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Tipping Etiquette at Live Casinos

By: Staff Writer
How to tip your dealer at a live casino

Things you should know about tipping at live dealer tables.

Tipping in land-based casinos is more or less common practice all over the world, with a few exceptions depending on which country you’re playing in. You may have already used this tool to thank various casino employees for their service – a valet who parks your car on arriving, a cocktail waitress who brings you your drinks, a dealer at a Blackjack table, slots machine attendant, or the cashier. But how does it work when, instead of in a brick and mortar casino, you’re placing your bets via the internet? Before joining a live dealer game at a gaming site, you may want to get familiar with the tipping etiquette at live casinos.

To Tip or Not to Tip?

Playing online offers many benefits and will spare you from having to comply with more than a few rules and expectations. For one, you won’t have to dress up, shave, and fix your hair; the computer doesn’t care if you’re sitting there in your pajamas and yawning away while placing chips on the table. If you’re playing an instant game and win big, you won’t be expected to tip the computer as a thank you. But join a table hosted by a live dealer and things change; now you’re facing a living and breathing person delivering the service in the same way their colleague in a Las Vegas casino does. Since you’re physically in different locations, the possibility of tipping them might not have occurred to you, and indeed for some time it wasn’t even possible. Slowly but surely this is changing, thus presenting online players with a dilemma: to tip or not to tip?

Logically, one can easily answer this question. When receiving a service in the physical world, it’s customary to tip the individual delivering it – providing you’re happy with the quality of service. The fact that this person is more than a meter away should make no difference.

How Much to Tip?

Even in land-based casinos, there are no rules, though there is a tipping etiquette giving you an indication of what’s expected. In the US, for example, it’s customary to tip your dealer with 15-20% of the value of your buy-in chips, while in the UK one should plan to spend 10-15% of their gambling budget on tipping the person who deals them in. While in the online world such indicators don’t (yet) exist, you could use land-based practice as a guideline. There are no rules, though, and rather than think you’re a cheap bugger, your game host will likely appreciate the fact that you’ve shown your appreciation no matter how small the tip is.

How to Tip at an Online Casino?

We can hear you saying: Hey, haven’t you skipped one important element of online tipping? One can hardly take a chip and hand it over to the dealer through a computer screen, right? So how is it done? When playing at a casino which offers the tipping option, you’ll see a Tip button offered to show the dealer you’re happy with their service. This function has been included by several major live gaming developers, such as Ezugi and Playtech, and no doubt others will eventually follow.

Who are You Really Tipping?

More than a few players are concerned that their tip might end up in wrong hands, and that instead of the friendly and helpful dealer, it’s the casino which will benefit. Since the house has already received a good amount of your hard earned cash, why would you want to give them more? The truth is, you can never know for sure, though playing at reputable sites significantly increases the possibility your tip will end up in pockets of the lady or the gentleman who has contributed to your gaming experience in a positive way. Some online casinos will even address this subject within their T&C and specify the portion of the tip which is guaranteed to be passed on to their live dealers.

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