A Gambler's Guide to Casino Currency

Posted: 5/29/2009

Casinos and online gambling sites possess one notable similarity - they use a standardized form of currency not utilized anywhere else. Live casinos use chips while gambling sites utilize various digital symbols. This method of a universal currency has a significant impact on gamblers and serves as a crucial element to the casinos' success.

Although the currency used by live casinos and online gambling sites differ from one another, it shares in the fact that it is unique from any other entity. In other words, the winnings from one gambling site do not carry over to another site. Even the live casinos in Las Vegas generally utilize specific chips individualized to each particular casino. This is no accident. It is crucial to both live casinos and online gambling sites to establish a unique form of currency that is not associated with anything outside their walls. This raises a critical question - why are these alternate forms of currency used in place of real money?

A standardized currency provides a convenient universal system, but this is not the primary reason behind its use. First we will examine live casinos. Every casino uses some variation of chips that can be exchanged for money, but they do not use money directly. There is a reason for this. The human mind is extremely powerful, particularly the portion of the brain that controls memory. In addition to recalling specific memories, our brain operates automatically to make subconscious associations without you even realizing it. In other words, people subconsciously associate money with a specific dollar amount. If someone makes ten dollars an hour at work, they associate a ten dollar bill with an hour of their time. This causes players to be hesitant when risking their money directly at a casino. Using chips removes this association.

When casino chips are used, the psychology behind money association is interrupted. The monetary amount that was once associated with the money is skewed. This concept is essential to both live casinos and online gambling sites. People are not used to exchanging chips in their everyday lives, thus there is not an established value associated with them. Although the chips had to be bought with money, they are nothing more than clay and other synthetic materials, just as money is nothing more than paper. Both casino chips and paper money are merely symbols of worth. The difference is that we use the paper regularly and thus understand its worth, whereas the chips are foreign to us. This causes players with chips to be much less frugal when gambling.

Similar to the live casinos, online gambling sites utilize a foreign currency. This currency is usually in the form of online symbols, which may even be computerized chips. The familiarity of money is diminished once it is converted to chips, and the chips are thus not valued as much as the money they are worth. This creates a sense of careless when gambling online. Players don't mind placing stronger bets and risking slimmer odds with the hope of winning big. Although this may loosen the grip we have on our wallets, it does successfully make the gambling environment significantly more exciting and fun. Higher risk translates to a bigger adrenaline rush, which after all is the best part of gambling at an online gambling site.

Having established the reason behind the casino currency, it is important to take this for what it is. This is simply good business and it should not discourage you from playing at live casinos or online gambling sites. Now that you are aware of the effect a standardized foreign currency can have, you should use that to your advantage. Understand that both chips and online gambling symbols translate to real money and should be treated as such. Always remember to gamble responsibly and never bet more than you are willing to lose.

In conclusion, live casinos and online gambling sites use a unique currency specifically standardized to their location. This currency inhibits our association with the wealth behind it, and creates an overall increase in gambling. As real money is traded for casino currency, the true value of that money is often lost in translation, and the result is a significant boom in betting. Always keep this in mind when gambling at any casino or online gambling website.

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