Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Best of Frank Scoblete
Yes, you should tip the dealers18 November 2010
Many casino players wonder whether they should tip their dealers. Some gambling writers eschew tips, thinking them just another way that the casino uses to soak the player for more money. They write a simple phrase to their readers: "No tips!"
I have to disagree with this premise. I think tips are absolutely necessary, not only for the dealers' income, but as an acknowledgement for good service.
The majority of a dealer's income is from tips, also called tokes in casino language. How tips are distributed among dealers varies from casino to casino. One of the tips that dealers appreciate is a tip on the pass line for them. Just place a dollar chip (more if you are a high roller) next to your pass line bet and say, "Dealers on the line." The reason that dealers like this bet concerns the math of the game of craps. The house has a very small edge here and the dealers will win the bet quite often. Or place the chip on top of your pass line bet and say, "Dealers are on top of my pass line."
Many players like to place a hard way bet for the dealers. If this hard way hits, the dealers will take the win plus the tip and throw it to the box person, who will deposit the chips into the dealer's toke box. This is not a good bet for you and it is not a good bet for the dealers either, although some dealers like the idea that they can get 9-to-1 or 7-to-1 payoffs.
You can also put a tip for the dealers on top of your place bet. This is an excellent way to tip. Again, just put the money down in the come area and say, "Put this $6 on top of my 6 or 8 for the dealers." You can also say that you are in control of that bet. Being in control of the bet means that if the bet wins, the dealers will only take the winning bet, not the original bet like they would do otherwise as in the above examples. By tipping this way, the dealers can make money during a good roll while you are really only risking that one bet. It's good for you and it's good for the dealers too.
Some casinos will pay off $4 for a $3 place bet for the dealers on the 6 and 8. If so, it is preferable that you make your bet in this denomination as it will give the dealers an actual edge at the game. You should probably place twice as many bets this way as you would if you were betting the 6 or 8 for $6.
Also there are now casinos that will allow you to tip one dollar as a place bet for the dealers and pay those dealers 2-to-1 if the bet wins. What a huge edge these players give those dealers in such a game on the numbers 5, 6, 8 and 9. Again, when making these bets always say, "I control the bet."
Tipping for random rollers obviously has no effect on the outcome of the game. Random is random. Novice players should not go tip crazy as you are facing a house edge, no matter how you bet, no matter what you do. So tip only intermittently, probably every time you shoot if you are at a crowded table, or every 15 minutes or half hour.
But for a controlled shooter, one who will be taking care with his stance, set and throw, getting the dealers on your side from the beginning is a smart move. You want the dealers to desire a long roll from you because they are in the action when you shoot. Smart dealers will make sure that the other players, the ones who haven't learned how to actually comport themselves at the table, don't interfere with your throw. So tipping is a definite "yes" when it comes to being a successful controlled shooter. But keep in mind -- your skill level must be good enough to overcome the fact that you are making these tips. That is something you must factor when you compute your overall win rate.
Those of you who have worked in the service industries that rely on tips know how hard it is to make a decent living. Good craps players, known as "Georges" if they tip, are the life blood of dealers. I am a tipper because as a young man I worked as a waiter and it was rough when you worked your butt off and got almost nothing in return.
I only have one caveat about tipping dealers and it is this: Dealers are supposed to be professionals and they had better be. They should be pleasant to everyone at the table. Whether a player is a likeable individual or a ploppy makes no difference. Like an actor playing a role on the stage, the inner state of the dealer is irrelevant to his performance. Dealers should never be sarcastic; they should never look bored (even if they are bored); they should never crosstalk to the other dealers thereby ignoring the game and the players.
In short, the craps table is the dealers' stage and they better perform their roles professionally. Their award will be a tip, which is the craps equivalent of the Academy Award for good service.
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 email@example.com.
Best of Frank Scoblete