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Casino Tipping Etiquette
Although most people don’t want to say it out loud, there are some really mixed thoughts when it comes to tipping in a casino. Generally speaking, many people will agree that it’s good to be generous when you win. However, some people aren’t as comfortable to give when Lady Luck (and the casino) have taken their share.
When it comes to casinos, many of the workers do rely on tips to boost their own bankroll. Sometimes tips account for 50% of their pay or more. If you thought about this before, but didn’t know the rules of casino tipping etiquette, we’ll go over it in this article to help you out.
Tipping by Country
The first thing you’ll want to think about is which country you’re in. Before thinking about the etiquette in casinos, think about which country you’re located in because the tipping etiquette for that region could have specific rules. For example, in the United States, tipping is customary. In Macau, China, the etiquette there too is to tip. However, in many parts of Europe, tipping is not expected. Tipping casino employees in England was legalized within the last 15 years. Outside of England and maybe Monaco, you wouldn’t be expected to tip.
Also keep in mind tipping amounts. For example, if you’re playing in the United Kingdom, you’re really only expected to tip about 5-10% less than you would in Las Vegas. It’s always good to be generous, but just take note that the expectation is the same everywhere.
How to Tip the Dealer?
When it comes to tipping inside of a casino, it’s really going to depend on which game you’re playing. You’re going to encounter casino staff and attendants throughout the entire place, and while you’re not expected to tip everyone, here’s a rundown of what’s customary if you’re in a giving mood:
- Table Games – At table games, there’s typically a mix of tipping during the buy-in, and occasionally if you win/cash out with big winnings. Generally, you can tip as much or as little as you want, but the custom would be about 15-20% when you buy-in. Then you can choose to flip the dealer a chip or two if you win or if you end up cashing out with a big profit.
- Video Poker/Slots – If you’re playing video poker, you’re obviously dealing with a machine, so you’re not going to encounter humans as much. However, you could bump into cashiers who will exchange your money into coins or an attendant if you need help with the slot. Typically, a $1 tip suffices each time you need their attention.
- Craps/Roulette/Other – This essentially just follows the rules of table games.
Tipping Non-Dealer Staff
When you visit a casino in Las Vegas or elsewhere, you’re going to encounter a lot of non-gaming staff who help make your experience an enjoyable one. It’s always nice to reward them with a little extra something as they also rely on your generosity. Here’s a list of some people you should consider tipping:
- Servers – As you play on the casino floor, you’re going to see a server or two making the rounds, taking drinks requests and delivering them to you. In most casinos, the basic drinks are free for anyone who is gaming. However, if you don’t tip your server, you’re not likely to see them later. The more you tip, the more frequently they’ll stop by you.
- Valet – Many casinos offer valet parking and if you are going to use that service, it’s customary to flip them a few bucks. That also depends on what they’re charging. If it’s $35 for parking, many people are less inclined to tip on top of that. If parking is free with validation or for any other reason, then it’s always nice to leave a tip.
- Bellhops/Housekeeping – If you’re staying at a casino overnight, it’s good to help the support staff. With the bellhop, it’s pretty simple: if you’re going to use their service, you should leave a tip. With housekeeping, this one is more controversial (see: the Seinfeld chamber maid episode), but some people do go out of their way to tip the housekeeping staff. That’s up to you.
What About Tipping Online?
One of the big questions that online players have is whether or not they should tip the dealer. After all, in many of the online games, you’re not playing with a real, live dealer. Remember, tipping in person is often because you want to be generous to a staff of people who have low hourly salaries and rely on tips; why would you tip online when it’s all software and machines? Well, the thinking here is that some people are a bit superstitious.
When it comes to gambling luck, some people feel that being generous brings more luck and those who are stingy are likely to be treated stingily by the games as well. Of course, there’s no scientific correlation there, but as we all know with superstitions, not many of them are logical. That’s why you’ll actually see a tip the dealer button in some games, so if you feel like you want to tip a chip, you’re able to do so.
Live Dealer Games
Live dealer games are all the rage these days as online casino gamblers can play with real dealers. You login and load the game from your computer or mobile device. And you get to play with a dealer who is in a casino somewhere around the world. They can’t see you, but you can see them and interact with them. It’s a really non-intimidating way for players to get a taste of the in-person experience without actually making the trek.
In these types of games, tipping is far more customary. You’re playing with a human being and while you’re not there in person, their wage might partially depend on tips. And if you’re generous with them, they’ll definitely give you a big thank you back.
Just to round things up, we wanted to give you an idea of what is customary generally speaking. Both in the standard amounts of tipping and who you decide to tip. However, tipping is all about your generosity and you shouldn’t be judged for what you do or don’t do. People that play in casinos come in from all walks of life. Some might choose to tip less based on their financial system, experience or values. And some might choose to tip more for the hell of it. It’s completely up to you and do whatever you feel you’re comfortable with. Nobody is going to treat you poorly as a result of what you’ve offered.