How to Properly Tip at Las Vegas Casinos

Waiting tables consistently ranks high on lists of the worst jobs in the United States. The same applies to all other service jobs. A bad work environment is characterized by low compensation, long hours, nasty customers, and inept management. Take that job and move it to Las Vegas, the city that never sleeps and is obsessed with its customers by providing them with free shows and food at all hours of the day.



Las Vegas, more than any other U.S. city, is powered by the service sector. The majority of the folks you’ll meet on your next trip to the casino probably rely on tips for their livelihood. In other words, who is your dealer? He earns the bare minimum, with the possibility of an increase after five years at the same company. Everyone who helps you out in Sin City deserves a tip, including the cocktail waitress, the taxi driver, and the hotel staff.


Tipping in Las Vegas is not optional.


In Las Vegas, tipping is expected. Budget extra money for tips into your fun spending plan. Don’t worry; tipping won’t cost you a fortune. In Las Vegas, the amount of a tip is proportional to the quality of service received. It’s a very small amount, but it helps keep the economy ticking around. Consider it like oiling the gears of the massive machine that feeds, entertains, and otherwise takes care of you.


Tipping a Cocktail Server

The rumor that gambling comes with free beverages is genuine. The cocktail waitress’s interest in you is proportional to the amount you play, the stakes you play for, and (surprise!) how well you tip. The alcohol is gratis, but the service of pouring and delivering it is not.


It’s still customary to leave a dollar per drink. If you’re winning, it wouldn’t hurt to give the bartender a quick $5 now and then, as she likely has to give away about 20% of her earnings in tips. Chip tips are optional but cash is always welcome.


Finally, while dealing with a cocktail waitress, it’s customary to leave your tip on the service tray.


Dealer Gratuity Etiquette

There is a minimum pay for dealers. Just because you’re sitting at a high-stakes table in a ritzy casino doesn’t mean the dealer is raking in any more dough. Like waitresses and most other workers in Las Vegas, your dealer relies on gratuities to make a living.


My father, a lifelong gambler, once advised me to never leave a dealer a tip that was less than the cost of a pack of cigarettes. Since a pack can be purchased for $5 in Sin City, I always leave my dealers $5 per hour in tips. My hourly rate of $5 may seem low to some, but the numbers don’t lie. There can be as many as five players at a good table. That’s a wage of $15.25 an hour or more. That’s a good middle-class salary, for sure. Of course, you can leave a larger tip if you end up winning a lot of money.


So, tell me, what is the procedure? Chips, never cash, are the appropriate form of gratuity. As soon as I take my seat, I hand the dealer a $5 tip to get on his good side. Then, at the start of each hour, or after a particularly successful session when I’m in a social mood, I add another $5 chip to the pot.


Nowadays, it’s normal practice to wager in favor of the dealer. If you’d rather not do that, you can always just toss a chip his way as a tip. If you want to give the dealer a monetary tip, you can do so by matching his bet on the next round.


Las Vegas Tipping Etiquette Buffet

When I’m in Las Vegas, my go-to dining establishment is always a buffet. They’re cheap, I can get whatever I want in whatever quantity I prefer, and there’s a good selection of tasty foods to choose from. Like taco stands in Texas or hot dog stands in New York, Vegas is home to countless buffets.


But what about buffet tipping etiquette? They obviously don’t do the same level of labor as a real waiter… however, they do an important job and are rarely compensated well.


Everyone I know that tips as much as I do tips someone like that at least 10% in Vegas. Breakfast buffet at a petrol station on Interstate 10 in the middle of nowhere? I’m going to assume they take care of their own employees. However, a little something extra is required for daily life in Sin City.


At buffets, I usually tip the servers $1 or 10%, whichever is greater. It seems a little unfair to reward those who work at more upscale buffets. This, however, seems like the most straightforward option that would guarantee a decent salary for the workforce.


Tips for Valets

I’ve always been unsure of how much to tip the valets who bring the car to and from the garage. This is usually included in the price of my hotel stay, which is not cheap. However, their wages are no higher than those of waiters and waitresses, and I believe that their landlords appreciate timely rent payments just as much as those of anyone else’s.


According to what I’ve heard, a $1 or $2 gratuity is customary each time your car is brought around. Personally, I’d prefer to keep my tipping at a dollar so that I may carry less money. It’s simple to know how much to tip a valet. This is something they count on happening. When you are given the keys, you should also give a monetary gratuity.


Methods for Estimating a Customary Gratuity

The 7.75% sales tax in Nevada can be used as a backdoor method to arrive at a 20% tip in Sin City. If you twice the tax rate, you get a number that is roughly 15%. Take one-third of that sum, add it back together, and you’ll have a tip of about 20%.


Here’s a case in point:


Let’s pretend we win a couple hands of blackjack and celebrate with a steak meal. The final total after taxes is $193.54. If you want to know how much to tip, multiply the taxes by two ($30) and add one-third of that sum to itself ($10; one-third of $30 is $10). Here, that works out to $40. Your waitress will be grateful for the approximate 20% tip you’re giving them.

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