Ultimate Guide to Casino Tipping

Service tips are nothing new. Here, in our Ultimate Guide to Casino Tipping, we truly believe good service deserves good tips.

Outside the casino, 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. Take a taxi, tip at the end. Get help with your bags at the hotel, tip at the end. I soon learned that tipping at the casino is a little different.

As service providers, the majority of their income, up to sixty-six percent, is actually earned by tips and not their base wage. It is the same for casino employees.

Related Post – Casino Job Salaries – How Much Do Jobs at Casinos Pay?

Casino Tipping Takes a Different Approach

Tipping on the casino floor should be approached differently. For example, I tip big with the first drink whatever game I’m playing. Depending on the attention I get, the friendliness I receive and the quality of drinks, further smaller tips continue. Tipping bigger at the beginning of service tends to grease the wheels of service in a casino.  This practice also signals your server or bartender that you’re interested in their service, not entitled to it.

Service with a smile.

While their persona should be to treat you well, nothing is a sure thing at the casino.  But that initial tip can mean the difference.  It can also mean the difference in the quality of your drink. At a video poker bar, a little friendly socializing with the bartender in a good idea. Don’t be a pest! It could mean the difference between middle shelf and a taste of the top shelf.  Bartenders who get to know you tend to make your drinks a little heftier, if you know what i mean.  Remember, mileage may vary depending upon how busy the casino may be, or what kind of a day the server has had.

Related Post – Foxwoods Trip Report – 3X Multiplier, Play Bar & David Burke Prime

My favorite bartenders, Tammy, Steve, and Kay at Play Bar, Foxwoods

DEALER TIPS

I was always the kind of guy that waited to tip the dealer at the end, much like a restaurant. Only, this was more dependent upon what I had won or lost. But, it’s not the dealer’s fault how my bankroll goes.  If I don’t realize the house edge, I shouldn’t be there.  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 (not throw) 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. Many dealers look forward to be part of the action. Now that you and the dealer are a team, watch for a positive reaction. If none, no more play for the dealer.  However, I’m yet to see that. 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. Tipping isn’t automaticaklly included as part of your wager amount, but it could mean a bump up to a higher denomination.

Table Game TIPPING GUIDES

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. A side bet of as much as ten percent can be set aside to compensate the dealer.  Craps is a tough game for dealers and takes a special person to follow all the action, especially on a busy table. A “two-way hardway” bet, even at $1 denomination, includes the dealer and is always appreciated.  Dealers at the craps table especially will take care of you more if you forget a typical wager, or forgot to pick up a winner. 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.

Tipping after a Jackpot

This is a tricky one. You’re never required to tip after a jackpot, but you will look very stingy if, after you hit a nice jackpot, you don’t.

Some players feel a tip is not needed for someone giving your deserved jackpot.  Others realize that there is a process they have to follow before that moolah gets into your sweaty little hands.  What to do, what to do…?

I’ve heard about the “10% tips after jackpots” rule, but I don’t know many who tip that much. If you tip, only tip the person paying you – the others can divvy it up amongst them. Here are some typical jackpot/tip amounts:

$1250 gets $10 or $5.  Some will give $20 off the top.
$1000 gets $5 on a hand pay, and that’s generous. Frankly, it shouldn’t even be a hand pay. I don’t tip at this amount.
$2000 gets $20 or $10
$4000 gets $40
$10,000 up to $20,000 gets $100

If you win more than $20,000 no more than 1-percent.

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.

Final thought

Take the plunge – tip ahead, be friendly and good things will happen.

Binbin

 

Improving Your Video Poker Etiquette

As with most public spaces, behaving properly usually helps provide a better experience for you and for those around you.  No where in the casino is that true than the video poker machines. Here are tips on Improving Your Video Poker Etiquette.

Related Post – 15 Ways to Improve Your Slot Machine Etiquette

Playing Video Poker and enjoying the solitary play of one vs. machine is not necessarily something everyone can enjoy.  Video poker players are stereotyped as being introverts. For some, it brings a need to make new friends during  a session. Consider the following suggestions:

Be aware of those Playing

When Improving Your Video Poker Etiquette, Common sense etiquette suggests that if you don’t know the person playing, you should never touch the video poker machine of that player. You should also not lean on their chair or shoulder as this motion could cause them to hit the wrong button concerning denomination or number of credits.

Video poker etiquette suggests not to pound the buttons on a  machine as if it needs to be punished. Not only does it wear the game out over time, most importantly, it’s incredibly distracting to the other players around you.  Besides, you’d have to punish the RNG for your bad luck, not the buttons.

If you are going to watch a person play, do not sit in the chair next to them unless you plan on playing yourself. This especially includes bar top VP, since it takes a seat away from another player.

Don’t Be A Bothersome Person

Understand the rules before you sit down. Don’t be lazy and expect others to teach you on their time. Be prepared before you play.  Don’t expect players to take time out from playing to tell you how to play.

Do not watch others play over their shoulder if they do not know you, that’s just creepy !!!! In some places it seems to be acceptable to do that once your money runs out. Don’t just wander over and watch a total stranger play. Like I said, it’s CREEPY!!

Don’t be a slob. Smokers ashes, spilled drinks, covering your mouth coughing or sneezing, and sticky hands from food are terribly inconsiderate. And these are just some of the things that annoy your fellow players, or the unknowing next player. (Suggestion – always have hand sanitizer when playing.  It comes in handy)

Don’t share your superstitions, myths, or ignorance of how these machines work with those around you.  The random-number-generator runs the machine. That’s all you should realize.

Don’t give unwanted advice.

Taking a Break

If someone has leaned their stool or chair up against the machine, this usually means they haven’t finished playing, or maybe took a restroom break. If your VP machine is a single terminal on the floor, ask tech staff to watch your machine for you.  Do not expect the players on either side of you to watch it for you.

If you need to use the restroom, put your service light on.  As long as you are not taking a 15 minute break, slot attendants are around to help you out in this area.

Tipping

Service with a smile? – Tip!

That brings us to the last point when it comes to behaving properly while playing video poker machines. Tip your waitress or bartender.

 

Tipping is a personal choice. For example, when you’re receiving a jackpot payout that a floor attendee must help you with, it’s customary to tip them (Granted, if the service is lousy and the attendant is incredibly slow to pay you out or perhaps not professional, you can think twice about tipping.) The rule of thumb is usually to tip around .5 – 1% of the jackpot amount, make sure to keep this in mind when working on your bankroll management budget.  Concerning free beverages, tip the staff as you would in a restaurant. But if you make a specific drink request, be sure to tip.

Related Post – Casino Tipping Etiquette Around the World

Conclusion

Use common sense, and be courteous to those around you. Bottom line is have fun, stay healthy, and enjoy recreational gambling. But, not at somebody else’s expense.

Binbin

The Frugal Gambler, Jean Scott – Challenging New Post, Essential New Book

JeanScott

Jean Scott – if you don’t know the name, then you’re probably under 30, still wondering how that Space Invaders Skilled Based Slot works while waiting to pay $500 for bottle service in the club and having your ears blown out by the “oonce, oonce, oonce….” inside the club.

SpaceInvaders800 Skilled Based Slot Machine

This post is about a recent post by Jean Scott.  The Queen of Comps issues a challenge to the industry, saying

“Don’t Ignore Me Because I Have Gray Hair”

Before I share the link, a little about Jean. Jean Scott, or the Frugal Gambler & the Queen of Comps, was one of the first gambling gurus I followed years ago.  She was part of an old guard of experts such as Bob Dancer, Max Ruben, Anthony Curtis, and John Grochowski. She & Bob Dancer were Advantage Players playing Video Poker even before multi-line VP, such as Triple Play, was introduced. Jean’s expertise was getting the most out of casino comps.  Her first book is still in my gambling library, and is a staple for most entitled “The Frugal Gambler.”

But things have changed drastically for those of us who enjoyed coupon books, fun sheets, and great gaming rules.  It used to be fun to play and ask the pit boss if you earned a buffet.  Those were good times.  Looking for 2-for-1 specials, matchplay and slot freeplay were great to look for.  Some visits to Las Vegas included one day of “coupon & specials day, driving all over the valley. Now, it’s impersonal – play so much through, and the casino’s algorithm for the reward system spews out your balance which you then use swiping at a kiosk, getting a ticket. Even getting a comped drink at a bar top machine includes playing enough to get it comped.  (although, I support this change, for the moment) See our coverage of this system in a related post: Video Poker Free Drinks One More Thing to Take Away From Players?

Back to the Queen of Comps, Jean Scott.  She has been in the news, lately.  No, not TMZ type of news, but the gambling community news.

Jean was recently interviewed on CousinVito’s Casino Podcast, and coming out with a new book The Frugal Gambler Casino Guide which is a comprehensive update on the low-roller concepts for casino gambling covered in the first two Frugal books.  You can get an autographed copy on sale right now at a great website, Las Vegas Advisor. Another extremely helpful book by Jean is Tax Help for Gamblersdealing with the innumerable nuances and gray areas of gambling and taxes. For more information, visit her website QueenOfComps.com. You can also get a weekly newsletter if you subscribe like we do at NETG.

One drastic change that we have seen is the obsessive concern of how to get younger gambler (millennials) interested in slots, still the casino’s biggest revenue producing game. The seemingly clueless “throw anything at the wall and sees what sticks” strategy by the industry and slot makes is still baffling to me. (Thanks to NETG SuperFan Victoria for the reference!).

So, today, we want to share her post:

“Don’t Ignore Me Because I Have Gray Hair”

Whether you visit Las Vegas, or your local casino, and you’re 40, or over 40, (remember 70 is the new 40!) you will love this article.  Careful, it might you get riled up to the point of screaming “You go Jean, you go girl!”

Click on the link above. Enjoy.

Binbin