-- He collects all cash coming to the table, pushing
the money through an opening in the table to a drop
box below, which holds all the money and markers (IOUs)
collected during a particular shift.
-- He makes certain that players who have changed
cash for casino chips get the correct amount of chips
for their money.
-- He runs the table, watching the moves of the dealers
and also watching the payoffs made to the players
on one side of the table. The stickman watches the
side the boxman cannot cover.
-- He settles any dispute between a player and a dealer
as to an incorrect or alleged wrong payoff or bet.
His decision is the final word on these matters in
practically all cases.
-- If a die or both dice have fallen or been thrown
off the table, it's his duty to examine the die or
dice for imperfections, tampering, or changes before
putting them back into play.
Sometimes at a crowded and busy table two boxman are
seated by the casino, each in charge of one side of
the table. The casino is paranoid about its bankroll
and will put as many people at or near the table to
protect its money.
Standing opposite the boxman is the stickman, who
is part of the dealer's crew. He is called a stickman
because of a flexible stick he holds in his hand,
which is used to push the dice around the table. (The
dealers never touch the dice with their hands.) The
stickman, being part of the crew, is on break one
quarter of the time, and on the stick one quarter
of his shift. Most crews move their dealers around
the table, so that each in turn is on base, that is,
a standing dealer at one of the two end sections of
the table, or on the stick or on break.
poker players know that while luck can intervene in
the short run, luck evens out over the long haul;
the players who make the most correct decisions will
eventually take the money. The more information you
have available to you, the better your decisions will
be. Some times "information" is about cards;
other times, it's about people.
When you first learn the rules, poker may not seem
too different from blackjack, if you are familiar
with that; however, the games are similar only in
that they each use a standard 52-card deck and they
are both popular ways to gamble. Indeed, if you do
like your games and your world in black and white
blackjack would probably be a better way for you to
gamble than poker; there is always a correct choice
in blackjack. Concepts like opposing player tendencies
and skill levels don't matter. In blackjack, you face
a dealer who must operate like a machine. He must
hit until he has at least 17 and he can't take an
extra card if he thinks he's losing. In poker, if
the dealer is playing, he's free to play as well or
as badly as he is able.