America may run on Dunkin’, but Las Vegas runs on tips.
One of the best things that you can do to feel like — and be treated like — a high roller is to tip appropriately. I usually budget $20-30 a day for tips, and no other money I spend does more to make me feel like a high roller or gives me a better value.
Almost everyone that you interact with in Las Vegas is working to make sure that you have a pleasant experience. If you return the favor with a tip, they will go above and beyond to help make your experience memorable. Tipping will result in better service, friendlier interactions, and good karma.
Tipping Cocktail Waitresses
The common practice is to tip cocktail waitresses (at least) $1 per drink.
If I’m getting a water and beer, I’ll do $2.
Tips of $5 and above per drink will catch the waitress’ attention and may result in even faster service, stronger pours, or more lenient enforcement of the one drink policy.
Many people don’t realize that they can or should tip dealers, but just like servers, dealers are paid a low hourly wage and rely on tips.
You have two options when it comes to tipping dealers. You can just give them a direct tip, or you can gamble for them.
If you’d like to tip directly, just toss them a chip after the hand and say “this is a tip for you.”
Most dealers prefer that you gamble it for them so they can share in the action, and have the chance to double their tip. If your hand wins, the dealer will also win, and will collect your original tip bet and the winnings on it, effectively doubling their tip; if your hand loses, they will not get anything.
Although it varies slightly based on the game, you generally will place your tip at the top of the betting circle/square, above your bet, and say “that’s a bet for you.” If you’re unsure, don’t hesitate to ask, as they will be more than happy to help you tip them! The dealer may move your chip — if they do, place future tips wherever they move it. You can also bet for dealers above other players’ hands following the same steps to give them more action and get the rest of the table in on it.
It’s up to you how often/how much you tip, but it’s common practice to do it after a big win, when you’re doing well, and/or periodically.
Tipping for Comps/Groupons/Dicounts
If you score a comped dinner, a deeply discounted Groupon, or some other deal, you still need to tip. You should be tipping 15-20% of the full price. I like to tip generously when I’m taking advantage of a good deal, since I’m saving lots more than the tip, and an extra dollar or two can make someone’s day and make me feel like a high roller.
Cheap =/= value
While it may be tempting to scrimp on tips, they are the last thing I would cut from my budget. Not only does stiffing a server/dealer/cocktail waitress give you bad karma, but it will detract from your overall experience.
Giving the waitress a dollar every time that she brings you a drink makes you feel like a high roller. One of my favorite parts of Las Vegas is feeling (much) wealthier than I am as I liberally hand out $1 bills.
Chips for tips
You can tip casino employees with cash or chips. This can be useful if you’re playing a table game and don’t want to reach into your wallet every time the cocktail waitress comes around.