Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Tipping FAQ


As I posted yesterday, dealers in casinos work for tips. Most casinos pay the bare min when it comes to pay and therefore dealers are relying on the players for their income. I have been asked by many about tipping and so I thought I would post a quick entry explaining tipping and the methods that a player can tip. 

First off, we all know tipping is optional, but in our country tipping is customary for good service. If your dealer is personable, is talking and trying to make the game enjoyable then they deserve a tip as a token of appreciation, but if the dealer is dull, is not trying and is just an asshole, they deserve nothing. 

Lets talk about how the methods and amounts one should tip. 

There are two basic ways a player can tip a dealer. First off they can give the dealer the cheque (the proper name of a chip) directly. The easiest way to do this is to lay in down on the table at about the insurance line or center of the table if its not a blackjack table and just tell the dealer that it is for them. I know myself and my crew will announce sorta loudly “Tokes for the crew” or something similar as we thank you. Some dealers are louder than others, and often times, at least in my casino you will hear someone shout “Tokes for XXX” and another person yelling back “Thank you”, its all in good fun and is just a way to show excitement and showing you we do appreciate it.

The other way to tip your dealer is to place a bet for them. Proper method for placing a bet is to place the dealer bet at the top of the betting circle, that indicates for the dealer and surveillance that it is for the dealers and not a player bet. If you win the hand, the dealer will pay your bet and then pay the toke bet, but if the hand loses, both your best and the toke bet goes to the house. Please make sure you do not pull the dealer bet after it is paid. Some players will pull the money after it is paid, weather by mistake or on purpose. The first time is over looked usually but if you continue to make a bet, saying it is for the dealer and then take it back, your dealer and often times fellow players will start getting annoyed and it will show. I have seen players start cussing another player out for placing a bet for the crew, willing and then taking it. 


Should I bet it for you or give it direct?
       If you ask me, by policy I am suppose to take that money as it is not mine to bet (explained later). Personally, unless the table has been really hot or you have the luck of the irish, I prefer it directly over the bet anyways, I like a sure thing and a bet has a chance of going back to the house. 

How much should I tip?
      To answer this as general as I can, tip what your comfortable. The industry standard is table min, per player per hour. Some will go above and beyond this, others never give a penny no matter what. I recall a a Monday night a week after I started dealing. I had a guy at a $15 table betting anywhere from $15 to $1000 for himself and he was betting $25 a hand for the dealer, every hand.  

Do you keep your tips? 
      That depends on casino policy. Our property pools the tokes. What that means is daily they are collected and counted and then on pay day, the tokes from the previous 2 week are split among the dealers based on the number of hours worked.

Other properties, and in our poker room dealers keep their own tips. Some days that would be a good thing, but often times it is not, at least on the main floor as some games by nature do not generate much in tokes and that would be unfair for the dealers on those games. Also, swing shift tends to bring in a majority and therefore those of us on other shifts would be making way less. But on the flip side, you do have dealers who do nothing to make the game fun, they are like robots and a lot of players do not feel that they deserve the tokes. Dont NOT tip me because someone else was an asshole, that takes a way a part of my money as well. 

Do you accept gifts?
     Our property allows us to accept a gift, but if the value is more than $25 we must have management approval, also the gift cannot be bought with comp dollars. 

Does tipping guarantee a better experience? 
     That will depend on your dealer. I try to provide a great level of service to all players. Having said that, I am human just like the rest of us. If your providing tokes you are helping me pay my rent and car payment, you are contributing to my income and therefore I am going to work harder for you hoping that you will contribute even more. I am sure you would work harder for $40/hr than you would if you were making $2/hr (those numbers are just random), we are the same way. 

What annoys you the most?
       One thing that every dealer has heard and rolls their eyes at is when a player says “If I win, you win”. Most players that say that NEVER tip, win or lose. It is one of the most annoying things a player can say, its even more annoying than “Winner, winner, chicken dinner”. 
Another thing that annoys us quite a bit is when players win a big hand and tip the other players. 

So it is all about tips? 
      Tips are our income. But for me it is not all about tips. I have had nights where I had great players at my table, tipping next to nothing but we all were having a good time and having fun, joking, bantering and just killing the night. Sure I was not making money but I was working a job I was enjoying and sometimes that is worth more than the money. I have had nights where I had players that were tipping fairly good but were yelling, crying, annoying, those made for some long nights. Basically a player can make or break your night both with money and in spirit. 

I hope you found some of the info useful. I am sure I am missing some things and may do a revision to this at another time. Feel free to post questions/comments below. 

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