I usually haven't played tip places with my usual group. I always feel like a dork asking for money and I figured that if the owners of a place couldn't at least do a cover charge, that I was better off staying home, watching trashy movies. My significant other, however did play a lot of them, and on nights when I wasn't booked otherwise, I would come along and we'd do a guitar pull. She brought along little paper cups with a note in each one stating that she was not getting any compensation but what was left in the tip jar, or the cups. She would write thanks at the bottom of the note and leave one at every table. That worked fairly well. Most of the tip places in Chicago have closed up. Some of the stories I heard about management not being sympathetic to musician's needs led me to believe that I was right in generally not playing for tips.