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What is 'Zuke'?

Zuke is a casino slang term used to describe a tip for dealers. It can sometimes be extended to meaning a tip for anyone working on the casino floor. Generally, tipping is commonplace, particularly in American casinos, meaning that 'zuke' has become a commonly used phrase among casino regulars. With nearly every dealer in Vegas casinos and beyond making minimum wage from the casino, most of them will rely on tips in order to make a decent wage.

'Zuke' Explained

The origins of 'zuke' are unclear, but the most popular theory seems to be that it came from the German word for sugar (zucker). One thing is clear, however: that casino workers, from dealers to cocktail waitresses are all seemingly paid minimum wage in the US. Nearly all casino goers will know this before they set foot in a casino and with that knowledge, they will also know that tipping is simply the norm.By giving the dealer or other casino staff a zuke, players are ensuring that the staff member in question is not relying on minimum wage, they're also preventing themselves from receiving bad service, which is something anyone would want to avoid in a casino. Although the minimum wage varies from state to state, in Las Vegas Nevada, the minimum wage is between $6.55 and $7.55, which is barely anything if they don't receive any tips during their shift. Casinos believe that by having customers supplement a worker's wage, they can ensure their customers get good service. If they paid all of the wage and outlawed tipping, the workers wouldn't have much incentive to provide the customers with excellent service.When it comes to giving dealers a zuke, experienced casino goers tend to tip them in chips. Sometimes a player will toss one of their chips the dealer's way but the most common way is that a player will make a bet on behalf of the dealer. This is done by placing a bet for the dealer beside the player's bet. If the bet results in a win for the player, the dealer would receive the chip that was used to make the bet, along with any payout chips that are a result of the winning bet. Experienced gamblers will always inform the dealer that they have made a bet on their behalf; that way the dealer knows that the player tried to tip them, even if the bet is lost.