Dealer Tokes
  • Did you ever wonder how much a dealer makes in tokes ? For the first 6 months of the year dealers at Monte Carlo averaged $120 a day in tokes. Over the three day 4th of July weekend (fri, sat, sun) the dealers at Mandalay Bay made $851. The dealers at Circus Circus made $322 and the dealers at O'Sheas made $224. The dealers at the Sycuan casino (San Diego area) are making about $7,000 a month. They also give a $100 bonus for every year of service. I wish my employer did that, as I have 30 years of service.....
  • Where did you get your info from? It seems like quite a variance in amounts. Just curious...
  • There is quite a variance. One Tuesay in July for example. Dealers at Belligio made $245 and dealers at the Stratosphere made $44. There is a monthly newletter that list dealers tokes and other tidbits.
  • midnite said:
    Did you ever wonder how much a dealer makes in tokes ? For the first 6 months of the year dealers at Monte Carlo averaged $120 a day in tokes. Over the three day 4th of July weekend (fri, sat, sun) the dealers at Mandalay Bay made $851. The dealers at Circus Circus made $322 and the dealers at O'Sheas made $224. The dealers at the Sycuan casino (San Diego area) are making about $7,000 a month. They also give a $100 bonus for every year of service. I wish my employer did that, as I have 30 years of service.....


    Very interesting information, Midnite -- any idea what their base pay and benefits are like?

    As for your own employer, try putting a jar on your desk and label it "tips". :wink:
  • Most are minimum wage jobs. I know at the casino I go to the most, the dealers get a "small" raise in pay, as they learn the other games. I am not sure what their benefit package consists of.
  • I dont like cockyass dealers who think they're simply HOT SHIT just cuz they keep winning and all this pish posh.
  • Works both ways. Dealers also don't like cocky players, who just happen to be on a winning streak. Some players have read a couple of BJ books and "think" they are experts and they also "think" they play Perfect basic strategy, but don't. They will be the first to blame the other players at the table, when things start to go bad. They will make a comment about how the other player should have played his hand, never mind that it is his money and he can do anything with it he wants to. Dealers say these types are worse than a new puppy, because eventuality the puppy will stop whinning......
  • Midnite, I always enjoy your responses. You hit it right on the nose, as usual, about whiners. I will usually tip the dealer $2.50 per hour as long as I'm breaking even or ahead. If I'm leaving the table a loser and haven't tipped much, I'll leave something. In Detroit and Windsor, all the dealers combine their tips for the week and they are divided up by hours worked for each dealer. That way the poor souls working the low stakes tables have a fair chance. Is this the way it is elsewhere?
  • D - Many of the casinos in Las Vegas work similarly. The tokes are divided based on shift or 24-hour period depending on which casino you go to. It makes it more fair when a dealer is standing at an empty $100 table that he/she is permitted to split tips with those at the crowded $5 and 10 tables. Also, the dealer rotation means a dealer isn't at the same table all night so it would be difficult to track each individual dealer's tips.
  • Thanks D. I believe at most places the dealers split the tokes. Some do not. I played at a casino in Albuquerque where each dealer had their own "toke box". They clipped it to the table and dropped the tokes in it. When they left the table, they took it with them. They were Very friendly dealers.....
  • Midnite - I bet they were friendly. I've also read about dealers on those tables (when they keep their tokes) recommending incorrect moves when a player has a bet riding for the dealer. IE. The player has a toke up for the dealer and is given a pair of fours. The dealer has a 3 up. I've heard that the dealer would recommend splitting (and adding a second toke) to try to double his/her tip (even though basic strategy recommends just hitting the hand). Having the dealers keep their own tips can lead to some bad dealer recommendations, but at least they'll be real sweet while helping you lose your bankroll :? :?
  • I was told the dealers pool their tokes at the local spots here, but they move from table to table with their own toke box that they clip to the edge of the table, so I'm guessing that's so they can figure out amongst themselves who's bringing in more, maybe for some kind of bonus(?)

    What do you think they prefer? A straight tip or a bet out front? I always do the bet out front. My cue to do it is right after winning a blackjack, double or split, or every few ordinary wins if I'm really ahead.
  • D said:
    Midnite, I always enjoy your responses. You hit it right on the nose, as usual, about whiners. I will usually tip the dealer $2.50 per hour as long as I'm breaking even or ahead. If I'm leaving the table a loser and haven't tipped much, I'll leave something. In Detroit and Windsor, all the dealers combine their tips for the week and they are divided up by hours worked for each dealer. That way the poor souls working the low stakes tables have a fair chance. Is this the way it is elsewhere?


    D -- what happens on currency exchange at the Canadian casino? I'm just wondering if they're charging a premium over the base bank rate that gives them an unbeatable house edge even before you've placed your first bet. Jeff T, you mentioned you went to Niagara -- any idea?
  • Dawg - It was my understanding that the dealers in your area keep their own tokes. I know for a fact that is true in the casino twenty miles north of where you usually play. Just possibly, some of the dealers may be pooling amongst themselves at your local spot......Grif'
  • DD - I'd ask the dealer if you're really interested. Some might like the opportunity to double their tip, others might just prefer the tip outright. I guess it depends on if the dealer is a gambler or not :wink: :wink: :wink:
  • BJ_Fan/Dawg......Sorry, meant to respond to that part. Just do this if you don't know what the dealer prefers....Slide the tip out and ask, "Pay or Play". I can tell you this.....you won't hear many say "pay".
  • Grifter said:
    Dawg - It was my understanding that the dealers in your area keep their own tokes. I know for a fact that is true in the casino twenty miles north of where you usually play. Just possibly, some of the dealers may be pooling amongst themselves at your local spot......Grif'


    The way I heard it was a few months ago, when another player asked the dealer and she said they share tips, but I'm going to ask again next time I'm at Casino Arizona. Those boxes they walk around with do suggest it's every one for him- or her-self, but I think I've seen a larger wooden box behind the cash cage for dealer tips to be poured into. (or maybe it's waiter tips, I'm not sure.)

    The way Fort McDowell is run, if that's the 20 miles north casino you mean, I'm pretty sure they're all on their own. They made those dealers pay a bundle of money for training. It's a beautiful drive to get there if it's still light out, but I don't like it as much inside as either of the two Casino AZ's.
  • DD- When I have played @ Niagra, I exchanged at the current rate.
  • Fitzgeralds in Tunica is the only house there that the dealers keep thier own tips, and the dealers are much friendlier. There is a big difference between being friendly and hustling tips though, I've had a couple of dealers pull stuff on me and have learned to stick to a consistant pattern, so what ever they do, now its just one more factor I can ignore while concentrating on the game.
  • Grifter, you were right. The dealers at Casino Arizona keep their own tokes themselves. And all this time I had thought they were friendly to me because of my own personal charisma.
  • Desert Dog - when you go up there and convert USD to CAD they will exchange it for the bank rate ($1.39) when I went. However, when you want to exchange Canadian back into American, that's where they get you with a small premium. It's usually a few cents. I believe it was that you needed $1.42 or $1.43 in Canadian to go back to American.

    It's really nice when going the one way... I was able to make $150 US into over $200 Canadian. It makes it nicer so that you can "fake" bringing more units to the table... ie. you get more bang for your buck, I guess.

    The only thing that is bad is when you go to get the US money back. Other than the premium, it's kinda sad to see that $215 or so go back into making $150...

    We have chartered bus trips that leave here (Youngstown, OH) and go up there for the day for $25.00. That isn't bad considering the gas used on a 400+ mile trip plus the tolls and the cost to park. Keep in mind this is the one in NIagara Falls. I'm hoping to see if I can get to Windsor (The one across the Michigan border) to see how play is there. Overall Niagara isn't too bad as long as you get there in a non-peak time/day. At peak times they only have their CSM tables open and you don't have a chance finding a shoe table unless you're willing to play $25 a hand.
  • D Dog: Regarding Canadian currency-There's an exchange booth at the bridge and tunnel from Detroit to Canada, but believe it or not the casino usually gives a few percentage points higher than the government rate. It's to the players advantage to wait and exchange $ at the casino. It's fun for the Grandmas who get a lot more quarters for their machines. it sure is a bummer though when I cash in from a good streak and my $300 becomes $200 American. Another advantage is that even on the weekend, when Detroit tables are mostly all $25 minimum, you can find $15 tables in Canada ($10-12 American).
  • Jeff-Didn't see your post until I wrote mine. Same information, although I hadn't noticed the descrepency on the return exchange in Windsor. I;'ll check next time and let you know if it's the same as Niagra.
  • Off-topic trivia question for D and everyone else -- when you drive from Detroit through the tunnel or over the bridge to Canada, what general direction are you going, north or south? :?:
  • Dawg/Dave - Did you get the e-mails I sent?......I know, off topic but so is the bridge/tunnel :wink: :wink: :wink:
  • Grifter said:
    Dawg/Dave - Did you get the e-mails I sent?......I know, off topic but so is the bridge/tunnel :wink: :wink: :wink:


    I haven't received any e-mails here, Grifter.

    DD
  • Reactivating this topic of Dealer Tokes -- Casino Arizona recently expanded one of its locations, conveniently the one closer to me. The number of blackjack tables went from something like 20 to 48. Where'd they get the dealers? They lured a bunch away from Las Vegas. How? The main attraction was "You get to keep your own tokes rather than pool them." As one of the ex-Vegas dealers told us at his table, "that makes a huge difference." Both ways, I might add. I've never seen one of the Arizona dealers with the "I could care less" attitude I've seen on some dealers in Vegas.

    That rugged Arizona individualism manifests itself in an unexpected way. Barry Goldwater would be very proud if he was still alive. :wink:

    So the question is -- do you notice better service by dealers who get to keep their own tokes vs those in places where they pool them?
  • I have noticed a difference in how friendly the dealers are, in place's that do not share tokes. There is two sides to the coin though. If you are a dealer and were stuck on a high limit game with no action (or any game with no action), you would be wishing they did share tokes. However, I never thought it was right, (at places that split tokes) that a sour-puss or rude dealer still got the same amount, as a nice friendly dealer.
  • I was having drinks with a casino operations manager and a senior floor man about five months ago, and this subject came up. I do not think “friendliness” has anything to do with whether tokes are kept or split. You will find “friendly” and “unfriendly” dealers in both types of casinos.

    All casinos stress to their dealers the importance of “customer service”, “customer relations”, “courtesy”, “friendliness”, etc., etc., ad nauseum…….but some people are just not the warm and fuzzy type, including dealers. That is simply human nature.

    If you want to link friendliness/service of dealers in regard to tokes, it would be in the context of whether the players at the table are tipping or not tipping…..not whether the tips will be split. If a table is tipping decently, I will admit that it will at least loosen up a less friendly dealer, and vice versa if no one is tipping. And finally, the friendliness of a dealer towards you and the service you get is often a direct correlation of your attitude towards him/her. Just human nature at work again.

    Regards…..Grifter
  • Very true Grif' and I am afraid my response was a bit jaded. I had a very good experience, at a house where they did not share tokes. Each and Every dealer was great.
    Not a bad one in the bunch. I next encountered what seemed to be a bunch of zombie like dealers. You will find both friendly and unfriendly people in all walks of life. Gas station, grocery store, at work, etc. Many times I have found a little joke, to be better than a toke, for "loosing up" a dealer. They do not have an easy job, IMHO. There is a lot more going on than "just" dealing the cards. You may find a little courtesy on your part, goes a long way. Look at it this way, if we do encounter a rude or surly dealer, we can leave and go to another table or casino.
    If the dealer has a rude, drunk, or obnoxious player, he still has to stay at the table.......
  • I just found this report on dealer tips at VegasResource.com

    "DEALERS' EARNINGS: Table game dealers W-2 income tax
    information for 2003. Salary and tips included:
    Hard Rock $71,000; Bellagio $70,000; Mandalay Bay $66,000;
    Palms $61,000; Paris Las Vegas $60,000; Bally's $54,000;
    Treasure Island $50,500 ...at the bottom Boulder Station $27,500;
    Cannery $24,000.
    Abuse from losers and drunk players---FREE.
    Thanks to Ron Saccavino from The Dealer's News for this information.
    +++++
  • D said:
    I just found this report on dealer tips at VegasResource.com

    "DEALERS' EARNINGS: Table game dealers W-2 income tax
    information for 2003. Salary and tips included:
    Hard Rock $71,000; Bellagio $70,000; Mandalay Bay $66,000;
    Palms $61,000; Paris Las Vegas $60,000; Bally's $54,000;
    Treasure Island $50,500 ...at the bottom Boulder Station $27,500;
    Cannery $24,000.
    Abuse from losers and drunk players---FREE.
    Thanks to Ron Saccavino from The Dealer's News for this information.
    +++++


    Any chance they had a breakout between tips and salary? I'd be interested to see the breakout.
  • As for salary:
    I spoke with a craps dealer at the Flamingo last week. On a bad run of the dice he mentioned that he wasn't the only one "not making money." I asked him what he made other than tips, and he said that after 8 years at the Flamingo he had just received a raise of 15 cents to $6.15/hour. He had worked for years before at O'Sheas, some North Strip property, and before that Golden Gate. He was a consummate professional, but was making just about minimum wage.

    Someone on this board once remarked that dealers made an hourly wage around $15. Is that really true somewhere if the whole strip is as cheap as I encountered?
  • Buffarino- There was no breakdown between base pay and tokes. Some more w-2's Las Vegas Hilton $41,000, Palace Station $40,000. Excaliber $37,000, Circus Circus $34,500 and Nevada Palace $24,000.
    Note: The dealer that made the $37,000 at the Excaliber said that was his best year, for the last ten years. This is from The Dealers News (a four page brochure) it is $9.00 for six monthly issues. Address is 1801 E. Tropicana #37, Las Vegas NV 89119
  • thanks, midnite. I find it interesting that the Venetian and Mirage are not on that list at all (or at least not near the top). Did they get info from all the big casinos?
  • Buff- Venetian $65,000 & Marage $ 61,500.
  • midnite said:
    Buff- Venetian $65,000 & Marage $ 61,500.


    Sounds about right, based on where the others are.

    So cocktail waitresses make as much or more than dealers in a lot of places? I saw a show on Paris where they followed a cocktail waitress around for the night. They asked her how much she made in tips and she bit her lip and said 'Can we say that? I dunno, maybe $100 on a good night'. Then, the narrator came in over her and said that figure was more like $400-500 or more on a busy night.

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