tipping your blackjack dealer
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Introduction: Tipping Your Blackjack Dealer

From the moment you enter the casino, you’ll see any number of service workers. From the doorman to the pit boss, and from the waitresses to the croupiers, all are working for minimum wage. And they are all hoping that the clients will be happy enough with their work to reach into their wallets and give generously. But if you’re not familiar with this “tipping” culture, or find yourself in a new situation, like at the casino for the first time, then it can be difficult to understand just what the tipping requirements are. On the one hand, you don’t want to “over tip”. That’s a waste of money, and conversely, you don’t want to “under” tip. That makes bad blood and leads to the awkwardness of service given with a hint of disdain.

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At The Blackjack table

Now we find ourselves seated at the Blackjack table. There are other players on the left and right. The dealer nods to you and gives you a smile of welcome. At this point, it would probably be useful to know when and how along with how much you are expected to tip the dealer. As you can imagine, the gaming experience depends on your relationship with him and having a grumpy dealer or an unhelpful one, can suck all the fun out of the playing experience. Also, you need to consider the other players around you. If they are tipping and you are not, it can cause certain unwritten friction.

To Tip or Not to Tip?

The first thing to say is that whether you tip or not is entirely up to you. It’s not the law and you are under no obligation to give a dime extra to anyone. There are all sorts of customers going in and out of any casino, and not all of these are inclined to tip, or tip the same amount. Though we would be happier if you did tip, simply because it’s not the server’s fault that the whole system is so bent out of shape and no one pays a proper living wage. But, like we say, it’s entirely up to you.

tipping your blackjack dealer
The BlackJack dealers life isn’t as simple as it seems – Image source: Flickr

How to Tip the Dealer?

Many regular blackjack players will tell you that the best method of tipping your blackjack dealer is to start early, right from the get-go. If you tip the dealer early on, then you’re guaranteeing yourself better service throughout the game. As to the “how to tip”, well there are a number of different methods. You can simply hand over a chip or cash the moment a hand is over. If you’re a cool cat, you can do so without saying anything, just choose your moment and it’ll be obvious what you’re doing. If you’re feeling a little uncertain, then you can just say, “This is for you” as you do so.

There’s another, kinda more sophisticated way of tipping, and that’s placing a bet for the dealer. Now, in all casinos, the dealers are forbidden from taking part in the games they’re dealing for. So the players can place a bet for the dealer in the form of a tip. There’s the normal requirement that the player’s bet is at least the table minimum. Apart from this, you can place the bet for the dealer either beside or on top of your own bet. If the bet wins, then the dealer gets both the original wager and the winnings. If the bet is lost, then the dealer still makes out with the wager amount.

As with all things in life, the best thing to do is simply ask the dealer how he’d like to be tipped. There’s no shame in such a tipping culture. So you should be open. This consideration of the dealer’s wants will put him in a good mood and in some ways, because you’ve already informed him that you’re going to tip from the very start, you’ll receive better service.

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Tipping Your Blackjack Dealer: When to Tip?

Go to any restaurant in the US and you know that you tip along with the bill. But in the casino, as you move around the games floor dealing with waitresses and dealers, it can be difficult to know when to tip. So it’s not surprising that some customers have trouble making the decision and this can lead to embarrassment and even a shyness about even going into a casino. First off, you don’t need to tip at the end of every hand. That’s kinda over-generous, and can cause friction from the other players who tip less. The best means is to find a pattern, for example, at the end of every 10th round. Or, as many players do, whenever you have a winning hand.

tipping your blackjack dealer
Learn when to do what!

Though the dealer has no hold over the hand you’re dealt, it still makes good sense and good manners to tip if Lady Luck is on your side.

How Much Should I Tip the Blackjack Dealer?

This is always a difficult subject. We’ve established that you are going to tip and when to tip. But the actual amounts can vary considerably. Much is dependent on how often you tip whilst the game is in progress. Yes, there’s always the factor of how much you’d be happy to tip, but that still leaves the actual amount as arbitrary. Also, in the back of our minds, we know that the casino will still be paying the dealer at the end of the month. But the starting point is really your own relationship with your dealer. It’s about how well you felt treated, whether you received anything extra, from advice to a nice chat.

For actual material guidelines for tipping your blackjack dealer, then we suggest that if you’re betting in the $5 – $10 range, then the tips should be around $2 – $3 per hand. Now, if you’re playing $25 hands, then look to tip around $5 a hand. Having said this, there’s no “right” amount, just do as you think you want to. And, again, there’s no obligation.

What about the Live Dealer at the Live Blackjack Tables?

In recent years we’ve seen the rise of online gambling so the online jackpot sites. As well as adding all the usual fare you’d find at bricks and mortar casinos, like bonuses and free spins, they’ve introduced casino table games with real dealers. With these “live dealer games” we can see and interact with our blackjack dealer in real-time. Just like being at our own private casino. And all streamed straight to our desktop or mobile devices.

Because you can see the dealer, but they can’t see you, it leads to a strange kind of relationship. And also leads to the question of how you should tip them. Virtually all live dealer games come with a chat feature. So if you feel like tipping your blackjack dealer, then just ask how you should go about this. You can either pass them some chips or actual cash. They’ll inform you of what is and is not allowed, so there’s no need to try and find this formation in the terms and conditions.

Sticking to the mantra of being nice, you should always be considerate of those around you. If the way to say thank you to the dealer is via tipping, then don’t be shy about it. After all, a nice dealer can certainly contribute to a better blackjack playing experience.

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