Top 10 Reasons for NOT Tipping Poker Dealers

no tipTalk about a title that creates controversy! Especially if you’re a poker dealer yourself and came across this headline, you might think that we here at Cardplayer Lifestyle are a bunch of ungrateful, stingy lowlifes. Before you come to the wrong conclusions, however, keep in mind that we also published a list of the Top 10 Reasons for Tipping Poker Dealers. Indeed, tipping dealers is so common in live poker play that many players simply wouldn’t even consider not tipping.

(Ed. Note December 24, 2012: To clarify, I personally always tip dealers.)

Nonetheless, we’ve compiled a solid list of 10 reasons why it would be justified to keep your money and not tip.

1. They Do a Poor Job

If the pace of your game is insufferably slow, if the dealer is making frequent procedural errors that prevent the game from flowing, or if the floor needs to be called often to make rulings, these are all signs of an unprofessional poker dealer.

2. They Have a Bad or Sour Attitude

Yes, we know you’re working, but would it be so difficult to crack a smile once in a while?

3. They Made a Mistake that Cost you a Pot You Were Supposed to Win

If your dealer accidentally mucked your card or created a misdeal when you were the favorite to win the hand (here’s a famous example), we can understand why you probably wouldn’t want to give them any of your money.

4. They Make Uncalled-for Remarks

If your dealer has made negative comments about your style of play or “how lucky you’ve been” to win hands, why tip them? If they can’t appreciate it, they shouldn’t be privileged to share in your good fortune.

5. They Call the Clock on You

I know this sounds crazy but I’ve seen this a couple times with my own eyes. The dealer is sitting at the table solely in order to be the game’s facilitator. In other words, only players should be able to call the clock on you (to make a decision). If you ask me, a dealer calling the clock on a player without being prompted should be singled out for disciplinary action, not a tip.

Check out our exclusive interview with top WSOP dealer, Shaun “the Dealer” Harris

6. They’re Unappreciative

If you’ve tipped your poker dealer but they don’t say thank you, be sure that’s the last dollar of yours they’ll see.

7. Too Much Tipping Hurts Your Bottom Line

Tips can add up to a lot of money over time, and we know that it’s hard enough just to “beat the rake” consistently and turn a profit at a casino. Especially if you’re a grinder and play dozens of hours of poker each week, not tipping every time you win a hand is understandable. Perhaps once per dealer shift is more reasonable.

8. You’re a Member of “the 1%” and Think Poker Dealers Should “Get A Real Job”

You think we’re joking? This actually happened. If you’re not the kind of person to tip a waitress, then why tip a poker dealer? (Shame on you by the way!)

Ed. Note: This incident was subsequently proven to be a hoax; but the point stands.

9. You’re Playing in a Tournament and Don’t Cash

Each hand of cash game action at a poker table can be thought of as an isolated event. A tournament poker player, however, will usually see dozens of hands just for posting the buy-in one time. If you end up busting without making the money, know that part of the buy-in includes a portion to toke the dealers. If you win a tournament or make a big score, however, it couldn’t hurt to spread your newfound wealth just a little among the dealers.

Donate to charity10. You Know of Others Who Need the Money More

As mentioned earlier, tips can add up over time. A typical session might see you give $10–$20 in tips to your poker dealers. While they’ll probably be appreciative, think of the good your $10–$20 could’ve done if it was donated to charity instead.

This rationale is all the more applicable to players lucky enough to be a part of a bad beat jackpot. Many players we’ve polled had said they’d give dealers “the standard 3%” if they won progressive jackpot money at the poker table. Think about that for a minute. You’d score a 5- or 6-figure payday and you’d give a dealer a tip ranging from $1,000–$3,000?


Think about how long it regularly takes you personally to make $1,000–$3,000 or win that money grinding at poker. Talk about getting carried away!

If you’re hell-bent on giving away that much money, we at Cardplayer Lifestyle humbly suggest that you tip the dealer a couple hundred and donate the rest to charity. Dealers do indeed work hard and don’t get paid much, but at least they have jobs and are capable of supporting themselves. There are plenty of unfortunate people out there for whom your generosity would in all likelihood do a lot more good.

We contend that even the poker dealers themselves, though they might be disappointed, wouldn’t be able to argue with that kind of rationale.


Can you think of another good reason for not tipping dealers at the poker table? Do you think any of our top 10 reasons are unjustified? Sound off in the comments section below or on our Facebook page!


  1. C-dog
    C-dog July 8, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    This is the most ignorant and asinine thing I have ever read. You have no clue what you are talking about. For someone who claims to be experienced at poker, you don’t know shit. For one thing, the dealer can’t call clock on you. Also, if you stiffed a dealer on a bad beat jackpot payout, no matter the reason, they will never agree with your rationale. I understand that there are some poor dealers, at every stop. But that doesn’t mean stop tipping. Good dealers who work their ass off don’t deserve that. That is how they survive. It’s the same as at a restaurant. If your service sucks, the tip will reflect it. If the service is awesome, the tip should reflect it. One last thing about your stupid article. The link you have for the 1% story about the restaurant tip? That’s been proven a hoax already. Do some research before the diarrhea flows out in your next article.

  2. Oscar Jeney
    Oscar Jeney February 6, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    The Australian Casino models are the best. Casinos EMPLOYS the dealers for wage & super conditions. Tipping are NOT Allowed..There is nothing worse, than someone cuts into your hard earned winnings

  3. Charles Forestier
    Charles Forestier February 18, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    I had pain in eyes by reading of such nonsense… May be you are just to stingy 😛

  4. cardplayerlifestyle
    cardplayerlifestyle February 18, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    Charles, I understand that English may not be your native language, but please reread the first paragraph of the article closely before calling me out as stingy – thanks, and thanks for visiting our site. Feel free to pass on the article to your friends. We got a lot of visitors from France on this article today – was this posted in a special Facebook group somewhere?

  5. Matthew Inman
    Matthew Inman February 19, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Why the fuck would you post an article like this. It’s hard enough these days making money as a dealer as less and less people are tipping throughout the years. Implement reasons in people’s minds why not to tip is just stupid. In some places, it’s a dealers major income.

  6. Evgeni Tasev
    Evgeni Tasev March 22, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    Dear Robbie!

    I had the chance to meet one of the biggest tippers in USA! We call her “the Angel of the seas”. She is a very nice and amazing person. Everybody on the cruise ships knows her or knows something about her. I do not know what your problem is, may be you are one very big Asshole! Have a nice day/night from Bulgaria! Asshole!

  7. Dealer of the Year
    Dealer of the Year June 26, 2013 at 1:13 am

    You’re a fucking idiot.

  8. redwoods
    redwoods August 2, 2014 at 12:02 am

    We believe compensation of poker dealers should be the sole
    responsibility of casinos that employ them, and that burden should not
    be shifted from the casinos to the players. Please sign this petition for change (you can use a pen name) and please spread the word:

  9. redwoods
    redwoods August 2, 2014 at 12:14 am

    We agree that tipping is unfairly shifting the burden of dealers salaries from their employers (casinos) to the customers (players). Please sign this petition for change (you can use a pen name) and please spread the word:

  10. cardplayerlifestyle
    cardplayerlifestyle August 3, 2014 at 8:15 am

    Signed – agreed!

  11. Trollolol
    Trollolol October 18, 2014 at 10:10 am

    What if it’s a dealer who had been a jerk to you for no reason off the table… Gossiping about you and dissing you not so subtly like hinting that your watch is ugly, and that you paid for your girlfriend, etc. probably because he’s a jealous SOB? Should that warrant not tipping him?

  12. cardplayerlifestyle
    cardplayerlifestyle October 18, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    Hmmm…. good question and definitely a situation I hadn’t thought of. Not sure what the other answer would be, but another question probably ought to be asked: why bother sitting at that table then? Ask for a seat change!

  13. Yourpokerdealer
    Yourpokerdealer December 12, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    Here is a little reply for your petition

  14. DawnJ
    DawnJ July 7, 2015 at 9:13 am

    Seems like you will find any excuse not to tip.. I bet you could come up with another 20. Hope you are not such a douche to your waitperson when eating out. “Others need the money more”…. Really that is a reason? What a fucktard.. Hope you don’t breed.

  15. cardplayerlifestyle
    cardplayerlifestyle July 7, 2015 at 9:17 am

    Dawn, first off: clearly you didn’t read the opening paragraph. Please do so, and this post:

    If you really want to know more about me, I suggest you read this:

    Hard not to take offense when you make it personal with language like that. Would you talk like that to my 3 kids?

    Go get some soap and wash your mouth out.

  16. Janine
    Janine October 11, 2015 at 5:28 pm

    What about waitresses then. Same thing. I agree we (dealers) should get paid more but we dont and not tipping isnt going to change the way the casino works its just going to hurt us and make me think i am not liked or doing something wrong not knowing your not tipping to protest

  17. Richard
    Richard November 16, 2015 at 4:35 am

    7. Too Much Tipping Hurts Your Bottom Line

    That is the bottom line. Don’t make excuses for being cheap. Is it gonna kill you to toss someone a buck?

  18. Gary S.
    Gary S. December 23, 2015 at 10:58 pm

    I must admit, I was a con-tipper prior to reading this article. Ironic, huh. I haven’t yet but will read the mirror article, already realizing some empathy for dealers. It is hard work, it is sometimes difficult to deal with customers. Because that’s what they are, customers. Dealers may not have to serve food, clean up after disgusting people, or live with NEVER getting a $1,000+ tip no matter how excellent their service is, but they must deal with everything else a server does and I believe speed/efficiency is even more paramount to being a successful dealer. I’d agree with most of the 10 reasons up there, and again the first 6 or so scenarios are very similar to that of a waiter. #9 doesn’t make sense and #10 wouldn’t amount to too much in the server scenario. I’ll definitely tip them if I’m ever stupid enough to gamble regularly (and have $$ leftover for them) but it will never be more than what any waiter I’ve ever come across has received. Useful article.

  19. Gary
    Gary January 18, 2016 at 12:44 am

    Ever since I’ve been trying to beat blackjack at the casinos I’ve learned to never tip so I don’t tip when I play poker. It’s hard as it is to grind out a decent wage. In the end, who’s gonna eat? Me or the dealer? You better believe it’s gonna be me! And besides, don’t dealers get paid hourlys? If you dealers are so sour for not getting paid enough then find another job. Simple as that. Whining and complaining won’t help you make more money. Get real. I don’t complain to my boss and tell him why I think he’s an ass for not paying me what I think I deserve! Lol get real you pansies

  20. Gina Johnson
    Gina Johnson April 13, 2016 at 6:20 pm

    Calling dealers pansies because they work for a combo of wage and tips is pretty ignorant. Believe me if everyone was like you and didn’t tip we would get better jobs and you would be left with awful dealers. People playing for a living are the ones who should get different jobs if they can’t afford to tip.

  21. Clyde
    Clyde June 8, 2016 at 7:47 am

    His comment was directed at Gary I believe. Did not reply properly.

  22. mickey b
    mickey b July 4, 2016 at 12:19 am

    most poker dealers make LESS than min wage… playing in your local casino is not different than going out to eat at a restaurant – you are voluntarily entering a social contract to compensate your server / dealer when you pay you dinner check / win a pot… those of you advocating that the casinos just pay dealers more: you guys DO realize that that money is going to come from your earnings via a higher rake, right? just be decent human beings and take care of your dealer…. that $1 or $2 means little to you, but it means a lot to you dealer… be thoughtful and considerate 🙂

  23. TT
    TT October 12, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    Talk about a dick article. Dealers make 4-5 dollars an hour. They have to put up with relentless berating even when they do their job well. They sometimes work two jobs just to support their families. If I was at a table where a player never tipped the dealer you better believe I would embarrass them.

  24. TT
    TT October 12, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    And one more thing, sometimes the service will reflect if the dealer is being tipped. We know little tricks to torture you. Don’t piss the wrong dealers off because some of the things on your moronic list of 10 will start happening to you more often. I am sure you will run to a supervisor to whine. But you get what you pay for.

  25. Worst dealer ever
    Worst dealer ever November 12, 2016 at 12:36 am

    As someone that deals poker, I can relate to all these things. I have also figured out that some people will just not tip or rarely tip. The good thing is for every one of them, there seems to be 2 or more people that tip 1 to 3 bucks, and sometimes red birds and more. I work at the best poker room in st.louis and we have more then a hand full of players that tip great! And even the grinders tip every hand. I would say the worst tippers, tip ever other hand.
    There are times I know I don’t deserve a tip. A few weeks ago I burned and turned to early. A player made is flush, but that card had to come back and reshuffled. Well of course he didn’t make the flush. The pot was about $300. I feel like that player shouldn’t tip me for 300 hands. He won a pot a few hands later and tipped me a red bird. Super nice guy.

  26. C Singh
    C Singh March 14, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    Robbie I had something to share, but after seeing how you choose to ridicule and berate readers who went out of their way to leave a comment and add traffic to this poorly composed article, I will not share my thoughts on this piece, read your counterpart article, nor any other articles that you pen. IMO, your words ooze an inordinate amount of immaturity, and I don’t respect your retorts, especially since you claim to incite this type of controversial response from your readers. You stoop below the level of readers who comment negatively, as if it’s some type of measuring contest, with an unrivaled, disdainful approach. I do not support. Good luck to you.

  27. William M
    William M March 26, 2017 at 3:36 am

    I play a lot of poker in the south east normally in the 2/5 range of games with a tourny tossed in here and there. I follow one tipping practice, I tip the dealer 1-2% of my winnings that they dealt during their half hour shift at my table. I tip as they get up to move to their next table when I know the dollar amount. To be honest I have little idea how much a dealer make per hour when tips are part of the total. That being said I would say there are 12- 15 hands dealt in a half hour on average. If there was a single buck toked each hand that is over $20 per hour just in tips and I’m thinking thats on the low side of what I normally see. Not lokking to start a fight but just my thoughts.

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