How to tell a Real Casino and a Fake One

casino chips

How to tell a Real Casino From a Fake One


Seasoned poker players have become synonymous with their chip stack while others prefer to have the chips in their hands as they think about their next move. The chips have become part of the gambling casinos, so much that some casinos have even customized them to be only associated with the establishment. Casino companies have resorted to spending more in terms of the workforce and production of the chips instead of cash. Casino chips are in use for more than just a tradition but for the following reasons:

Security Purposes

The chips provide an added layer of security to the casino owners as they have complete control over suspicious activities that some crafty clients may try to do. Cases of counterfeited casino chips are not new. A good example is the robbery incident that happened in the Bellagio casino in December 2010. The casino was robbed of more than 1.5 million dollars’ worth of chips, and after receiving credible information, they had to discontinue the production of the 25,000 dollar chips. South Korea has also reported similar cases as well as other parts of the world.

Casinos have had to be more creative, and some have installed radio frequency identification tags (RFID) in their chips to detect and track suspicious chips. With these systems, the casinos can be able to track missing chips, and it makes it hard to cash in with the counterfeit chips. The system also makes stolen chips worthless as it removes them from their inventory once they leave the establishment.

Data Collection

Casinos that have embraced the use of RFID tags in their chips can use the technology to collect data such as fraud, chip movements in the casino, and dealer mistakes. With the collected information, the operators and owners can track the playing trend of the gamblers, prevent fraudulent activities, and streamline their profits. With future advancements in the radio frequency identification tags, casinos will be able to determine how skilled a player is or be able to identify the owners of card counters.

Mental Separation

Although casino chips have monetary value, many gamblers are driven into believing that it is not actual cash encouraging them to stake higher. The chips create ‘false’ thinking making them not be afraid of staking high with their hard-earned money. A saying goes that it is easier to bet when not holding real cash.

Create Simplicity

Casino chips have made it simple as the use of different bills in a table can lead to time wastage. It eases the gamblers the trouble of having to count the bills in their pockets. Furthermore, it makes it easy for players to place their bets in high-stakes and fast-paced games. The casino chips also make it easier for the dealers to process payouts fast and efficiently as they do not have to deal with a bunch of bills all the time.

How to Identify Real Casino Chips

Casino chips require one to learn proper ways of identifying the authentic chips. Without this knowledge, you risk losing a lot of money from the fake casino chips that find its way into the casinos. Here is some of the basic knowledge that you will require having to avoid being duped.

1. Know what you are looking at

One of the most important ways of identifying authentic poker chips is by collecting as much information as possible about the casino and the poker chips you are interested in. It is also important to note that even if large companies operate and owner the casinos, the casinos all have specific and unique chips. For these reasons, casinos do not usually accept chips from other establishments, although some special exceptions may be made. This exception is common in some Nevada and Las Vegas casinos.

2. Security features

Another way of identifying real casino chips is by looking at the security features. Most, if not all, of the casino chips manufacture, is in such a way that the security features are incorporated into them. Some of the chips also have integrated artwork, different color combinations, and edge spots on them increasing their quality. It requires knowledge of all these features to be able to identify real casino chips depending on a particular casino.

3. UV marks

Under the UV marks in casino chips is another important way of being able to identify genuine casino chips. The makes are usually visible on the inlays of the chips. The chips also are programmed with Radio Frequency Identification technology that helps authentic the chips. This has made it very easy as all the chips are registered in the database. In addition to this technology, there is also special equipment that can be used to identify chips.

4. Uniqueness

From time to time, casinos release unique theme and limited edition chips depending on the season and occasion. To be able to identify a real chip accurately, you must be able to keep up with these changes and releases. This will give you a better understanding and be able to analyze the chips to determine its authenticity.

Additionally, casinos have put stringent measures on their chips to prevent them from counterfeit. Such measures include the casino chips having exact design and color and accurate weight.

You will also find that most casinos have rules that govern the chips in their establishments. One such rule is that any chip with an unclear owner found on the floor of the casino is surrendered back to the casino. Those found trying to cash in on unclaimed chips may be thrown out and in some instances, be banned from setting foot in the casino. Some of these rules are, however, very difficult to enforce making some casinos adopt less strict rules. Additional, casinos have made it possible to track high-value chips to prevent them from being counterfeited.

Interestingly, with all the stringent measures set up by the casinos to curb instances of fake chips, some crafty people still try to use counterfeit chips in the casinos. If caught, counterfeiting casino chips attract charges such as manufacturing and possessing a cheating device, felony and burglary charges that can make you cool your heels in prison for not less than six years. Perfect examples of such cases include that of Leonard Martin Stone. He presented fake 125 dollar chips to be cashed by the cashier. Luckily enough, the cashier was able to notice that the casino chip was not genuine and they searched him. The investigators discovered acrylic paint and brush; scissors, glue, and casino chip insert sheets. He later confessed and was convicted to federal prison for six years.

Despite being knowledgeable on how to identify real casino chips, it is also of importance to note that casino chips also have expiry periods. The casino owners, however, determine the expiry dates, and some may take months, years, or even decades to expire. Furthermore, casino owners may decide to discontinue some of the chips if they suspect or discover suspicious activities that may result in them making losses. However, before throwing away the expired or discontinued casino chips, you should try to find out their values as some rare casino chips might fetch a fortune in the market from chip collectors.

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