Why do casinos use chips instead of cash?

Why do casinos use chips instead of cash?


Chips are the worldwide currency of gambling and poker games. There is a lot of money spinning in gambling establishments, but it all starts with these little round chips. So why are casinos using them instead of cash?




The main reason casinos prefer them over cash is because they draw the line between player and money. It is easier for players to bet big with chips. Since this is not actual cash, the easier it is to risk it.

Basically, this is a matter of psychology. If a player wants to bet $ 500, they may have a lot of bills in their hands. Real money gives you a chance to spend it for a long time. But if you have one small $ 500 chip in your hands, it may take only a second to lose this amount.




They also provide an additional level of security for the gambling establishment. Casinos strictly control their number and use a number of tricks to prevent criminals from taking advantage of them.

A few years ago, a thief robbed the Bellagio casino and stole $ 1.5 million in chips. After calculating the losses, the owners noticed that a significant part of the stolen goods consisted of $ 25,000 denominations.

A few days later, they announced that they would stop using chips of this denomination in their establishment and they would become useless after a certain period of time. This put the thief in an awkward position and was caught trying to sell the stolen goods through the poker forums TwoPlusTwo.com.

Some casinos equip chips with radio frequency identification (RFID). Thanks to this, you can protect yourself from fraud. If someone brings filigree fakes, they will not be identified. When RFID-enabled chips are stolen, the casino can determine which ones are missing and withdraw them from circulation at their establishment.

Also, the RFID identifier allows the casino to see dealer errors or can catch players trying to bet extra chips after bets close in order to track how chips are spinning in the casino, etc. Casinos can use this information to optimize profits, track trends and avoid losing money.


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One of the reasons casinos use chips is a matter of convenience. In intense games, there is no time to wait while players are looking for money for every bet. Usually people fold money in half, they don’t fold easily, they are difficult to track and they take up a lot of space.

High stakes games would further complicate these issues. Imagine playing $4000 – $8000 fixed limit poker with a bunch of hundred dollar bills. It just won’t work, and the small round denominations make life easier for everyone.