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Best of John Grochowski

Gaming Guru

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Tipping

17 January 2021

Todd is a table games player, and he's a tipper.

"I tended bar for many years and I know what it's like to support a family on tips," he said. "A good dealer can do a lot to make the games more fun. A bad or unpleasant dealer can make you wish you were doing anything else.

"So I tip. In blackjack, I make a bet for the dealer in front of my betting spot. Same deal in Three Card Poker. In craps, I make a pass bet for the crew right next to my pass bet."
Such wagers are standard ways of rewarding dealers in a world where tips are called "tokes" for "token of appreciation."

When Todd contacted me via email, he wanted to talk about craps tokes and using pass bets vs. hard ways. He wanted to make sure the crew was getting the most out of his tips.

"The whole table was having a good run with a couple of shooters having big rolls," Todd said. "The shooter would make a point and maybe a couple of other numbers, and I'd put a pass bet for the dealer along with my own bet on the new come=out.

"One player down the line was toking with hard ways. He'd say, '$10 hard 10, both ways,' meaning he was betting $5 for himself and $5 for the crew.

"I know the house edge is a lot higher on the hard ways, but when one of those hit, they pay 9-1, so it's a nice chunk for the crew. Are they better off with those chunks, or with my even-money payoffs?"

I sent Todd a little arithmetic. To keep it all neat and easy, I used $1 wagers as a base.

The house edge on pass is 1.41 percent. You'll average 493 wins per 1,000 wagers. If you break it down into $1 wagers, the average result is that 98.6 cents will make it into the dealer's tip pool.

The house edge on hard 6 or hard 8 is 9.09 percent. Per dollar wagered, about 91 cents will wind up as tips the dealers can collect.

Here's the way the hard way works. If you bet on hard 6, you'll win if the roll is two threes. You'll lose of the roll on of the six ways to make 7 or one of the other four ways to make 6 -- 5-1, 1-5, 4-2 or 2-4.

No other rolls count. If the shooter rolls anything other than 6 or 7, you can leave the bet in action or you can take it down, but no money changes hands.

Per 11 decisions at $1 per wager, you would put $11 at risk. The one winner would keep the $1 wager and bring $9 in winnings. So at the end of the trial, the house would have $1 -- 9.09 percent -- and the other $10 could go into the dealer tip pool.

Per 11 decisions on $1 pass bets, the average contribution to dealer tips would be $10.56, so the average is 56 cents more with pass bets than with hard 6s or 8s.

Real-world totals will be in whole dollars. Some might prefer to say that per 1,100 decisions at $1 each, average dealer tips will be $1,056 on pass and $1,000 on hard 6 or 8.

Either way, the average result is that more of your dollars go to tips instead of the house if you bet pass for the dealer instead of the hard ways.

Look for John Grochowski on Facebook (http://tinyurl.com/7lzdt44) and Twitter (@GrochowskiJ).
John Grochowski

John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

> More Books By John Grochowski

John Grochowski
John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

Winning Tips for Casino Games

> More Books By John Grochowski