Many people who move to Las Vegas or somewhere else in Nevada to become a dealer in a casino are surprised to learn how tips work. In most industries if an employee is tipped then that employee gets to keep his tips. In Nevada the policy is vastly different.
All the tips received by the dealers are pooled together and then split evenly among all of the dealers. Some casinos will pool and split the tips across all the dealers on a particular shift and others casings will pool all the tips from all employees from all shifts during a 24 hour period and then disperse the tip money to the dealers on their paycheck.
Dealers used to keep their own tips but many of them would either not report these earnings to the IRS or they would severely under-report their earnings. The dealers were constantly getting audited by the IRS. In order to deal with this the casinos had to change how they did the tipping. The process can and does vary a little bit at each casino but generally you can expect that all tokes to the dealers will be split among all the dealers evenly.
You may work the day shift when there is not much action and you may get very few tips as you are dealing, but the night shift is loaded with players who tip heavily. You may only bring in $50 in tips but you will actually get $120 in tips because all the tips are split evenly among all the dealers and all the shifts. On the other hand you may also get a high-winning player who tips you $5,000 after a major win and you will have to add that $5,000 to the pool to be split up evenly among all the dealers.
A dealer can earn a lot of money in tips. Some dealers in Las Vegas earn well over $100,000 each year; however, these dealers are not working the break-in joints like the El Cortez. If you can become a dealer, get skilled, and then work your way up to a glamorous job on the Strip with a high limit tables then you can earn a lot of money. If a casino has blackjack tables with players betting $5,000 or more per hand then you will be able to earn much more money from tips, even with the pooling of the tips, then you would by dealing at a small casino where the highest limits may be $100-$500.
Regardless of where you start out at as a dealer in Las Vegas you need to work hard and learn as much as you can so you can eventually move up to better paying dealing jobs. Once you get a job in Vegas as a gaming dealer then it is all on reputation. If you build up a good reputation among your coworkers and the regulars who you deal with and you have ample skill that you have developed along with the right attitude then you may be one of the few people who can literally become rich from being a dealer. Some games may be more lucrative to deal such as high stakes baccarat will often earn you much more than dealing blackjack at a small local joint.
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