There is a good bit of controversy among Blackjack professionals on whether or not tipping the dealer is wise. The people against tipping declare that the honest dealer is only a card-issuing ma-chine at the table and cannot help or hurt any player. And the dishonest dealer won’t be swayed by tips anyway.

This would be true if dealers weren’t as human as the players.For example, I had an attractive young blond dealer at the El Cortez cheat for me because I was tipping. I was playing one Sat-urday evening with a table full of stiffs. They were all having an excellent run of cards and winning.

Throughout the hot run for the other players, I was only holding my own, as can often hap-pen with the turn of the cards. Nonetheless, I was the only one tipping. I wasn’t going to make the dealer rich with my tips. I would bet any of my half-dollar chips from Blackjacks and an occasional dollar chip from time to time, but I was tipping.

Just before the shift change, I had a horrible run of cards, surrendering four hands in a row. The cards should have been good on the last hand by my count, so I had $25 out. When I announced “surren-der” the dealer made a move I had never seen before. She gave me $25.What happened was this.

If you have ever been in a casino, then you have seen how the dealers’ arm movements are very fluid and circular as they pick up cards and bets and pay off Wm-ners. When I announced “surrender,” the young woman reached her arm out as if to pick up my twenty-five-dollar chip, but in-stead of grabbing it, flicked it into my stack of chips with the fingernail on her middle finger.

The flick was covered by her hand motion so the only sign of what she had done was a faint “click” as the chip hit my stacks. She brought her hand back to the chips tray and returned $12.50 (my surrender payoff). I had just “won” $25.

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