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Roulette School

Roulette: The Chips

Roulette: The Chips
by Wilson of

First of all, in any casino there are specific chips of differing value. These chips are specially made out of high quality clay or plastic and are about the same size as a silver dollar. Typically casinos use four common values. The most popular chips are in denominations of $1, $5, $25, and $100. The $1 chips are usually colored white or grey and referred to as singles or whites. The $5 chips are red and often called nickels or reds. The $25 chips are green and are called quarters or greens. Finally, the $100 chips are black and go by the same name- blacks.

Be careful when you are dealing with the $1 chips as I have seen a variety of colors ranging from white to light blue, and even yellow. I recommend calling them singles to keep it simple. Some casinos offer high rollers or Whales (big money per hand players) chips of higher value such as $500, $1000, and $5000. Yeah, if you’re playing with $5000 chips you either need to become a student of the game, or you just don’t care and it’s passing time for you. I suggest the latter or you’ll likely be working the drive-thru asking people “would you like fries with that?”


Roulette chips are in a class of their own. In the game of roulette the chips are known as table chips or house chips or colored chips. When you approach a roulette table you will see a ton of odd colored chips stacked high off to the side of the dealer. These are the players’ chips. A player may use regular chips but only if a limited amount of people are at the table, otherwise it becomes to confusing for dealers and players. Basically the idea roulette table will have a different colored chip for each player.

Before you can play roulette or nearly any casino table game you must first buy-in, which simply means converting your cash into casino gaming chips or tokens. I usually find a table that has enough room for me to feel comfortable. I don’t like feeling cramped and sandwiched in at a table especially if I’m investing my hard earned money. Remember to seek out the small sign near the roulette wheel which denotes the table minimum bet.

How does the minimum bet work on a roulette table? For example, if you buy-in at a $5 minimum table the dealer will convert your cash into house chips or table chips. Usually each chip is worth .50 cents or one dollar. In order to reach the minimum bet at the table you will need to place at least ten of your .50 cent chips on the layout. This can be confusing at times because it’s easy to lose track of how many chips you’ve placed on the layout especially at a busy table. Most casinos have $1 chip minimum at their $5 and $10 table, which means the players must bet at least a dollar on each specific bet and ultimately total the table minimum per spin of the wheel.

Some players, who prefer to play for higher stakes, will buy-in for $500 and request $5 or $10 valued chips. However, every roulette table has a maximum bet, which is in place to protect the house from taking a loss over a long period of time. The maximum bet at a roulette table in most major casinos is between $1000 and $3000 for outside bets and $100 for inside bets. This way, the casinos put a “salary cap” (if you will) on the potential player’s winnings per bet, and secure their beloved casino edge. Luck to ya.

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