Let me make this short and sweet: if you know what’s good for you, then tip your dealers.
Here are my thoughts on tipping, with no regards to Karma…
TIPPING IS IMPORTANT, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER IT’S THE RIGHT THING TO DO
I’m a utilitarian person in real life.
I believe in practicality and usefulness. I tend not to trust people who repeatedly tell me that they’re trustworthy and swear up and down that they’re trustworthy because of honor or divine righteousness.
For example, I’m a kind person, not because I believe in Karma or because I fear an anomalous cosmic force; rather, I’m kind because being kind to others is the best way to attract other kind people into my life. Being surrounded by kind people makes my life easier, more enjoyable, and less stressful. This means that I’ll live longer, which then means that I get to play more craps in my lifetime.
Oh, what’s the one trait that most women find attractive in a partner? Kindness.
Even if you aren’t a kind person, you can train yourself to be kind, but that’s another topic for another website.
What I am getting at this is: I tip not because it’s ‘the right thing to do’ or because it brings good or bad Karma; rather, I tip because there are legitimately good utilitarian reasons to tip.
Besides, doing something only because it’s right or wrong leaves too much room for judgment and deviation.
God wanted me to have a private jet…
In the spirit of utility, here is why I tip and take care of my dealers.
Walk In Another’s Shoes
Before we can understand why we should tip dealers, it’s important to understand the skill required to be a proficient dealer. Do this exercise, so that you can walk in their shoes…
Next time you are at a casino, take about 40 chips – two stacks – up to your room. On the table in your hotel room, layout four stacks of chips with each stack having five chips. Let’s call each stack ‘player stacks’.
Stand up, but face the four stacks. It should look like you are dealing blackjack to four players.
Then take the remaining 20 chips and keep them in a single stack in front of you, like how the craps dealers have a stack of chips in front of them.
Let’s pretend the four-player stacks are winning pass line bets.
Now…pronto…pay each of the player stacks using your single stack of 20 chips.
Unless you’re an experienced professional, you are not going to have the snappiness, precision, and speed of an experienced dealer. Look at how dealers handle chips and how they pay, take, and calculate. There’s a sharp military-like precision to the whole process. That’s a skill and trait acquired after years of experience.
Have a friend film you doing it. Now compare yourself to one of the experienced dealers in my videos.
Let’s add odds to each player stack. Combine the four-player stacks onto two stacks. One player stack has two chips and 4x odds, while the other player stack has 3 chips and 2x odds.
Now…pronto…pay both player stacks as if the point was a winner 9.
You’re probably going to make the calculations in your head and then move to pay. That’s unacceptable unless you want to be the slowest dealer on the table. You have to grab your stack of chips and make the calculation as you’re moving towards the chips and handling the player stacks. It’s all one motion.
Even if you already know that you’ll fumble the chips or look slow and clumsy, do the exercise that I described. Once you walk in another person’s shoes, it easier to see their perspective. It’s also easier to be kind when you have experienced a little bit of what they do. You will understand that proficient dealing is a monumentally difficult exercise in multitasking.
Oh, finally, for part 3 of the exercise, have someone scream and curse at you while you’re trying to pay. That’ll make it super real, no joke.
Tipping to Retain Talent
Did you see the Resorts video where the dealers made all those mistakes?
Let’s recount some of the horrendous dealer mistakes: marking the wrong point (no joke, watch the video here), not making correct change, not making the correct payment, and calling no bets. Those are just some of the mistakes made by these dealers.
John Koryto is a dealer in Atlantic City, and he points out why the dealers at Resorts are so horrendous:
Resorts has one of the lowest toke rates in AC, which results in having fewer highly experienced dealers.
It’s a simple concept that good labor does not come cheap. Anyone who is skilled at their work deserves to get paid, and if they aren’t paid fairly, they’ll go do something else. If all the good craps dealers leave, then we are stuck with inexperienced craps and table game dealers who move like molasses and make mistakes.
Oh, if you want to see a slow and inexperienced dealer, go back and watch part 1 of my Boomtown video. Watch the dealer in the early part of the video. That was literally his first day on the job.
I don’t point him out to knock him down. Actually, in a few years, after he deals enough hands and has seen enough rolls, he’ll be quite speedy and efficient.
However, if during his process of becoming proficient, he doesn’t earn enough money, he’s going to switch professions. If that happens, we’ll go back to having an inexperienced dealer who slows down the game and makes all sorts of mistakes.
Like all skilled craftsmen and women, if we want good dealers, we have to pay to retain them, otherwise, they’ll go do something else.
Humans are Social Creatures Who will Follow Each Other’s Example
So you’re thinking, ‘RoadGambler is pretty much right, but I’ll let the other players tip.’
Let’s continue to set aside any arguments of right or wrong and explore another practical implication.
The problem with this train of thought is that humans are social creatures (NIH Study) and will typically follow the example or allowances set by their fellow humans.
There’s a large body of science that studies the group behavior of humans.
It’s a fact: When a player doesn’t tip, they will empower and set the example for others to follow. Sometimes, the crowd will follow not because of spite or malice, but because of example. You will be the unintentional leader of a gang of non-tippers who will drive out the best talent that’s qualified to deal my two favorite games in the casino.
Players who do not tip are destroyers, and that’s the opposite of being a purpose-driven constructive utilitarian who builds things.
ROADGAMBLER FINAL THOUGHTS
I’ve always been hesitant to discuss tipping because it’s such a volatile subject. In my videos, I prefer not to show tipping because it opens up a discussion that can lead to nonconstructive vitriol.
There are some players who see tipping as a sign of weakness; while on the other end of the spectrum, there are those who think no tip is ever good enough.
People attribute way too many character traits to a person’s tipping habit.
People who overtip aren’t morally superior to those who undertip or don’t tip at all. I knew a person who overtipped on everything because she craved the attention and praise that came from tipping 100% on her final bill, while her children didn’t have enough money for school clothes and infant formula. I bought boxes of diapers for this person when her baby was two months old and her credit card was maxed.
I’m not going to judge anyone for not tipping. That’s really none of my business what someone chooses to do with their money, so long as the gratuity is optional. At the end of it all, tipping remains an implicit understanding that isn’t bound by law or contract.
I just want players to know that there is a real world utilitarian cost to not tipping your dealers.
At the end of it all, the cost of not tipping may be greater than the money saved in terms of efficiency, proficiency, accuracy, and time, especially if you consider that these mistake prone dealers may become the norm if we don’t adequately compensate these skilled craftsmen and women.
That’s my perspective, and what you chose to do with my perspective is your prerogative.
If the dealers get too bad, there’s always bubble craps, ya know.