Monday, March 2, 2009


During the '90's my friend John and I went to Las Vegas at stayed at "Circus,Circus" on the Las Vegas strip. John went out a day earlier than me and told me the following story:

Being John's first trip to Las Vegas, he decided that night to play some blackjack in the Circus Circus casino. This casino features circus performers who perform stunts such as the trapeze act high above the casino floor for the casino patron's entertainment.

John found a blackjack table on the crowded casino floor and commenced to play. At the table all of the players were winning big as the dealer ran into a streak of cards that made him draw over 21 and "bust" thereby paying off all of the players at the table. After playing for a few hours, John had a good profit from this table and wanted to reward the dealer by giving him a tip before heading up to his room to recover from the plane trip out to Las Vegas and the long night.

John pushed the casino chips for the dealer tip toward the dealer and said "this is for you."
The dealer said "bet it." John thought with this answer from the dealer that the dealer was offended by the amount of the tip and didn't want this tip. So, John put the tip money down and bet the amount of his dealer tip. John won that hand and scooped up the chips and started to walk away. The dealer and everyone at the table started giving John funny looks and saying "Hey, what are you doing?" John replied, "the dealer said to bet it" and then walked away towards the elevator to his room.

The next day when I arrived in Las Vegas from my plane ride John told me this story about his blackjack experiences and how the dealer didn't want his tip and said to bet it. John sensed that he might have done something improper and was perplexed at the reaction of the dealer and the other blackjack players. I told John that the dealer wanted you to bet his tip for him so that if he won that hand the dealer would have received a larger amount of money than the amount of his tip. The dealer wanted to gamble on that blackjack hand and was willing to lose that gratuity if he lost that hand. The dealer can't bet for himself but the player can place a bet for him if the player offers a tip and then the dealer says to play that tip.

So, John learned a lesson in proper blackjack etiquette.