Customer service positions are historically low-paying jobs and Las Vegas is no exception. The people you interact with count on tips for a decent living so don’t forget them while you’re on your trip. They often get stiffed or are treated rudely when people take their lousy luck out on them. I generally tip as follows:
* At the Craps table: When the shooter’s point is a six or eight I’ll occasionally throw a dollar chip down on the layout and say “Hard six for the boys” or “Hard eight for the boys”. It’s a dollar bet that pays $10 if the next six or eight is thrown “the hard ways” (as doubles) and it’s a way to not only tip the dealers but get them into the action. (Note that if the number your hard bet is on is shot easy, i.e. not as doubles, the dealers don’t get the dollar, the house does, but the dealers still appreciate your getting them in the action.) Another way to get the dealers in on the action is to place a chip next to your chip(s) on the Pass Line. This is a Pass Line bet for the dealers. When you do this, the stickman will often say “Dealers on the line”. (I usually do this when it’s my turn to shoot the dice.) Another alternative is to simply throw about 5% to 10% of any winnings down on the layout “for the boys” as an out-right tip when you’re ending your session.
* At the Blackjack table: I tip the dealer a buck or two out-right (when playing $5 or $10 hands) if they deal me a “natural” (ace and a ten-value card). If the dealer has been dealing me a good percentage of winning hands I’ll occasionally place a $5 chip on the layout between my bet and the dealer. This is a bet for the dealer getting them into the action. You can also do the “end of session” 5% to 10% thing mentioned above.
* If you like playing the slots, ask the slot attendants (located in the center of a large carousel of machines) or roving change attendants which machines are “loose”. They’re around those machines all day and have no problem helping you get some of the boss’ money. But be sure to tip them if you walk away a winner.
* Cocktail Waitresses: Drinks are free while you’re gambling. I usually give the cocktail waitress a $1 chip or $1 slot coin each time she brings me a drink.
* Shuttle bus drivers: The standard for airport shuttle bus drivers is $1 or $2 a bag.
Tipping drivers of the free shuttles which run between hotels is at your discretion. They often have a cup near the front of the bus for the tips but I usually hand $1 to them directly.
The shuttle bus drivers for the various off-Strip activities will often return you directly to your hotel rather than to the central pick-up point so tipping them for this time-saving service would be appropriate also.
* Bellman: $1 to $2 a bag is the norm.
* Maid: I leave a $5 tip each day, mainly because I shower each day and that involves extra effort on the maid’s part. Some guides say to leave one large tip at the end of your stay but I feel this is unfair. You may have several different maids during your stay due to their work schedules and assignments, and your tip could go to someone who didn’t touch your room while you were there. Plus doesn’t it make more sense to reap any benefits of your generosity (such as extra towels, etc.) while you’re still there ?
* Room Service: $3 to $5 depending on how fast I get my order. Either write “Tip=$5.” on the room check or they’ll gladly take a chip from the hotel’s casino.
* Buffet waiters/waitresses: The buffets usually have waiters or waitresses bring you your drinks, and refills are no problem. I tip $2 to $5 depending on how attentive they are.
* Don’t try and hail a cab in front of a hotel/casino. The cabbies will only respond to doormen. Get your cab through them and tip them a buck or two (more for more people).
* Cabbies: 15% is the normal rate but you may want to add a couple bucks if you ask for advice on a good place to play or eat.
* If you’re driving, valet parking attendants usually get $1 to $3 depending on how fast they are.
* If you’re taking a commercial (non-charter) flight and things are so busy at the ticket counter that a sky-cap takes care of checking your bags at the curb, tip them a couple bucks per bag for speeding you to your gate.