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Old 05-31-2011, 01:05 AM   #1
Rapini
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Tipping CONTAINMENT thread.

Because it's the most contentious topic discussed in the B&M Forum, a containment thread for tipping is necessary to prevent trolling and the incredibly predictable and repetitive nature of tipping threads from diluting the forum. Enjoy!
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Old 05-31-2011, 01:41 AM   #2
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Re: Tipping CONTAINMENT thread.

No one should tell another person whether or not to tip or how much to tip.

Having said that, if a poker dealer has the hope of getting tipped, they will work faster and cleaner. Dealing more hands with fewer mistakes is +EV for anyone playing.

Pay a dealer a fixed rate and any incentive to deal faster and make fewer mistakes is gone.

Refuse to tip dealers and you will eventually find yourselves with tip free, self dealt tables. The same DB's that angle shoot every chance they get will be dealing the cards as the deal is passed around.

Last edited by Rapini; 05-31-2011 at 02:05 AM.
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Old 05-31-2011, 03:48 AM   #3
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Re: Tipping CONTAINMENT thread.

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Originally Posted by Dealer-Guy View Post
Refuse to tip dealers and you will eventually find yourselves with tip free, self dealt tables. The same DB's that angle shoot every chance they get will be dealing the cards as the deal is passed around.
Sure it wouldn't be that casinos instead offer a wage based on hands dealt per hour? Or electronic tables and players with more money in their pockets? Quite the doom and gloom prediction you have made.
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Old 05-31-2011, 04:17 AM   #4
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Re: Tipping CONTAINMENT thread.

Electronic Tables will eliminate dealer tipping issues in the future for the next generation (probably have jacks so you can plug in your Ipad too).

Last edited by CardCounter1; 05-31-2011 at 04:37 AM. Reason: and no one has ever cheated at poker using electronic means, of course.
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Old 05-31-2011, 04:34 AM   #5
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Re: Tipping CONTAINMENT thread.

Yeah, because I want human made, fallible technologies controlling my chosen game.

Human interaction/Money + ability to cheat = Scams 100% of the time throughout history. See market makers and the stock market, see Michael Malkin etc.
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Old 05-31-2011, 05:03 AM   #6
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Re: Tipping CONTAINMENT thread.

(I copied this from my personal blog)

How Much Do You Tip the Poker Dealers?

This is a sensitive topic for some folks, but it really doesn’t need to be.

Tipping is a personal decision that should be made by the individual poker player. Nobody will force you to tip a poker dealer (the exception being some tournaments where a portion of the buy-in is set aside for the dealers). However, as a former poker dealer myself, I would like to share my personal opinions about tipping your dealer. And my opinion isn't "Tip them a lot!"

The fact of the matter is that poker dealers work for tips (or “tokes” as they are called in the business). Dealers usually make a meager hourly wage from the casino and rely on your tokes to actually make a living, much like a waitress or a bartender. Our poker room pays dealers $4.26 an hour. That’s hardly enough to live on.

So, the age-old question is “How much should I tip a dealer?” As with so many questions, the answer is “it depends”. If you feel that a dealer deserves $1 for the pot that was just pushed your way, then toss him a buck. If you feel like tossing him $5, then do it. If you feel like stiffing him, so be it. Maybe you feel that you should only tip the dealer if the pot you won is over a certain amount. Fine. It’s your choice.

Maybe you feel that a dealer is doing a great job, is entertaining, etc., so he deserves a tip. But maybe the dealer is slow, making a lot of errors, and not being very courteous, so he doesn't deserve one. All of these things can influence how much you tip a poker dealer.

Another age-old question is, “Well I’m playing poker to make money and tipping isn’t required, so why should I do it at all? It cuts into my profit.” This is true; it will cut into your profit. But it’s a bit more complicated than that. Let’s say nobody ever tipped poker dealers. What would happen?

Well, nobody would want to deal the game, that’s for sure. At least nobody competent enough to deal an efficient and accurate game. Nobody who knows the rules and regulations well enough. Nobody who cares enough about the game to make sure it’s run fairly. If you could flip burgers at McDonald’s for more money that a poker dealer makes, who would deal the game?

I suppose the poker room could just increase the rake and take a portion of it for the dealers. How does that sound? Now you ARE forced to tip the dealer, even if it’s the worst dealer in the world who has a bad attitude. I prefer to have the choice of who I tip and who I don’t and how much, thank you very much.

Whatever you choose as far as what to tip, don’t let others at the table influence you. I’ve seen players get angry because another player is stiffing the dealer. Some players will actually go so far as to toss the dealer a buck or two themselves when another player stiffs them then rub it in the face of the stiffer. "This is for the stiff....."

Other players get mad because their opponent tips a lot. The “you tip too much” player may feel that “players money is leaving the table” when someone tips big. Well guess what? It’s that individual players’ money, even if he just won it from you, so he can tip his whole damn stack if he wants.

On a few different occasions when dealing myself I had a player say, “You bring this in and you get half the pot”, and they lived up to their promise. I liked these players as a dealer.

Bottom line: tip what you want. Period.

Last edited by juanez; 05-31-2011 at 05:09 AM. Reason: Formatting
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Old 05-31-2011, 05:22 AM   #7
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Re: Tipping CONTAINMENT thread.

I think it's worth noting early in this thread that the tipping issue is confined primarily to North America. In most countries, dealers are (usually) paid a higher-than-minimum wage and tipping is at least not customary, and may be discouraged or even prohibited (by the casino or by law).

Whether this is a better or worse system for players is a matter that has been, and surely will be some more, debated quite a bit even though it's very difficult to tackle in any sensible way. But it is unarguable that a world of poker with minimal or no tipping exists and functions at least reasonably well. It is also unarguable that in most United States casinos, at least, the situation is different and tipping is customary and this affects dealers' compensation by the casino.

Carry on.
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Old 05-31-2011, 05:42 AM   #8
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Re: Tipping CONTAINMENT thread.

What are people's opinions of tipping where the tokes are shared equally between dealers? You can no longer just tip the good dealers and not tip the bad ones, also there's no real incentive for dealers to perform better to get more tips.

I remember when I was fairly new to poker, maybe playing for about 2 months online and barely beating 5NL I tried playing live and I met this guy who was a really good player and he'd help me out with hands; give me advice on pretty much anything. He said to me one day, "Hey Jarret, want to know a secret that will increase your winnings by 6k every year if you play live for a living? Don't tip."

I still tip, but I find myself tipping less and less, especially due to the shared tips.
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Old 05-31-2011, 06:01 AM   #9
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Re: Tipping CONTAINMENT thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by foxtrot uniform View Post
I think it's worth noting early in this thread that the tipping issue is confined primarily to North America. In most countries, dealers are (usually) paid a higher-than-minimum wage and tipping is at least not customary, and may be discouraged or even prohibited (by the casino or by law).

Whether this is a better or worse system for players is a matter that has been, and surely will be some more, debated quite a bit even though it's very difficult to tackle in any sensible way. But it is unarguable that a world of poker with minimal or no tipping exists and functions at least reasonably well. It is also unarguable that in most United States casinos, at least, the situation is different and tipping is customary and this affects dealers' compensation by the casino.

Carry on.
Ahhhh, good point here.

It'll be interesting to hear from those who have spent plenty of time at both North American and European poker tables.

Some questions come to mind:
Is the rake typically higher or lower in Europe than North America? Sadly, I have never played in Europe myself.
Is there typically a Bad Beat Jackpot rake (or similar promo rake) in Europe?
Are the dealers typically more/less competent and professional there than North American dealers?

Obviously this can be very anecdotal, but those who have traveled a lot can have a bunch of insight here.
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Old 05-31-2011, 07:22 AM   #10
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Re: Tipping CONTAINMENT thread.

Over the past two years I have played poker at least 3 times a week in various rooms around the country, and I've come to the conclusion that tipping should be not only eliminated, but prohibited, and that dealers should be salaried employees. This would require an increased rake, but would result in more overall integrity in the game, and probably a lower cost to players, especially winning players.

Dealers are the officials controlling each hand. They are responsible for overseeing the game and making sure players act appropriately. But because they rely on players to pay their salary, they have an incentive not to irritate them or make any waves. Players, either out of ignorance or inconsiderateness, often act inappropriately, and most dealers are often loath to call them on it for fear that it will affect their tips if they irritate the players. Imagine if basketball referees were allowed and even encouraged to accept tips from the winning team. I've seen several instances where dealers admonished players for bad behavior (e.g., a player announcing what cards he had folded pre-flop after a flop came which would have given him a hand; a player announcing what hand he was folding on the river after a bet, with two players still to act) only to be verbally abused by the offenders. More often than not, dealers remain completely silent when things like this happen, either out of disinterest or for fear that it will affect their tips.
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Old 05-31-2011, 08:39 AM   #11
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Re: Tipping CONTAINMENT thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deucesevenoffsuit View Post
More often than not, dealers remain completely silent when things like this happen, either out of disinterest or for fear that it will affect their tips.
What they don't understand is that their silence in these cases does affect their tips -- from me. I don't tip dealers who don't make an effort to keep control of a table.
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Old 05-31-2011, 08:47 AM   #12
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Re: Tipping CONTAINMENT thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deucesevenoffsuit View Post
Over the past two years I have played poker at least 3 times a week in various rooms around the country, and I've come to the conclusion that tipping should be not only eliminated, but prohibited, and that dealers should be salaried employees. This would require an increased rake, but would result in more overall integrity in the game, and probably a lower cost to players, especially winning players.

Dealers are the officials controlling each hand. They are responsible for overseeing the game and making sure players act appropriately. But because they rely on players to pay their salary, they have an incentive not to irritate them or make any waves. Players, either out of ignorance or inconsiderateness, often act inappropriately, and most dealers are often loath to call them on it for fear that it will affect their tips if they irritate the players. Imagine if basketball referees were allowed and even encouraged to accept tips from the winning team. I've seen several instances where dealers admonished players for bad behavior (e.g., a player announcing what cards he had folded pre-flop after a flop came which would have given him a hand; a player announcing what hand he was folding on the river after a bet, with two players still to act) only to be verbally abused by the offenders. More often than not, dealers remain completely silent when things like this happen, either out of disinterest or for fear that it will affect their tips.
This is something i've thought about before, and i agree with you in principle.

That said, there is no reasonable to get from point A to point B. Casinos do not pay a living wage (for the most part) and dealers are expected to make a reasonable hourly rate by way of tips.

"It oughtn't be so" is great, but I don't really see any way to make it not so aside from the casinos taking the initiative and raising dealer base pay -- and why would any casino individually undertake such a chane? By doing so, they would be volunteering to pay dealers much more than the market demands. What would they get in return for this? Almost nothing. Even if we assign an arbitrary value to their players' "good will", the fact is most players you will meet in most cardrooms would be entirely indifferent about about such a drastic change.
Quote:
Originally Posted by juanez View Post
Tipping is a personal decision that should be made by the individual poker player. Nobody will force you to tip a poker dealer (the exception being some tournaments where a portion of the buy-in is set aside for the dealers).
As an aside, one method that ive heard discussed that i've always kind of liked is to simply reserve a portion of the rake each dealer collects for the dealer himself. This percentage holdout worked pretty well when it became common practice for tournaments (and akaik it is a relatively recent phenomenon)
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Old 05-31-2011, 09:22 AM   #13
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Re: Tipping CONTAINMENT thread.

I think the best argument for structuring things such that tips are important goes away when tips are pooled. (Note that there are other arguments that don't — for example, the optional nature of tipping means that to some extent people who value marginal dollars more pay less for dealers' services, while those who value money less [perhaps because they're winning tonight, or for whatever other reason] or are otherwise happy to tip pay more.) If I know that tips are pooled (which isn't obvious at all, sadly, and is rarely publicly disclosed) then I am much less inclined to tip than otherwise.

Still, the argument that dealers are rewarded for doing their job well is not as strong as it should be, because the cultural expectation is that winners of each hand tip. There are deviations from the norm, but as a first order approximation, most players tip a fixed amount for each pot won or an amount dependent only on pot size, without regard to whether the dealer is good or bad. Truly terrible dealers will get tipped less, and dealers who deal fewer hands will suffer proportionally therefor, but it's still perfectly possible for a lazy or incompetent dealer to make a decent living including tips.

Things would be far better if we could somehow instill, in places where tipping is expected, a change in the specifics of the tipping culture. If most players were to eschew the per-pot tip and instead toss two or three or however many dollars to the good dealers at the end of their downs, whether the player won or lost, there would be a much stronger incentive for dealers to do their best and for those who are incapable of doing well to leave the field.
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Old 05-31-2011, 10:12 AM   #14
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Re: Tipping CONTAINMENT thread.

I never expected this thread to touch on the most interesting and worthwhile topic regarding tipping (the business model of tipping v. living wage) at all, let alone immediately.

Quote:
Originally Posted by juanez View Post
Ahhhh, good point here.

It'll be interesting to hear from those who have spent plenty of time at both North American and European poker tables.

Some questions come to mind:
Is the rake typically higher or lower in Europe than North America? Sadly, I have never played in Europe myself.
Is there typically a Bad Beat Jackpot rake (or similar promo rake) in Europe?
Are the dealers typically more/less competent and professional there than North American dealers?

Obviously this can be very anecdotal, but those who have traveled a lot can have a bunch of insight here.
Rake is typically higher in Europe. The places I have played rake the equivalent of 10% to $12 max and 10% to $16 max.

At the places I have played, there is a BBJ and other promotions that are paid directly out of the rake rather than out of a promotional drop.

In my experience, European dealers are typically more competent and professional than North American dealers.
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Old 05-31-2011, 10:39 AM   #15
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Re: Tipping CONTAINMENT thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by foxtrot uniform View Post
Things would be far better if we could somehow instill, in places where tipping is expected, a change in the specifics of the tipping culture. If most players were to eschew the per-pot tip and instead toss two or three or however many dollars to the good dealers at the end of their downs, whether the player won or lost, there would be a much stronger incentive for dealers to do their best and for those who are incapable of doing well to leave the field.
The problem is that for most dealers, for most downs, there isn't a chance to be exceptional. The dealers' job primarily mechanical -- they pitch the cards, gather the pot, etc. Yes, there are times when a problem arises and a dealer might handle that problem exceptionally well, but when things are running normally a "good" dealer is one that doesnt make any mechanical errors and isnt actively nasty.
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Old 05-31-2011, 10:40 AM   #16
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Re: Tipping CONTAINMENT thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarretman View Post
What are people's opinions of tipping where the tokes are shared equally between dealers? You can no longer just tip the good dealers and not tip the bad ones, also there's no real incentive for dealers to perform better to get more tips.

I remember when I was fairly new to poker, maybe playing for about 2 months online and barely beating 5NL I tried playing live and I met this guy who was a really good player and he'd help me out with hands; give me advice on pretty much anything. He said to me one day, "Hey Jarret, want to know a secret that will increase your winnings by 6k every year if you play live for a living? Don't tip."

I still tip, but I find myself tipping less and less, especially due to the shared tips.
How many rooms do you play in that share tips? Are you sure that they do? I know there are some rooms that pool tips for poker dealers but they are rare. Most poker dealers carry thier own box and keep what they cash out at night.

BTW, I get asked once or twice a week if my room pools tips, I tell them the truth of course that we do not pool tips.

I pushed into a table yesterday and a player threw me a tip he would have given to the last dealer since:

"you guys pool tips anyway."

I explained that we do not pool tips and I had a chip runner take the tip to the dealer I pushed out.

Mant casinos pool tips in their table games deparment, games like "let it Ride", BJ, etc. But NOT in poker. if you have been told thatthe BJ dealers pool their tips, please do not assume that poker dealers in the same casino also pool their tips. Ask a floor, ask a dealer, they'll tell you how it is.

Last edited by Dealer-Guy; 05-31-2011 at 10:52 AM.
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Old 05-31-2011, 10:42 AM   #17
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Re: Tipping CONTAINMENT thread.

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Originally Posted by Rapini View Post
I never expected this thread to touch on the most interesting and worthwhile topic regarding tipping (the business model of tipping v. living wage) at all, let alone immediately.
wow, its not every day your expectations get exceeded.

Quote:
Rake is typically higher in Europe. The places I have played rake the equivalent of 10% to $12 max and 10% to $16 max.
Thats insane.... I imagine everything the equivalent of $5-10 and up is time..... it would almost have to be.
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Old 05-31-2011, 10:52 AM   #18
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Does the room you play ion pool dealers tips?

I think this would be an interesting side bar to this discussion. Can we get a list of rooms that pool tips for poker dealers started?

I believe pooling tips lowers the comtencey level of the deaelrs because good dealers know thay can make more money elsewhere.

If you play in rooms that pool and other rooms that do not, what have been your experiences in the quality of dealers between the two?
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Old 05-31-2011, 10:52 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dealer-Guy View Post
Pay a dealer a fixed rate and any incentive to deal faster and make fewer mistakes is gone.
How about taking pride in your work, and keeping your customers (the players, obv) happy so they keep coming back and you still have a place to deal? Not incentive enuf?
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Old 05-31-2011, 10:58 AM   #20
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Re: Tipping CONTAINMENT thread.

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Originally Posted by King_of_NYC View Post
How about taking pride in your work, and keeping your customers (the players, obv) happy so they keep coming back and you still have a place to deal? Not incentive enuf?
If I have the opportunity to get paid more the harder I work, the faster I work and the better I work, why would paying me less give me any incentive to improve?

See the post I made above where I ask about poker rooms with tip pools, check back and see what kind of a response it gets.
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Old 05-31-2011, 11:08 AM   #21
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Re: Tipping CONTAINMENT thread.

I tip 5% everytime that I win a pot which is biggen than half of my stack. Is that ok?
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Old 05-31-2011, 11:18 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dealer-Guy View Post
If I have the opportunity to get paid more the harder I work,
the faster I work and the better I work, why would paying me less give me any incentive to improve?
You didn't answer the question, as there was no mention of paying a dealer any less (although I do advocate paying someone what is fair, based on skill set required, education, experience etc).

If someone is getting paid a fair wage, I think it's reasonable to expect that person to be courteous, professional and hard working, regardless of how that wage is earned (ie tips or salary). And if you can't maintain that level of professionalism while working because you feel you could be earning more, for whatever reason, you'll be weeded out as anyone would be under those conditions.
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Old 05-31-2011, 11:38 AM   #23
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Re: Tipping CONTAINMENT thread.

I almost never tip any more. All anyone ever wants from you is your money; well I like money too and have decided to have as much of it as is possible. Most dealers are vaguely annoying anyway; I think if I play somewhere that dealers kept their own tips I may tip a very modest sum to the very best dealers.
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Old 05-31-2011, 12:39 PM   #24
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Re: Tipping CONTAINMENT thread.

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Originally Posted by AEPpoker View Post
The problem is that for most dealers, for most downs, there isn't a chance to be exceptional. The dealers' job primarily mechanical -- they pitch the cards, gather the pot, etc. Yes, there are times when a problem arises and a dealer might handle that problem exceptionally well, but when things are running normally a "good" dealer is one that doesnt make any mechanical errors and isnt actively nasty.
Not a bad point — and it makes me realize that I'm actually talking about two different issues. What I talked about was tipping per shift instead of per hand, which I still think is a slightly better idea (because it reduces the dependence on who wins — a dealer shouldn't make more or less as a function of which players do well while he's dealing),1 but what I should have addressed is the cultural rule whereby a tip is automatic, whether per hand, per down, or whatever. The world would improve for poker players who play in a tip-dependent casino if good dealers got tipped a lot more than bad dealers, regardless when it happened.

You're correct that "good" often means unexceptional, so that's a problem to some extent. It could be partially solved if more players were willing to stiff dealers who don't do a good job — not just those who do something egregious to them personally, but those who are less than eager or less than technically proficient. Eventually those dealers either shape up or leave, and the average competence goes up, provided that the good (meaning, as you say, unexceptional in many cases) dealers make enough to make the job desirable for them.


1 The counterargument is that tipping per hand provides an incentive to deal more hands, which is a good thing for everyone (including the house). That's true, but it also tends to decrease the effect of stiffing when a dealer does a bad thing, because it will typically only affect a single hand's tip and then only if the person who is hurt by or notices the poor conduct happens to win the pot.
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Old 05-31-2011, 12:47 PM   #25
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Re: Does the room you play ion pool dealers tips?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dealer-Guy View Post
I think this would be an interesting side bar to this discussion. Can we get a list of rooms that pool tips for poker dealers started?

I believe pooling tips lowers the comtencey level of the deaelrs because good dealers know thay can make more money elsewhere.

If you play in rooms that pool and other rooms that do not, what have been your experiences in the quality of dealers between the two?
Foxwoods pools the tips... not just among the poker dealers, but with the table games too (It's all 1 big pool).

The only other nearby room (Mohegan Sun) keeps their own tips. Generally speaking, the dealers at Mohegan are better than at Foxwoods.
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