When to pull out the wallet and slip a few bills into a waiting palm is a question many Las Vegas newcomers—and even some veteran visitors—often ponder. Tipping in Vegas begins the minute you pull into the valet stand—and it only gets more confusing from there while trying to navigate the maze of attendants providing various services. Here, learn the basics of Vegas tipping for the average visitor: the eight people you should tip, the reasons why and most importantly, how much.
Driving into the valet is often the first Vegas experience people encounter, and without valet attendants it could be a hellish one. Many people forget to tip the man (or woman) who takes their keys, so whenever possible try to slip a few dollars—$2 is usually sufficient—for both drop-off and pick-up service, since the person taking the vehicle isn’t usually the person bringing it back. For special requests, such as accepting your car when the valet is full or keeping the car up front, prepare to hand over upwards of $10 in order to grease the wheels, depending on the nature of the request and how busy the line is.
The general rule for tipping bellmen is $1 per bag upon delivery, which entails navigating the halls with a bulky cart and unloading bags after arriving at the hotel room. Keep in mind, however, that the person taking the bags to hotel rooms isn’t necessarily the same one who accepted them at the valet stand. If a bellman or bellboy helped unload bags from the car, it’s customary to tip that individual as well.
Gaming floor cocktails in Vegas are complimentary, but in order to keep the drinks flowing, it’s important to tip cocktail waitresses so they’ll continue to check in on you when making the rounds. It’s common to offer waitresses $1 per cocktail, but those who knock back drinks like there’s no tomorrow may want to tip more handsomely up to $5 a drink—or more for large parties and complicated orders.
There’s no true dollar standard for tipping dealers, but the general consensus is that gamblers should share their wealth and good fortune while at the tables, even if it’s just a couple dollars. The custom is to tip after being dealt a good card or hand, but some choose to tip just before gathering up their chips to leave. Some people will also place “dealer bets,” which can usually be below the table minimum, as a thank you; many dealers prefer this type of tip, as it brings them into the action and offers an exciting break in their day.
The amount to tip a hotel concierge varies depending on the task at hand, but it is good practice to offer a gratuity if using this service. A few dollars is sufficient for a recommendation or reservation; if the reservation is for a hard to book restaurant on short notice or a sold-out show, $10 to $20 would be a fair way to show appreciation.
Maids are often over looked in the tipping totem pole, but they often work harder than any other employee in a Vegas hotel. Some fall under the school of thought that because they don’t request service throughout their stays, there’s no need to tip—however, housekeeping does prepare a room before check-in and must clean just as thoroughly after check-out. Take advantage of housekeeping service and tip at least $1 per night; for those feeling generous, tip up to $5 per night—you might find fun freebies, like coupon books or extra bath amenities, make their way into your room. When tipping maids, be sure to leave the money in a clearly marked envelope that reads “for housekeeping,” otherwise they’ll be unable to accept or must turn the money in to lost and found.
Room Service Attendants
Navigating the complexities of tipping room service attendants can be one of the trickiest aspects of Vegas tipping culture. Most room service orders include a standard gratuity of 18 percent on top of the delivery charge—but if they don’t, adding 15 to 20 percent is customary. The question that comes into play is what to do when the gratuity has already been charged, but the bill also has a line for an additional tip. Though there’s no right answer on this front, generally if they provided exemplary service by arriving quickly or during an odd time of night, it’s a nice gesture to offer an additional $1 to $2 as a token of thanks. Otherwise, the already included 18 percent gratuity should suffice.
The men and women transporting people up and down the Strip know Vegas more intimately than even other locals do, with the inside scoop on the best nightlife, eateries, entertainment and discounts. A 15 percent tip on the total fare is the minimum gratuity that should be offered to taxi drivers, so pick their brains en route to get advice for your next great Vegas adventure.
To tip or not to tip is always a choice, but in Las Vegas, tipping isn’t a reward for good service—it’s a way of life. Those who wish to practice good Vegas etiquette should keep these easy guidelines in mind when reaping the benefits of the city’s service-driven amenities and experiences.