Vegas :: Tips for Tipping
Las Vegas is billed as a Gaming Destination. This means that many of the people who live and work here rely on gratuities to supplement their income. This is a bit of information many tourists struggle to wrap their head around. See, we don’t charge people to park in our parking lots and garages (with the exception of some events or the Downtown area). You can pull right up to a restaurant or hotel valet, and not have to pay $10 for an hour. In fact, in many of these places, if you left your car overnight, no one would notice, or say anything. Weird, right? But, that’s why people pull out the bucks to “tip”.
You can always tell who is from Vegas when traveling around the country because those people are always trying to tip everyone they see. It’s just what we know.
It is true, most valet parkers and cocktail waitresses can make, or in some cases, make more than a well-established lawyer or doctor depending on where they work, and that’s why you see the 60 year old cocktail waitresses and valet parkers running their asses off; they are still trying to keep up with that standard of living they are used to.
Now, here’s another insider tip…haha…TIPS work beyond the valet.
You want a good table at that fancy restaurant? You throw down a bill. You want the maids to make sure you have fresh towels every day and plenty of ice when you return? Leave an extra $20. Want to be seated at a better table at the club? Grease the bouncer on your way in. Yes, this may sound a bit like the movie, “Casino,” but in that regard, Vegas hasn’t changed much. And, for the record, yes, it does depend on the type of establishment you are at. Mainly because those who work for tips have different expectations. For example, if the valet at the Wynn is crowded on a Saturday night and you don’t want to self park, and you are not a hottie, then expect to tip no less that $20 for the valet to park your car. Wanting the same service at a not so popular venue on or off the Strip, $5-10 might do the trick. The argument still stands on how much to tip and for what. I know this because my husband and I argue about this all the time. He works in the Gaming Industry, and therefore, his views are a bit more exaggerated than mine. His mindset is that if you want someone to do something right, and better than you expect; you tip them. “We all need to make money,” he says. I don’t disagree, but I also think that a tip should be earned and not expected. I collaborated with the hubs, and here’s a range of minimum to high, what to tip and who to tip in Las Vegas. Hopefully, you will find your tipping style in there somewhere.
Dropping off your car: If you want them to leave your car up front anywhere from $10-20 is efficient, depending on the establishment you are at. Places like Wynn, Bellagio, Aria, you should plan on having at least a $20-50 available.
Picking up your car: $3 is standard but depending on where I am or how much I have, I’ll do $5. If I have luggage or packages, an extra $1 for every suitcase.
Picking up your car and wanting fast service (jumping the line): $5-20, depending on how quickly you want it and where you are at.
Limo chauffer: $20 for tip and luggage handling; if you have an excess of luggage, consider an addition $5-10. If you have no luggage, then still tip standard $20.
Taxi/Airport Shuttle: $5-10 depending on how much they helped you with your bags if applicable.
Bell Desk/Bell Hop
$2-$5 a bag to deliver your luggage.
$2-$5 a bag to store your luggage.
$20 extra to deliver your bags ASAP!
Standard is $5-10 for every day you stayed, depending on how much work they had to do to keep your room sparkling.
For extra service, $10-20 depending on what you are asking for.
None, unless you are asking for or expecting additional services or a better table: $20-100 depending on type of restaurant.
This also depends on the type of restaurant as some work in “Teams”. If you are with a large party, an automatic gratuity may already be included in your bill.
Waiter only: Standard is 18-20%
Sushi Restaurant: 18-20% to waiter, depending on tab, $5-10 per person to sushi chef.
Team: Depending on service, 20-30%
Club Host or Table Host
This one can be a little tricky. If you make your reservation on your own, walk up to the host and have to wait to be seated (like we’re talking more than 20 minutes), I, personally, would not tip that person.
Casino Host makes your reservation and you walk to the Club Host and are seated right away, you can tip that person $100.
Table Host goes to seat you, and she gives you an awesome table, $100. If she gives you a crappy table and you want something better, $100. If you are paying for bottle service, just tip at the end, 20% of the bill. If you have been comped entry and bottle service or drinks, then everyone in the group should pitch in $100 per person. That’s standard.
Depending on your own experience and service, you tip accordingly. You may also want to tip the kid who comes and clears away empty glasses, brings you fresh ones, cleans up spills, etc. Throw that guy anywhere from $20-60 depending on what you’ve got going on that he has to keep up with.
If you are not on the VIP list, do not have a Casino Host, and are desperately trying to get in…
First and foremost, drop the desperate act because you will be taken advantage of. Depending on what you want…a table with bottle service, drop the Club Host a bill, and be lucky you are getting a table. If you just want to get in and skip the line, another $100. Pretty much, a night out at the club is not cheap, no matter what “deals or offers” people say they can give you. To get the best of the best, you really need to be a high-end gamer, but if you’re not, you can still enjoy the club experience, you just have to be willing to pay for it and find the right people.
Here’s another insider tip: collect money from your party prior to walking into the club, if you are all going Dutch. I say this not because you don’t trust your friends, well, maybe you don’t, but because it’s loud, it’s dark, people are all over the place. Someone may leave without you knowing, and you might get stuck with a rather large bill. Consider asking everyone to put $100 into the “kitty” upon entering just for tips. Then at the end of the night, split the bill accordingly, everyone pays their share, and whatever is left in the kitty goes towards the final tip at the end.
Depends on how much they do, and what type of services you’ve requested. A few reservations warrants $20. If they go all out and serve you as much for you as a casino host would, slip them $100 – $200.
Besides Karma, it is appropriate to tip a dealer when s/he is running hot depends on what you’re betting.
Rule of thumb: $3000= $100, $5000= $200, $10,000= $300.
But a true gambler/player who is having a good run (for example: Blackjack) will show their appreciation by tipping 20% of their average bet. You place the amount down in between your original bet and the dealer, and u let the dealer bet along with you. So, for example: if you’re playing a $250 hand, and the dealer has a “hot shoe” meaning he’s been dealing you rockin’ hands since you started with him, then you throw down 20% of your original bet ($50) and ask the dealer if he wants to “let it ride.” You win/they win.
Yup, don’t be fooled by the fancy name, drinks or performances…they still get tipped the same. $2-5 per drink
18-20% is standard. If you would like to leave the Spa Attendant a tip, then $10-20 is fine. Unless clearly stated, gratuities are not included in spa services, so please make sure you tip your aesthetician.
Like I said, Vegas isn’t cheap, but you don’t have to go broke trying to figure out how to have a good time. Just plan accordingly, be respectful, and show your gratitude.
Think to yourself, if the roles were reversed, how much would you expect to get tipped?
What do you think? Does your gratuity giving tip my scale or does it need more weight? Do you have an insider tipping secret for Las Vegas?
Disclosure: On occasion, contributors of The Trend Tribe receive products, compensation and/or services gratis or at discounted rates. This practice does not influence the contributor’s point of view or the outcome of the review. All descriptions are factual and accurately reflect the reviewers experience. The opinions are their own. Photos credits: alstergirl.