There are many reasons why a player in a casino may want to remove some of their chips from the betting layout and store them out of sight, in a place such as a pocket or purse.
Among the more common motives, especially when in possession of some higher-value chips, is that a player doesn’t wish to bet them and so is storing them away so they don’t get pushed into a betting circle accidentally.
Alternatively, a player may be concerned about losing them, whether unintentionally knocking them onto the floor or having them stolen by a railer when their back is turned. The chips are stored away for safe keeping.
Other, more frequent, casino visitors may be doing it as a method of tricking staff members, in particular the pit bosses.
We have previously highlighted 10 techniques a person could utilise to boost their prospects of earning a comp from a casino.
Ultimately, a player has to justify their worth. With the number-one aim of a casino clearly being to make as much profit as possible, a player that loses continuously holds the biggest worth.
A player’s worth can be calculated by having a pit boss fill in a ratings slip every time they sit down at a table and at intervals during game progression. This can be used to track all sorts of information, such as average bet amount, total time played and an approximate win/loss record.
Once this is entered into a database, a casino will build up a player history and profile.
Comps come in all sizes from free meals, to hotel rooms, to show tickets, to limo travel. Casinos are more likely to hand these over to apparent regular losers, ahead of those who are better at winning than losing.
Imagine visiting a casino 10 times a month and trousering £100 in chips on every visit. Possessing a ratings card that is £1,000 short of what it actually should be could have a major impact on any comp or comps offered.
This could easily be the difference between a cheap buffet or a top-of-the-range room for the night.
The logical move for many would be to attempt to hide only one chip of a high denomination, as this would be far easier to squirrel away in comparison to pockets full of lower denomination chips.
An issue with pocketing higher value chips is that pit bosses are far more focussed on keeping these on their radar. Should one be in play one minute and then gone the next, questions will be asked.
Opting for a mid-value chip that is being widely used is the more sensible move as these still hold some worth, staff are not so bothered about tracking them and there are likely to be more of them in play.
If playing on a full blackjack table where every betting circle is being filled with green chips worth £25 each, if you were to stash one away from time to time, staff would have a much tougher job identifying if any have gone missing and, more importantly, who the culprit is.
The busier the table and more active the players, the easier any hiding becomes.
Obviously, players have to be somewhat discreet if deciding to pocket some chips. Taking the top chip off a winning stack and removing it under the watchful eye of a dealer will generate heat.
Instead, waiting for new players to arrive at a game and harbour the attention of a dealer will provide a clear opportunity, as will getting up for a toilet break.
It is also wise for players to ensure that they have a good number of the chip they wish to hide as it won’t be so noticeable if one is removed from within their stack.
What’s more, players should scramble their stacks and avoid piling up mounds of same-colour chips. Having more of a disorganised stack again makes tracking more difficult.
It has already been mentioned that visitors are more likely to receive a comp if they are viewed as a frequent loser.
Besides a lack of comps, the other problem for regular winners is that they are at risk of being banned. Casinos don’t have much time for skilled players.
By hiding chips, players can also hide their skill level through turning slight profits into subtle losses. Thus, keeping casino security off any scent that they are winning too frequently, which may see them added to a watchlist.
If a player is winning, hiding chips is valuable for both possible comp and ban prevention reasons. If a player is losing, hiding chips is also valuable to inflate any losses for a comps boost.