Poker chips are found in every cardroom across the world. They come in different colours and represent various values, serving as the currency for games. Although many players take casino chips for granted, many casinos are forced to bin chips for a multitude of reasons. When this happens, the casino orders new chips to replace the previous batch – with players none the wiser. In this guide, we’ll explain why casino chips get replaced and explain why casino chips are worth money.
Why Do Casinos Replace Chips?
You might not notice when a casino swaps poker chips in favour of a new batch. It happens more often than you think. Both high-value and low-value chips are chopped and changed regularly, especially during rebranding at a casino. See below for detailed information on why you might see a new casino chip denomination at your local establishment.
Damage to Casino Chips
Many simple issues can cause irreparable damage to the chips. Transporting chips to another area of the building, cleaning, and even just dropping chips on the floor by gamblers can result in dents or snaps. To alleviate these issues, the best cardrooms purchase high-quality gambling equipment. If a chip cannot be fixed, it will be discarded by a board-approved disposal company. To rapidly exchange the chips, casinos keep extra ones in the cellar.
Game Integrity & Security
All poker chip denominations are cleaned and examined throughout the year. During this process, casinos that use chips with ultraviolet markings shine a UV light on their stacks. Any chips that fail to light up are considered a security risk, meaning players have brought fakes to the table.
Should a casino discover that a vast array of their chips are fraudulent, the owners may throw out their entire stock in exchange for new ones. Costly as it may be, this is necessary for the company’s integrity.
RFID Technology in Poker Chips
A casino chip was usually viewed as a simple token of currency. Today, embedded RFID tags have resulted in chips that can broadcast unique identifiers through particular radio frequencies.
Radio frequency identification (RFID) allows casinos to scan a casino chip using an intelligent tool. The chip releases a short burst of energy through radio waves, informing the casino whether it is part of the business’s collection. As this can be expensive, most casinos only incorporate RFID technology for higher denomination chips.
RFID is used to prevent cheating at the table, alert managers of stolen chips, and improve the game’s legitimacy by eliminating dealer errors. Gambling is a serious hobby, so this technology is imperative. When scanners detect a faulty or fake chip, the casino will begin the offboarding process.
How Casinos Eliminate Counterfeit Chips
Casinos take several measures to eliminate counterfeit chips and ensure the integrity of their gaming operations. Fake chips can disrupt the fairness of the games and pose a significant security risk. Here are several methods casinos use to stop and catch counterfeit coins:
- Chip Authentication: When chips are returned to the casino cashier or exchanged for cash, they are carefully inspected and authenticated. This process may involve using UV light.
- Chip Design and Materials: Casinos often use unique and proprietary chip designs with specific colours, patterns, and security features. These features include holograms, UV markings, embedded security devices, and RFID.
- Inventory Control: To monitor the movement and use of chips, casinos employ strict inventory control procedures.
- Surveillance Cameras: Casinos have advanced security measures, including cameras covering the gaming floor, the chip room, and other crucial places.
New Chip Design
Casino chips represent the casino very efficiently, whether land-based or real money online casino platforms. You’ll notice the casino’s logo and title when you look at a branded chip. Therefore, casinos deem the design of casino chips critical. To provide a unique and challenging-to-counterfeit product, the design of new casino chips combines security features with aesthetic elements.
Entire Casino Rebrand
As mentioned above, the rebranding of casinos will often bring new chip designs to the fore. When a corporation has bought out a casino or switched to a new name, the team usually creates a new chip identity. The board hires a reputable company to claim their out-of-date chips and adequately dispose of them.
Do Casinos Keep Old Chips?
Casinos very rarely hold onto expired chips. You can often head to eBay to find high value chips from legendary casinos – particularly from the US – and buy them at a mark-down price. This is a great way to impress your friends or decorate your gaming shelf.
Like dice, casino chips are a gaming token that has been around for decades. This familiarisation has made casino chips valuable to many bettors, but it’s also the driving factor behind a niche criminal market. In the minds of casino owners, casino chips expire the moment they’ve been stolen or reused. So, the question ‘How often do casinos change chips?’ can be answered simply. Similar to the answer behind why to change cards at the casino, they will be changed when the board feels they have no further use for the casino due to damage, security risks, or rebranding.