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Ask the Slot Expert: Wrapping up tipping at slot machines

5 June 2013

Here are some more comments about tipping:

Regarding the tipping of attendants at slot machines, my personal rule is if they come back with my payout quickly, then I tip them. If they take forever, then I don't. I tell them this.

I have waited at machines for over an hour at times to get my payout, which is a ridiculous length of time. What I find happens with me is that if they take too long, I move to the machine next to the machine that hit and start dumping money in it, therefore cutting down on my profits.

I agree. One hour is a ridiculous length of time to wait for a hand pay. I remember having to wait so long for a hopper fill in Atlantic City one time that I wrote "Service Please" on a piece of paper and put it on top of the machine in the hope that the surveillance room would see it and send someone.


Not to beat a tipping horse, but one reason I tip the person who brings the jackpot winnings is karma. If I share my good luck, maybe it will return multiplied!

The only thing you have to lose is the amount of your tip.


Why should you tip the person who brings you the money? They didn't do anything to help you win it. And if you don't win a jackpot, they don't come around and say they are sorry that you lost your money.

I was going to say, "Why should we tip the person who brings us our food?" But I can see the difference between a slot attendant and a waiter. You can consider the waiter's tip as part of the cost of having your meal prepared for and delivered to you. However, nothing is created with your slot jackpot. The slot attendant just moves money from one place to another.


You think a $100 - $200 tip is "just fine" for a $9,500 slot win? And you say you see no difference in service from an attendant from winning $1,200 vs. $4,000?

In our "moment of ecstasy" after winning a hand pay, sure, we'll give something of a tip. But, for what? For an employee doing his job?

Your average restaurant worker works much harder (and probably makes a lesser salary), but, hey, since you make so much money, YOU give a Benjamin or two.

As for the majority of us, the casinos exist because of our play, right?

I think you're taking my statement about the level of service out of context. My statement about there being no difference in service between a $1,200 hand pay and a $4,000 hand pay is in relation to why it doesn't make sense to tip a flat percentage like you would at a restaurant. Does that $4,000 handpay really require four times as much work? Granted, the slot attendant has to count out nearly four times as many $100 bills, but that's not a particularly strenuous activity. And I agree with you that waiters have a harder job; it is much harder to carry trays of food and drinks without dropping them than stacks of cash.

We tip people for doing their jobs all the time. We tip waiters and waitresses and bartenders, we tip barbers and hairdressers, we tip valet parking attendants, we tip the workers at the hand car wash. Maybe you even leave a tip at Dunkin' Donuts and Starbucks.

Two big differences between those activities and slot play are that you know the cost of those activities before you start and you don't expect to make a profit from them. We also have to keep in mind that even a large slot win might still leave a player in the red. There are no good analogous situations in the real world on which to base our slot tipping rules.

A $100 or $200 tip on a $9,500 slot in is fine, as is $20 or $50. The bottom line is whether to tip and how much to tip is a personal decision.

Jackpots for all,
John


John Robison

John Robison is an expert on slot machines and how to play them. John is a slot and video poker columnist and has written for many of gaming’s leading publications. He holds a master's degree in computer science from the prestigious Stevens Institute of Technology.

You may hear John give his slot and video poker tips live on The Good Times Show, hosted by Rudi Schiffer and Mike Schiffer, which is broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoon from from 2PM to 5PM Central Time. John is on the show from 4:30 to 5. You can listen to archives of the show on the web anytime.

Books by John Robison:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots
John Robison
John Robison is an expert on slot machines and how to play them. John is a slot and video poker columnist and has written for many of gaming’s leading publications. He holds a master's degree in computer science from the prestigious Stevens Institute of Technology.

You may hear John give his slot and video poker tips live on The Good Times Show, hosted by Rudi Schiffer and Mike Schiffer, which is broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoon from from 2PM to 5PM Central Time. John is on the show from 4:30 to 5. You can listen to archives of the show on the web anytime.

Books by John Robison:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots