How to Tell a Real Casino Chip from a Fake One
Players visiting gambling capitals like Atlantic City or Las Vegas find casino chips pretty often. And although such a find may seem to you equivalent to real money at first glance, this is not always the case. The fact of the matter is if you try to cash out a found chip or use it in a certain gambling establishment, and it turns out to be fake, you may face serious consequences. In our article, you will learn essential information that will help you distinguish fake chips from real ones and avoid potential troubles.
How Do You Know If Your Chips Are Real?
Contrary to popular misconception, casino chips are not strictly standardized, and each gambling establishment can design them in its own way. It means that the popular myth about a single officially allowed chip weight of 11,5 grams is incorrect. Moreover, different casinos can vary this chip’s parameter within a certain range. For example, many Las Vegas establishments use chips that weigh 8,5 grams, and this figure can reach up to 10,6 grams.
You can always understand which casino your chip belongs to by checking its marking and cash it out there. At the same time, if the operator owns several casinos, it may allow you to exchange your chips at these establishments regardless of where you won them. The only catch is that this chip cashing has certain limits.
Another significant feature of a real chip is its colour. While casinos have relied on their branded unique colours in the past, operators have stopped following this trend over the years. Instead, they came up with a standardized colour palette that reflects the exact chip cost across all establishments. The cheapest chips equal to $1 are either white or blue ones. The red chip will bring you $5, the green one - $25 and the black one - $100. As for the purple and orange chips, they are the most expensive and equal to $500 and $1000, respectively.
At first glance, this modest colour variation may seem ineffective to you in terms of preventing counterfeit chip manufacturing, but it is a common misconception. The thing is that no one forbids casinos to use completely different shades of the mentioned colours, which means that it is complicated to recreate a convincing fake chip.
Besides that, the colours can serve as a guide for players in terms of the bet size in table games. The tables marked with green are suitable for high rollers as they allow you to join the game for $25. On the other hand, the red indicator means that the dealer accepts bets from $5.
How Do Casinos Prevent Chips Falsification?
Chips’ falsification is a tricky and dangerous idea for several reasons. In addition to standardized parameters like weight or design, gambling establishments mark them with ink that you cannot see without an ultraviolet lamp. Besides that, expensive chips that cost more than $100 have an extra layer of security as casinos track them relying on radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology. It helps establishments to prevent theft and identify counterfeiters pretty fast.
In addition, high-value chips allow gambling establishments to track the profits and losses of numerous tables, as well as understand whether dealers handle their job greatly or not. Therefore, even if you decide to use a fake chip, and the dealer does not notice it, the casino’s security will always be able to distinguish this chip from the real one.
Casinos know about all the gamblers who are lucky enough to win significant sums thanks to the mentioned tracking technology and advanced video monitoring systems. And if the establishment finds fake chips among the real ones, the player will end up in the black book and face some pretty severe troubles.
What Should You Do with The Found Chips?
You may assume that you can leave the found chips to yourself and exchange them without any difficulties, but this is not the case. Casinos understand that the entertainment atmosphere and alcoholic beverages make many players less attentive, so they can easily lose some of their winnings. The administration can return such lost chips to the gambler. However, if it cannot determine their owner, the establishment will put these chips back to the total pot.
According to this rule, casinos will consider the use of chips that did not belong to you initially as a crime. But at the same time, many players do not try to cash out such finds right away - instead, they use these chips on their table, and dealers accept them without any questions.
Of course, some establishments are not so strict about lost chips and do not force guests to return them. However, if you visit a casino with the hope of making some money with the found chips, the administration will consider your actions inappropriate and ask you to leave or ban you so that you do not disturb other players with your behaviour.
Besides that, you can find chips outside the gambling establishment. If you really played at some casino and forgot to cash out some chips, you can go back there and discuss this situation with the administration. In most cases, its representatives will watch video surveillance recordings to make sure whether you are telling the truth or not and will cash those chips in case of the correctness of your claim. On the other hand, if you try to use the found chips while playing poker or another game, the casino’s security service may find out that you are not their initial owner and accuse you of stealing them.
Faking Chips Is Not Worth It
Even with all the security measures and potential consequences mentioned above, some people try to cheat casinos using fake chips. A gambling establishment can easily detect such actions and accuse an adventurous player of fraud. As a result, a faker can go to prison for up to 6 years, even if he/she created fake chips worth $100- $200. Given the fact that this amount of money is unlikely to help gamblers get a massive win, counterfeiting chips is a pretty stupid idea.
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Frequently asked questions
What are the features of a real casino chip?
A real chip weighs no more than 10,6 grams and has a standardized colour and casino marking.
If I find a casino chip, can I keep it?
No. In most cases, gambling establishments consider such finds to be theft, and you need to return all casino chips found.
What are the most expensive chips?
Orange chips are the most profitable and cost $1000.
Which chips will make me the least money?
As a rule, casinos paint these chips white or blue.