How does casino chip rat-holing work, and will it help me win?
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If the game in question happens to involve
chips – real, physical chips, not the digital variety at electronic
tables or online casinos – there’s a supplemental technique known
as rat-holing that, according to some, has the potential to
further improve your return on investment (ROI).
Does Casino Chip Rat-Holing Really Work?
Before we get into the hole concept of how
rat-holing works, let’s first discuss whether it’s actually
effective. The truth is, yes, it can be, but only under the right
In order for an ROI to be improved, it must
exist in the first place. Casinos aren’t in the business of dishing
up player advantages. There are only two games that can possibly be
played with a player’s edge (as opposed to a house edge). They are
blackjack and video poker. Since video poker doesn’t involve chips,
that game is out.
Blackjack, on the other hand, does use chips at
a land-based casino’s live dealer tables. And if the player finds a
game with the right player-friendly rules, and employs a perfect
decision making strategy, and is capable of inconspicuously counting
the cards, it is possible to slide the scale of favor ever so
slightly into the player’s corner. This, my friends, creates a
positive ROI for professional blackjack players.
For this type of player, and this type alone,
rat-holing can be a rather productive addition to one’s existing
strategies. So without further ado…
What is Rat-Holing?
To be perfectly honest, the first time I read about this rat-holing technique, I mistook it for a form of cheating! Everyone seems to describe it the same way – as sneaking chips off the table and into your pocket. Sounds fishy, I know, but it’s not cheating or illegal, I assure you. It is a sneaky method, though, and must be done without any casino employees taking notice in order to be effective.
To rat-hole chips is to discreetly take a small
amount of the chips from your stack and slip them into your pocket.
Notice I said from your chip stack, not the chips you bet on the
table. That would be cheating! (See how easy it is to mix that up?)
What’s the Point of Rat-Holing Chips?
There are two potential benefits to casino chip
rat-holing. First, it keeps you out of the spotlight when you’re
winning more than the casino might think you should be. Second, it
can make you appear down on your luck, worthy of those beloved casino
Let’s say your strategies are combining for a
100.8% average RTP. The edge is in your favor. Your grinding away,
slowly but surely increasing your chip stack. If that stack keeps
rising, you’re going to draw attention. The dealer may not care so
much, but it’s not their job to care. That’s the job of the pit boss
and the security crews watching from the overhead cameras.
If your stack keeps rising, they will take
notice. But if you rat-hole casino chips, just a few at a time,
without attracting any attention for it, your stack will look like
it’s going down, or at least staying about even. Thus no one will
suspect your counting cards or politely ask you to leave the tables
for doing so.
As for comps, there’s nothing wrong with
getting a free meal, or even a free room, out of the deal. If you’re
placing decent size bets, and you’ve spent several hours doing it,
the pit boss doesn’t know off hand how much you’ve won or lost. All
he knows is what he sees happening to your stack, and if it’s not
increasing, he should deem your time at the tables worthy of some
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