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Stashing Chips

A 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.

Gamblers 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."

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Just One Round
A player who pleads for doubled stakes one week while losing should not object on another occasion when he is winning.

Usually, 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.
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