How Much Should You Tip the Dealer in a Poker Game

Casinos have always been about class and style. There is always a specific dress code and overall etiquette that must be respected, especially at high-end gambling institutions. That etiquette also includes tipping.

While you’re not required to tip if you don’t want to, you’re likely to be met with some eye rolls if you decide to ignore the dealer. In fact, depending on the casino you’re frequenting, you might completely lose the respect of everyone at the table.

So, yes, tipping is almost always the way to go when you’re playing poker. Here’s how to handle it in the most adequate way possible.

Depends on the stakes of the game

One of the things that determine the tipping amount is certainly the size of the pot. You shouldn’t hand out $5 tips for a small pot (in the $25- $50 range). If you did, you’d certainly be drowning your potential profits. In those cases, $1 is the standard.

Now, for bigger pots that are in the $50-$200 range, the tipping amount doesn’t increase much. Tipping around $2-3$ is perfectly fine. Even $1k to $3k pots don’t usually go above 5-10 bucks at most. Unlike the restaurant industry, tips in gambling are not defined by an acceptable percentage. The important thing is not to leave the dealer empty-handed the entire night.

Again, deciding not to tip is not something that will get you kicked out of the casino, but it can still affect how other players see you. As we said before, casinos are all about etiquette and elegance. You don’t want to come across as impolite or rude over $1 – it’s not worth your reputation.

Depends on the dealer’s behavior and professionalism

Not every dealer is going to be super friendly, conduct themselves with style, and be good at their role. That’s simply how it is in most casinos. You can tip a good dealer extra, and you don’t need to tip someone who constantly makes mistakes and doesn’t respect the game or the players.

Again, if you’re playing for fun, not for profit, you won’t lose much by tipping the dealer either way. Poker tables are not the place to be petty or rude. It’s one of the most popular casino games for a reason.

Overall, if you feel like the dealer has done a good job at the table, there’s nothing wrong with tipping more than you usually do. Just make sure not to overdo it if you want to earn some money. As we’ve already mentioned before, $1-$2 tips should be just enough, especially in medium to small pots.

Depends on your goals

Going into a casino without a detailed plan is not a very wise move. While “responsible gambling” you’ve probably been hearing about lately sounds like a true mood-killer, it’s an important concept no professional gambler will ever underestimate. You need to have a clear gambling budget and a specific goal in mind every time you sit down at a poker table. Are you playing for entertainment? Is your goal to make profits? Depending on your answers, the entire perspective on tipping will probably change.

You should never gamble more than you can afford to lose, and the same goes for tipping. If it makes you exceed your daily budget or lowers your winnings in a way that makes your games completely unprofitable, you’re probably tipping too much.

Make sure you calculate everything before you start throwing away your hard-earned cash in the casino. It’s the only way to truly come out of it as a winner.

Depends on the type of the casino

Different casinos have different “unspoken” rules. If you’ve been frequenting one specific casino, then you’ll probably quickly realize the “right” tipping amount by observing other players. Certain casinos only have high-stakes tables, where tips are usually higher. So, it all depends on the type of game you’re playing.

Similarly, online casinos, such as, usually don’t require any tips for the dealer. In some cases, the dealer is actually an AI bot, while others have live dealers that are already paid for by the house. Either way, if you enjoy playing poker online, you probably won’t have to worry about dealer tips.

Now, just like brick-n-mortar ones, online casinos have their unique pros and cons, but they’re still a fun alternative when you don’t want to deal with other people’s expectations. Try them out if tips are something you’re not sure how to handle.

Depends on your preferences and capabilities

As we’ve already established a couple of times throughout this article, if you don’t want to tip, nobody is going to force you to do so. It all boils down to your comfort level. If you’re comfortable with tipping a higher amount than everyone else at the table, all the power to you. Similarly, if you feel like tipping would compromise your winnings for the day, you can skip the tip.

Even though there is some level of stigma among professional gamblers when it comes to tipping the right amount to the dealer, it doesn’t mean you have to do something you’re not comfortable with.

Either way, make sure you put yourself and your poker goals first. As long as you’re having fun and making some money, everything else is less important. Don’t let anyone pressure you into giving away your hard-earned money if that’s not something you’d want to do. It’s as simple as that!

The bottom line

Poker games can be intense. Just like in movies, players are required to adhere to a specific etiquette. One of the things that draw a lot of confusion from newbie players is handling dealer tips. Deciding on the right amount to tip to your dealer can be quite anxiety-inducing at times. However, there are no right answers to this particular issue. The “correct” amount simply doesn’t exist. As we’ve mentioned in this article, the size of the tip will depend on many factors, such as casino rules, personal preferences, and pot size.

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