Casino Chip Technology

In the past, people brought valuable items, such as coins, ivory, and gold, to poker tables. Gambling with these items was messy and encouraged fraud. Casinos decided they had to do something to standardize gambling.

Poker tables in the early 1800s introduced the first gambling tokens. The problem with these tokens was that they lacked markings, and this made them easy to copy. There are stories of poker games ending with more gambling tokens (chips) than they had started with. Later, companies introduced chips made of ivory. These chips had unique markings, mostly hand-engraved, to minimize fraud.

Later in the 1880s, there were better chips made of clay. The industry quickly adopted them because they were harder to fake. They also presented a perfect opportunity to standardize the entire industry. Today, casino chips have become the icons of gambling. People cannot think of casinos without thinking about casino chips. Gambling is now legal in certain locations. This is different than in the past. Then, many areas prohibited gambling and underworld criminal gangs ran the gambling halls.

The Modern Chips

casino chips

From the beginning, the purpose of chips was to standardize gaming and improve gameplay. Most importantly, casinos could stack the chips easily, and they represented value accurately. Today, modern gaming chips are only valuable within casinos.

Chips today are made of a ceramic composite. They have numbers on them and weigh approximately 10 grams. While chips might appear identical, especially to people who do not understand them, they are not. They have distinctive serial numbers and contain modern technologies, such as a microdot and/or a hologram. Additionally, a unique UV marking technology marks the chips that we use today.

Modern chips also use the RFID technology. With this technology, there is a microchip placed inside the casino chip. This microchip is electronically tagged to hold important information about the casino chip. This information includes its activity as well as its value. RFID chips also have distinctive serial numbers that can be easily recognized by RFID readers. For example, someone steals a chip from a casino or takes it illegally. The RFID reader can deactivate it, which makes it worthless outside the casino.

The poker tables of today also have RFID sensors. These sensors allow dealers to accurately determine the value of chips, expedite games, and gauge the authenticity of gamers’ chips. Casinos also use RFID chips to persuade gamers to play more.

Are RFID Chips Effective?

In 2011, a criminal named Anthony Carleo stole chips worth more than a million dollars from a casino. Unfortunately for him, once he left with the chips, the casino remotely activated the RFID technology in the chips. This deactivated the stolen chips and made them worthless. Later that year, several undercover cops posing as potential buyers arrested Carleo. This incident proves that the RFID technology used in today’s chips is effective. Players have better luck on the tables than stealing the chips from casinos.

A Chip’s Life and Getting Rid of Chips

Modern chips act as currency in casinos. It is nearly impossible to step into a casino anywhere in the world and not find these gambling tokens. The present-day chips give players an experience of a lifetime and offer a lot of bonuses to players. In addition, a person cannot steal the chips and use them elsewhere. These are clear indications that they will be around for a very long time.

Chips vary in value and, in most cases, the values range from $1 to $5,000. It is important to note that denominations and the colors of the chips, can vary from one place to another. Most of the time, casinos limit denominations exceeding $5,000 to particular high-end rooms.

Initially, people held burial rituals when getting rid of their poker chips. Some dumped them into the oceans and lakes while others dumped them in the deserts, especially the residents of Nevada. However, things are different now. Casinos are solely responsible for what happens with poker chips.

Poker Chip Technology: the Meaning of Various Terms

The gambling industry has put in place various security measures to protect chips. Therefore, it is important to understand what the various technologies are and how they work.

So, what is RFID? Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is a technology that relies on electromagnetic coupling in the radio frequency to accurately identify something. RFID technology is increasingly becoming the next big thing. All industries have started to incorporate it into their operations.

This device functions the same way as the barcodes on the backs of debit and credit cards. It offers a distinctive identifier for a given person, animal, or an object. The RFID device must scan something to retrieve the unique identifying data.

What’s an RFID poker chip? Today’s chips and poker tables have RFID readers to make it easier for dealers to monitor various tables. Dealers cannot steal these chips since they have to account for each one.

What do players get from RFID chips? Players stand to benefit a lot from RFID chips. To begin with, players enjoy better game security since card counting, as well as chip counterfeiting, is almost impossible. They also make things easier for casino managers to calculate the percentage of wins and losses and wagers of players.

What’s the UV security print? This is a high-quality security element used to protect materials in the chips from copying or forging. This security feature relies on a blend of infrared and ultraviolet inks. These inks ensure the UV marks of different players are only visible under infrared or ultraviolet light. Serial coding enhances the security of the various products used in the chips.

Can I Get Casino Chips?

People have an opportunity to acquire poker chips. The best way to do this is to visit casinos that offer them. Casinos advise players to be extra careful and consult with dealers before taking gambling tokens off the table. In most cases, players cannot take off with chips, especially during tournaments.

Most of the chips you see in casinos have a technology embedded in them that protects them from forgery. Therefore, it’s important to learn the rules and regulations that govern a certain casino before taking chips off the premises. The cashier at the entrance of the casino can provide this information. You can also learn from cashiers if the casino offers special chips to collectors.

How to Tell the Quality of a Chip

Today, you can buy chips online. People who buy and sell casino chips are in a position to tell a chip’s quality by looking at it. In most cases, collectors recognize the quality of chips by looking at the edge, the hot stamp, and the inlay. The condition of a poker chip determines its grade. The grades include:

  • Poor (P). The edges of the chips appear rounded and the chips might have deep scratches.
  • Well Used (WU). These are chips with worn-off inlays and stamps but can still be read.
  • Average (A). These chips have seen at least a month or a year of use.
  • Slightly Used (SU). These are chips with small signs of use.
  • New (N). These chips have never been used.

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Thomas McCoy was born in Bethesda, Maryland and studied finance at the Kogod School of Business at American University in Washington D.C. before heading to New York and a job as a forex trader on Wall Street. Successful enough to launch his own, online forex trading platform, Thomas has long had a keen interest in the places where the worlds of finance and technology meet. As a prolific blogger, Thomas considers himself an expert on cryptocurrencies, casino asset restructuring, and emerging technologies set to change the way people do business.