a habit to practice at home and also when playing with friends or family.

  • Be Professional

Pro dealers act professionally at all times. They are strictly focused on progressing the gameplay while maintaining all the rules and regulations of the game.

  • Be Familiar With a Variety of Games

Professional dealers learn, practice, and perfect different poker games. They know how to deal poker like a pro because they are masters in dealing Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Five-Card Draw, Seven Card Draw, Chinese Poker, and many more poker games.

  • Dealing Texas Hold’em

Texas Hold’em is the most popular style of poker, and it uses a dealer button that rotates around the table from player to player at the end of each hand. The players following the dealer button must place mandatory bets called the “small blind” and “big blind.”

Then, dealing starts with the person to the left of the dealer button or the small blind. Simply deal one face-down card to each player on the table until all players have two cards each. Then, the first round of betting, known as the preflop betting round, starts from the player to the left of the big blind.

Players may raise, fold, or call, with the big blind being the last to act. The big blind may “check” to end the preflop betting if there are only calls before them. Once preflop betting ends, professional dealers collect the pot and signal the players by tapping their hand on the table twice or “checking.”

Then, they burn the top card of the deck by putting it face down in the burn pile before dealing three community cards, known as the flop. Dealing the flop means turning the next three cards in the deck face up in the middle of the table.

Then the flop betting round starts with the small blind and ends with the dealer button. The dealer button is the last to act in this round and the next two betting rounds. Once the flop betting is over, the dealer collects the pot, burns another card, and deals the next community card face up. This card is known as the “turn,” which starts the same betting round as the flop betting round.

After the turn betting, the dealer collects the pot and burns another card before turning the final community card, the “river,” face up on the table. A last round of betting follows, and the remaining players reveal their cards to identify the pot’s winner before the dealer shuffles and deals another hand.

  • Dealing the Five-Card Draw

Learning how to deal Five-Card Draw is a great way to expand our dealer knowledge and skills. Nearly all professional dealers know how to deal Five-Card Draw. You start by dealing five cards to each player once the ante or small/ big blinds are placed.

The dealer puts the remaining deck in the middle of the table and opens the table for a round of betting. Players may check, raise, call, or fold. Once the betting round is over, the dealer starts the draw round with the player to the left of the dealer button.

Each player can discard (burn) their cards in the draw round in exchange for new ones from the dealer. Depending on the variation of the Five-Card Draw, players may be allowed to discard 3, 4, or all 5 cards in exchange for new ones.

The dealer has to make sure to only replace the burn cards so that each player only has five cards at the end of their turn in the draw round. Once this draw round ends, another round of betting begins, starting with the same first player from the draw round.

Once betting is complete, the remaining players reveal their cards, and the dealer gives the pot to the winner.

Poker Dealing Rules: How to Do It Right

All dealers must adhere to certain poker rules, dealing rules, and professionalism. Here are the most common poker dealing rules across nearly all varieties of poker.

  • Deal to the left

Professional dealers always deal cards to their left, clockwise. In poker games like Texas Hold’em, the dealer button is irrelevant for dealing the initial two cards to all players. The same is true for dealing cards in Five-Card Draw.

  • The Button

The button, or dealer button, is rotated clockwise at the end of each hand. Players often draw cards from a shuffled deck to decide who gets the dealer button first. The button determines who the last player to act will be.

In Texas Hold’em, the button also determines the small blind and the big blind. The small blind is on the left of the button, and the big blind is on the left of the small blind. The same is true for Five-Card Draw unless you are playing an ante variant.

  • Betting Rounds

The dealer manages the betting rounds and pot. In Texas Hold’em, the preflop betting starts with the person on the left of the big blind and ends with the big blind. The next 3 betting rounds start with the small blind and end with the dealer button.

The dealer must ensure that betting rounds progress according to these rules. Moreover, the dealer must keep track of all bets, calls, raises, and folds during the betting round. They must collect the pot at the end of each betting round and also separate side pots, if any.

  • Empty Seats

On a poker table, the dealer may have empty seats between players. These seats are ignored during gameplay. The dealer skips empty seats and only deals with players. However, if cards are accidentally dealt to an empty seat, it results in a misdeal.

Bottom Line

Dealing with any card game like a professional requires immense practice, and poker is no different. While our guide can help you learn how to deal poker like a pro, you will have to put in the time and effort to practice and perfect dealing different varieties of poker before you can become a pro.

We recommend practicing at home because all you need to start is a deck of cards. You should also opt to deal at any friendly poker games, where you won’t get in trouble for making mistakes. You must reach a point where your dealing is flawless and does not result in any mistakes or misdeals before you can call yourself a pro dealer.


How do professionals deal poker cards?

Professionals who deal poker cards adhere to all poker dealing rules and use their expertise to avoid making any mistakes that result in a misdeal.

How much can you make as a poker dealer?

Professional poker dealers make anywhere between $16,000 and $400,000, with a median salary of around $75,000.

How do I become a good card dealer?

To become a good card dealer, you must first completely understand and memorize all the rules of the card game you want to deal with. Then, it’s all a matter of practice. The more you practice, the better you will become at dealing in that particular card game.

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