Tipping 101: Vegas Vacation Etiquette
3 credits; 1 short guide; 1 amazing weekend
Recommended preparation: Plan your Vegas trip.
Course description: This expedited course introduces students to understanding Vegas etiquette like a local. Students will develop skills in avoiding super awkward tipping situations due to the anything-but-normal experiences Vegas brings and the unique service professionals that make all those good times happen. Students will leave the course having the best Vegascation ever and an itch to return to this ultimate destination for fun.
1. The Casino Host & The Dealer
Many will tell you online that casino hosts cannot accept tips, but that is partially untrue. Some casino hosts actually can accept (and truly appreciate) tips. The ones that can't will accept non-cash gifts such as gift cards, bottles of wine, etc. The best way to know is to ask, and these hosts will greatly appreciate the gesture. As far as dealers, you should also toss them about $5 in chips per hour you're playing.
2. The Sommelier
These wine-slinging aficionados actually can tell the difference between a central coast California pinot and a Willamette Valley Oregon pinot, and they can explain to you in great detail why one will be waaay better with your dish. Show these professionals your appreciation by offering a tip of 10%-20% (if the wine and gratuity isn't already included on the bill).
Another thing: if you're gambling at a bar and you win, don't forget to toss the bartender a small tip as well.
3. The Restroom Attendant
These brave soldiers of nightlife are often forgotten when it comes to tips. After they hand you a paper towel, throw a dollar or two their way - especially if you needed to snag a mint or bobby pin.
4. The Concierge
The concierge is a great resource if you're new to Vegas. We break it down this way: $2-$5 for getting a dinner reservation, $5-$10 for show tickets, and about $20 for hard-to-get reservations or sold-out shows.
5. The Cocktail Waitress
Typically we suggest tipping about $1 per drink. Most casinos will provide comped drinks if you're playing a game, so in that case you should definitely leave a tip appropriate to what you would normally pay for drinks, and place it on their serving tray. Cash or casino chips are appreciated.
6. The VIP Host (Nightlife or Daylife)
The VIP hosts at nightclubs and cabana hosts at dayclubs are the ones who set up your entry, table, bottle(s), etc. and provide individualized attention for your group. Best practice is to tip 18%-20% if gratuity isn't already included on your bill. If the bottle is comped, be sure to tip based on what the price of the bottle would be.
7. The Bellman
It's standard to tip the bellhops $1-$3 per bag when they take them up to your room, not necessarily when they take them to your car after checkout.
8. The Tour Guide
Most people forget to tip their tour guides, but you should consider about 10%-20% depending on the bill. You don't need to worry about tipping if they are affiliated with the National Parks or other government entities.
9. The Valet
These parking ninjas navigate valet like champs, and that's no easy feat in a place like The Strip. Tip them a couple dollars when they retrieve your car to show your gratitude, they will definitely appreciate it.