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Different Casinos, Different Rules

Frank Scoblete 07:22 May 30th, 2006 Games

The casino is like another country; it has its own rules, language and culture. Each table game is like a province in a country, with its own distinct dialects and mores. To not feel like an unwanted foreigner, you have to understand the language and culture and then you must assimilate. The casino is Lady Luck’s melting pot. And there’s only one way to do things when in a casino – the casino’s way!

The Buy-in

Before you can play any casino table game, you have to exchange your cash for chips. Here certain rules apply. Never hand your money directly to the dealer. He isn’t allowed to take anything directly from the hands of a player. In fact, a dealer isn’t even allowed to shake the hands of a player! You must put your money on the layout. The dealer will take the money on the layout and spread it for the camera and the floorperson to check. The floorperson is the man or woman not in uniform who oversees several tables in a pit. A pit is a group of tables, usually of the same game, in a given area of the casino. The person in charge of a pit is a pit boss!  Once the floorperson okays the amount of the buy-in, the dealer then takes chips out of his chip tray and counts out stacks that will equal the amount of the buy-in and stuffs the cash into a hole in the table where it is collected in a drop-box. Again, the floorperson checks to make sure that the dealer has counted everything out correctly. When the dealer gets the nod, he slides the stacks of chips to the player, usually saying, “Good luck.”

The casinos are sticklers for the proper buy-in procedures. They have to be. The most frequent source of theft in a casino is from the casino’s own personnel. Of course, even with all the proper procedures in place, cheating dealers can sometimes be so ingenious in their tricks that they are able to rip off their employers anyway.  I saw a video, presented at a security seminar, where a dealer was able to shovel chips directly into her sleeve as she counted out chips or collected chips from losing bets. Once she had several chips up her sleeve, she would then raise her arm slightly and the chips would go down into her shirt. If you weren’t told what to look for, you would never have seen the move – it was that fast!  You’ll note that many casinos now have dealers wearing shirts that have sleeves that cling tightly to the wrists and aprons that surround their pants or dresses.

Betting Procedures

Casino chips come in all sorts of denominations and colors. Usually, $1 chip are white (sometimes blue); $5 chips are red; $25 chips are green; $100 chips are black; $500 chips are purple; $1,000 chips are gold or grey, and $2,000 chips are orange. It’s rare to see denominations larger than $2,000, except in some high roller rooms. The sizes of the chips vary as well. The $1 to $500 chips are the same size but, usually, the $1,000 and higher denominations are somewhat larger.

Once you have your chips, you can begin to bet. However, even here there are certain protocols that must be followed. When you are betting different denominations of chips, you must place the highest denomination on the bottom and go up accordingly. So if you want to bet $131, you’d put a black chip on the bottom, a green chip on top of that, a red chip on the green chip, and a white chip on the red chip.

With the exception of roulette, all casino table games within the same casino use the same denominations and colors. Because individual bets from a variety of players are stacked next to and upon one another, roulette games have many different colored chips, the denominations of which are determined by the player. When a player buys in at roulette, he’ll state what he wants the value of his particular colored chips to be. Although a player can, at times, bet the normal casino chips at roulette, he can usually do so if he’s the only one betting accordingly. Each individual game will have certain protocols as well. Suffice it to say that if you want to know how to hitch a ride, or if you’re trying to figure out the nature of the class you’re taking, it’s always best to ask first, before you get yourself upset or into hot water. Frank Scoblete’s website is: