Tipping 101 for foreigners


Tips for service are used a lot in the U.S. You need to leave a gratuity for about 15-18% on restaurant checks. This does not apply to fast food restaurants such as McDonalds and Subway. The gratuity is usually not included in the check. Also, don’t mistake the tax on the check with tipping. Gratuity makes up for the biggest part of the staff’s pay, which makes it important top tip.
It happens that restaurants automatically add gratuity to the check, ask if you are unsure! If you are a larger group of eight persons or more, the gratuity is often added to the check.

One-dollar bills

It is a good idea to always have a few one-dollar bills in your pocket to be able to tip service personnel when you need to. Of course, it is possible to give them a larger bill and ask for a change, but it is a little bit of a hassle.

In the casino

The casino staff also expects tips, especially if you’re lucky. How much you should tip depends on the amounts you gamble with and how much you win. Don’t tip all the time, as you will lose all your money tipping. Tip occasionally, or when you leave the table. When you play poker, it is customary to tip at least $1 when you win a pot (winning the pot preflop might be an exception).

Where and how much

  • 15-18% in gratuity in restaurants.
  • At the bar: $1-$4 or 15-18%..
  • Cab drivers should get about 15% in gratuity.
  • If someone helps you with your luggage at the airport, tip about $1 per bag.
  • You will normally be asked if you need help with your luggage when you check in. Tip $1-$3 per bag if you use the service.
  • There are usually hotel personnel by the taxi lines, organizing, opening/closing doors etc. Tip about $1.
  • Leave a gratuity on your hotel room for the cleaning lady, preferably at least $1 per night. Depending on how well the room is cleaned of course.
  • At nightclubs, there is sometimes a person helping you with a towel, offering candy, perfumes etc. Don’t hesitate to use their service, but remember to tip.
  • When you play poker, tip $1 for a won pot, at least if you saw the flop. If you are lucky and win a big pot, tip $2.


Dricks USA