Casinos pay poker dealers minimum wage and buy their health insurance. Poker players pay their real salary.
Ironically, the high limit poker players, tip the dealers the least amount. Dealers depend on the low limit and $1/2 NL players to over tip.
If you are a recreational player, you are a poker dealer's best friend. If you are trying to grind out minimum wage, the dealer is not your friend.
Many poker rooms, like Winstar offer bad beat jackpots. Dealers constantly tell players, its customary for the winners to tip the dealers 10% of their jackpot winnings. Most low limit players actually buy into that BS.
The bad beat jackpot or any other poker room promotion is a tiny part of the enormous rake, which the casino & dealers take from every single pot. Dealers are tipped from every single pot. The casinos and dealers win on every single hand. Both never lose.
Over $220 is taken off the table every hour in a raked poker game. Playing poker in Texas is not illegal. Taking money out of the pot by the house (rake) is illegal.
Unfortunately, the only realistic way to find a good game, where a good player can "take" money from "gamblers" is by going to a poker room like Winstar. Playing poker with friends (home games) is not a way to win money playing poker. But over $5,000 a day is taken from a single table in just one day in a "raked" game.
You have to be a very good player to win. Playing poker is a skill, and the best way to win, is by playing against "gamblers" who make mistakes and depend on luck to win. Winning players have to beat the rake AND the other players.
A poker game with a high rake in a low limit game can't be beat by 95% of the players in the long run. If a good player is able to play enough hours and win back some of the rake through bad beat jackpots and other promotions, he can make minimum wage.
The truth is that less than 5% of low limit poker players can make minimum wage due to the enormous rake and dealer tokes.
If you are lucky enough to win a jackpot, the dealer should be happy with a table share (usually about $250). A table share is generous tip for a dealer. The table share is usually 20% of the jackpot, which is divided between the players not directly involved int he bad beat.
The dealer has nothing to do with you winning any hand. But the dealer can and does cause players to lose hands, by making mistakes and being careless. I respect dealers, who respect low limit players. Low limit players should be respected by the dealers who constantly claim that they work for minimum wage.
The dealers make well over minimum wage every day and the money comes directly from the players at the table. A low limit "grinder" has very few opportunities to make over minimum wage.
If you want to make friends with the dealers, then by all means tip them 10% of your once in a lifetime $10,000 jackpot. If you want to be a winning poker player, do the math and act accordingly.