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I am a George!13 October 2005
When I was growing up in New York City in the 1960s, the guys in my neighborhood all wanted to have the biggest ***. When they went to restaurants and a pretty young waitress served them, they would make sure she knew all about their big ***. In short, in my neighborhood a man was judged by the size of his ***, pure and simple. The bigger the ***, the better.
Now, those of you with filthy minds from watching network television and modern teenage movies probably think you know what *** stands for in the above paragraph. Well, it doesn't. It stands for tip, T-I-P, as in the money you give someone in a service industry for a job well done.
Forget Descartes, the French philosopher who stated emphatically "Cogito ergo sum," in my neck of the woods it was "Tipus ergo sum - and it better be a big sum!"
So I am, for want of a better word, somewhat "tipsy" when it comes to taking cash out of my pocket and handing it over to someone who just carried my bags, cut my hair, served me food, or moved some furniture for me. My motto has always been, "When in doubt, tip."
In casino parlance a person who tips dealers is called a "George" and the bigger the tipper the better the "George." I am a George. I believe in tipping dealers for good service. When I play blackjack or craps, I make sure that every so often I have a tip for the dealer or a tip for the crew. In blackjack, at least once every 15 minutes or so, I put a tip on top of my bet when I know I have a decent chance of winning the next round because of what cards have already come out of the deck or shoe. I want to be able to win several hands in a row and see the dealer make some decent money.
In craps, whenever I shoot, I have a tip on the Pass line for the crew and I back it with odds when the point is established. I tip about 10 percent of the money I have in action. So if I have a $10 Pass line bet, I'll make a $1 Pass line bet for the dealers. If I back my Pass line with 5X odds ($50), I'll have $5 in odds for the dealers ($6 when it's the 5 or 9 as the point). I always have a Pass line bet for the dealers, even if I've made my point any number of times.
If I should have a really epic roll, I'll start to put tips on top of my Place bets or add some dealer tips to the odds portion of my Come bets (if I haven't exhausted the maximum amount for odds). I prefer to make tips in the form of bets because I think it adds a kind of camaraderie to the game.
I'm sure I'm not the biggest tipper in the casino world, but since I don't suffer from "tip envy," that doesn't bother me. I know I give what I feel I can afford and I've never had a dealer complain that I'm not tipping enough. I think we should tip the dealers because they are in the service industry and when they give good service they should be rewarded. How much, how often and whether you give the tips as bets or just hand over some chips is up to you.
I realize that some casino players don't think that we should give tips to the dealers. They think the casinos should pay a living wage, as opposed to a minimum wage, which most dealers get, and thus alleviate the pressure for players to fork over more money. There's a flip side to this. To make the kind of living that is a real living, the casinos would have to increase dealer salaries by 100 percent or more. That would inevitably mean drastic increases in table minimums, with a corresponding decrease in play, and, probably, the firing of a whole lot of dealers who are no longer necessary. So wanting a casino world where tipping dealers was no longer necessary might be one of those Utopian fantasies that turn Dystopian rather quickly when actually tried in real life - like communism.
But even a George such as myself does draw the line on whom I'll tip. For example, the other day I was at my local 7/11 store picking up a newspaper. I get to the register and there on the counter was a bucket, a BIG bucket, with the following on it: "We gladly accept tips! Thanks for your generosity!" The bucket was so BIG that I couldn't actually put the newspaper on the counter. There was no way I was going to tip someone for ringing up my newspaper and giving me change.
Then I was at the cage of a casino that shall remain nameless and there in the corner of the opening where you hand in your money was a small container that said, "Tips." Since when are cashiers getting tips?
I was actually annoyed when I saw those signs. I felt I was being hustled.
A barber, a waiter or waitress, a cab driver, a bellhop, a moving man, a dealer all give you a sustained effort of some kind - these people I have no trouble tipping, but a cashier who counts out your chips and exchanges them for bills? Or one who takes the money for your newspaper? Since when are they a part of the service industry? Since when is it understood that their occupation calls for tips?
If you make the argument that they are indeed "servers" then isn't anyone and everyone a server? The dentist who fixes your teeth, the doctor who fixes your heart, the psychiatrist who fixes your head, the auto mechanic who fixes your car, aren't they all doing you a service? How much do you tip them? Maybe 20 percent of the bill? Yeow!
Maybe the next time a cop pulls you over for some infraction, you should whip out your wallet and tip him.
So I find myself in an unenviable position of advocating tips for dealers and other service people while simultaneously railing against the attempt to solicit tips on the part of others.
Next thing you'll know writers will be wanting tips for the articles they write -- hey, uhm, you know…that might not be such a bad idea after all!
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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