The Monday Link – “The Gamblers Ten Commandments”

Every Monday – The Monday Link

I love the Wizard of Odds website. If you are a gambler of any game, experience, or status, you should have this site bookmarked. It is my number one resource for:

  • Game odds, strategies & calculations
  • General Gambling info – definitions, money management, etiquette and FAQ’s
  • Playing simulations for free and learning correct strategies

About The Wizard of Odds himself – Michael Shackleford

This site was born on June 19, 1997. At first it was titled Mike’s Gambling Page. It was a good time to start a web site about gambling, as there were few good ones at the time. With plenty of shelf space, the site quickly became popular and took on a life of its own.  The Wizard of Odds is Michael Shackleford, a former professional actuary who has made a career of analyzing casino games.

He writes most of the content for this site, drawing on his training in mathematics and actuarial science. It started out as a hobby, then as it grew and became more popular he moved it to its own domain and had it professionally designed. Michael writes, “I’m proud to have built something that’s used by thousands of people every day and is known around the world for providing quality, authoritative information.”

Today’s “Monday Link”

Our link is not to be underestimated in its importance to all who gamble – whether professional or recreational.  Please heed the Wizard’s

The Ten Commandments of Gambling

You’ll be a better gambler, and a better person if you do!

Binbin

Casino Tipping – Enhance Your Gambling Experience

Service Tips are nothing new.  I have always believed that great service deserves good tips. Tipping at the end of a meal is the report card of how your server took care of you. Attentiveness, and friendliness are key factors in my book.

I had the same approach at the casino.  Playing video poker at the bar, I would tip at the end of my session, depending on the attention and friendliness I received.

However, attending events like ZorkFest and networking with other gamblers has proved to me that on the casino floor, it’s better to do just the opposite..

THOSE DRINK TIPS

Tipping bigger at the beginning of service and not waiting to the end to issue your “report card” tends to grease the wheels of service. Drink service is the perfect example.  Tipping a little extra at the beginning of service tells the server / bartender that you’re interested in their service, not entitled to it.  Since doing this, I’ve noticed significant results.  Not only is the friendliness factor increased, but now they are aware you have their interest.

Service with a smile.

It’s not a sure thing – remember you’re at the casino where nothing is a sure thing.  But that initial tip can mean the difference between service and non or slow service.  Remember mileage may vary depending upon how busy the casino may be, or the server.

DEALER TIPS

I was always the kind of guy that waited to tip the dealer at the end, much like a restaurant.  Again, there is a better approach.

Table game dealers should be friendly, helpful and sometimes even entertaining. That being said, they can often be matter of fact, if not aloof. There could be lots of reasons.  I always thought “hey, it’s called the ‘service industry’ for a reason, buddy.” But, just imagine how many Bozos and idiots these people put up with on a daily basis.

Tip ahead?…….well, maybe not all dealers.

Here’s are my suggestions for the recreational table game player based on personal experience and networking with other players:

  • Greet the dealer, and  ask how his/her day has been as you lay your money on the table.
  • When the pit boss comes over, address them the same way as you give him/her your players card.
  • Tip the dealer during play – better yet play for the dealer.  Put a smaller bet down with yours. Now the you and the dealer are a team. Watch for a positive reaction. If they appreciate it, occasionally repeat, or more depending on your bankroll’s progress.
  • Dealers at tables such as Pai Gow Poker may really appreciate it. With such a slow game that doesn’t bring a lot of tips their way, dealers may particularly take notice.
  • Back to that pit boss – remember they were dealers once.  When they see you tip, or play for the dealers, pit bosses may bump up your bet-per-play rating.

PROOF AT THE TABLE

Recently I played Pai Gow Poker for a few hours at Foxwoods. Even recreational gamblers can play this game at a higher level denomination due to the number of pushes that occur. I was playing $25 a hand, with a few side bets and often a single $1 bet for the dealer. So, a spread of $25 to $31. As I played, I was friendly. At one point,  I even made a mistake in organizing my high & low hands once, which the pit boss and dealer collaborated to allow reorganizing my hand, which I thanked them with a slightly higher dealer tip.  Remember, there are a lot of pushes in this game, so a dealer’s bet can be repeated more than BJ or roulette.

When I inquired how I was rated after my session, the pit boss said $50 a hand!  Higher than I expected.  Coincidence? I say ney, ney.

So, take the plunge – tip ahead, be friendly and good things may happen.

Binbin

Tipping at the Casino


Recent postings on tipping at the casino has inspired me to point out typical practices and etiquette concerning casino tipping.

First, my own opinion is that tips are earned for good service.  Tips are not an entitlement.  A smile goes a long way towards a tip.

That being said, those that work in the casinos, whether they are waitresses or dealers, have job similar to the waiters and waitresses that serve you every day at your favorite restaurant or your favorite bartender at the local bar – these people work in the service industry. As service providers, the majority of their income, up to sixty-six percent, is actually earned by tips and not their base wage.

Blackjack Table

Blackjack Table

Table Games

The following are tipping guidelines for table games.  It is my opinion that part if the dealer’s service responsibility is providing a good time, or at least a efficient run of the game.  I don’t tip “Debbie” or “Donald” Downers.  But, as long as the game is being dealt in a professional, pleasant manner, it is appropriate to tip your dealer periodically regardless of whether you’re winning or losing. Besides, having the dealer on your side can certainly help.  Many dealers will look out for your bets if you even place a bet for them, including them in the game.

Blackjack – A good rule of thumb and proper tip etiquette is to tip the dealer about one chip worth five dollars during each session. A session is the amount of time that a dealer works the table before their replacement steps in. Some blackjack players set aside as much as ten percent prior to starting gambling.

Craps – Again, like blackjack, it is custom to give the dealer a minimum of one chip worth five dollars during the session that they man the table. Again, a side bet of as much as ten percent can be set aside to compensate the dealer.  Personally, I feel craps is a tough game for dealers and takes a special person to follow all the action, especially on a busy table.  That should weigh in on your tip considerations.

Poker – Tipping etiquette for poker is much like blackjack and craps in that most players give their dealer a minimum of one chip worth five dollars during the session that they deal. Depending on the amount you win, you can give the dealer an extra ten percent but do not tip more than twenty-five dollars.

Roulette – While at the roulette table, the tipping rules are pretty simple. Keep your tip around one chip worth five dollars for each session.

Slot Attendants

Slots and  Video Poker

Even the slot machines, which are played independently of any dealers, may require tipping. If you hit the slots big, feel free to tip the casino worker up to five percent but no more than twenty-five dollars.

Rob Wiser from Strickly Slots points out that “Don’t forget the waiters and waitresses. The one person you should always tip every time—without fail—is your beverage server. “Complimentary” means the drinks are free, but it doesn’t mean the service is. Most players aren’t aware that when you stiff a cocktail waitress—or get up and leave before she can bring your order—she technically has to pay for that drink. To put it simply (the actual formula is rather complicated), each time a waitress orders a drink from the bartender to serve to a customer, the drink is recorded in the computer, and she is responsible for paying the IRS tax on that drink.

Service with a smile.

Beverage Service

When the drinks are “free,” a dollar per drink is a good tip. Whether it’s a glass of champagne or a bottled water, every beverage counts as one. This is why you should tip regardless of the type of drink, and tip for each one. If you request a glass of ice with your Diet Coke, $2 would be an appropriate tip, since it’s technically two drinks and they’re taking up that much space on her cocktail tray.”

Tipping beforehand can be a smart move with cocktail service. You’re letting the waitress know right off the bat that you’re an appreciative customer, and she’ll likely give you the fastest service possible. But beware, it doesn’t always work the way you’d like.

Dividing the Pie

Rob Wiser reminds us that, “In most casinos, dealers pool their tips and split them. If you want to know whether your dealer gets to keep tips, or has to pool them, just ask. Some players will tip a bit more generously knowing that the money is going directly into their dealer’s pockets.

Pooling tips is a policy that makes sense for casinos. Otherwise, the dealers working at the high-limit tables would rake in huge bucks—some high rollers are known to tip thousands of dollars—while the dealers at the low-limit tables would barely make a living. Pooling tips encourages all of the dealers, no matter what area of the casino they’re stationed in, to be courteous and professional.”

However you approach tapping at the casino, tipping is a very personal choice; there’s really no “correct” percentage, as there is with a restaurant bill. Consider what the service industry says: the word “Tips” stands for To Insure Proper Service.

If you get the proper service, give the proper tip.  Simple.

Binbin