How much to tip?
very important question and honestly one of the several reasons many counters go broke. I stick by 3 simple rules.
1) I never tip while losing, nobody can blame ya for that.
2) I tip after your big run of cards not during the hot shoe unless you are sure to end up a winner because future losses could not exceed past gains of the shoe.
3) Never tip a tip hustler, just make him feel really stupid about asking. I sometimes say, "I was going to wait until I am done, but isn't tip hustling discouraged in a fancy place like this, I know how much you make and trust me it is far more than me". Don't leave his table simply cause he/she is a hustler, stay a few shoes and really make em work. The house hates tip hustling, it hurts their bottom line, money tipped is money that can't be re-bet for the house. By mentioning how hard they are hustling may make then think twice about doing it again.
My bottom line is affected, leave the big tipping for tourists and ploppies that would lose the money anyway, no matter how cheap you might feel. I don't know how many times I have seen ploppies tipping large percentages of their bet on every hand.
The one exception is when playing heads up with great conditions and a non hustling dealer, often times on high counts I might have something riding on every 3rd or 4th hand. This is well made up for because the action is heads up and these hourly conditions can support tipping 2 or 3 times the normal amount.
Just my take but tipping for the case of tipping should be reserved for real hospitality industy like waitress and massage parlors. These dealers make more than most of the part timers on this board.
After having a 7k downturn recently I vowed not to tip until things started looking better, well they did and I am tipping again, a whopping red chip for decent run of cards, or several peices of iron throughout the run.
Cutter (my average tip is about $2.50 per hour)