A poker dealer (whom I will not name, but I know personally) recently made an interesting Facebook post. It was in response to other dealers complaining about "downs" (half-hour shift at the table) where they made very little in tips.

There are some terms below which you may not understand, and I will explain further.

I understand the frustration with shitty downs and stiffs. We can all laugh and joke about it. I'm relatively new to the business, having only started dealing in 2015. But I've been around mid-high stakes poker since 2003. This is still, unequivocally, the best (part time) job on the planet. And I've got A LOT of service industry/entertainment experience, from bartender to radio host to bouncer to strip club dj. The money we can make, working 6-8 hours a day, 3-4 days a week BLOWS the average working class American away. And we all (I include myself here sometimes too) have the AUDACITY to bitch way too much.

"The EDR sucks"
Name another industry (oustside of restaurants) where you get at least one free meal a day, plus basically unlimited snacks and drinks. I can't think of one.

"Tip compliance is killing me"
Might be true when you have a $4 down in a shitty game, but I don't see you rushing to withhold more when you spmebody tosses you a green bird on the high hand bonus. Or you push a big PLO pot and get 3 redbirds.

I get it; there are many aspects of the job that tend to suck and/or get frustrating. But they are all SHORT TERM. Long run evens out. Still the best part time (or full time, you lucky entitled whiners  ) job on the planet.

Some terms you may not know:

EDR: Employee Dining Room. Poker dealers have access to an "employee dining room" full of free snacks and drinks (usually a soda machine and bottled water). As the poster mentioned, dealers also are given one comped meal.

Tip compliance: For years, the IRS battled with Vegas casinos over dealer tips. The problem was that most dealers weren't reporting their tips accurately, and were stiffing the IRS on lots of taxes. This was somewhat solved by the pooling of tips (where the casino would report the exact amount distributed to each employee), but poker dealers are still the exception where they usually keep their own tips. In order to make sure that non-tip-pooled dealers paid their fair share in taxes, Nevada and the IRS struck a deal to where the casino would estimate the average tips received by the dealer, and the IRS would tax them at that rate, regardless of how much or how little they actually received.

Redbird/green bird: Green bird refers to a $25 chip, and red bird refers to a $5 chip.

So basically this guy was refuting a lot of the common dealer complaints. He said that poker dealers make far more money per hour than most people expect, that the EDR is a nice benefit which shouldn't be nitpicked or seen as a negative, and that tip compliance evens out (or even benefits the dealer) due to the sometimes-large tips they receive.

It was an interesting thread. Some dealers were acting very entitled and in fact discussed ways to passively aggressive punish tables with non-tippers (such as dealing/shuffling very slowly), while others were more positive like this guy.

Absent from all of the discussions, however, was the fact that the rake has been getting higher and higher over time, and professional poker players simply can't afford to tip as much as they used to.

I really wish tipping was just abolished at casinos, and dealers were simply paid a fair wage to compensate for it. But that will never happen. The funny thing is that casinos could totally afford to do this, as they've raised rake and the house edge in pit games, yet players are still paying most of dealer salaries.