We have a good friend who is a dealer in a casino, so this article is as much for him as it is for those who wish to know the basic tipping etiquette at most casinos. He is constantly lamenting what he sees as a lack of respect by several of the patrons at his casino, and we don’t blame him. As workers in the service industry, casino dealers rely on your tips to make a living. Many of you will have seen the film Reservoir Dogs, and so are familiar with the debate (‘to tip or not to tip`). Just as waiters and waitresses depend on the added income they earn via tips, casinos dealers want to ensure that the customer goes away happy in order to maximize the potential for receiving a nice tip.
A fallacy among many amateur gamblers is that dealers are playing against them, and therefore, the enemy. This is a very narrow-minded approach. Remember the dealer is merely a facilitator for the casino, and believe it or not, 9 times out of 10 they are actually rooting for you to win. After all, they know that a customer who loses money is much less inclined to tip than one who wins.
Perhaps you have come across a surly or even belligerent waitress from time to time. If you are like this author, you feel pity for them more than anything else. Not only are they stuck with a difficult and low-paying job, but they also lack the personality (and sometimes the intelligence) to provide the competent and friendly service which will enable them to generate some much-needed additional income through tips. Tipping is dependant on quality of service, and casino dealers are no different in this respect. If a dealer does not offer you competent and friendly service, there is no obligation to tip, whether you win or lose. Don’t expect a lot of chit-chat as you might from a bubbly waitress, since the dealer has quite a few things to think about, but a pleasant and professional outward appearance is a reasonable expectation.
In many casinos, like many bars and restaurants, dealers are forced to pool their tips. In others, what they generate in tips in one night is theirs to keep. Clearly, the second policy encourages dealers to make the extra effort to be courteous and respectful, thus maximizing their potential for gratuities. I`ll often ask dealer whom I have been impressed with if he/she must pool the tips, and if the answer is negative, I may leave a bit extra. This brings me to the manner in which one leaves a tip.
People new to gambling often wonder how one goes about tipping. We don’t want to feel patronizing or condescending when we leave something extra. At the end of a session it is simple enough to leave a few chips on the cloth as you thank the dealer and say goodnight (and often goodmorning). Another popular way of tipping is to place a bet for the dealer. This enables them to participate in the game, and may add a bit of excitement to a job which surely must get tedious at times.
Some players think that if they leave a large tip, the dealer will somehow be able to aid their overall performance. This is certainly not true, yet you`ll see it happen time and time again. Perhaps the only game in which a dealer may help you out a bit is roulette. They might remind you of a certain bet which you have been employing or bring to your attention the odds on the pass line. There is nothing, at least legally, a blackjack dealer can do to help you win. So if you are going to tip – and you should -do not expect anything more than a smile or a nod of recognition in return.