Tips for Tipping in Casinos

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Tips for Tipping in Casinos

Whether and how to tip is a common question casino players ask themselves when visiting a land-based casino for the first time. 

Here, we review the etiquette of tipping and the appropriate amounts to tip your dealer.

Tip or No Tip?

In the hospitality industry, tipping shows appreciation and recognition for the service received. 

While this is also true for casinos, some players focus more on their net profits than the level of service. For instance, a grumpy-looking casino regular might not seem to enjoy themselves or engage in friendly banter with the dealer, yet they’re often more than happy to tip when they win.

Many superstitious players (and there are plenty in casinos) even believe it’s bad luck NOT to tip a dealer when winning. This belief is, of course, completely irrational.

If you’ve ever visited a casino while on holiday abroad, you’ve likely heard dealers congratulating players while paying out, even for a modest win. 

While in some places this might be a genuinely supportive comment, it’s often the dealer’s way of reminding you that they spun one of your numbers or lost to your blackjack hand, hoping for a tip.

Some dealers are even more direct, and you might experience declining customer service if you don’t tip.

Thankfully, Irish casinos don’t tolerate such passive-aggressive behaviour from their staff. 

Although all tips are gratefully received and significantly contribute to staff income, players are never ‘hustled’ and tipping is entirely optional.

So, if you feel you’ve received good customer service and enjoyed your experience, feel free to show your appreciation by tipping the dealer.

How to Tip

There are two main ways to tip a dealer: straight from your winnings or as a 'bet for the dealer'.

In the first instance, some players tip dealers directly from their chip stack when receiving a payout on a table game. These chips go straight into the drop box and then into the tip pool. 

However, many dealers prefer a bet for the dealer, where you place their tip as a bet alongside your own. If both bets win in the next game round, the dealer's tips increase.

For roulette, it's often wise to place the tip on your favourite number, the one where you'll win the most. This way, both you and the dealer can enjoy the moment if it wins.

In blackjack, you can usually make a separate bet for the dealer, typically placed on the perimeter of your betting box to identify it as the dealer's bet. 

If this bet is separate from your own, you don't need to double down for the dealer if the opportunity arises. In the event of splitting a hand (e.g., a pair of 8s), you can either split for the dealer by placing an additional tip or choose which of the split hands the dealer's tip will play on. 

Unless it's a significant amount, it's polite to also split for the dealer.

If the hand wins, the dealer will pay your bet as normal and then pay the dealer's bet. Both the dealer's bet and winnings are then placed in the drop box. 

The dealer should acknowledge your tip with a simple 'thank you for the tip' or by tapping the chips on the table, signalling to other dealers that you've tipped. This tapping sound is very welcome to dealers, and the bigger the tip, the more enthusiastic the tap.

If the casino doesn't allow separate bets for the dealer, you can 'piggyback' your bet by placing the dealer's bet on top of your own. 

Be aware that you will be required to double or split for the entire amount of the bet, not just your own. If the hand wins, the dealer does not take their tip; you should hand over either the dealer's bet and winnings or just the winnings and retain the dealer's bet for the next game round.

Betting for the dealer is a great way to get the staff on your side and genuinely excited for you to win, as it means they will be winning too.

How Much to Tip

For roulette, it’s customary to tip 1 chip for every 35 chips received. This is because a straight-up bet pays 35 chips for every chip that’s placed and won.

As an example, if you have 4 chips on number 30 and the ball lands on 30, you’ll receive 140 chips in the payout (35 x 4). Therefore, the suggested tip in this instance would be 4 chips.

It’s a little different for blackjack. Wins are usually only doubled unless you receive a blackjack, which pays 3:2 (or 1.5x your bet). 

As a rule of thumb, you’ll normally tip the dealer any chips that can’t be used for betting. For example, if you place a €15 bet and win, no tip would be expected.

However, if you receive a blackjack, you’ll win €22.50. In this instance, you’ll receive €2.50 in chips which can’t be played. You can either keep it in the hope of winning another €2.50 to make a €5 bet or pass it to the dealer as a tip.

One common question dealers are asked is, 'Do you keep your own tips?' 

The short answer is no - tips in Ireland are pooled. This means that when you tip a particular dealer, it goes down the slot in the table and into the ‘drop box,’ which will be opened at the end of the shift and added to the tip pool.

At the end of the month, all qualifying staff will receive their share of the tip pool along with their normal salary, both of which are subject to taxes in the usual manner.

Remember, tipping at a casino is completely optional and is usually considered if you’ve received a good level of customer service or are fortunate enough to have Lady Luck on your side.

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