What is a ‘Brush’?
A brush is the person in the poker
room who greets the players, helps them to buy chips and takes them to their table. Experienced poker players will give the brush a great deal of respect since he can give them the permission they need to change tables. Other duties of the brush include cleaning the tables, running the board, and answering phone calls. The reason they are called the brush is that traditionally, and still to this day, they use a wire brush to sweep away debris such as food, ash and anything else consumed by the player at the felt tables.
The brush may sound like a job given to a lackey, but in poker, a brush is a very important position - sometimes to the point where he is seen as second only to the pit boss
. The brush is under pressure to keep the poker tables active at all times and has to know the right times to open a new table and the right players to put on the tables. Sometimes, he will have to shut down tables and split the room into smaller groups.Consequently, a casino or a poker room will hire a brush who has excellent communication and people skills. Perhaps to encourage that in that respect, the casino usually makes sure the brush mostly relies on tips to make his living. Even in the smaller casinos, however, tips can prove quite lucrative. Experienced players know if they keep the brush on their side, he is more likely to point them in the direction of a good game, even if the brush feels the player is too skilled for the table.In some casinos, the floor manager will ask his dealers to work as the brush in between changing tables. This is beneficial to the dealer
since it usually results in players tipping him even more than usual.