Why Do Online Live Casinos Use Chips Instead of Real Money?



Benard Maumo

If you're a fan of action films, especially James Bond movies and Casino Royale, you probably know a thing or six about playing chips. Many operators prefer using online live casino chips over stacks of money, credit cards, and crypto-currencies. The idea is for the casino to convert lots of cash into playing chips. You'll select your bets in a live dealer game using electronic chips.

Why Do Online Live Casinos Use Chips Instead of Real Money?

But why do casinos prefer using playing chips instead of piling notes and coins on the table? Do they have any sinister motive? This article discusses some solid reasons why gambling establishments use chips. 

What Are Casino Chips?

Casino chips are tokens used in table games like craps, poker, blackjack, baccarat, Sic Bo, and roulette. Usually, tokens are small colorful disks made using metal or plastic. They are used as casino currencies and are available in various denominations. While some chips can have a $0.50 value, you can find rectangular tokens at VIP tables where players can bet for as much as $50,000. 

Interestingly, the history of modern chips dates back to 1752, when casinos used counters like mils, fiches, and jetton to track scores in the French Quadrille. Then, in the early 19th century, poker players started using gold pieces, nuggets, and coins. The chips were also made of wood, paper, ivory, clay, and bone. Today, you can find chips in green, red, black, yellow, and other colors. 

Reasons Why Casinos Use Playing Chips

Without wasting much time, below are some age-old reasons why casinos use chips in place of real money:

Mental Boost for Players

The main reason top online live casino sites prefer using playing chips is to give players psychological encouragement. In other words, the chips soften the blow of losing real cash in table games like blackjack, roulette, and poker. But that's not to say that players don't know the value of those chips. Instead, they are just more comfortable losing chips than actual cash.

Consider this; you book a seat at a casino table with a $500 bankroll that you can comfortably lose. But everyone has a special attachment to their money, meaning it can be painful to bet and lose hard cash. For this reason, you'll exchange the funds for playing chips. You will likely feel more comfortable gambling away your entire stack of chips than real money. 

Faster and More Organized Gameplay

Another reason cash has no business on a casino table is to make the gameplay sessions faster and more organized. Just imagine sitting at a live roulette table where each player is betting using coins and notes. Although some players can easily count their money on the table, most will need time to place a wager on the best live casino games.

On the other hand, casino chips are easier to manage because of their size, shape, and value. As said before, you can find chips with values as little as $0.50 in low-limit live casino games. Most blackjack tables can also have $2.50 chips, whereas games with a 5% commission, like baccarat and pai gow poker, have $20 chips. Tournaments like the World Poker Tour and WSoP use round chips with values up to $250,000. These tokens make the play more organized.

Game Fraud Prevention

You are mistaken for thinking that chips are mere 'money' used in casino table games. The casino uses these playing tokens to catch cheaters, which could be challenging with real money. Casino chips use RFID (radio frequency identification) to allow the casino to track chip movement on the floor. This way, they can find out any suspicious gambling behavior, like abnormally huge bets or wins. 

Chip developers embed tiny silicon chips inside high-value tokens to scan and identify the unique code on the reader device. As for low-value chips, they have unique serial numbers. This means players cannot use a counterfeit or external chip on the building. The casino dealers and pit bosses can quickly identify fake chips on the playing table. 

Proper Accounting

Casinos are businesses like any other, meaning they must know the amount of money circulating on the floor. When a player walks inside a casino, they'll go to the cashier and exchange their money for playing chips. And by the way, you'll use metal chips to play video poker and slot machines.

If you're lucky to win a handsome amount on the table, you'll carry your chips back to the cashier and request an exchange. This lets the casino know the amount you came with and your winnings. In short, they can easily balance their books at the end of the day. 

Marketing and Branding Tools

Most live game content aggregators like Evolution Gaming and Pragmatic Play use branded chips in their online live dealer games. This lets players quickly identify with their brands, making casino chips essential marketing tools. They help the operator market their logo in the iGaming scene, solidifying the relationship between the game developer and casino patrons. 


Now you know why coins and notes are rare in live table games. They help the casino create an organized and smooth gaming experience and brand and market themselves to players. For the player, the thought of losing casino chips is easier to digest than losing real money. But remember, don't take the money you can't afford to lose at the casino. Play responsibly!

Best gambling quote: “Successful gamblers always have two things on their lips: Silence and a smile”

Favorite Casino Game: Blackjack

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