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The World's First Guide to Vegas
from a Real Vegas Cocktail Waitress

 

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Found your site through a link on Mark Evanier's blog.

Great stuff! Funny as hell, and a public service to boot. Your description of what drinks various demographic groups order alone was worth the price of admission. It offered a marvelous insight into...well, I'm not even sure what, but I couldn't stop reading it.

Thanks!

Vince

Hi Vince,

I sympathize, many people share your bewilderment.  Thanks for not asking for a refund.


Hi just a woman wanting to try some new drinks while on vacation !

I went into webtender and wrote the names of several that sounded good but when I tried to order them I was told by the cocktail servers that they'd never heard of them

Is there a website to see common drinks that are known at the average casinos?

I couldn't even get a Satin Sheet or a BuzzLightYear which are common drinks at home

Thanks for all the information and pointers

Alene

Hi Alene,

The problem with ordering drinks that are popular where you're from is that they may be exclusive to your town, or known by a different name in Vegas.  Buzz Lightyear is known as a Melonball, which is the more common name for that drink anywhere.  I have never had anyone order a Satin Sheet before, so I would say that's not a common drink either.  If you want a drink that the waitress has never heard of, just tell her what's in it and she'll have the bartender make it for you.  Looking for a web site that shows common drinks in Vegas...aren't you here?!


Which hotel do you work at

Ebeth863

Just like that, huh?  No dinner, no movie...not even a slap on the ass.  Sorry, I'd tell you but my pimp would kill me.


I went to Las Vegas for a few days and I wanted to take some pictures of the cocktail waitresses. I took a picture of a waitress at the Venesian and she told me we are not allowed to take pictures of them and that she would call security if I did it again. Is there any way I can get some pictures of them?

Doug

------------------------

Hi Dollie,

Came across your web page and loved it. Never seen so much information in one website.

Have a question, hope you can email me back with the answer.

I am a 45 year old married man from Los Angeles and visit Las Vegas at least twice a year, for a week each time.

In my visits, I spend the days walking and driving around and taking pictures, and I have a good collection of vegas pictures.

I was wondering if it is considered rude to ask cocktail waitresses for taking their pictures.

I have to say, that I did try that on my last visit, and 3 out of 4 said okay.

What is your opinion?  Also, if they agree, should I tip them for the picture?

I hope you will answer my email, and best of luck on your web site

Alex O

Hi Doug and Alex,

Before the whole homeland security thing, I would always agree to take pictures with people, and I really didn't care if I got tipped for it, although of course I would accept it if it was offered.  (What am I saying...definitely tip!)  But now it is against the casino's policy to take pictures, so I have to say no.  So if a waitress says no, it may be her own decision or the house rule.  Either way, she shouldn't be upset if you ask, and you shouldn't try to sneak a picture of her.  I've seen some pictures of cocktail waitresses on the Internet where they're walking away, or it's obvious they don't know their picture is being taken.  At best, this is tacky, at worst, it may be a violation of their rights.


I'm a cocktail waitress at a casino boat in Iowa and I came across your website today and OH MY GOD!  Everything you said is so true.  I'm so glad I came across it.  I've been cocktailing for four years now and I've come across almost everything you mentioned.  (of course I'm not done looking at your website yet)  Its four in the morning I just got off work at two. (I work swing)  I can't wait to get up and read the rest of it.  Just wanted to let you know I really enjoyed it and am going to tell my fellow cocktailers to take a look!  Keep it up.  Someone has to tell these people about tipping!

Janelle

And people think I'm alone in my rants!


I have been a server for 10 years and I can relate to ALL your stories. The only difference is that I dont have the privilege of being able to sass'm back. So please, tell off a bitchy old lady for me!!!!!

I really enjoyed your site.

Jodie

Hi Jodie,

My pleasure...ain't no bitchy old lady met a bitchier old lady than me!


Hey! My name is Jen, I live in Michigan (a.k.a. cold as hell) and I just got 'juiced in' (smile) to a casino here in Detroit as a cocktail server. I got the job over a month ago, and after ALL this mess of drug testing, background check, fingerprints, etc. I'm finally going on Tuesday to get fitted for my outfit and start their training. I was just wondering if you have any advice on being the new cocktail girl at the casino. Like the best ways to work my way up and relating to the other girls. I'm not really interested in being friends but I do want a good working relationship. The best ways to tips & especially PLEASE how do u deal w/ the guys hitting on you? B/c I tend to get uncomfortable (guess I'm not a good flirt). Please let me know 'Dollie'. = )

Also, its not common knowledge that I got 'juice'. I don't plan on telling anyone. I'm a waittress now but I've never strictly cocktailed. And I'm 23.
So if you could just give me some info! I'm definitely excited. Thanks!!!!

Jennifer

Hi Jennifer,

Tell the other girls you're juiced in so they'll be afraid to talk shit to you, spill coffee on guys so they won't flirt with you and tip you just to go away, and don't worry about making friends...the girls will hate you just because you're 23.


Hi,

I'm a long time reader (came to your site through WizardOfOdds). I've enjoyed your site the whole time, and I understand the extra pressure you get from having a new baby (mine was 6 weeks premature and is now
13 months old), and while I miss your updates, I know why you aren't updating frequently. Today I was looking on your site for a link (which I thought I got from your site) and I noticed that you a typo on one of your link descriptions.

Shows, Shows and More Shows

** This web site is run by Phil Arnold, who, according to
** according to what he drinks, is a young white girl. In any
case, he also loves to see Las Vegas shows and gives reviews
and other interesting news about Sin City. It doesn't cost
anything to join, it's just a fun site and informative site,
and you can also share your experiences with other Vegas fans.

As you can see, you've got two 'according to' in the first sentence.

.... just thought you'd like to know.

Taylor Hutt

It wasn't a mistake...I was emphasizing the phrase.  Who am I kidding?  Thanks, I fixed it fixed it.


Are you for real?  Is this a real website??

Just curious,
DB

I'm quite offended that you would doubt the veracity of my existence.  It just makes the hairs on my balls stand on end.


Loved your website, and have a question about getting premium drinks.  If I ordered Grey Goose and Tonic and really wanted Grey Goose, but am not playing at the high limit tables, what can I do to increase the chances that the cocktail waitress will make my order a "must be"?  Thanks.

Sheldon Francis

Charlotte, NC

Well, Sheldon, a big tip is the answer.  If you give the waitress five dollars when you place the order, you'll get your Grey Goose.  Every once in awhile this won't work.  Like, if the waitress is strictly "by the book," if the bartender she's working with won't give it to her, or if Grey Goose really isn't available (not all bars stock the premium alcohols).  Or if the beverage manager happens to be in the bar at the time.  A simple, "If I give you five dollars can you get me Grey Goose?" will elicit an honest answer.  But you didn't hear that from me.


I'm a social buffoon who doesn't understand tipping at all. Someone at a Las Vegas website turned me onto your website and I realized my usual dollar a drink was acceptable and the fact I always have my dollar bills in my palm after I order the drink and hold it there until the server comes back is not only NOT obsessive compulsive, but appreciated by the servers. Now I know why they keep coming back and I got so inebriated at the craps tables.

I was impressed by your favorite websites, too. They are three of my favorites.

Maybe I'll see you the next time I'm in Vegas.

Tim Phillips

I think the reason the waitresses kept coming back was to see a real live social buffoon in action...we rarely see one in Vegas.


hi dollie,
my name is kenny,i am a single gentleman from new york,who travels to vegas once a year.i am looking to meet a female pen pal on line who lives in vegas to chat with about vegas .i was wondering if you know how i can go about it.
thanks kenny

What a coincidence...I'm a single female from Vegas who's never been to New York and am looking to meet a male pen pal online who lives in New York to chat with about New York.  Let's both keep our eyes open and maybe we can help each other out.


Hey Dollie, Interesting web site. I'll turn in on to some off my friends who work the North shore clubs {Tahoe} . After reading on how to be a bad customer I am surprised I never got a drink poured over my head for some of the dumb stuff I did when I was younger/dumber. Hang in there...Dan

Keep reading and I'm sure you can find something that will be rewarded with a beer bottle where the sun don't shine.  :)


Dear Dollie,

Just wanted to say I enjoyed your site. I moonlight as a bartender once a week (and worked more extensively behind the bar in college) and enjoy it immensely. It was quite funny to note the differences and especially the similarities between your job and mine.

None of my jobs ever has involved cocktail waitresses, so I can't claim any particular hatred for them.

My next trip to Vegas is in April. Wish me luck. ...

The same to you, and congrats on the site.

-- Rob

It's illegal for a man to give a woman money for services rendered, but a cocktail waitress is expected to do it every day for a bartender.  Methinks there's something wrong with this picture.


Hi Dollie,

My Dad actually sent me your site and I really enjoyed it.  I'm a union bartender at the Nashville Int'l Airport... where I also deal with thousands of people of all kinds on a regular basis.  I know exactly what you're talking about regarding customers asking things like "what's your best drink?"  or "What's on special?"....  ('You're in the airport, honey...EVERYTHING'S SPECIAL!!)  I've actually been considering transferring locals out to Vegas.  I understand that by doing this, I will save time it normally takes becoming a union bartender... Graveyard shifts or whatever aren't a problem for me... however no work for a couple weeks would be.  Any thoughts on the bartending side of things?  Or do you know of a site like yours devoted to the bartender? 

I appreciate any info.  And thanks for the laughs!

Debbie

Nashville, TN

The best time to get hired at casinos is in the summer, when the pools open, and at the end of the year, when they need New Year's help.  In the summer, casinos sometimes hire from the outside to fill the pool shifts, which would obviously be best for you if you're looking for full-time work right away.  Depending on the individual casino's union contract, they may have to "bid" out the shifts to their current bartenders, and if any shifts aren't taken, they will offer the positions to the rest of the department (restaurants, room service, etc.), the rest of the casino, and to everyone else, in that order.  At the end of the year, the casinos do a mass hiring to overstaff the bars (which pisses off a lot of bartenders because another body behind the bar means less tips for them), and they need a lot of banquet bartenders to work the parties.  Even if you get hired as an "extra board" bartender at these times, you'll get a lot of work.  The problem is, when the pool closes (usually in October or November) and the year-end parties are over with, it's very slow and you may end up working only a few days a week for awhile, or even be laid off.  Or you could get lucky and bid on a shift that nobody wants, like graveyard.

Can you fake a limp?  Grab your "disabled vet" sign and drag your leg to the Tropicana/I-15 overpass.  Just remember which leg.


Hi, Thanks for all the advice. Good to know that we are tipping the right way for drinks but I need to know about the Limo tip. Do you know what is the correct amount of tip to give to the driver (Vegas airport to casino on the strip) when the ride is comp'd by the casino?  Any info will help.
Thank you,
Judy

I'm a really bad person to ask about this because 1. I really haven't a clue, and 2. my only time in a limo here was with a bachelorette party, and the driver was a real asshole who scammed a twenty dollar tip from my friend by lying about already being tipped by someone else (the guy who paid for the limo had already tipped him twenty dollars).  And this was just for a one-way ride from a casino to a strip club.  So if any limo drivers want to write in, you're more than welcome to, including that scam-artist prick.


Diet anything. Witch really means anything as long as it doesn't have sugar in it, because I am a diabetic and the sugar is a real killer. Also my drinking days are temporally over because of the Metformin I am on.I made that mistake once, of mixing Metformin and alcohol, and I'll never make that mistake again, believe me!

Old white guy

Metformin and pregnancy don't mix either.  Just in case.


THANKS FOR YOUR WEB SITE.  I WAS READING MARK PILARSKI'S COLUMN IN THE ON-LINE CASINO CITY TIMES AND HE MENTIONED IT.  I HAVE BEEN VISITING VEGAS TWICE A YEAR FOR THE PAST 7 YEARS AND EVEN THOUGH I AM NOT A DRINKER I FOUND SEVERAL AREAS OF YOUR SITE VERY INFORMATIVE.

BY THE WAY, ONE PICTURE SHOWS YOU QUITE PREGNANT.  HAVE YOU HAD THE BABY?

THOMAS BURDETTE

YES, I HAD THE BABY, AND I NO LONGER LOOK LIKE THIS.  Now I look like this.  But I'm trying to look like this again.


Great site, I work in a casino in Wisconsin and will pass it on to the waitstaff for their enjoyment and edification.

By the way, how do you know I'm an "old man" just because I drink whiskey 7? OK, so I am (sort of) but still...

Harold Wilkes

Oh, Harold, I'm not concerned about your age.  The fact that you can spell "edification" and use it correctly in a sentence means you're too edumacated, and aren't drunk enough.  Have a double on me.


I just read your website ( as referenced by Mark Pilanski's  March 7th article in Casino City Times) and found it both very informative and entertaining.  I gamble quite frequently locally and make 2-3 trips a year to Vegas, Reno or Laughlin, that is, to get away from the snow and cold.  I always tip regularly as I too have worked hard all my life and know what's necessary to make a living.  My point in writing is to thank you for your informative website.  I have always wondered about many of the things you addressed and appreciate your taking the time to give us the real insight from someone who's been there and appears to be a straight down to earth shooter.

                                                                Thanks

Dick and Pat

P.S. Love your sense of humor.  Have a great day.

You are so sweet.


An Atlantilc City cocktail waitress who I was friendly with once told me that she appreciated cash tips more than chips.  She explained that when she cashed in her chip tips at the window, they were reported to the IRS, while cash was her responsibility to report.  Any truth in this?

Edward Rhoades

As far as I know there is no truth to this.  However, all the information I've given regarding tips and the IRS is relevant only to Vegas.  Also, the IRS tip allocation agreement was started around 1992.  Before then, every waitress was responsible to report her own tips, which probably meant that most waitresses didn't report anything.  My opinion is, and most casino employees agree with me, is that the IRS had undercover agents hired as employees to "find out" how much money the waitresses made.  They did this by watching how much they had in their tip jars, how much they cashed out, and by listening to what the girls said they made.  Or just posing as customers and asking a waitress how much she makes.  Some girls are stupid enough to tell.  These are all inaccurate ways to find the truth since a waitress doesn't necessarily cash out her money every day (I always save my coins and cash them in once a week) and people, not just waitresses, lie about how much they make.  In any case, I think that's how the IRS came up with the tip allocation idea.

Some casinos do have house rules that if a waitress is tipped a certain amount at one time, like a $25.00 chip, she has to "call it in," which means she has to get an OK from either the beverage manager or casino manager before cashing it (maybe that's what your friend meant), but there's no IRS form to fill out.  That's to make sure that she's not stealing money.

I worked with a pit boss who was fired for stealing chips and cashing them in at another casino.  He was stupid because he personally cashed them in, and he was cashing in big chips, like hundred-dollar chips, and doing it every night after he got off work.  The casino he was going to got suspicious that this guy kept bringing in big chips from another casino to cash in, so they called our casino and sent them his picture.  So they watched him for a week, and one night, when the pit boss came on shift, security guards and metro went into the pit, handcuffed him and eight other floormen and dealers, and walked them out.  They had seen him on camera stealing the chips.  He was very sly.  He would order a hot tea with extra honey in a Styrofoam cup from the cocktail waitress.  He would always "accidentally" get honey on his fingers, which he would smear underneath the cup.  Then he would somehow, without anyone noticing, hold the cup over a stack of chips and one would get stuck on the bottom.  Then he would take the cup with him when he went on break.  He did that all night, every night.  Pit bosses get a break like every hour, so he was making a killing.  The other employees got fired because the casino figured they should have noticed, working with the pit boss that closely, so they must have been in on it to not say anything.  (The cocktail waitresses didn't get fired or in trouble.)  I think they got a raw deal.  How come surveillance didn't catch it?  What about the security guards walking around?  And the casino manager?  I have no idea if they got their jobs back, or even tried.


Great Website!

I have a self imposed rule I follow in the Casino that I would like to share with you:

Any money, chip, token, or ticket I find in the tray of a Slot Machine or on the floor I give to the Drink Server in the area the money, chip, token or ticket was found.  This is not in lieu a regular tip. I have spotted a five dollar chip on the floor while walking and picked it up and placed it on a drink servers tray without missing my stride. The tone of the "thank you" in her voice let me know it was appreciated. She later found me and told me she had seen the chip but, the Casino did not allow them to pick up money on the floor or in the trays of unoccupied slot machines. 

Steve Sawyer

Most casinos have a rule that any money on the floor is finders, keepers.  Some casinos have a rule that if the money is above a certain amount, it has to be turned in to security.  If money is found anywhere else it is "lost property" and must be turned in to security, regardless of the amount.  When an employee turns property in to security, if it isn't claimed in thirty days, the employee can claim it.   This is, of course, ridiculous.  I know so many employees who turn in money, and in thirty days they were told the owner came and got it.  Yeah, right.  Like a customer is really going to come up to security and say, "I lost $40.00 in increments of a twenty, ten, and two five-dollar bills, in the shelf between machines 1024 and 1025 around 6:20 PM twenty-nine days ago."

Next time I find money, Steve, I'll have you claim it for me.


Learned a few new things - Definition of TIPS, how you are taxed, and that I have been tipping right!

Thank you, and Mr. Pilarski for steering me to your site.

Jack De Reese

:)


Hi Dollie/Jebediah,

Just visited your site. Great info and entertaining.

We’re visiting in May’05 (our 4th trip) from the UK. Your info is invaluable. I play poker but I’ll make sure I tip at least a dollar for drinks.

Never know we may meet – lol.

Brian.

There's no poker room where I work - darn!  Cheers!  :)


Fun to read you notes: I had 8 years full-time in the bar business in CA (College and Farm towns: ugh) in the 80's.  Closing shift Bartender, then Manager: such weirdness.  Still....

Looks like you have a call order: You never forget: bourbon, vodka, gin, scotch, brandy, rum, tequillllah! (Kind of a rhythm to it!)

and then what?: well, call, simply, fancy, blend, hot, soda, wine, beer.  You never forget.

Oh, and Bourbon, the silent alcohol:  Coke is Bourbon Coke, 7 is bourbon seven-up.  You wanted a plain coke?  "P-coke", "P-7"  (ordering"P-water" was a little awkward, and we would giggle about that when it was slow...)

We didn't use "out": it was usually busy enough, and with the call order, when the ladies stopped talking, the order was done. Interesting.

I am now a Nickel slot player, after I run low from BJ and craps, and I tip a buck a round (black Russians: yum).  I have noticed that I do indeed get better service when I tip when ordering.  The act of certainty.  The morning nickel slot section ladies love it, and I enjoy how it perks their mornings. Silly, but fun.  And I figure AM, PM what's the difference?

Still, it is funny when you've busted the budget, and been tipping, and suddenly, there isn't any more.  Life's little awkwardnesses.  Oh well.

Anyway, some softball boys and I will be our over part of Easter, and leave a small ( but loved) portion of our paychecks with you.

;-)

Thanks for the trip down memory road.

...And yes, customers (even nonpaying ones) can be real A__holes, but....

Good luck have fun.

JT

CA, Davis.

P-water, huh?  I don't know what's more disturbing...the fact that you would say it, or that you giggled about it.  And somehow I think your English professor would agree that BJ, craps, and yum should not appear in the same sentence.  Nothing like mixing your interjections with your fetishes.  :)


Hi Dollie;

Just a note to tell you how much I enjoyed your website.  As a Las Vegas semi-regular (some 20-30 trips in the last 15 years) I got a big kick out of your observation.  I saw many people I know and even my self in some of your stories.

Thank you for for a refreshing few minutes.  I'm sure you served me drinks somewhere in the last few years.  I hoped I tipped you well.

I'm leaving for Vegas on Monday and will be staying at Paris.  Rest assured that the cocktail waitressess there will be well taken care of by me....for the few drinks that I will have.

Have a nice day.

Barry

Damn, how come all the good tippers are coming out now that I'm on maternity leave?


You have an awesome website. I followed a link from WizardOfOdds.com and I didn't regret it, as I have read about all the material on your site.

When one day I will fulfill my dream of going on a gambling vacation to Vegas, I will take all of your advice to heart.

Walter.

Let me know if you still think it's awesome after you've read all the material.  :)


Calvin & Hobbes rule! and definitely an A+ for Cold Stone! and yeah, as you probably already guessed, I like your pics too. Know anyone else who'd read Calvin & Hobbes over Cold Stone Strawberry Cheesecake wafflecones?
Here's a joke for ya from an engineer who sees things a little differently... stop me if you've heard it.

A budding young scientist decides to show the relationship between the number of a legs a frog has and how far it can jump for his grade school science project. He starts with a frog with all its legs, places it on a line on the floor and yells, "Jump, frog! Jump!" The frog jumps as expected and the boy records in his journal, "Frog with four legs jumps 4 feet." Next he proceeds to tie up one of the frogs legs (okay the original joke was not PETA approved) and placed it back on the line. "Jump, frog! Jump!" Again he records in his book, "Frog with three legs, jumps 3 feet." Tying up yet another leg, (this kid will probably grow up with a fetish for tying things up) he repeats his experiment, recording this time, "Frog with two legs jumps 2 feet." Tying up the third leg, he shouts again, "Jump, frog! Jump!" and the frog jumps yet again. The boy records, "Frog with one leg jumps 1 feet." (Give him a break he's only in grade school, besides its a science project not an English assignment.) Tying up the fourth and last leg, the boy shouts, "Jump, frog! Jump!" This time the frog strangely does not jump. Again he yells, "JUmp, Frog! Jump!" The frog does not budge. Yelling louder, "JUMP FROG JUMP!" And the frog remains motionless. The boy scribbles in his journal, "Frog with no legs goes deaf."

Shawn

Poor frog...can't hear, can't jump...maybe that boy would like to experiment on me?


(This e-mail was sent to Jerome Hamilton, who forwarded it to me.)

Thanks again for the print.  I went to "Dollie's" site, and it's a kick.  I noted in particular how many times "Coke" shows up as an ingredient on the list of "who orders what".

Ben

The Coca-Cola Company

I'm glad you liked my web site.  The casino I work at has Pepsi products, and people always ask me for Coke - I wish they would switch!


Enjoyed your website - was refreshing to hear an inside view of LV. Informative, frank, and funny in spots. Best of everything with the new member of the family.

Steve S.  (Long Island, NY) 

Thank you...I'll try to be funny all over from now on!


Thanks for your site Dollie. I'm a 53 year-old female that is visiting Vegas after not being there over 20 years. Your site has enlightened me, to say the least!

My husband is really irritating when he asks "what kind of beers do you have"? I'll have to tell him about your answer. I love it!

I do have a question......

Is it faster/better for me to go to the bar and order a drink and then find a machine? Or should I go to the machine and sit and wait?

Also, can I get in trouble bringing a flask and adding some extra to make it a double?

I know these might be stupid questions, but they aren't to me.

Thanks!!!

LLehtinen

It's probably faster to get a drink if you go to the bar first, unless you happen to sit at a machine right when the waitress is coming around taking orders.  Or you can look for a waitress who is taking orders, sit in her section and order a drink from her.  And you can pour the drink into your flask, there are no rules against that.


Dollie/ Jebediah.

I love your site. It gives the tipping handicapped of the world a point of reference.

I find that the points you mention on you site are true indeed!

I have written to you before and mentioned that I am a poker player that drinks coffee and water all night and that I tip

$5.00 for the drinks.

I have noticed that my "coffer" is never empty. In fact the service is so good at any table that I sit at. that the drinkers get drunk faster (good for me) and most of the time my coffee is still hot and my water is still cold when the waitress comes around again.

Where I live (Connecticut) the alcohol service stops at 2am usually making it impossible to get a coffee near this hour (never a problem for me)

During a shift change the waitress's must tell each other where the "tippers" are. because the service continues to be great for me.

And yes, I tip before I get the first drink ($10.00) so that I am remembered and then $5.00 all night long.

The money I have made from the drunks (Thanks to you!)

has paved the way for me to move up to higher limit poker and higher tips in the future.

Many thanks to you for all of your hard work! (I have seen a waitress with drinks stacked 3 high and it must weigh a ton)

Erich

I remember you...that rare $10.00 tipping poker player!  Believe me, the waitresses will always tell each other about you, and they should remember you every time you come back.  Well good, I'm glad you make money off of the drunks.  In a game like poker, pretending to be drunk may be smart, but actually getting drunk is stupid.  I'm sure you know that.

I've also seen waitresses with drinks stacked on top of each other, and I have no idea how they do it.  They must take steroids.


Dear Dollie,

Absolutely love your site.  Saw a plug for it at Wizard of Odds and ended up reading everything on it.  I must say you've got a great sense of humor and there's no way I'd have thought you're a day older than 24 from your pictures.

Anyway, I'm 20, and I've been planning my 21st birthday in Vegas ever since I learned how much fun gambling is.  Also, as someone who's a fan of the once or twice or 9 drinks, I'm trying to find out what's the best way to have a rip-roaring time in Vegas.  My first thought would be to just play something non-skill intensive like slots, and get the drinks free (plus red-chip tips for my lovely cocktail waitress, who'd definitely keep them coming for red chips).  The thing that upsets me is the rather parsimonious definition of a drink.  ONE shot's worth in tiny pre-iced glasses AND I can't order two at a time?  And I can only get served when the nice cocktail waitress comes by (and thanks to you I know how truly busy she is).  Then I thought I should just chill by the pool/bar/lounge, but $5.50 for a Corona???  People actually PAY for that?  In my college town of UGA (Athens, GA, there's literally 80 bars downtown that don't care AT ALL about fake ID's).  We have ONE dollar tequila, jager, or 151 shots and 10 dollar wristbands for all you can drink draft (i.e. Bud Light.  Everyone has Bud.)  Should I just stick to free and order heavy drinks (like Everclear 'n Tonic with lime) or just pay for it; start the night off at a bar, and hit the ground running with 10 shots in five minutes, then hit the casino floor and maintain the buzz for free?  What do you think is the best idea?

Congratulations on the baby, I know you're waaaaay too busy with a 6 week old to answer the hedonistic decadent questions of an underage drinker.  But whenever ya get a chance... You're the best!

Steve Krieger
Athens, GA

P.S. I'm definitely hitting as many casinos as possible when I get there a) to say that I have, and b) so that there's an off chance I might run into you and tell you how awesome and beautiful and uber-cool you are!

Drink prices are definitely a rip-off in Vegas, but sometimes it's what you gotta do.  Now, if you're tipping reds in slots, I can guarantee that every cocktail waitress will bring you a double or two drinks.  (But if you want two double shots you should tip two reds.)  Give her the red first so she knows you're good for it.  The only time she might not do it is if the beverage manager is in the bar or hanging around.  You should also put a couple coins in the machine even if you don't want to play, just so the cameras can see that the waitress is serving a player.  And if you're planning on drinking before you turn 21, make sure your fake I.D. is a good one.  As long as you keep tipping well and don't puke or get so loud that slot or pit bosses notice you, she'll keep bringing the drinks.  If you want your drinks right away and to keep them coming fast, sit at a machine right outside the service bar or by the waitress' well.  Stop any waitress that walks by, hand her the red and say, "Can you give this to the waitress in this area and ask her to bring me a double shot of Jager (or whatever)?"  This will work most of the time.  When she brings your drink, find out her name, hand her another red and ask her if she can bring you another on her way back.  Keep tipping, and you'll get drinks.

If you do order from a bar or lounge, you'll have to pay for every shot, and the shots are pre-measured from the gun or a jigger.  You might find a bartender who will freepour, and if he does and you can see that he really is giving you a long shot and he charges you for only one shot, make sure you tip him at least a five.  I know that's a lot of money for one drink, but they don't set the prices.


Dollie- Found your site from the Las Vegas Forum. One of the locals put up your site.

My dad always said a tip was for the service. He always tipped good...for good service and not as good for poor.  He used a plus and minus scale.

I have been down to Vegas many times and always tip each time for my water.

You had me rolling about the "really I take hundreds", and the "I have a pussy"... ordering... It amazes me how some people are.

I know you see them all the time...(did you get Ben's autograph?)

Well I am off to Bally's March 1st for a few days. If you are there or Paris and the craps tables are your station, and a guy orders a bottled water and tips you $5 when he orders...my name is Erik

Have a super week.

God Bless,

Erik

Thanks for your e-mail.  I'm on maternity leave so I won't get a chance to meet you.  I did work at Bally's years ago, but I haven't been there in years.  Paris is beautiful, I'm sure you'll love it.  I hope it doesn't rain while you're here!  Let me know how your visit goes!

P.S.  No, I never did get Ben's autograph...sigh!
 


What happened to your Ben Jacobs? I didn't see him on tv. Did I miss him or was he full if B.S.? Congrats on your baby.

M96jack

I have no idea where my Ben Jacobs went...and he was so cute too!  I don't think he was full of B.S., but obviously he didn't make it.  Maybe he was just a so-so singer, not good enough to make the cut, but not bad enough to show on TV.  One of the cocktail waitresses I work with auditioned.  She's a pretty good singer, but she didn't make it past the first audition.  (You have to audition for the producers before you can audition for Paula, Randy, and Simon.)  They told her that to make it past them you have to (in their opinions) be really good, have "star" potential, or be so bad that you make good ratings.  Maybe the secret is to suck really badly at the first audition, then wow the judges later.


Hi Dollie,

Its me Divine living now here in vegas for a month!! I saw your beautiful website...

Im interested to work as a cocktail waitress, maybe you can help me where to start and how?

You said in your website that its need to be a part of a UNION? is that a training center?

I appreciate your help!

God bless you!

DD

The union is not a training center, they just take your money and send you to casinos that are hiring.  They aren't an employment agency either; they don't guarantee you a job or anything.  You don't need to join the union, but most big hotels are union, so if you apply without being referred from the union, you most likely won't even be considered.  That's because they have to hire union employees first.  You can also go to each hotel's web site and apply online.  This is actually a good idea because they will have a list of available jobs.  If a hotel isn't hiring cocktail waitresses, they won't even take your application, so it will save you a lot of footwork.


Hi from the Great White North,

Where did the snow go? Damn Canadian groundhog forecast an early spring, even though the one in the States predicted 6 more weeks of winter. Those pesky rodents are just like politicians: can't agree on anything.

But, I digress. I noticed you spelled whisky right (without that sneaky Irish "e"). I'll contribute the following observation -when I was young, single and had most of my faculties, I hung around with a Rhodesian (the place is now called Zaire.

I believe) who made Shandy (Shanty?) with that dreaded ginger beer mixed with lager. That makes more sense than lemonade, but the Brits are a peculiar bunch at the best of times.

Happy Trails,

Ron.

I didn't know Canada had a groundhog.  Of course you have groundhogs, I just didn't know they predicted the weather too.  Well, if "winter" means continuous rain, then I think Punxsutawney Phil was right.  I'd rather have snow! 

I never understood the Shandy thing, but then again, I can't stand Red Bull either.


Hey Dollie:

Congratulations on your beautiful baby!  Hope you're doing okay.

I thought you'd appreciate this story.  My partner and I were in Vegas with a married couple who were friends of ours.  We hadn't seen them in a long time and I always thought they were "frugal" (even though he has a great job and she's never had to work in 25 years), but now we know they are CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP.

We had comps for two rooms, so it cost them nothing, but do you think they could even spare $5 for their housekeeper?  Then they bitched about not getting washcloths or fresh soap.  I told them, "It wouldn't kill you to leave a tip.  The room is free, after all."  I know they never did.  They wouldn't take the bus "because it cost $2" and walked all the way from NYNY to the Stardust one day while we had the car.

Then (and this is the part I thought you'd be interested in) we were in a casino.  The husband was busy at a VP machine, playing his single quarter at a time, and a cocktail waitress came up and took orders.  He asked for water, and when she brought it, he said, "Thanks" and turned back to his machine.  I was standing near him and said in a loud voice, "Hi there.  I'm sure my friend meant to give you a gratuity, so let me take care of it."  And I handed her a fiver.  She was very appreciative.  I don't think we'll be traveling with them again.  Ugh, I hate cheap people!!!!

Best wishes to you and your family.

Drew

Too bad about your friends.  I don't understand why people who are cheap come to Vegas.  I mean, I know that everyone loves free stuff, and nobody wants to waste money, but they really are the only ones who suffer by hanging on to every penny.  If the bus is only $2.00, it's worth the ride, unless they enjoy wasting half their day walking!  Some people just don't get it, even when you're right there telling them how it should be done.  The waitress was lucky to have you around, and your friends were lucky too, because they probably wouldn't have gotten any service otherwise!


Dollie,

Let me tell you...went all over.  I had never been to the Hard Rock or the Palms, but heard it was a younger crowd - loved them both!  The Ghost Bar at the top of the Palms is the coolest bar I've ever seen.  Spent most of my "gambling" time at the Stratosphere's craps table.  Any place cool that I'm missing?

Anyhow, I did have a couple of questions on tipping, and because you are THE authority, what better place to ask?  First, I don't drink while gambling (house has a big enough edge without my helping!)  but always tip a red for iced tea or coffee.  Now would you and your colleagues be offended if I tipped a red the 1st time around and then switched to $1s on subsequent drinks?  I never knew $1 was the "going" rate...not that it's going to change my behavior ;-)

Also, are you supposed to tip the hotel guy who opens the door to a cab for you?  Someone told me to tip only if he carried stuff for you, but I could never quite figure that one out.

Actually, I'm trying to put together another trip on President's Day weekend - love those long weekends!

Thanks for teaching us the "right" way!

Victor

------------------------------------------------

Dollie,

I'm heading out to Vegas for my first time ever, on Monday the 5th! I'm very excited about the whole trip!!

I saw your website, and found it very informative!! I really appreciate the service the waitresses provide, plus most are very beautiful, and pleasant people!! I like to have fun with everyone, including all the staff at the casino's, but don't want to be considered rude or not polite.

I will always tip a dollar a drink as you recommend, but my question is:

Is it okay to tip the waitress $5 the first time you see her, to get your attention, and then tip only a dollar for each drink after (unless you hit a jackpot or something like that) ?? How do you view this type of customer?? I usually do this, but maybe that's not the right thing to do.

Please advise!

Thanks,

Rich

Here's the thing about tipping in Vegas...everybody takes tips!  Actually, there are some people who are not allowed to take tips, like pit bosses and slot managers, but they won't be offended if you offer, and sometimes they'll take it and give it to an employee.  Even though I work in a tipping job, it does irritate me that everyone has their hands out.  Personally, I have never tipped a door opener, but yes, they do accept tips, but I don't know how much is expected.

Now, about tipping a red on the first drink, then a dollar on all the rest...here's the thing...when you give a red you're establishing yourself as a good tipper, someone who deserves and will (usually) get better service, better quality drinks, etc.  If you change to a dollar, the waitress is going to think either she did something to piss you off, or you were "tricking" her into thinking you were worth the extra steps.  She'll give you a couple chances to redeem yourself, but if you continue to give "only" a dollar, she may stop serving you iced tea in a tall glass ("I'm sorry, we ran out of tall glasses."), or no longer make sure your coffee is hot and fresh.  I'm not saying every waitress will do this, or that you deserve it, I'm just saying it may happen.  Maybe you've experienced that already.  It's a psychological thing; a dollar is a good tip, but not if you start out tipping more.  Here's what I suggest you do.  Start out by giving a dollar for each drink.  Then, when you know that you will be having your last drink, give a red.  Believe me, the waitress will be much happier this way.  And if you get the same waitress again (if she remembers you), or if she sees you in another waitress' station, she'll say, "That guy tips a dollar at first, but if you take care of him, he'll give you a red."


Hi,

    Found your site by accident but found it very informative as well as entertaining!  As I was perusing your site I came across the story of the birth of your baby!  Congratulations!  Just a note to say you seem like a really cool down to earth person and I do appreciate knowing the proper etiquette for a gambler or even as a patron in a local watering hole!  Hugs and Best Wishes to you and yours!  ~Smitty, Annapolis Maryland

Thanks for the good wishes, and for letting me know you enjoy my web site, that was very nice of you.


Congratulations on the birth of Joshua!  It sounds like you both must be doing well by now if you're back to enjoying "American Idol."  I hope this is a really blessed time for all of you.  Though I am looking forward to you returning to work and hearing more "war stories."  :)

Thanks for sharing so much with us,
Jim in San Diego

Thank you!  I have to say, I'm enjoying being a mommy much more than being a cocktail waitress.  And now that American Idol is on, well, I just don't have time for anything else!


Your favorite TV show comes to your town, a fellow cocktail waitress moves on to the next round, and you don't post an opinion on your blog?  For shame!  Let Daddy feed the baby and give us fans a quick line or two.

A Loyal Fan, Sam in Hawaii

Yes, I know.  And my pal Ben, a guy I met who auditioned for American Idol here, said he would be on TV and he wasn't!  Geez, that was a disappointment.


Dear Dollie,

I read your webpages, and found them very intersting. You have a knack for writing, and are good at inserting humor (and humanity) into your writing.

I haver just returned from Vegas, and while I enjoyed my vacation, I was surprised by the amount of verbal abuse some of the cocktail waitresses received. ( Some customers made some pretty crude comments within earshot of the waitress.) Is this typical in the day of a cocktail waitress ?

Okay, besides trying to tip well, being polite and respectful, and throwing in the occasional compliment, what else makes a good customer ?? ( I did get a smile out of one waitress when I wrapped my tip around a chocolate Santa....any other suggestions?? )

Hope you are having a good week,

Andy

Verbal abuse isn't really a daily occurrence.  It may happen more often with certain crowds in certain atmospheres, like around really drunk guys or in a club.  Most people are pleasant, and the annoyances are more with ignorant people than anything else.

Hmmm...tipping well, being polite and respectful, compliments and chocolate Santas...I don't think I could ask for anything more.  Really, you sound like the perfect customer.


(This e-mail was sent to Michael Bluejay, who forwarded it to me.)

Hi,

I was directed to your site from cockeyed.com and wanted to correct you on something. Well, maybe not correct you on something, but tell a story about a bit of disappointment. 

The casino is well stocked, so there's no need to ask whether they have your particular drink -- just order what you want since they probably have it, and if they don't the waitress will tell you.

That's what I thought as well until I made my first Vegas trip 2 years ago. When I drink beer I drink Budweiser. Don't bother to give me crap about Budweiser, as I've heard it all before. But when I drink cocktails, I prefer vodka lemonades. First vodka lemonade I ordered at the Nile Lounge/Bar in the Luxor, the bartender gave me a strange look and 5 minutes later came back with something that resembled a vodka lemonade, but instead was vodka and sour from the gun. Yuck!  Went back to Budweiser. At least that always tastes horrible and I know what to expect.

Moved on to Mandalay Bay. Played some slots. Waitress came up to me and I ordered a vodka lemonade. Same thing. Lousy sour mix. Horrible!

Went to Von's and picked up a 64oz jug of Minute Maid lemonade and some vodka to bring back to my room. (unfortunately, the ice machine only had shaved ice instead of cubes, so my drinks became watered down as soon as the vodka hit the ice, but that's another story)

Scurried on over to the Excalibur. Played some blackjack. Waitress asked what I wanted and I ordered a vodka lemonade. Same damn thing. Sour mix! Sour mix is not lemonade!

Since we were staying at the Luxor, we decided to head back there and get ready for dinner. I can't recall the name of the other bar with video poker embedded in the bar but it was the one opposite of the Nile. I asked the bartender what the deal with lemonade was. He told me that the Luxor doesn't have lemonade. And since Mandalay Bay, Luxor and Excalibur are all one in the same, ownership-wise, that explains the lack of lemonade in those three casinos. I didn't ask why they didn't carry lemonade, but I did ask why, that if they didn't have lemonade and I ordered a vodka lemonade, why nobody told me I would get sour mix instead. He apologized, although he didn't know. Are people really that dense that they can't tell the difference between sour mix and lemonade?

Do I dare rant on how they tried to pass off Jim Beam Black as Jameson?

Regardless, I still tipped even though they should have let me know. I was there to have a good time and can get wasted on anything. It was just a little bit of disappointment, as I ended up getting stuck with drinks each time that I did not order, and someone could have spent 2 seconds stating they didn't have lemonade and I would have been content. I guess this doesn't really have anything to do with tipping as I always tip wherever I go.

Anyway, back to enjoying your site. Take care.

-whisk

Hi Whiskey Mike,
  
Michael Bluejay sent me a copy of your e-mail, so I thought I would respond to your situation.
 
Vodka lemonade is the name of the drink, not the list of ingredients.  In the same way, when you order a Long Island Iced Tea, there is no iced tea in it, it's sweet and sour with a splash of Coke.  When someone orders a lemonade, it is always made with sweet and sour with a splash of 7 UP.  I don't know why the bartender at the Nile bar gave you a strange look when you ordered a vodka lemonade, or not know how to make it, because it's a pretty common drink.  The only thing I can think of is that he was not an experienced bartender, may even have been a barback.  Or he did splash 7 UP in it and you just couldn't taste it.  As far as the waitresses serving you just vodka and sour mix, well, they don't make the drinks, so they have to assume the bartender made the drink the correct way.  Sour mix with or without a splash of 7 UP looks the same, so unless you say something, they don't know if it's the right drink or not.  My question to you is, why didn't you ask the bartender or waitress how the drink was made, instead of ordering the same drink and getting the same "wrong" drink continuously?  You may think it was their job to inform you when you ordered the drink that they don't have lemonade, but they do have lemonade...just not your definition of it!  I have served many vodka lemonades, I have never said, "We don't have lemonade," because we do; it's always been made with sweet and sour with 7 UP.  So you are being served the correct drink.  I can almost guarantee you that any bar, not just the Mandalay Bay properties, will not have real lemonade.
 
Take a look at my Who Orders What page

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