An Insider's Guide to Tipping in Las Vegas

Vegas Strip

Las Vegas is a city that runs on the service industry. Waiters and waitresses, bartenders, cocktail servers, and a host of other employees rely on tips as their income; and tips are also an excellent way for guests to help ensure they get good treatment. Knowing how and when to tip is an important skill for any visitor to master. While tipping practices at restaurants and bars are more or less standard throughout the country, Las Vegas does have a slightly different way of doing things, especially when it comes to nightlife. 

Starting the evening off at one of the city’s energetic bars or lounges before heading to a club to dance the night away is a great idea.  When tipping the bartenders here in Vegas, $1-$2 per drink is standard. Although, if your order is large and the service is prompt and courteous, offering a few dollars extra on top of that is fine.   It’s an especially good idea to tip well for the first round of drinks because it will often result in faster service.  In addition, bartenders will often thank their generous customers with heavier pours or sometimes even free shots. 

Las Vegas nightclubs are some of the finest in the world, attracting millions of people each year, so it’s important to make yourself stand out to the people working. Unless you’re a celebrity or with a bachelorette party, chances are you’re going to be shown the line and told to wait. A seasoned Sin City partier, however, prides him or herself on not having to wait in the exhausting lines and gets straight into the action with minimal lag time. To do this, try making eye contact with one of the bouncers (ideally try to spot the manager or someone with a clipboard) and confidently ask if it’s possible to skip the line. He’ll tacitly understand that you’ll tip him in exchange for his efforts. Depending on a number of factors—the club, the DJ, the date and time—a tip of approximately $20 per man is generally enough—with ladies usually  slipping by with a smile. The important thing to remember here is confidence and attitude. Be stern and act like you belong inside those doors without waiting. 

Once in the club, it’s important to be generous with the bartenders, especially with the first round—one to two dollars per drink, minimum. As before, be sure to make eye contact and smile to your bartender. The whole point is making yourself memorable amongst the sea of people they serve each night.

You’ll have a slew of people tending to your needs if you decide to order bottle service at a club, so it is important to tip them for their hard work to ensure that you continue to get excellent service. Your host is the first person you’ll meet and is arguably the most important person to tip. The host decides the location of your table and can also work out specials and discounts. If you’re happy with the service, a $100 tip is appreciated, although it is not uncommon to tip even more for service that goes above and beyond expectations. Your private cocktail server should be tipped 15-20% for good service, but be sure to check the bill to see if gratuity has already been applied. Lastly, it is also a good idea to tip your table’s bouncer once or twice during the night. Controlling traffic and preventing strangers from coming into your space is difficult to do without his help. He can also escort you to the restroom (often bypassing the lines), flag down runners/servers, and even find you cigarettes or gum. 

If you valet park a car, $2-$5 is the standard tip for the attendant, but it’s something of an unwritten rule in the industry that a large tip ($20-$40) will get your car a “VIP” label, meaning it will be parked close-by and returned to you as quickly as possible. Taxi attendants and doormen will appreciate a $1 tip when getting your door, but if they help you with loading luggage, a few extra dollars is appropriate. 

A final note: be sure to tip the room attendants $2-$3 per night. Their efforts are easily overlooked even though they are the ones who make sure you have a clean place to come back to after a long night of partying. 


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