SuperDealer Poker Course: Lesson 1 – Class Notes

Section 1: Dealing Mechanics

Lesson 1: Cheques vs. Chips 

Welcome to the first lesson in your SuperDealer Course! 

After reading this chapter and watching the accompanying video on our YouTube channel you should be familiar with these topics and skills. 

Lesson Objectives:

  1. Poker Vocabulary – The difference between cheques and chips
  2. Learn the importance of your cheque techniques: Cutting, Sizing, and Breakdowns. 


A vast majority of your players will refer to their betting units as “chips.” This is not always true, as there are two types of betting items used by the casino. It basically boils down to this. 

Cheques have a dollar value assigned to them. You can turn these into the casino cage for actual money, and they represent a nonverbal legally binding bet when placed in a betting circle. In poker, all cash games use cheques. Also, dealer tips will all be cheques. 

Chips refer to a unit of measurement, but are not considered legal tender. For example, when you buy into a $50 poker tournament, and they give you $10,000 in chips to play with. You obviously could not turn in those chips for $10,000, they are units of measurement or points that are used to play the tournament out. 


Cheques = Dollar Value. You can turn these into the cage for actual money. 

Chips = betting units with no cash value. These are primarily used in tournament play. 


There are three major cheque techniques that you need to practice, in this lesson I’ll just give you a brief overview of each since each technique has its own video and chapter. Those techniques are:

  1. Cutting: This is your initial measurement of cheques. There are two types of cuts, drop cuts and table cuts. 

Beginners should start with the table cut, its much easier and is used for roulette, carnival games, blackjack, and other casino games where game speed isn’t as important. The drop cut is an advanced cutting technique, and it’s what craps dealers use. The drop cut looks much more professional, and it should be your goal to master this technique by the end of the course. 

  1. Sizing: This is how you run out large stacks of cheques to count and verify amounts for the security cameras and your payers. Sizing is incredibly important in poker especially, since you have to count large amounts of cheques quickly when players go all in or make huge bets. This is the one basic technique that most of my students do not practice enough. Make a point to become swift and efficient at sizing down bets so you can improve your hands per hour, and impress interviewers during your casino auditions.
  1. Cheque Breakdowns: There are different cheque values, and each of them has a certain way you need to size out the cheques so your bosses and surveillance can quickly read and verify bets. For example: $25 cheques are run out in stacks of 4, for $100 each, whereas $5 cheques are run out in stacks of 5, for $25 each. Look to the lesson on Cheque Breakdowns for more information on how to run down stacks properly.

Just like anything else, these are your fundamental techniques that you need to practice before you move on to more advanced lessons. There’s no point in learning PLO, one of the hardest games to deal, if you have difficulty counting the cheques. You need to let your body catch up to your mind with these type of games, and the only way to do that is to train your hands. 

I’ve had many students get hired simply on the back of good fundamentals. These casino bosses know you’re new, and if you’re a new dealer who has just as good or better technique and game protection than advanced dealers, they will notice. 


There are three main ways to stand out as a break in and get hired in a poker room over advanced dealers with more experience. These three are: Strong Fundamentals – cheque cutting, pitching cards, game protection, etc., Game Knowledge – rules of the various games, game speed, proper calculations, dealing procedures, etc., and Professionalism – working well with others, following directions, reliable with a flexible schedule, and customer service / conflict management skills. 

These are the main focuses of the Super Dealer course, and if you master these three aspects of your game, you’ll be a huge asset to any poker room. 

~ Dave Thompson, SuperDealer Founder & Instructor

View Lesson #2 here.

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