Las Vegas Tipping Guide: How to Tip Fairly Without Spending Too Much

How much to tip when in Las VegasIf you’re new to America and/or Las Vegas, you may need some advice on tipping. That’s what we’re here for! In Las Vegas, there are many folks that count on tips for the bulk of their income. This includes waitresses, cocktail waitresses, blackjack dealers, taxi drivers, etc. The good news is you can tip fairly without spending too much. You just have to know how much, which we will teach you. We’ll also teach you how to tip for your own benefit. Sometimes you get a little something extra because of your tip (see below).

When in Vegas – Always Tip!

Tipping for Free Drinks in Las Vegas

One thing that will drive you insane is the cost of alcohol anywhere you go on the Las Vegas Strip. $5 is the standard fare for a domestic bottle. Sometimes a domestic bottle is upwards of $10. That doesn’t include a tip. How would you like to get your booze for free (plus tip, of course)? When you’re gambling, alcohol is free. However, if a cocktail waitress never stops by, you’ll never get anything to drink.

Hint: Tip $5 up instead of standard $1 for faster service the next time

Here’s what you should do. Follow a cocktail waitress that is dropping off some drinks to slot players. Sit down at a slot machine in that area. Throw in a $20 bill (or any denomination of your choice) and start playing the machine – or at least pretend to be playing. Then flag down the cocktail waitress. When she brings you your drink, give her a $5 bill instead of the standard $1 bill. Why? Because she’ll be more inclined to stop by your section more often. You no longer have to continue tipping her. You could end up with 3-4 drinks in a short period of time and the only cost you will have is $5. Not too shabby. It’s a win-win situation for both of you.

Limo and Taxi Driver Tipping: How Much Should You Tip?

Tipping your transportation driver in Las Vegas is necessary and expected. Your limo or taxi driver works mostly off of tips, so please be generous. It’s even more important if you are going to need a ride back to your hotel or the next day from the same driver. If you don’t leave a fair tip (or any tip at all), you likely shouldn’t expect your driver to show up on time later that night – if at all.

Whether you’re going to the Strip, Fremont Street, or heading out to Lake Mead, here’s some advice on how much to tip your driver. For a taxi driver, the fair amount is 10%. If you’re generous, feel free to tip around 15%. Of course, the amount you tip should be based on how friendly the driver was and if he/she picked you up on time. If your driver was rude and late to get you, you have every right to not leave a tip. In fact – in that case – you probably shouldn’t. We feel that any taxi, limo, or shuttle driver should provide great service. For limo drivers, it’s standard to tip around 10%, but no less than $5 per person. So if you have a group of 5, you should leave at least a $25 tip.

Leaving Tips for Everyone Else in Las Vegas

Many forget to leave a tip for certain hotel workers (i.e. Bellman, Valet Service, maid etc.). Don’t forget to tip your Bellman a few bucks (no need to tip anymore than that) and the Valet should you park in Valet. You can tip the Valet anywhere between $3-$5.

Oh and be sure to leave your maid a tip of a few bucks a day – who knows perhaps they will leave you a bottle of champagne…

The $20 Bill Trick

If you want a cheap room upgrade, try what’s called “The $20 Bill Trick” in Las Vegas. When you’re checking into your hotel, neatly fold up a $20 bill into a small square. Take that $20 bill and hand it to the employee checking you in. Ask him/her if they have any upgrades available. It seems kind of ridiculous but it works most of the time. He/she will almost always be willing to upgrade you to a nicer room for just that $20 tip.

Nightclub Tipping

If you’re headed out to the club, beyond tipping your driver, you should leave a tip for the Bartender and for bottle service if you request that. For Bartenders, leave a standard tip of $1-$2 per drink depending on the cost of the drink. If the cost is less than $5, give a $1 tip. If it exceeds $5, leave a $2 tip. For bottle service, it’s standard to tip 20%. The exception to that is if you’re feeling very generous because of excellent service or are disappointed because of mediocre service. Unless the service is terrible, tip at least 15%. However, you shouldn’t expect to go to many top Vegas clubs and receive poor service. These are top notch clubs with employees that work hard to ensure you have a great time.

Overtip the first round – Tip big on the first round of drinks you get at the bar and next time you should receive faster service from the same bartender.

Summary:  How much to Tip – Recommended Amounts

Note:  Please tip on level of service – if it is great tip more than recommended and if it is poor tip less.

  • Limo Driver: 10-20%
  • Shuttle Driver:  $2-$3
  • Waiter/Waitress:  15-20%
  • Bartender – $1 to $2 per drink or 15%-20% of bill
  • Taxi Driver: 15% or $2 to $3 on short tips on the Vegas strip
  • Bellman: $2-$3
  • Vallet Service: $2-$5
  • Maid: $2-$3 – depending on how bad you trashed your room the night before….
  • Bottle Service VIP Host: $50 to $150+ per bottle.
  • Bottle service security and bus boy: $20-$50+
  • Dealers: Tip at your discretion for winning hands – depends on how much your are betting of course.
  • Casino Waitresses:  $1-$5 for free drinks

Final Thoughts

You are in Vegas, do not be cheap!  Tip those well who bring enjoyment and great service to you.  It usually is a win win situation and often times you will get something extra of it that will make your day/night even more enjoyable!