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HOME > STRATEGY > Strategies & Tips > Tipping dealers

Tipping dealers

9 March 2019

By John Marchel

Many of my colleagues in the gaming world will say you are wasting your money tipping dealers. They claim dealers are only the messengers and they can’t affect the hand, roll or the spin of the wheel. They say it can only have a negative effect on your overall win-rate, and therefore you shouldn’t tip.

Over the years I found many reasons you should tip dealers and in a good number of cases I have improved my win-rate by doing so. For example, I was paying roulette in Southern Nevada and having won a couple of spins. I asked the dealer what was his favor number? He said 17, I put a one-dollar chip on 17 along with my regular bets and then like magic (and luck!) the ball slid into the 17 slot. That was a $35 tip-win for the dealer.

Talk about a turn-around in attitude, he couldn’t do enough for me after the win. If I got distracted and missed one of my bets, he was right there to bring it to my attention. I didn’t have to tip again. All it cost me was a dollar.

When it comes to craps a great way to tip is placing a hard way bet for the dealers. When you are the shooter and can be a hardway box like a four (2-2) or six (3-3) or eight (4-4) or 10 (5-5) make a $1 bet for the “boys.” If you hit, you will have made a nice tip for the dealers, and if you don’t hit it they will still appreciate the effort. The idea is to get the dealers and you on the same side against the house. You’ll be surprised how the dealers will look after you when they discover you are a tipper.

Tips or “tokes” are a big part of dealers' salaries. The mechanics of tipping are easy. We can either push a chip over to the dealer or we can place a bet for them. The second method is considered best. We tip dealers by placing a bet in front of our bet at blackjack, roulette or on a number or proposition at craps.

I once saw a lady tip a blackjack dealer $5 each hand she played regardless whether she won or lost. After about 15 minutes the dealer had more chips than the lady. That’s no way to tip dealers.

I suggest you only tip periodically. For example, when you get a blackjack, remember you get a bonus from the house. On the next hand, I put a little tip-bet from my bonus for the dealer. You get the credit for the tip-bet, but in reality, the house "paid" for it.

Another time I had the opportunity to split eights four times, and won. On the next hand I put a tip-bet for the dealer.

Dealers expect to see winners tip, but not losers. Also, don’t tip when you leave the table, you went to tip when you are playing. In addition, when on a winning streak put a little tip for the dealer. It will also look normal to management, and they might not think you are a card counter, since most counters think you should NOT tip dealers.


• Numerous surveys have shown blackjack dealers prefer that you bet their tip. Even if the house sometimes wins it.

• It’s been estimated that casino dealers get about 80% of their total income from tips.

• Wynn Las Vegas dealers are the highest paid in the city at a shade more than $100,000 per year, with the majority of income coming from tips.

• The late Australian Kerry Packer, a media tycoon, preferred the game of baccarat, among others. Kerry, on a weekend to Las Vegas, is said to have tipped one local cocktail waitress the total mortgage on her house.

• The word “Tip” meaning a gratuity was originally an acronym standing for “To Insure Promptness.” Today, we look at tips as “Reward for Good Service,” whether in a restaurant or in a casino.

• In most casinos, dealers pool their tips and split them according to shifts worked. On payday, dealers get two pay slips; one for hours worked and one for tips earned.

• Don’t forget the waiters and waitresses. It is customary to give them at least a chip worth one dollar for each drink they serve you.

• At one time in the Playboy club in London, the croupiers had their pockets sewn shut to prevent pocketing of any chips. It was designed to prevent collusion between staff and the patrons.

• When it comes to casino tipping, there are no hard-and-fast rules. But it is a fact of life that those who tip generously often get better service.

• The Tax Court in 1956 held that wagering tokes (tips) received by a dealer were gains from his labor as a dealer. Therefore, tokes are compensation for the recipient’s services and should be treated as ordinary income. Before that court ruling dealers didn’t pay tax on tips.

This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at fscobe@optonline.net.

Tipping dealers is republished from CasinoCityTimes.com
John Marchel
John Marchel is an author, speaker, teacher and player -- what John plays are casino games. He’s been a casino player for over 25 years and has played successfully in Europe, Panama, the Caribbean, Canada, Atlantic City, Las Vegas, on Indian reservations, cruise ships and in over 350 casinos throughout the US. He is also the author of six books about gambling, and has written numerous magazine articles and is currently a columnist for three gambling magazines and one internet magazine. Since 1988 John has combined his experience as a manager, teacher and player to present seminars and lectures about gambling. In addition, John has had an Internet website since 1995 that offers books, special reports and tips about gambling. He also publishes a monthly Internet gambling newsletter. The newsletter keeps subscribers alert to trends, information and winning techniques that allows them to be more successful when visiting casinos.

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