Tipping / Money Matters, Las Vegas
The staff that walk the floor, do payouts etc., can be your best friends. They see the action, they know the winning machines, they can direct you to a 'good' machine. Some machines tend to pay out more than others, and it never hurts to get an opportunity to try your luck.
Be pleasant, polite, and treat them well, and don't be afraid to ask them for advice. On the other hand, they aren't fortune tellers, they don't know when, or if, the machine will 'hit' while you playing it.
There are different ways to book your hotel room... you can book directly through hotel reservations (phone or internet), or you can use a third party such as a travel agent or an internet site (ie Hotels.com)
Having been behind the front desk, I have seen how different reservations are handled. Of course, you want to comparison shop, but if at all possible, I would book directly through the hotel. If there is a problem with your reservation, it is easier to deal with internal reservations. Plus, these may be upgraded first in cases of room assignments when overbooked.
With third party bookings, these are of a lower priority because, honestly, they are usually the cheapest. If there is a problem with your res, then the third party must be contacted to amend the issue. Other problems arise with requests, like "non-smoking room" or "king size bed". THESE ARE ONLY REQUESTS and are not guaranteed. When you make a reservation, you are ONLY booking a room, that's it.
It pays to be kind to the person who checks you in to your hotel, because they decide in which room you will stay. Granted, there are times when availability is low, so the agent has little choice, but depending on when you check in, you may be able to get a room with a view or possibly an upgrade. Sometimes this can be as simple as just asking.
Having worked on the Strip, I can tell you that a smile and good attitude can get you far (and sadly with some agents, greasing their palm helps). With the good folks, you do your best at putting them in a decent room... and with the sour apples... well, you try to put them where they belong.
There are absolutely no cultural customs here, much less any faux pas in Las Vegas (except stiffing/ refusing to tip) And for the love of gawd please don't wear those fanny packs. They tempt people to hoard their money and hinder appropriate tipping. Furthermore, mounted in the front or back they just look ridiculous and in 7 years i've never heard of a single pickpocketing incident. Mullets also look ridiculous by the way, especially with a fanny pack, black socks and sandals.
And if you want to be completely immersed in the Las Vegas scene (the real one) just hang around the corner of Fremont and LV Blvd.(Strip). You will see one of the most amazing cross sections of humanity you'll find anywhere. Plenty of mullets and way too many fannypacks. Sure to please!
When in Vegas, remember that a lot of the people depend on their tips to live. Average tips are:
Waitresses: at least 20% of the total bill.
Taxi Drivers: 10% of fare.
Bartenders: About a dollar per drink. If you are playing video poker and hit something, it is usually 10% of what you win (up to $1000).
Cocktail Waitresses: $1 per drink.
Dealers: Not expected, but nice to tip something if the dealer gives you a good run. They usually switch tables every 20 - 30 minutes, so get them before they move tables.
Bellmen: About $5.
Maids: Depends on how much you mess up the room during your stay.
Room Service: About 20%.
Casino Employees: About 10% of jackpot (if your lucking enough to hit something.) There is a limit though. If you hit over $1000, it isn't usually expected to go over $100 for tip. Feel free to though if you get good service.
Show Ushers: The more you tip, the better the seats. Usually $20-40, depending on the show.
The Strip and surrounding areas cater to tourists. Those who work in these parts are extremely friendly and helpful, and they work, by and large for tips.
Tip the bellman, tip your servers, bartenders, dealers, and tip the person who stands outside and hails the waiting cab. Remember to also tip the people who clean your room, help with show tickets and your cab drivers. Everyone comes to Vegas hoping to have a great time and expecting to spend some money and these folks are the ones who make the experience so worthwhile in many respects. So take care of them.
Taxi drivers and servers: 15-20%
Bartenders: $1- $2 per drink, unless you've been comped, then give more.
Bellman: $1-2 per bag
Housekeeping: $2-3 per day, depending on how many people per room,
There's this thing that Las Vegas veterans refer to as "the $20 trick" which is where a person, when checking in, offers (sneakily) a $20 bill to the person at the desk with their credit card and asks, "is there any way I can get an upgrade" or something such, in order to get a better room with a better view without paying more (except the $20 "tip").
The message is mixed on how well this works. Apparently sometimes this works very well (though maybe if they'd just asked pleasantly the results would have been the same), and other times the desk person will say "sorry, we don't have anything" and then the person checking in keeps the $20.
I've never tried the trick, so am passing on hear-say information. I asked for a room with a view of the Strip at Treasure Island and I was told none was available by a rather snotty clerk, but didn't try the trick because I didn't care that much and, after all, I did get the room via an Internet special.
Drinks in Las Vegas are free, as long as you're gambling, however if your spouse is sitting beside you, but not feeding the monster, you can expect to order a drink for them as well. Tip the waitress half the price of a drink, and remember you're still getting a drink for half price. Give a bit more once in a while if you remain at the same spot. The waitress does a lot of walking, so be kind. If you're polite, she will remember where you're sitting. Above all, don't ogle her dress, or lack there of. She is someone's sister or daughter. Tips can be actual currency, or casino coins or chips.
The usual rate in restaurants or taxis is fifteen to twenty percent. In your hotel, for assistance with luggage, tip $1-2 per bag; for valet parking, $2; for maid service, $1-2 per day at the end of your stay; and for concrete help from a concierge, such as making a reservation, $5. You're supposed to tip dealers at the gaming tables a chip or two each time you win (you can also place bets on behalf of the dealer, if you choose). Bar staff, or cocktail waitresses bringing free drinks, normally expect $1-2 per drink.
When people from out-of-town visit, they usually only tip around 10-15%. Just remember that this town is based on service and most of the service workers rely on tips.......20% is usually just fine if the service is good.....if exceptional, tip more.....
On drinks at the bar, usually $1 per drink is acceptable and will get you good service....
If at the sports book, tip the drink girl 5 or 10 bucks up front and they will usually start bringing you two at a time from then on----and they will check on you more frequently!!!!
When in Las Vegas it is customary to tip. Here's a guide to help you when tipping the staff.
Bartenders $1 per round for parties of two to four
Cocktail waitresses $1 per round for parties of two to four
Dealers $1 to start, increase with your luck
Maids $1 per day
Restaurant waiters 15-20 percent
Room service waiters 15-20 percent
Showroom servers $5-$10 cocktail-only shows, $10-$20 dinner show
(Depending on service)
Shuttle drivers 15 percent of fare
Taxicab 15 percent of fare
Valet parking $1-$2 upon return for your car (I give them more if they're quick!)
alright your not in france anymore !!!!! we as americans TIP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! if you get good service the standard tip at a bar or restaurant is 15%, if you can't figure that out ask the waiter or bartender and i'm more than possitive that they will tell you..and 20% is even more appreciated!!!
tip the bellman, the taxi stand guy,the valet, basically here in vegas tipping is the way most people earn a living..as a bartender myself i know that when i go out to eat i expect good service, if i don't get good service i don't tip 15%, but i never STIFF!! thats just plain tacky, how do you know that the person waiting on you isn't having a horrible day and just made some stupdid mistakes??? i never stiff!!!!
Tipping is alive and well in Las Vegas. If someone provides you with exemplary service do not hesitate to tip them. Security guards, valets, etc. Many people in Las Vegas have tips as there sole sourse of income. There may even be a sign stating that. You do not have to tip huge sums of money, a couple dollars for the security guard that walks you to your car or for the valet who goes and gets your car is helpful. It is also polite to tip any 'costumed characters you pose for pictures with...a dollar or two will do.
ALWAYS look for deals in Las Vegas. While a firm has paid well over $100 for me to stay at Caesar's Palace (I was a featured speaker in their event) I normally pay under $100.
Valet parking is free at all the hotels and casinos on The Strip. Although it's customary to give a tip, it's still an inexpensive and quick way to park your car.