How to Tip at a Casino

By Ben Hamill - April 18 2016



If you don’t tip the casino staff when you’re at the casino, you should consider doing so. Casino dealers and other staff members often rely on the tips to supplement their not-so-significant wages. Some players tip in cash while others tip in casino chips — how you tip depends a lot on what game you’re playing. But in the end, it all comes down to showing your appreciation to the people who work hard to make sure that you have an enjoyable and satisfying casino experience.

Dealers Speak

Dealers, in particular, regard tipping as a cornerstone of a player’s responsibility at the gaming tables. That means that you are expected to tip regardless of whether you’re winning or losing. Dealers point out that they work just as hard, regardless of whether you’re winning or losing. They cheer for your good fortune, but regardless of whether you’re winning or losing they deliver the same level of service and expect and deserve to receive compensation. Dealers are realistic — they don’t expect the same level of tipping from a losing player as from someone who’s winning. But players should remember that tips are given in return for courteous service, not for wins, so whether or not you tip shouldn’t be dependent on your gaming success. Some dealers have been heard to say that they feel as though the player is blaming the dealer for his losses when he withholds a tip. Dealers see the best gamers as those who come with a good attitude. The dealer doesn’t determine the cards that you receive or the spins that you make so he shouldn’t be punished when things don’t go the way that you wish.

Your Friend

As you decide on your tip, remember that the dealer is actually your only friend at the gaming table. The management, pit bosses and hosts want you to have a good time but they’re not invested in your experience in the same way that the dealer — who is with you throughout your game — is. So it’s to your advantage to treat the dealer like your friend.

Don’t expect a dealer to cheat for you because you’ve tipped, but it’s worth your while to remember that a happy dealer can help you during the game. If a dealer feels that you’re on “his side” he can alert you during a game of craps if you forget to add odds to your bet or if you take a C & E on a come-out roll (many players do forget to add odds or take C & Es when it’s not the right time). A Blackjack dealer might suggest splitting a pair of 8s at blackjack when he thinks that it’s to your advantage. But if the dealer isn’t interested in seeing you win, he will otherwise keep his mouth closed, and that’s not to your advantage.

George, Live and Stiff

Dealers call players a “George,” a “Live” or a “Stiff.” Stiffs, as you can probably imagine, are those gamers who don’t tip. Since management doesn’t allow the dealers to encourage tipping, or even to mention it, many stiffs are people who don’t mean to be stingy, but they simply don’t know the etiquette of tipping. While dealers recognize that the stiffs don’t tip out of ignorance, they still don’t get anything in regard to service other than the deal. “Georges” are high-rollers. They happily tip the dealers with chips worth large values — hundreds, even thousands of dollars in chips. If a George arrives at a dealer’s table he can expect the ultimate in casino service — friendly, chatty, plenty of drinks and even some tips (so that he’ll win even more and tip even more!) “Live” players are those who tip — not extravagantly, but adequately — for instance, putting the dealer up for 50 cents on the dollar on some or most of their hands. Dealers appreciate it if the player bets the tip for the dealer.

Betting for the Dealer

To bet for the dealer at a card game, the player places a bet in the normal player’s spot and then places an additional chip in front of his own chip. This indicates that the front chip is for the dealer. If the player wins the hand, the dealer will match the additional “dealer’s” bet — the dealer’s win. The player, of course, receives his regular payout. If the player loses, both bets go to the House. Dealers prefer this type of bet. They like to gamble too! They’re willing to take the chance because they have the opportunity to double the amount that the player was prepared to give them as a tip.

Tips to roulette dealers via wagers are generally conducted by putting a chip on a number that the dealer identifies as his preferred number. When the player places the bet, he indicates that the bet will go to the dealer. Again, dealers like to gamble and enjoy receiving such tips — if a roulette dealer’s number comes up he wins 35 to 1 for that bet.

In a craps game the player could place a small wager next to the regular bet on the Pass Line. The craps crew will then realize that that bet is for them. If the player wins, the crew wins too. Another way of doing it might be if a player places a wager on the hardways and announces that that hardway tip will be “for the boys” (or the girls). Some gamers simply leave some of their chips at the table when they leave — the crew gets the chips and splits the amount that the chips represent.

Some “Tips” about Tips

    1. Canadian law prohibits casinos from serving free alcohol so you shouldn’t expect to be “treated” on a Canadian casino’s gaming floor.
    2. Tipping dealers is unaccepted (in fact, against the law) in the UK, New Zealand and Australia
    3. In France, when you play European roulette (single zero) the house edge is 2.7 percent. If you win a single number bet in this game and collect your 35 chips, it’s considered rude if you don’t tip the dealer.
    4. The Playboy Club in London once sewed the croupier’s pockets closed

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