Is There a “Vegas Way” of Tipping?

Today, scenes such as the one in Casino where Sharon Stone’s sexy scammer deftly slips square-folded bills into the handshakes of everyone she meets are mostly gone. With reserved seating in showrooms paired with imported restaurants treating everyone with the same indifference, greasing has almost disappeared.

Mostly, the usual service-industry tipping standards of Los Angeles or New York City apply, with a few Vegas additions. Card dealers get tipped; old-school standard is 10 percent of buy-in, but today it’s more common to tip only when winning (or you can place a side bet for them during winning streaks). Engaging bartenders who wish you luck and never let your drink run dry get 5-10 percent when you hit that royal flush. “Free Valet Parking!” really is free, theoretically, but hand over $2-$5, depending on the venue and your stomach for appearing cheap.

That said, Las Vegas has perfected the service economy, and because tipping fuels our larger economic engine (the well-tipped server = the well-tipped busser = the well-tipped hairdresser = the well-tipped server), doing it properly usually results in more attentive service. Remember: Tip means “to improve service,” so if the return valet line is long (after a concert), a $10 bill when you present your ticket (to a human, not a barcode scanner) should get you bumped up to “next.” Waitresses in a slammed nightclub will be at your table more quickly and often if you politely introduce yourself when seated, thank them in advance for taking care of the group and show some “love” right off the bat. If you frequent a joint that gives you “buy-backs” (free drinks mixed in with the paid), make sure to reward that largesse when tipping, or next time you may not only miss the comps, but wait longer for the ones you buy. And remember: We’ve seen it all, so don’t be a flashy loudmouth about it. Your attitude is almost as important.

How do you spot a hooker in Vegas?

Dude, don’t you have Internet? The days of the stereotypical Las Vegas streetwalker are over. As recent news stories reveal, e-hooking websites have pretty much taken over the trade and attracted a whole new type of high-class escorts. That leaves public solicitation to those at the very bottom of the prostitution hierarchy. If you want to pay for play, your best bet is to take a limo ride to Pahrump. Remember, prostitution is illegal in Las Vegas! (Cough, cough.)

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