Tipping doesn’t come naturally to most Australians, as our service industries are structured in such a way that workers don’t rely on the generosity of patrons to cover their wages. Because of this, many casual punters aren’t sure whether or not they should throw a few chips to the dealer when gambling at a land-based casino.
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So, should you tip the croupier? We’ll answer that question and explain how you can avoid the issue altogether by playing live dealer games online at any of our recommended AUD casino sites above.
Can Australian casino dealers accept tips?
In many parts of the world, it is standard practice to tip the dealer whenever you play a table game or live poker at a brick-and-mortar casino. This is especially the case in the United States where, like most service staff in that country, the croupiers make the bulk of their pay from customer donations. The same goes for cocktail waitresses and certain other vendors within the casino.
In Australia, however, it is actually illegal to tip the dealers. This is partly because croupiers, drinks attendants and other casino staff in this country earn far higher base wages than their North American counterparts. For example, entry-level dealers at Melbourne’s Crown Casino are paid at a minimum hourly rate of $19 per hour, while more experienced croupiers take home upwards of $33 per hour.
But the main reason dealer tips are banned is to avoid corruption and fraud. There are many ways a casino employee might compromise the integrity of a game in an attempt to profit from the more wealthy and generous sectors of the clientele. Overpaying on bets is one; deliberately misdealing a hand is another.
So, if you’re playing real money poker, blackjack, roulette, or any other land-based casino game in Australia, don’t bother trying to tip the dealer. Not only might you land yourself in hot water, you could cost the croupier his or her job.
Tipping etiquette in the US, Europe and Asia
Australia is one of very few countries where tipping the dealer is not allowed. Indeed, in North America, Asia and much of Europe, paying the gaming staff for their service is considered an essential part of casino gambling.
So, if you’re holidaying overseas and plan to hit the casinos in Las Vegas, Macau, or just about anywhere else, it helps to know what’s expected of you in this regard. Aussies get a pretty bad wrap abroad for our general lack of tipping etiquette, so here are a few rough guidelines to give you an idea of how to adequately reward croupiers for their efforts.
Always tip after a big win – If you score a massive pot while playing hold’em poker, or if that straight-up wager on the roulette table salutes, it’s good manners to send a couple of bucks the dealer’s way. The exact amount is up to you and depends on the size of the win. Around 5-10% will usually do the trick – so if you win $100 on a hand of blackjack, you might throw $5 or $10 to the kind soul who facilitated such good fortune.
$0.50-$1 for each hand dealt – This is not a firm rule by any measure, but it’s roughly what a dealer will expect for solid service in most parts of the United States. Keep track of the number of hands you’ve played and reward the croupier accordingly. About $1 per hand will more than satisfy in most situations. If you tip anything less than 50 cents for each round, you’ll look like a bit of a stiff.
Half your average bet every hour – Rather than paying up based on the number of hands played, some folks prefer to tip around half the amount of their average wager once an hour. So if your mean bet is $50, you might give the dealer $25. You might adjust that ratio down if you are betting serious money on the high-stakes roulette and baccarat tables, but $1000+ tips are not unheard of in the VIP rooms.
Play a bet on the dealer’s behalf – In table games like blackjack and baccarat, it is common practice to play a bet for the dealer rather than to hand in chips directly. How often and much you stake depends on how long you’re at the table, how much you’re tipping per hand or per hour, and the game’s bet limits. If you want advice on how to place a wager for the dealer, ask them.
Reward excellent service – As with the hospitality industry as a whole, an exceptional dealer should get a little something extra for making your gambling experience as enjoyable as possible. On the other hand, you are perfectly within your rights to pay an unfriendly or incompetent staffer less than you normally would.
Play live dealer online casino games instead
Wherever you are in the world, live dealer online casinos present an ideal solution for those who remain confused about tipping – and those who simply can’t be bothered. These are authentic table games and lottery draws, dealt by hand in real time and video streamed direct to your computer, smart TV, or even your mobile.
You don’t have to tip live croupiers; in most cases it isn’t even possible. A few online gaming operators do provide a tip jar, but there is absolutely no obligation to use it. That means you can make your bankroll stretch quite a bit further than you would in a b&m casino, which is especially handy for players on a tight budget.
What’s more, you don’t have to go through all the rigmarole that goes along with visiting a land-based gaming venue. You don’t have to dress up nice; you don’t have to pay eleven billion Australian dollars for a half-hour taxi ride; and you don’t have to put up with drunk idiots who don’t know what they’re doing. Just put on your comfy trackies, pour yourself a reasonably priced drink, and play away.