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How much would you tip a poker dealer?

 
 
Reply Wed 22 Apr, 2009 09:13 am
In a 9 player Sit-n-go tournament with a $60 buy-in. The prizes are $300 and $120.

What would you tip the dealer if you came in 1st or second?
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Robert Gentel
 
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Reply Wed 22 Apr, 2009 09:32 am
@ebrown p,
It really depends. When I played poker for fun I'd tip generously, and if that were a house game or if the dealer isn't compensated fairly for their time I'd probably tip generously. But when I started doing it seriously I had to reign that in, because you have such slim edges in poker that tipping can be the difference between being profitable or not.

It also depend what the casino pays dealers and how tips are handled (some casinos around the world expect the dealers to earn a certain amount of tips for the casino, in others tips are their only salary).

The structure you outlined is already taking a huge chunk of the prize pool for the house. I'd not play it at all if I thought a tip would be expected on top of it. That being said, if I did play it I'd probably tip $30-$40 for 1st and no more than $20 for second.

But honestly, the notion of tipping dealers is really for stupid gamblers. With the rake and tips many games can be unbeatable, even for the best of players. This kind of stuff makes poker another "can't beat the house" kind of game.

I don't ever get angry or happy at a dealer for what cards are dealt, ideally they have absolutely no control over that. The dealers don't get any abuse from me if they deal a bad beat, and certainly aren't chipping in when I lose so I find it absurd to tip dealers at all. It ruins poker as a sport and makes it so that in most places the only people making money off poker is the house and the dealers.

So I guess what I'm saying is that I don't think tipping dealers is appropriate for the game but I always tip because outside the US a lot of the dealers need the tips to survive and I'd do around 10% for this case because I think that's the least you can do without being completely insulting, and they are already taking over 20% of the prize pool out before tips. Any more and it's really just throwing your money away to play this tournament.
ebrown p
 
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Reply Wed 22 Apr, 2009 09:47 am
@Robert Gentel,
Thanks Robert, I recently took up poker as a hobby (but I can be quite obsessive about my hobbies). My first goal is to reach the point where I break even-- i.e. that poker won't cost me anything to play.

This weekly tournament is run by a restaurant. It is technically a "charity" tournament, but this is mostly a way to get around the anti-gambling laws-- no one cares or even has a clue about what charity is being helped.

It is made quite clear (i.e. people shout it) that tips are expected, I have no idea how much the dealers are paid-- although the fact that they probably lose some of their profits to charity probably changes my calculations-- although if dealers are making $50-$60 dollars in tips for less than a couple of hours of work-- it might not be bad work.

That being said, I do like the dealers, they are quite capable, pleasant and run a good game. (If they could be blamed for the cards I was dealt, I would be quite upset... but that is another story).

Thanks for the input.

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