Tip or Not to Tip—When and How to Tip Your Blackjack Dealer

You would tip for good service at a restaurant right? Yes, you would. Or you should. They are providing you with the service of bringing you food and drink and making sure you have a clean steak knife. When they’re nice you tend to give them more of a tip, yes? And when they’re first rate jerks to you, you leave them next to nothing right? I’ll own up to it. I remember years ago in high school, a group of friends and I went to a Steak n’ Shake after bowling. The waitress never brought us enough glasses of water, we had to share, and she forgot to bring us our food when it came up. So pooled together our change and left it in the bottom of a water glass. Bad service deserves a bad tip. But good service deserves a good tip. And the same applies for blackjack dealers.

Just like how you tip for good service, you should be tipping for good dealer service. But why should you? It’s not like they’re bringing you steak and the best baked potato of your life. They are serving you your cards after all. And if you’ve asked for their advice or for help that defiantly counts as a service. If your dealer has been pleasant and helpful go ahead and tip them. But how do you do so?

There are a couple of ways in which you can tip a good blackjack dealer. The first is the easiest and is most often seen when a player is ready to leave the table. He or she will place a chip on the table, and tell the dealer, “That is for you.”

The other way is to make a bet for the dealer. And this way is actually more fun than just handing out a chip or two. This gives the dealer a stake in the game and will cause them to root for you. Do not think that by making a bet on their behalf will cause them to throw the game or cheat—that is not what tipping is for.

But there are a couple of ways even to place a bet for the dealer. If you place the tip bet outside of the betting area the dealer has control of the dealer—meaning that if you win the dealer will pay himself. That’s like a waitress taking her tip out of your change before handing your change back to you.

The other way to make tip bet, and by far the more suave way to do so, is to place the tip bet inside the betting area. In this way, if you win, the dealer will pay you and then you can hand over a tip to the dealer. If you made a tip bet by the first method, say with a $5 tip bet, and you won, the dealer would pay themselves $10. If you make a tip bet the second way, you give the dealer a $5 chip. It’s up to you but you can leave the other $5 chip in the betting space to make a second tip bet. In this way you appear to be a more consistent tipper. Also, as far as the casino is concerned, you are betting $5 more since the tip is inside your betting area rather than inside. It’s kind of like making a second bet and paying leaving the outcome won for the dealer—kind of like combining the very first method of tipping with making a bet for the dealer.

Only tip what you are comfortable with. And only tip for good service. Tipping a disgruntled blackjack dealer would be like me and my high school friends giving that Steak n’ Shake waitress a decent tip for her complete lack of service.