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The Dealer Chick The 12 Days of Fishes

by Dealer Chick |  Published: Mar 27, 2019


Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a dealer on the circuit grind? Have a question about behavior, etiquette, or anything else related to running a poker game? Do you want to know what dealers really think about while they’re pitching cards? What it takes to become a dealer? How you should treat dealers? Are dealers people, too?

Send your questions for The Dealer Chick (TDC) to, and read on for more advice, adventures, and real talk about life on the road for a traveling poker dealer.

Hey Dealer Chick,

If there was a Poker Dealer 12 days of Christmas, what would you ask for?


Santa’s Poker Elf

Dear Elf,

Is this Will Ferrell? If so, I really liked Talladega Nights. To parody the 12 days of Christmas for poker I did a little research. After a five-minute Google search, I came up with the lyrics plus one man’s take (his internet user name was “Roscoe”) on the meaning behind the song. According to Roscoe, the song Twelve Days of Christmas was originally penned between 1558 and 1829 during a period in history when Roman Catholics were being persecuted for practicing their faith. Consequently, to sneak a little catechism learning into their kid’s ears, they created a song with code-heavy lyrics to help the kids learn the lessons about Christ that were banned.

If Roscoe’s research is on point, each gift represents something entirely different than the gift itself. The meanings behind the lyrics according to Roscoe: A partridge in a pear tree represents Jesus. Two turtle doves represent the Old and the New Testaments. Three French hens pay homage to faith, hope and love. The Four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are the four calling birds. Five golden rings are the first five books of the Old Testament, or the Torah. Six geese a laying refers to the six days of creation. Seven swans a swimming represent the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit: prophesy, serving, teaching, exhortation, contribution, leadership and mercy. Eight maids a milking are eight beatitudes. A beatitude is not a beatnik with an attitude like I originally thought, but a blessing handed down from Jesus Christ during the Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of Matthew. Nine ladies dancing are the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. The ten lords a leaping refer to the Ten Commandments. Eleven pipers piping are the eleven disciples and the twelve drummers drumming are the twelve points of belief found in the Apostle’s Creed (not Rocky’s nemesis turned best friend).

While I realize that my buddy Roscoe might be a delusional internet troll that enjoys spreading falsified religious content, I must say, his theories sound pretty darn solid. I’m not Catholic (if you couldn’t tell) so I don’t know for sure. But the song makes more sense to me now. Alas, those lyrics don’t give any hints about what your average poker dealer might want from their twelve days of receiving gifts. So, because you asked for it, here are my lyrics for The Poker Dealer 12 Days of Christmas, or what I like to call: The 12 Days of Fishes.

On the first day of fishes, my true love (also known as the guy I keep pushing pots to who insists I’m his new favorite dealer) gave to me a bird, of sorts. Not a partridge, but a red bird. Or a green bird, or if the holiday is truly joyous, a black bird.

On the second day of fishes, my true love gave to me Altoids which I immediately shared with seats one and ten. If you’ve been at the table long enough to see a supervisor shift change, please take the breath mint. Or, carry a travel-size toothbrush and toothpaste with you. If you are there long enough to see the supervisors change back, go take a shower. You need it.

On the third day of fishes, my true love gave to me three French hens. Yup, let’s stick with faith, hope and love on this one. Faith in your new favorite dealer, hope that I push you the pot and then show me some red bird love.

On the fourth day of fishes, my true love gave to me the Four Gospels of Poker: Play your hand and let others do the same; Don’t blame the dealer for bad luck or bad play; Be a good sport win or lose; and never forget: There are no friends at the poker table.

On the fifth day of fishes, my true love gave to me circuit rings. Lots of ‘em. I wish every fun, nice player I meet could win one, but since they can’t I hope that the players that cash are willing to tip. You take the ring, I’ll be happy with a 1-2 percent tip.

On the sixth day of fishes, my true love gave to me six dinner downs. Let me sit in the box, socialize with my fellow dealers and get paid to tell players, “They haven’t called you back yet.”

On the seventh day of fishes, my true love gave to me the sevenfold gifts of the Dealer Coordinator (DC): a down card to start the tournament, pay for a set-up down, the shift I asked for, the days off I want, restarts, only ever getting locked-in on fun tables and paid overtime.

On the eighth day of fishes, my true love gave to me eight maids with Coronas and lime. A cocktail waitress, anywhere, please.

On the ninth day of fishes, my true love gave to me dollars for chips in my well which I quickly returned citing, “I’m not a stripper, I don’t take singles. Go to the cage.” Save it for the nine ladies dancing, boys.

On the tenth day of fishes, my true love gave to me ten floors a flooring. The rule of the floor is final, might as well be a commandment. Don’t argue with him, and don’t bitch at me if he gets it wrong. I have no say here.

On the eleventh day of fishes, my true love gave to me eleven book bag carrying grinders vaping. Thanks for all the contact highs.

On the twelfth day of fishes, my true love gave to me the The Gambler’s Creed: Winning or losing isn’t important, it’s how you play the game. Play to win.

On behalf of Roscoe and myself, much love to the fish, the grinders, the staff and my fellow dealers that make poker happen. May all your poker wishes come true. To quote little Kevin McCallister from Home Alone, “Merry Christmas, ya filthy animals!” ♠