How to Tip a Dealer When you are Playing at a Casino

Posted on September 16th, 2010

tippingHere´s an interesting question that was posed by one of our lovely readers.

When you are at a casino, do you tip the dealer? And if the answer is yes, when and how do you tip the dealer or croupier at a casino?

Well, the first thing to think through, is where in the world you are. Tipping customs vary enormously by country. So while tipping in a casino is the norm in the US (and some would say compulsory, although we would say that tipping should never be compulsory), if you are playing at the casino in Barcelona and you tipped the dealer, the locals would look at you as if you´d just gone mad. They hardly ever tip the cabbies, let alone the dealers at a casino.

If you are in Las Vegas, or in the States generally, it´s courteous to tip (if the service is good). An to a lesser extent in the UK as well. If you are in Europe, you´d probably tip in Monaco, but nowhere else. And you´d tip in Macau.

How to Tip a Casino Dealer
Some players will only tip if they´ve won (it´s certainly less painful)- but remember, that many dealers depend on the tips, and it´s not their fault if you have had a rotten run of luck. If you´ve had a good time at the table, leave a tip if you can. It might stand you in good stead the next time you play at the table.

Give the dealer a tip of around 15% in the US (20% if the service is excellent) and around 10% in the UK. That´s 15% (or 10%) of the amount you buy in chips NOT the amount you bet by the way. So if you sit down with $100 worth of chips, a $15 tip would be appropriate if you are at the table for a reasonable length of time. Many people work out a tip per hour and stick with that, so 5 bucks an hour, or 10 bucks an hour. It depends how much you are betting, of course. If you are betting $10 a hand, then that´s probably fine, but if you are in the VIP section laying down $100,000 bets, then $5 an hour is going to look a little stingy. I would say $5 an hour is the minimum you should be tipping at Vegas if you are playing on the table games and you don´t want to be lynched (!)

A good way of doing this, is to lay down “micro-tips”, ie small amounts throughout the game. When you place your bet, put another chip down and say “one for the dealer”. The dealer picks up the winnings if your numbers or cards come in. This is often called “The Dealer riding in my Slipstream”.

Or, you can tip the dealer every now and then throughout the session. Just place a chip on the table away from the betting areas and say “one for the dealer” and give him a big cheesy wink (er…we were joking- don´t give him the big cheesy wink).

The other technique, is to tip the dealer at the end of your session. Don´t give it straight to the dealer (the casinos aren´t keen on it), just place the chips on the table as you head off and say “Cheers- for the dealer.)

If you are there to play slots, or video roulette then you won´t have a dealer to tip, of course. If a waitress or waiter fetches you a free drink however, make sure you tip them – they will be on the minimum wage.

And if you are playing online? There´s no need to tip of course! Invest your tips in the games. You´ll have 15-20% extra in your bankroll…..another reason to play online, but then we would say that wouldn´t we ? ;)

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