Zcore13
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August 21st, 2019 at 9:44:16 PM permalink
I wrote some articles for an online gambling website about 2 1/2 years ago, but it seems that site has disappeared, so I thought I might post a few of the articles that still might be relevant. Fairly basic info, as it was meant for new gamblers, but still maybe useful to new visitors/members...

In 30 years of gambling and 10 years in the table games business I've learned a lot about casino games, gamblers, gambling, table games dealers and table games supervisors. There is no other business that has the same dynamic as a casino. The customers are trying to take something from the business. Some legally and some illegally. The dealers have a very specific job to do with a lot of rules that if they don't follow will get them in trouble, but at the same time they have to seem friendly, fun, interested and hoping for you to win for a chance at a tip. The supervisors have to watch everyone and everything. Dealers, players, non players and even other staff are all a risk to the casino and the supervisors job.

So, as a player, how do you balance everything that is going on on the other side of the table and behind the scenes and get the most possible payback for your play at the tables? There are definetly some things that you can do to help your chances at getting a little bit higher comp calculation or even get a free drink or meal. These tips should apply at every casino, no matter where you go and they really don't take much effort to accomplish.

1. Use a players card. To get the most value from your play you have to have a players card. The only exception to this rule is if you are a high roller. A high roller can get pretty much anything they want and the casino just wants them to play there. Aside from that, the players card lets the casino know who you are, when you play, how often you play, how much you bet and more. They want that information for their marketing database. In exchange for that information you will get comps, discounts and other offers. A players card is a must if you are going to play somewhere even occasionally.

2. When you arrive at the table, present your money and your players card to the dealer at the same time. The dealer will get you chips and most likely call out to the supervisor that there's a new player with a players card at the table. Your best bet is to have a higher than normal bet in action on the table when the supervisor slides your card through the card reader or returns from entering your information at the podium. This doesn't work 100% of the time, as some supervisors will continually monitor your play and adjust your average bet multiple times during your play. But the vast majority of supervisors are going to look at what you are betting when you first sit down and never pay much attention again. Knowing this, having an increased bet amount when the supervisor first rates you and mentioning to a supervisor if you later increase your normal bet amount, will always help you get more comps than the average player.

3. Be nice. One factor that plays into your rating, whether you like it or not, is how nice you are to the dealer and other staff. Player rating is an estimate in table games. It's not like in slots where a card with a data strip keeps all the statistics of your play and every piece of information about your play is exact. Table games supervisors estimate your average bet amount during a session. The average bet and the length of time you play are the two biggest keys to comps. So when estimating an average bet amount, it would seem natural that someone that is pleasant and good to the staff might get a little benefit of the doubt compared to an angry, unpleasant customer. If I saw a player betting $10, then $15, then $10, then $20 and maybe a rare $25 or $30 and they are respectful and pleasant, I might give them an average bet of $25, just for that reason. Whereas, if the player is mean, grumpy, cussing and/or unpleasant, it might be a $15 average bet.

4. Tip once in a while. Tipping is not required. Tipping is also not expected if the dealer is not pleasant and attentive. But, if you want a chance at more comps, tipping can make a difference. Supervisors notice people that tip. Supervisors know that tippers help the dealers and at some casinos also help the supervisors due to them getting a percentage of total tips. Just like in real life, if you help someone, they are more likely to help you back. Just like in the example above about being nice, tippers can get the benefit of the doubt on average bet calculations. It doesn't have to be a large amount or every hand either. A $1 bet for the dealer along with your bet every 10 minutes or so is more than enough to get a supervisors attention.

5. Play at a busy table. As mentioned above, 2 key components of comp calculations are average bet and time played. Average bet has already been discussed. To get more time played for your dollar, play at a busier table. A blackjack table with only you at it might get you 400 hands dealt an hour. A busy table with 4 other players on it might get each player 80 hands an hour. You will risk way less money and have a chance to play for longer, thus earning more comps at a table with more players. The same applies at games like Three Card Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold'em and other poker based table games. The slower the game is dealt, the longer you can play on your money and earn more comps.

With use of these five tips, or at least a combination of a few of them, there is no doubt you will earn more comps when playing table games than a player not following these guidelines. One last bonus tip that might come in handy as well... ask. It never hurts to ask a supervisor for a free drink or food. The worst that can happen is you'll get a no. And if you are following tips 3 and 4 above and play for a while, you'll be surprised how often you'll get a yes.
I am an employee of a Casino. Former Table Games Director,, current Pit Supervisor. All the personal opinions I post are my own and do not represent the opinions of the Casino or Tribe that I work for.
FleaStiff
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August 22nd, 2019 at 2:19:08 AM permalink
All good tips, I think. Starting strong is good. Courteous buy in with high bet and a toke bet is good. Floor sometimes shows up a bit late though.
Busy versus slow table is a decision one should make based on a variety of factors, effect on comps is just one of them.
Mosca
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August 22nd, 2019 at 8:39:20 AM permalink
I havenít found the ďtipĒ and the ďbe niceĒ suggestions to have much effect. Not that they arenít the right thing to do in any instance, but they arenít helpful in getting playerís points. They certainly donít hurt, and being nice makes a game more fun. but I donít see it getting me more comps. I would guess that bad players get tagged in the system. Iím not sure good players do.

However, being nice and tipping are helpful in asking for a dinner comp. Every time Iíve asked, Iíve got. You canít be playing table minimum and ask for Old Homestead, but you can get a couple buffets for yourself and the missus, easy.

I always look for a busy table. First, they are more fun. Second, itís fewer hands per hour at a negative expectation game.

I like the suggestion to bet more when the supervisor hands back the card. I might not throw out $25 at Mississippi, but now I will do $10 instead of $5.

Thanks!
NO KILL I
Mosca
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August 22nd, 2019 at 8:41:43 AM permalink
Quote: FleaStiff

All good tips, I think. Starting strong is good. Courteous buy in with high bet and a toke bet is good. Floor sometimes shows up a bit late though.
Busy versus slow table is a decision one should make based on a variety of factors, effect on comps is just one of them.



When I play the carnival games, I always make a first bet $5 dealer bet on the 3 Card bonus. Over the last 20 years Iíve hit 3 straight flushes and 1 3oak. It makes an impression.
NO KILL I
Zcore13
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August 22nd, 2019 at 8:45:57 AM permalink
Quote: Mosca



I like the suggestion to bet more when the supervisor hands back the card. I might not throw out $25 at Mississippi, but now I will do $10 instead of $5.

Thanks!



I'd do it a little earlier. Some Supervisors don't hand it back until after they've entered everything and have already looked up to see what you're betting. In a perfect world, the Supervisor comes over while you are getting your chips from the dealer or right after and your first bet at the table is the one seen. You have to quickly assess the situation.


ZCore13
I am an employee of a Casino. Former Table Games Director,, current Pit Supervisor. All the personal opinions I post are my own and do not represent the opinions of the Casino or Tribe that I work for.
UCivan
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August 22nd, 2019 at 9:48:41 AM permalink
I would add "buy more chips in the beginning". Buy $500 or at least $300 to start even if you mostly play $3 or $5 a hand. Don't do $100 at a time. Also, use marker if you have one.
MDawg
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August 22nd, 2019 at 10:07:16 AM permalink
I think in the old days giving the pit boss a "happy handshake" and tipping the dealer might have resulted in an over all discretionary tilt in your favor when it came time to turning in your play, but nowadays things are so computerized that pit bosses can't even direct the cigar girl to hand you a cigar without punching it up on your player account, i.e. everything they do is watched too closely.

Still, if you're say jumping between 100 and 3000, the pit boss on your side will put you down for 1500 all the way while the one who isn't so much your friend might tilt you towards a 1000 average, and in either case, the decision might be justifiable.


I am not even sure what would happen nowadays with a happy handshake - back then (which wasn't really THAT long ago) they'd all take it some without a word sly as a fox, some would laugh, one used to say "You're crazy." but none would turn down the C note. On one big run a massive winning trip I actually folded five hundred into a handshake, and that took some effort and careful folding in the bathroom. I half imagine a pit boss today acting indignant like a cop you just tried to bribe. I am almost afraid to try these days.
I tell you itís wonderful to be here, man. I donít give a damn who wins or loses. Itís just wonderful to be here with you people. https://wizardofvegas.com/forum/gambling/betting-systems/33908-the-adventures-of-mdawg/
Zcore13
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August 22nd, 2019 at 10:31:46 AM permalink
Quote: UCivan

I would add "buy more chips in the beginning". Buy $500 or at least $300 to start even if you mostly play $3 or $5 a hand. Don't do $100 at a time. Also, use marker if you have one.



Buying more chips does nothing. We see it every day. It's all about average bet.


ZCore13
I am an employee of a Casino. Former Table Games Director,, current Pit Supervisor. All the personal opinions I post are my own and do not represent the opinions of the Casino or Tribe that I work for.
bobbartop
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Mosca
August 22nd, 2019 at 11:57:11 AM permalink
Quote: Zcore13

Buying more chips does nothing. We see it every day. It's all about average bet.
ZCore13




One place I play at has only recently put in a kiosk, a kiosk where I can check what I got in comps about five minutes after I leave a table game. So I have started writing down details, especially which employee was doing the monitoring of my play during each session. Surprisingly, to me, is that there is a lot of difference between how it is recorded by different employees. Some lean more generous, some less so, some I can't get a handle on, and one is consistently cheap. Now I have learned to adjust to who is working each shift. When I go to the casino I have two objectives. Either put in some machine play towards my monthly mailer, or put in some table play for the benefits that that can garner. I never know who to expect will be working any given night. But now I am armed with knowledge of their individual traits. If Mr.Generous is working, put me up for table game. If Mr. Tightass is working, I pass by the tables and go straight to machines. That new kiosk is very handy, and I can check my info without bothering anyone. There have been times when I played same money, same time, and the comps from Mr.Generous were exactly double what Mr.Tightass gave me for the same play. An edge is an edge is an edge.
'Emergencies' have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have been eroded.
Zcore13
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August 22nd, 2019 at 12:13:10 PM permalink
Nice. Good knowledge to have. Some Supervisors have been taught to only count the mandatory bets, some are taught to count an ante and side bets, but not the play bets. There's definitely a difference between Supervisors.

I would teach, main bet, side bets, plus most of play bet. Three card poker players generally play 66% of hands. High Card Flush 75%, UTH 90%.


ZCore13
I am an employee of a Casino. Former Table Games Director,, current Pit Supervisor. All the personal opinions I post are my own and do not represent the opinions of the Casino or Tribe that I work for.
Vegasrider
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December 3rd, 2019 at 12:17:44 PM permalink
Don't cash out if you want to go eat or take a break. Since your average bet and time are the most important factors, you can increase both by not doing anything.

As a life long poker player, I see many players who do this. But unlike live poker, the time you spend away from the table games are generally not tracked by a formal system like poker. Plus, its a huge PIA for a supervisor to pick up your chips so they will refrain from doing it unlike poker, where its a daily occurence. If you do get picked up, just claim your chips at the cage. As long you keep it to under an hour I say you are safe. I've gone home, taken a shower, have dinner and come back. I have yet to be picked up in the pit.
Zcore13
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December 3rd, 2019 at 1:54:35 PM permalink
Quote: Vegasrider

Don't cash out if you want to go eat or take a break. Since your average bet and time are the most important factors, you can increase both by not doing anything.

As a life long poker player, I see many players who do this. But unlike live poker, the time you spend away from the table games are generally not tracked by a formal system like poker. Plus, its a huge PIA for a supervisor to pick up your chips so they will refrain from doing it unlike poker, where its a daily occurence. If you do get picked up, just claim your chips at the cage. As long you keep it to under an hour I say you are safe. I've gone home, taken a shower, have dinner and come back. I have yet to be picked up in the pit.



We just push "pause" on your seat on our system and it stops the clock until you return. Most of the time I wait a few more minutes after someone returns if I didn't see them when they left.

It could work at smaller casinos with no tracking system or even bigger ones with lazy floor people.


ZCore13
I am an employee of a Casino. Former Table Games Director,, current Pit Supervisor. All the personal opinions I post are my own and do not represent the opinions of the Casino or Tribe that I work for.
Vegasrider
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December 3rd, 2019 at 2:09:02 PM permalink
Quote: Zcore13

We just push "pause" on your seat on our system and it stops the clock until you return. Most of the time I wait a few more minutes after someone returns if I didn't see them when they left.

It could work at smaller casinos with no tracking system or even bigger ones with lazy floor people.


ZCore13



The casinos I play at are old school. Fortunately many of the northern nevada casinos havent upgaded to the newer technology yet. I know at the Grand Sierra they have and they will swipe your card at the table and Im sure they have the ability to hit the pause button. Knowing tha I might be less inclined to walk.
7craps
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December 3rd, 2019 at 2:16:46 PM permalink
Quote: Zcore13

4. Tip once in a while. Tipping is not required.

this sounds like non-Nevada casinos.
each area has to be different.

watch out down under.
Australia prohibits tipping of gaming staff
as it could be considered as bribery
and could raise questions about fairness in the casino. (smart folks down there)

in other words, those who tip can win more than those who do not tip. ok.

many follow the 'never tip' rule just to play it safe
winsome johnny (not Win some johnny)
Vegasrider
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December 3rd, 2019 at 2:58:44 PM permalink
Quote: 7craps

this sounds like non-Nevada casinos.
each area has to be different.

watch out down under.
Australia prohibits tipping of gaming staff
as it could be considered as bribery
and could raise questions about fairness in the casino. (smart folks down there)

in other words, those who tip can win more than those who do not tip. ok.

many follow the 'never tip' rule just to play it safe



Australia and many other countries are not tipping countries. I often hear the service industry whine because many foreigners who visit the US are not accustomed to tipping so either they get stiffed or under tipped.
Deucekies
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December 4th, 2019 at 4:28:19 PM permalink
As a supervisor myself, I can confirm that I comp tippers more generously. When deciding on your average bet, my personal rule is "Toke bets count triple". If you're a $20 player, but I see you putting $5 up for the dealer once in a while, I rate you $35. And if you have $1 on the progressive, I may round that up as well, calling you a $40 player.

That's not to say I would underrate non-tippers. I'll rate them accurately.

Quote: 7craps


watch out down under.
Australia prohibits tipping of gaming staff
as it could be considered as bribery
and could raise questions about fairness in the casino. (smart folks down there)

in other words, those who tip can win more than those who do not tip. ok.

many follow the 'never tip' rule just to play it safe



Just ask "Do you take tips?" They'll give you an honest answer.
Casinos are not your friends, they want your money. But so does Disneyland. And there is no chance in hell that you will go to Disneyland and come back with more money than you went with. - AxelWolf and Mickeycrimm
Vegasrider
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December 4th, 2019 at 4:45:10 PM permalink
Generally all of the dealers would rather have you bet on their behalf rather than you just giving them a chip. And most casinos will pool their tips by shift so your tip is not going 100% directly to THAT dealer, but a very small percentage. Of course there are casinos that allow each dealer to keep what they get, such az the Eldorado here in Reno and most poker rooms where they deal live poker gets to keep what they receive.
Vegasrider
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December 4th, 2019 at 4:46:42 PM permalink
Quote: Vegasrider

Generally all of the dealers would rather have you bet on their behalf rather than you just giving them a chip. And most casinos will pool their tips by shift so your tip is not going 100% directly to THAT dealer, but a very small percentage. Of course there are casinos that allow each dealer to keep what they get, such as the Eldorado here in Reno and most poker rooms where they deal live poker gets to keep what they receive.

MaxPen
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December 4th, 2019 at 7:46:49 PM permalink
Quote: Deucekies

As a supervisor myself, I can confirm that I comp tippers more generously. When deciding on your average bet, my personal rule is "Toke bets count triple". If you're a $20 player, but I see you putting $5 up for the dealer once in a while, I rate you $35. And if you have $1 on the progressive, I may round that up as well, calling you a $40 player.

That's not to say I would underrate non-tippers. I'll rate them accurately.



This is why tipping in casinos should be eliminated by the operators.
Zcore13
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December 4th, 2019 at 8:39:37 PM permalink
Quote: MaxPen

This is why tipping in casinos should be eliminated by the operators.



Why? Do you think real life is any different? It's not.


ZCore13
I am an employee of a Casino. Former Table Games Director,, current Pit Supervisor. All the personal opinions I post are my own and do not represent the opinions of the Casino or Tribe that I work for.
bobbartop
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December 4th, 2019 at 8:53:02 PM permalink
Quote: Zcore13

Why? Do you think real life is any different? It's not.


ZCore13




In real life, as an adult, I guess I am "trained" from a life of gambling. Subway makes me a sandwich, I tip the guy a buck. Pet food store, donate $2 to, uh, wherever. Anyone does anything for me, I toke. I can't say when I started doing that, but it must have slowly crept into my style many years ago, without me even noticing. As an old guy now, I seem to tip everyone, and I don't live in Vegas. I don't give squat to the meth addicts begging on the sidewalk. Well, I usually don't, but it is Christmas.
'Emergencies' have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have been eroded.
bobbartop
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December 4th, 2019 at 9:05:28 PM permalink
Quote: Deucekies

As a supervisor myself, I can confirm that I comp tippers more generously. When deciding on your average bet, my personal rule is "Toke bets count triple". If you're a $20 player, but I see you putting $5 up for the dealer once in a while, I rate you $35. And if you have $1 on the progressive, I may round that up as well, calling you a $40 player.



I grew up in Gardena and cut my teeth on lowball when that's all there was. I knew everyone in the six clubs by my mid-20s. There were no dealers, it was players deal. Picture that, if you haven't yet. I toked all the floormen. I don't think I was ever on the losing end of an argument in a game after the floorman was called over. Somehow I was always in the right. lol

Oh, and I took good care of the guys at the signup board writing down initials. Sometimes, especially after night horse racing let out, the six Gardena clubs were jam packed. It was often impossible to get seated. Well, almost impossible. lol
'Emergencies' have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have been eroded.
Vegasrider
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Boz
December 25th, 2019 at 2:09:51 PM permalink
Quote: bobbartop

I

Oh, and I took good care of the guys at the signup board writing down initials. Sometimes, especially after night horse racing let out, the six Gardena clubs were jam packed. It was often impossible to get seated. Well, almost impossible. lol



Especially true during my glory days of playing poker back at the Mirage, followed by the Bellagio, pre Aria days. No matter how busy the poker room was or how long the list, I was able to get seated within an hour or less with certain people working the floor. They carried the list on a clip board. They knew how much I toked whenever they retrieved my chips so they made sure I got seated. Benefits of being a local vs tourists. Same for the valet, My vehicle was the next one up, even during show breaks where itís a 30 minute or more wait. Amazing what a $10 or $20 will do.
Minty
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December 25th, 2019 at 2:29:15 PM permalink
Comp City for those who haven't read it is still a pretty good read on the topic.
"Just because I'm not doing anything illegal, doesn't mean I won't have to defend myself someday." -Chip Reese
Vegasrider
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December 25th, 2019 at 2:37:22 PM permalink
Quote: Minty

Comp City for those who haven't read it is still a pretty good read on the topic.



Thanks for reminding me, those tokes to the floor in the poker rooms always earned me a fee buffett ticket whenever I asked at the Bellagio. Even when I heard they they said they had no more. Point is, you must establish a relationship, toking consistently. Get in that auto mode.
Minty
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December 25th, 2019 at 2:56:19 PM permalink
Really the biggest thing I took away from it and this applies to much more in life than just casino comps, but it's that you're a lot more likely to get something if you ask for it. It seems common sense, but asking rather than just waiting and hoping can go a long way.
"Just because I'm not doing anything illegal, doesn't mean I won't have to defend myself someday." -Chip Reese
mcallister3200
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December 25th, 2019 at 3:25:00 PM permalink
Quote: Deucekies

As a supervisor myself, I can confirm that I comp tippers more generously. When deciding on your average bet, my personal rule is "Toke bets count triple". If you're a $20 player, but I see you putting $5 up for the dealer once in a while, I rate you $35. And if you have $1 on the progressive, I may round that up as well, calling you a $40 player.

That's not to say I would underrate non-tippers. I'll rate them accurately.

Quote: 7craps


watch out down under.
Australia prohibits tipping of gaming staff
as it could be considered as bribery
and could raise questions about fairness in the casino. (smart folks down there)

in other words, those who tip can win more than those who do not tip. ok.

many follow the 'never tip' rule just to play it safe



Just ask "Do you take tips?" They'll give you an honest answer.



So theyíre bribes, not tips, got it.
Suited89
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December 25th, 2019 at 9:20:00 PM permalink
In my experience in from 1979 - 2005 as a Blackjack Player...

I used to play overnite due to my 2nd shift work. I had a good bankroll per session, and always spared a few Benjamins on a bad nite. On a good night, well, I was happy to stay. Thing here is that most tables will open at 9AM here on the E. Coast, especially Fri/Sat/Sun. I got comped well by opening/verite a table or two or three. Most busses arrive about 10AM, so getting a few of them past open/verite is good business. Just betting red for a shoe 5/10/20 was good enuff. I was always surprised how much got put in the card... especially when the overnite was also good.

IMHO early risers can open a few tables, I have found extra comp on expected busy days. 2 or 3 Player teams might do fairly good even flat-betting minimum.

Regards
Suited89
some people need to reimagine their thinking
FleaStiff
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December 26th, 2019 at 5:13:43 AM permalink
Quote: mcallister3200

Quote: Deucekies

As a supervisor myself, I can confirm that I comp tippers more generously. When deciding on your average bet, my personal rule is "Toke bets count triple". If you're a $20 player, but I see you putting $5 up for the dealer once in a while, I rate you $35. And if you have $1 on the progressive, I may round that up as well, calling you a $40 player.

That's not to say I would underrate non-tippers. I'll rate them accurately.

Quote: 7craps


watch out down under.
Australia prohibits tipping of gaming staff
as it could be considered as bribery
and could raise questions about fairness in the casino. (smart folks down there)

in other words, those who tip can win more than those who do not tip. ok.

many follow the 'never tip' rule just to play it safe



Just ask "Do you take tips?" They'll give you an honest answer.



So theyíre bribes, not tips, got it.


Originally 'tips' were considered an anti-American relic from European class-centered society.
One need only watch the film Petrified Forest and see the 'please do not insult our employees by trying to tip them' sign. Tips seem less prevalent in Utah and are a way of life in Mexico and points South wherein "Mordita" and the presentation of 'Documents' is an ingrained way of life.

Gamblers deal with reality and in Vegas, tips are a lifestyle. Sure it can get excessive at times, but in reality tips are a way of life. Dealers get tipped. Helpful dealers get tipped more generously and generous tipping can be a way to insure that a dealer will be helpful. It never hurts to ask for something and those with a reputation for tipping generously are likely to prevail.

So be it tip, bribe, mordita or document... go with the flow.
Suited89
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December 26th, 2019 at 8:56:52 AM permalink
I do agree with this sentiment... especially on side-bets. Tipping 1-2% on a side bet doesn't hurt the HA of that bet much at all, considering it usually bad anyway.

Regards
Suited89
some people need to reimagine their thinking

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