Should I Tip Casino Dealers

  1. How Much Should I Tip Casino Dealer
  2. Should You Tip Casino Dealers
  3. Should I Tip Casino Dealers Without
  4. Should I Tip Casino Dealers Near Me
  5. Should I Tip Casino Dealers Online
  6. Should I Tip Casino Dealers List
  7. Do You Tip Casino Dealers
Robert Woolley

In my last two “Casino Poker for Beginners” articles, I introduced you to the poker room personnel you’re likely to meet. These people are paid to be there. Who pays them? You do, directly or indirectly. The “indirectly” part is what they get in paychecks, which ultimately come out of the rake — those chips that the dealer drops into a bin under the table after every hand.

This is a matter of internal house policy. The term “pool' means that any tips received by a dealer are added to a pool which is split evenly by all the dealers. This is usually done by dividing the total amount by the number of hours worked within a given period, with the dealers getting tips as an hourly rate.

Entertainment-related and miscellaneous services. Theater/arena usher: New York Theater Guide says it’s not customary to tip ushers, but $1-$5 would be appropriate if you want to tip. 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.

Let’s talk about the “directly” part.

Tipping is always a controversial topic. If you want to start an argument on a poker-related online forum, just ask how much you should tip poker dealers. Or, better yet, express a definite opinion on the subject, and watch how everybody proceeds to disagree with you. Ask 10 poker players how dealers should be tipped, and you’ll get 11 different answers.

I won’t pretend to have the definitive answer. But I can give you some general principles that I think should govern your decision, plus my own specific formula.

Let’s start with the general. I will be so bold as to assert that if your recipe for tipping, whatever the specifics of it may be, fulfills these principles, you’re doing it right, and you may safely and confidently ignore any detractors who think you should do it their way instead:

  • If everybody tipped the same way you do, the dealers, waitresses, and others who depend on tips for their livelihood would make an hourly rate with which they’re content.
  • You either tip every person in the same position (e.g., every dealer) exactly the same, or the differences in your tipping are based on the person’s performance. You do not tip either more or less based on gender, appearance, or other characteristics over which the recipient has no control.
  • You do not withhold tips to punish service people for things that are outside of their control.
  • You are neither so stingy that you breed resentment from the people who are serving you, nor so generous that you seriously cut into your own profits.
  • You feel good about what you’re doing. That is, you’re not feeling guilty for being a tightwad, and you’re not expending so much mental energy deciding how much to tip that it interferes with paying attention to and enjoying the poker game.

Now for the specifics — or at least the specifics that I settled on years ago, and that have stood me in good stead ever since.


I tip cash-game dealers one $1 chip for every pot I win or chop. It’s the same if I just pick up the blinds, or I win my biggest pot of the night. I increase that to $2 or occasionally even $3 if the hand takes unusually long to play out.

Hands might take longer because of multiple side pots, or because of the need to count down large stacks of chips, or because the floor had to be called to settle some matter, or because players had difficult decisions, each requiring time to think. The extra money is to compensate the dealer for the fact that he or she will get out fewer hands than usual in this down (a “down” being the time dealing to one table, usually 30 minutes).

I will tip an extra $5 if I win a high-hand jackpot. I also like to give a little extra reward to dealers who are exceptionally good. Once in a while a dealer really impresses me with how he or she keeps the game running smoothly, rapidly, and enjoyably. For such outstanding performance, I give the dealer an extra $1 chip as he or she is leaving for the next table, along with the message, “I like how you run the game.”

Similarly, I like dealers who consistently enforce the rules. Some dealers are reluctant to correct players who are talking about the hand in progress, or speaking in a language other than English, and so forth. Sadly, players who get called out — even in the most respectful manner — for breaking rules get embarrassed and tip less, which makes dealers gun-shy about rule enforcement. So when a dealer professionally handles a difficult situation like that, I do the same kind of end-of-down extra, with an encouraging message such as, “Thanks for handling things so well.”

Just as an aside, one of the reasons I prefer the two seats next to the dealer is that I can deliver those tips and messages quietly and semi-privately. If I’m in another seat, I might wait until I can catch the dealer away from the table, rather than have all the other players watching and listening.

Maybe something like once a year, a dealer will do something so outrageously insulting or unprofessional that I will stiff him or her — no tips for the rest of the down or shift. It would take too long to explain the kinds of bizarre circumstances that have led me to that “nuclear” option, but they’re very, very rare.


How Much Should I Tip Casino Dealer

Those are guidelines I follow when tipping dealers in cash games. Tipping of tournament dealers is a separate matter, which I’ll address when I do an article on all aspects of tournament play.


There are only three ways to leave a cash game: If I lose all of my chips, I have no reason to stop at the cashier, let alone leave a tip. If I leave with a profit, I routinely tip the cashier $1. If I’m cashing out but with a loss, I don’t tip.

I realize that this is not strictly logical; after all, the cashier is doing close to the same amount of work either way. I admit that it is mostly an emotional point for me, in that it’s easier to give away a tiny bit of my profit than it is to deepen my loss.

So I repeat: On each of the specifics of my methods, one could argue that there are different, and even better, ways of doing it.

Should You Tip Casino Dealers

Chip runners

It’s rare that I play in a casino that uses chip runners, so I haven’t developed the habit of tipping them. On the occasions that I’m in a place that uses chip runners, I usually only think about tipping them long after it’s too late. It’s possible that this neglect means that I’m a horrible person. I’d like to think that if my regular places of play used chip runners, I’d have this process worked out better.

Floor personnel

If the floor person does me some special service, such as counting out and bringing me a high-hand jackpot, I’ll tip a dollar. Otherwise, I have not found much call for tipping them. It would be unseemly, for example, to tip such a person for making a call in a table dispute that goes your way, just as a baseball player doesn’t tip the umpire for calling him safe at second base. Unlike the other people in this list, floor personnel are not being paid minimum wage, and are therefore much less dependent on tips to make a living.

Cocktail waitresses

Should I Tip Casino Dealers Without

I think $1 per drink (whether soft or hard) is both decent and standard.

I’ve asked a few dealer friends about my tipping protocol, and they have all endorsed it as one with which they have no argument, which pleases me.

One final thought: If there is a poker room where you think you will be spending a lot of hours over a long period of time — your “home room,” so to speak — err on the side of tipping more generously. You might be pleasantly surprised at all the ways the staff can make your time there both more pleasant and more profitable if they decide you’re a player who is worth extra effort to keep happy.

Robert Woolley lives in Asheville, NC. He spent several years in Las Vegas and chronicled his life in poker on the “Poker Grump” blog.

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Have you ever considered being a casino dealer? The job might look like fun. Playing cards all day while talking with players! Of course, it's not quite that easy and those same players (you) can be a pain in the neck from time to time. Then again, no service-industry job doesn't have some drawbacks.

No industry is recession-proof, but casino jobs keep opening up because new casinos are still being built. And, there are reasons you might want to work at a casino.

Should I Tip Casino Dealers Near Me

Top Ten Reasons to be a Casino Dealer

Should I Tip Casino Dealers Online

  1. Pay. Dealers can make as much as $100,000 per year. The average dealing job at a small casino only pays half that much, but many do pay more than $25 per hour. That's a pretty good starting pay, right?
  2. Minimum Education Needed. As little as two weeks of training may be all that is required. Some casinos offer in-house training to existing employees for dealer positions. Other properties hire experienced dealers and/or those who have successfully graduated from a dealing school. Fees for dealing schools typically run $500 to learn blackjack and slightly more for complicated games like craps and roulette.
  3. Benefits. Many casinos are part of very large corporations, and they offer excellent benefits. Bonuses and 401K match programs are second only to medical benefits. Many casinos also offer tuition reimbursement for job-related college classes. Ask at the Human Resources department to find out about everything that's offered.
  4. Working Conditions. Although many casinos still allow smoking, most dealers find that the working conditions and perks are excellent. Good ventilation, good lighting, and a clean environment are standard. Employee dining rooms can rival nice restaurants, and some properties, like the Wynn in Las Vegas, offer dining that is off the charts. Some employee dining rooms are free, others offer meals for as little as a dollar or two.
  5. Scheduling. Most casinos offer 24-hour gaming, so dealers can work any shift. Time-off is usually easy to get, and an early-out to accommodate an emergency is often available.
  6. Tips. A dealer's pay is based heavily on tips. At a go for your own casino, dealers keep their own tips and have a huge impact on how much they earn. The harder they work at being friendly and taking care of their guests, the more they will earn. At a split-joint, all tips are pooled and shared between dealers, based on how many hours are worked.
  7. Breaks. Most dealers work an hour and a half and then get a half-hour break. That means the total hours actually worked during an 8-hour shift is really just 6 hours!
  8. Flexible Personal Time Off. More and more properties are offering personal time off instead of vacations. Dealers earn a few hours of paid time off each week and can schedule their own days off or vacations in advance.
  9. Comradery. Dealing makes for good stories and personal experiences. There is plenty of time to chat with fellow employees when you get two hours of breaks every day!
  10. Mobility and Transfers. Many casino properties allow dealers to move from one company-owned property to another, as the need arises - even to different states. Casinos also offer a wide variety of jobs and experienced dealers are qualified for many of them, even if they stay in the department and take a job as a Pit Boss.

Should I Tip Casino Dealers List

There are other reasons that a casino dealer job is a perfect fit for people whether they are looking for a part-time or temporary job while going to college, or want to land a permanent position. Dealing isn't for everyone, but many people find the job fun and exciting and make a career of it.

Do You Tip Casino Dealers

No matter what your abilities, there are a lot of different casino jobs.