A common question or doubt that players in a casino have is whether tipping on casino tables is compulsory and if the casino dealers keep their tips when offered. Tipping at poker, blackjack, or roulette tables, is completely optional but tipping your dealer is common best practice especially when you’re playing for extended periods. Casinos fall into one of two different policies when it comes to handling tips and their distributions.
We understand it is good to have an idea of why and how much to tip a casino dealer so let’s find out!
Two Policies for Dealers’ Tips
Once we tip a casino dealer, we cannot help but wonder if the money is solely for the dealer. This actually depends on the casino’s policy for tipping dealers and there are two possible scenarios to consider.
Keep Your Own (KYO) is a common tipping policy that many casinos implement. The policy implies that a dealer who is performing well will be rewarded with more tips, which they can entirely keep without having to report to or share with anyone else.
Casinos prefer this KYO policy because it paves the way for a performance-based incentive and automatically encourages the dealers to present and work better. To ensure parity and to give a fair chance to each dealer, the management of a casino, following this policy, devises a rotation of dealers.
The casinos also try to put forward dealers who would bring a positive vibe to the table. When they do that, they can expect more tips from the gamblers. Unlike the Tip Pooling system, the Keep-Your-Own policy makes no way for discrepancies. Plus, there is no complexity in storing and monitoring the ins and outs of a shared pool of tips. Dealers are never asked a question when they take home extra cash.
Tip Pooling is another common policy that some casinos put in place. In this, the dealers have a tip pool that is split with every employee for an equal share. This policy is primarily implemented to ensure parity. It is undoubtedly a well-thought policy because; dealers at high stake tables typically receive bigger tips than those at the micro stake tables.
Casinos basically want to entertain the players, irrespective of whether they are playing big or small. Tip Pooling eliminates the possibility of a dealer feeling bad about his poor rewards and thereby, feeling least motivated to perform well at low-stakes tables.
With tip pooling, some casinos also reserve part of the entire pot of tips for the back of house staff such as porters, cleaning staff, and other lesser-known employees.
Reasons to Tip Casino Dealers
Tipping is not compulsory but it is something that every player must do, and usually does. Most dealers working in the casinos in Las Vegas and elsewhere practically make a living out of their tips. So, rewarding them for their service as a means of helping them is a must.
From the player’s perspective, tipping is a way of getting good service as well as avoiding bad service. Also, tipping is even more necessary in casinos following the Tip Pooling policy. In these casinos, if a player chooses not to tip a particular dealer for whatever reasons, this will mean depriving everyone else in the casino too and this would be morally wrong and unjustified.
How Much Should You Tip a Casino Dealer?
Ideally, a player in a US casino must tip the dealer about $5 per hour, as a minimum. This casino tip amount is the lower limit and should be tipped irrespective of how low the stakes are. There is no upper limit to how much the player might be willing to tip the dealer. Typically, if your stakes are higher, you should be tipping more. Most importantly, tipping this certain amount of money is a must whether you are currently winning or losing the game.
While tipping a dealer, it is customary to tip using casino chips instead of cash. Regarding how to tip the dealer, you can do so in one of these two ways. An easy and straightforward way of tipping is just pushing the chip towards the dealer and saying that it is for him. Another fun way of tipping is by placing the bet for the dealer, which also makes them root for you to win. You just need to explain to the dealer that you want to place a bet for him and he will show you where to put the chip.
Apart from paying the poker tip amount to the dealer, one must reward the other service-providers like the waiters, waitresses, bartenders, and valet for their services too. For bartenders, $5 for the first drink and $2 for subsequent drinks would be decent to offer. Waiters and waitresses should get a standard 15% tip at most restaurants and bars. $5 is also good for a valet in a casino.
So, tipping the dealers is a conscious and moral decision of a player rather than a necessity. The way this tip is distributed or received, on the other hand, depends entirely on individual casino policies.