One of the most important people involved in any casino is the dealer. They are a constant during long nights, especially if you find yourself ensconced in a card room. They are often friendly, happy to give advice and seemingly quite happy if you win, especially because whether you win or lose won’t alter the amount of money that they’re paid by the casino owners. As a result, many people might consider giving their dealer a tip at the end of their playing time, but is this something that you should do or are even allowed to?
It is an entirely fair question to answer, considering that it was illegal in the past. Nowadays, though, tipping the dealer is allowed. The big difference between the United Kingdom and the United States of America is that dealers are paid a living wage, so they don’t depend on their tips in order to be able to survive. As a result, many dealers view tips as a nice addition to their pay packet rather than a necessity. Of course, you might not feel that your dealer deserves a tip for one reason or another, which is always personal choice.
The Rules on Tipping
Let us start out by looking at what the rules on tipping are at a casino. It is understood by pretty much everyone that there is a heavy tipping culture in America. As a result, it is somewhat expected that people would tip their dealers and croupiers in the US in a way that is less expected in other countries. In the United Kingdom, the simple truth of the matter is that dealers don’t expect to be tipped as much as their American counterparts. That doesn’t mean that you aren’t allowed to do it, though, and they will obviously welcome any tips they get.
Whilst paying a dealer or croupier a tip is perfectly fine in the UK, it is often not ok to play a hand on behalf of the dealer. In the States, it is not uncommon for a player to put stake outside the box and tell the dealer that it is a hand for them, giving them any winnings. In Britain, however, that isn’t really the done thing. Instead, you might just want to give the amount that you were going to play as a stake to the dealer directly, which would obviously be very much appreciated.
Why You Would Want to Tip the Dealer
The obvious question that some people would ask is why you would actually want to tip the dealer. The first answer is that it is just good karma, with many people believing in the important of that in the casino. Just as you don’t want to be talking about the number seven around a craps table, giving your dealer a tip will give you good karma in the eyes of some people, which means that they think that it is very much worth it. Whether you agree, of course, will depend on whether or not you’re the sort of person that believes in such things.
Even if you’re not someone to whom karma matters, it is a nice thing to do. Dealers wouldn’t be expecting a tip if you’ve lost all of your stake money, but if you’ve done well and been on a winning run then it is a nice thing to give your dealer a small show of appreciation. This is especially true in instances when the dealer has done a good job, being friendly and personable and offering you advice about the best way to proceed depending on the cards that you’ve been dealt. It is similar to a waiter or waitress having done a good job.
The reality is that a good dealer will make your overall experience much more enjoyable as a whole. If you went out for dinner and the person serving your table was funny, personable and keen to help with whatever they could, the likelihood is that you’d be more inclined to give them a bigger tip than someone that was rude or short with you. The same sort of rules can apply in casinos, meaning that you can choose to tip a good dealer and not tip one that you think has been less than ideal in their attitude.
How to Tip
Tipping has been legal in British casinos since 2005, so it is not out of the realms of the possible that you might want to give your dealer a tip after good service. The question is, what is the right way to go about doing so? It is not common for people to try to tip their dealer with a cash note, instead opting to give them a chip or two from a stack. If you want to do this, don’t try to pass it directly to the dealer but instead put it on the baize of the table and inform them that it is for them. You might even want to tell them why you’re doing so.
In terms of how much to give them, this is obviously a personal choice. That being said, a good rule of thumb is to give the dealer between 0.5% and 1% of the jackpot that you’ve won. This allows for the difference of the table limit that you’re playing on, so a dealer on a £5 minimum bet table isn’t likely to get the same tip as one on a £100 minimum bet table. Ultimately, though, how much you tip will be dictated by how good a job you think they’ve done and how much you enjoyed the experience of them being on your table.
The final thing to talk about is when to leave you tip. Usually players will offer a tip to the dealer as they finish their play and are ready to go and cash in their chips or begin playing a different game. This isn’t always the case, though, given that dealers will often work in shifts. As a result, you might want to offer a dealer a tip as they are getting up to be replaced by someone else. Obviously you’re unlikely to do this if they’ve only been dealing to you for a few minutes, but it is the polite thing to do if they’ve been your dealer for an hour or more.