racquet
racquet
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April 8th, 2017 at 6:03:26 AM permalink
I make a point of surreptitiously ratholing chips, as follows:

I'm a low-limit player ($10-$90 spread). I buy in for $300, which is the minimum that needs a floor person to approve. That way my buy-in is certain to get logged - I want the points. $200 in green, $100 in red.

As the play proceeds, I rathole green chips, more or less as I accumulate them above the eight I got when I sat down. I do it right after someone buys in or cashes out, or when the dealers swap out for a break, but not when there's a floor nearby. It's an inexact science - sometimes I accumulate $300 in green, sometimes I run out of them. I never de-rathole anything - if I need more I buy in for another $300. Again, I want all of my buy-in noted.

I color-in a rounded amount but leave some spare chips in front of me so that the floor can see. Usually LESS than $300 so that it appears as if I'm a net loser. I also tip the dealer only as I am leaving, again for the visibility.

Sometimes I think I'm being really clever, and sometimes I think that the entire activity is something that everyone on their side of the table know is going on and see through the entire process.

I see the floors go through this elaborate mental inventory of the rack, and preprinted forms on which they scratch out numbers, along with activity on the workstation whenever someone buys in or out, along with random visits to do the same thing.

Do they know or care that - hey - there's $200 in green that's gone missing? Is there an entry on my "permanent record" that lists every chip that I have ever walked away with? At my level of play - I'm the lowest of low rollers - does it really matter, or does it work?
QFIT
QFIT
Joined: Feb 12, 2010
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Thanks for this post from:
SanchoPanza
April 8th, 2017 at 6:54:02 AM permalink
The main job of the PB is to keep an eye on the chips/money. If the rack has significantly fewer chips than it did before, someone at the table, or who has just left, has the chips. Floor personal may not have been plucked from Harvard Yard; but they’re not that stupid. Obviously, the definition of “significant” varies by whether there’s plush carpeting or sawdust on the floor.

Rat-holing is a requirement if you appear to be winning more than the casino’s comfort level, particularly over multiple visits. But, it also draws suspicion when seen. One tact is to occasionally, obviously pocket chips. That is, visibly count out some chips and put them in your pocket, as if you’re a gambler putting the “casino’s money” away. You still have to buy little Johnny’s shoes. This would be done in addition to surreptitiously rat-holing to a different pocket. In this way, you’ll look more like a gambler; and if you are “caught” surreptitiously rat-holing, it will look less suspicious.
"It is impossible to begin to learn that which one thinks one already knows." -Epictetus
racquet
racquet
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April 8th, 2017 at 8:26:04 AM permalink
Quote: QFIT

One tact is to occasionally, obviously pocket chips. That is, visibly count out some chips and put them in your pocket, as if you’re a gambler putting the “casino’s money” away.



That seems like a good idea. I know that every time someone does color up chips, perhaps turning four greens into a black, the floor has to bless it. It looks like what you describe - putting some winnings away for a rainy day. So maybe two versions - one that's obvious, one that's not so much.
Ibeatyouraces
Ibeatyouraces
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April 8th, 2017 at 8:39:35 AM permalink
When I was playing black chips on carnival games, I'd buy in for $2000 and immediately put half of them in my pocket in front of the floor. Did this for two reasons. One was because a lot of them on the table brings unwanted attention from gawkers and opens up the possibility of theft. I would make the supervisor aware of this intentionally. The other was I can slowly bring out more, but not all of them as necessary. And if I got low, say 3 or 4 left in my pocket, I'd just rebuy.
DUHHIIIIIIIII HEARD THAT!
mcallister3200
mcallister3200
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April 8th, 2017 at 10:51:52 AM permalink
I would Palm a couple red chips off my stack every shuffle at your betting level, that should work. Green chips are more likely to be noticed/tracked but kind of depends where, but less likely to work.

Rat holing black chips at a table where no one else is betting or has much black absolutely does not work if your intention is to disguise your win, if you really have to do this you need to have someone else bringing a black chip to the table for every one you take off. Likely the same for green if it's a low roller table/store where everyone else is betting red.
Romes
Romes
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April 8th, 2017 at 11:29:31 AM permalink
Quote: QFIT

...One tact is to occasionally, obviously pocket chips. That is, visibly count out some chips and put them in your pocket, as if you’re a gambler putting the “casino’s money” away. You still have to buy little Johnny’s shoes. This would be done in addition to surreptitiously rat-holing to a different pocket. In this way, you’ll look more like a gambler; and if you are “caught” surreptitiously rat-holing, it will look less suspicious.

This is a good idea if you're NOT a local player playing on a card multiple nights per week. Otherwise the pits will get used to assigning all the missing chips to you. I had this happen to a teammate who openly pocketed them and then when he was in the bathroom I heard the pit ask about his pocket (because he frequently did this openly) and the dealer said "I don't know" but the pit marked him as having the 'missing' chips.

Quote: mcallister3200

I would Palm a couple red chips off my stack every shuffle at your betting level, that should work. Green chips are more likely to be noticed/tracked but kind of depends where, but less likely to work.

Eh, everywhere I've been green has never even been asked about. Only black and higher. I'd think the OP could get away with a mixture of chips. At his level some green and reds can really throw off the final tally for his win/loss.

Quote: mcallister3200

Rat holing black chips at a table where no one else is betting or has much black absolutely does not work if your intention is to disguise your win, if you really have to do this you need to have someone else bringing a black chip to the table for every one you take off. Likely the same for green if it's a low roller table/store where everyone else is betting red.

100% agree. Never rat hole black chips is no one else is betting them. That sets a precedent that ALL BLACK CHIPS missing from now on go on you in the system.

OP: Really sounds like you're doing it right (dealer swap, etc, etc). Another time I like to do it is when I have a split double double, etc. When you have a ton on the table and you win the hand just take a couple chips from the winnings and throw them in immediately. The dealer will see your stack grow (as expected) but you can pluck off a few at the same time with no worries because there were "so many chips" around the table. Honestly though it sounds like you're doing a good job and I would encourage you to continue to rat hole. Playing "medium" I'm convinced from rat holing (accentuating my losses and down playing my wins) I had a casino put me in the red for my yearly Win/Loss statement when in fact I was a 5 figure winner there. Things like this will give AP's longevity as the casino sees your bottom line as a loser and dismisses you (or comps you better) ;-).
Playing it correctly means you've already won.
troopscott
troopscott
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April 8th, 2017 at 2:52:38 PM permalink
I do this in Pai Gow with greens. One time I got a little carried away was having one of those sessions where you just cant loose and lasted 6-8 hours before I finally caved in and left ($400 buy in 100 red and 300 green)

Anyway I was tucking them away every hand pretty much I won a chip in the pocket and two to the stack, push same thing add one to the pocket. They had ordered green and blacks as I got to the table earlier and the dealer went on lunch came back at some point and was like where the hell did all the green chips go. When I got to the cashier a bit later as I lost all my chips on the table I had $2300 in green in my pocket. They were stuffed and this is why I quit I couldn't fit anymore in.

there was another guy betting big with green, blacks and even purple and yellow (1k) at times and they blamed it on him. He left right before I did and there was a couple yellow and purple plus and some black they were missing as well.

Best Pai Gow session I ever had and never hit a good bonus was just winning like crazy.

My take do it when there are other people betting the same level or higher.
racquet
racquet
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April 8th, 2017 at 3:13:54 PM permalink
Quote: Romes

I had a casino put me in the red for my yearly Win/Loss statement when in fact I was a 5 figure winner there. Things like this will give AP's longevity as the casino sees your bottom line as a loser and dismisses you (or comps you better) ;-).



Where I play, their website lets you look at your win/loss status, and so part of my recordkeeping is to check after every trip to see how the total has changed. The accuracy fluctuates - sometimes they have me ahead more than is true, and it's seldom that they get it exactly right, with or without applying the rathole. Overall they have me as a loser (I'm playing for pocket money - still got the day job). I'm hoping they think of me as a gambling addict.

I never take chips OUT of my pocket, either from the rathole or by bringing them in from home. If I ever go professional I've read that's how it's done, without a players card (?) but for now I'd rather let them see me come in for cash. If it looks like I've crashed and burned, more cash comes out of my pocket, along with a sad face and story, rathole status notwithstanding.

I lurk here on this forum and read all the posts from the professionals and worry that my 10-20-40-70-90 play is going to get me a tap on the shoulder. Then sometimes I think that I'm paranoid and that nobody notices, so be happy, don't worry.

If it's worth doing, it's worth doing right. There are a lot of little things that can improve your game and are easy to adopt. I'm not full time, but I do try to follow the advice from those that are, when they choose to offer it.

Thanks to all.
TomG
TomG
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April 8th, 2017 at 6:35:35 PM permalink
It can definitely give some benefits. Did very well at Stations for a few years getting rated at a much higher level than I really played at, partly by taking chips off the table. A few ways to help get the most from it:

-buy in for high amounts

-move from table to table; this makes it easy to not color up, because you're just going to be betting the small chips again within a minute. I would get up from one blackjack table, play one $25 hand of Pai Gow (loss of about 33-cents, but now they're more likely to think of me as a green player, rather then red, which is worth a lot more) then move to another blackjack table. Very easy to end up sitting down with a different amount than you got up with. And just as important: no one will care

-talk to the pit, make it known you care about your rating, then be a player they like to see and have at their table (ie tip; tipping $1 four times will even go further than $5 once). Ask them explicitly how their rating system works and take advantage of that information.

With a $10 to $90 spread, very unlikely you'll be asked to leave -- probably worth only $20 per hour for a strong player and closer to $10 per hour for the rest of us. Much more likely they'll want your action, because that's the business of casinos. The offers they give to keep you coming back: meals, free bets, et cetera, can add up to another $5 to $10 per hour if you take full advantage of their system. "rat-holing" can be a part of that
Timesharemooch
Timesharemooch
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August 16th, 2017 at 1:09:52 PM permalink
I start by getting a large marker (at least to me) of 5K. It's in mixed denominations and I like to count value of my chips as I play. When the boxman is distracted I rathole the largest denominations. Later, when I'm ready to go, I color up and he'll count what I have, which is usually less than the marker, and record it. Then I walk away and wait until the next day to get the marker from the cage and pay it back. The cashier doesn't know, or care, and everyone just assumes that I won the money back some other way-or borrowed it from someone else. At any rate, they see me leave the table with less than I bought in for.

It's good for player rating and comps and not unethical, in my opinion. Just make a point of asking him for how he was rating your play before you go.
The Martingdale system always works perfectly until that one time that it doesn't.

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