reader says: One question has bothered me. Would you
counsel in favor or against "rat-holing"
chips during casino play? Las Vegas casinos so closely
monitor my quantities of chips that I usually attempt,
on a $500 marker, to squirrel away $100-$200 in chips
during an hour of play, in order to exaggerate losses
and minimize wins. In your opinion, does the risk
outweigh the benefit, particularly with "the
eye in the sky"?
I do not
like to have a large pile of chips on the table in
front of me. It attracts too much attention from other
customers. I buy in for only $100 to $300 at a time.
If chips start to pile up in front of me, I stick
some in my pocket. But I am not sneaky about it. Sometimes
I will ask the dealer to exchange some of mine for
chips of a higher denomination, and I explain that
I want to put them in my pocket.
often remove chips from the table and stash them in
pockets or purses. Therefore, doing so will not mark
you as a counter. However, casino people are suspicious
of customers who establish credit, take out markers
to buy chips, and then exchange chips for cash. If
such customers never pay off their markers, they are
stealing from the casino. It happens. If you are playing
to front money instead of credit, you should not be
suspect. If anyone asks you why you are putting chips
aside, you can make up a believable reason. For example,
"My wife/ husband gets the bonus every time I
get a natural." Or, "I found a system that
works. Every time I win three hands in a row, I put
a bet in my pocket."
player who pleads for doubled stakes one week while
losing should not object on another occasion when
he is winning.
the player who has pleaded for the increased stakes
to get even loses even more during that last period.
If this regularly happens, particularly to someone
who cannot afford the loss, you need to decide just
how serious you are. Whether or not you have a moral
duty to look out for another player's best interests
really depends on whether the game truly is a "friendly"
game, or whether, as is often the case in poker, everyone
is trying to maximize his own winning chances.