Question on ratholing

Discussion in 'Skilled Play - Card Counting, Advanced Strategies' started by Ace007, Nov 4, 2011.

  1. Ace007

    Ace007 Well-Known Member

    When you guys rathole chips while playing rated and the dealer colors you up. Is it a good idea to cash in all your chips at the cage right away or save some of your chips for a different time? Do the casinos typically monitor your win amount at the tables and the amount you cash out to see if there is a discrepancy? Of course I know the best way to avoid all this is to play unrated, but at times I think it is good to play rated to blend in with the crowd and not draw attention right away.

    If you do save your chips to cash out at a different time you will run into the same problem again with the amount that you cash out at the cage vs the recorded win/loss that you had at the tables for that session. Basically you will never cash out the same amount that you win or lose. If the casino monitors this it could be more trouble right? Even a ploppy would be put on radar I would think for this suspicious action.
  2. Sonny

    Sonny Well-Known Member

    I generally follow these rules:

    1) Never cash out immediately after a session.
    2) Always keep a stockpile of chips for the casino(s) you plan to play.
    3) Try to avoid large transactions at a single cage.

    Not in my experience. I've never even had to give a cage employee my players card (if using one). When I first started playing the cage would sometimes call the pit to verify a cashout, but that can be avoided by following rule #1 above.

  3. jaygruden

    jaygruden Well-Known Member

    Agree with Sonny here but I don't generally stockpile chips. I don't go to cashier right away and then when I do I'll cash some of the chips in at one window, go eat or walk up to a craps table and play a few on the pass line then cash out the rest (the rat-holed portion generally) at a different window.
  4. Coyote

    Coyote Well-Known Member

    Sonny is spot-on.

    I have a large home range so I might not get to the same casino for six months or more. Therefore, a stokepile is not an option for me. At the end of my playing session, I will hit up some three card poker, or mini bacc for just a little bit and then cash out and hit the road again.

    Haven't had a problem yet.

  5. ringlejames

    ringlejames Banned

    I beg to differ. My FIRST TRIP EVER, I being a rather good player from the get go, ratholed like a you know what, squirreled chips away in my pocket, didn't cash out, kept literally hoards of chips in my room. stacks and stacks of red and a modest stack of greens.Pit would not leave me alone. My id was expired, they refused to let me cash out, I kept playing though. when I did color up all I had, I got a 15 minute wait to color up. Went up to a window with my friend Cashed out and showed them my expired id, and had to wait another ten while they confirmed with the pit the color up and cash out. Pit bosses had their eyes on me like hawks as well.

    Now I just color up get with their system, cash out everything during the session and play by their system. Much smoother now a days.
  6. Ace007

    Ace007 Well-Known Member

    Thanks Sonny and everyone for the responses. Rule #2 and what Ringlejames said about stockpiling chips makes me nervous though. Would be terrible if they didn't allow the chips to be cashed in in the future. I have had a couple of scenarios where I have played unrated and they asked for my players card or told me i needed to get one or i wouldn't be able to cash out in the future. I guess overall you have to gauge your particular situation and casino. Probably has a lot to do with the frequency of play at a particular store as well.
  7. paddywhack

    paddywhack Well-Known Member

    Catch 22 situation

    My take on this whole situation. This scenario is for a place that you play on a very regular basis and are known to nearly everyone.

    We rat hole to give the "appearance" that we've lost more or won less than the actual amount. The pit knows we bought in for this amount and color up or leave with that amount. So far so good. Cashing in gets acknowledged and recorded by the pit and generally coloring down a larger denomination chip does too.

    Keeping a chip inventory and using those chips at the table on the next visit is where I have problems.

    Most stores keep really good track of black or higher, greenies are the easiest to get off the table. So you either leave with a stack of greens or cash them in at the cage(s) in whatever way(s) you can to allay suspicion.

    Say you leave with $500 in green. You go play the next week, check in at the table with the green, all's good dollar-wise except the computer doesn't show you've been playing there since last week. Do ploppies really take $500 in green chips home with them for a few days or a week? No, I think they'd probably be coloring them up to black and most likely cashing those suckers in at the cage.

    Same $500 in green, go back the next week, and buy in with cash. So far so good. You've now lost your buy-in and now reach in your pocket for the $500 in green and proceed to lose them too. The pit has no idea you lost that additional $500, you're just putting chips on the table. They may or may not figure it out sometime when they inventory the tray, but can you be sure you've gotten credit for losing the amount you've actually lost? Not likely.

    I don't like the added attention of the PC being called each time I cash in when I'm getting slaughtered in a hot shoe so I like the “idea” of having chips in my pocket to fire away as needed but I want to make sure that when I lose a bunch of money the pit knows I lost a bunch of money, not just what I bought in for.

    So that's the dilemma. At a store I infrequently play why should I keep an inventory? At a store I frequently play, should I really keep an inventory?

    Currently I don't, for either situation.
  8. Lonesome Gambler

    Lonesome Gambler Well-Known Member

    Keeping an inventory of cheques isn't just useful to avoid problems when cashing out:

    - Coming to the table with several cheques in different denominations, casually taken out of your pocket in a way that suggests that there are probably more where those came from is an easy way to set up ratholing opportunities later, while also making it much more difficult for the pit to figure out what you came to the table with.

    - If you're a higher-stakes player, bringing cheques with you can allow you to buy into a game for more than $10K without triggering a CTR. If you're in a great game and have already bought in for $9K cash, you should probably start planning your exit, which will cost you EV that you may otherwise be able to capitalize on if you're not dangerously approaching the CTR threshold.
  9. FLASH1296

    FLASH1296 Well-Known Member

    Cashing out a few hundred bucks ?

    Nobody gives a rat's ass about it.
  10. Coyote

    Coyote Well-Known Member

    What is it you're disagreeing with? Not that I really care, just curious.....
  11. 21gunsalute

    21gunsalute Well-Known Member

    1) Don't overdo the ratholing bit.
    2) Don't rathole red. Little if any benefit to ratholing red and it takes up too much pocket space.
    3) Don't cash out large amounts all at once. Don't color up large amounts all at once.
    4) Keep your ID up to date. Allowing it to expire can cause a multitude of problems in and away from the casino.
    5) Use your brain.
  12. moo321

    moo321 Well-Known Member

    Take the chips you ratholed to the cage. Bring back the chips they recorded for your next session.
  13. stevo123

    stevo123 Member

    Hey I'm new to counting so sorry if my question sucks hah. But wouldn't ratholing be easily spotted by the eye in the sky if they were watching you? Suppose the casino was monitoring you and keeping track of your play. They would be able to see how much you bought in for. And then they would see how much you bet each hand and if you won or lost. So wouldn't they be able to know exactly how much money should be in your chip stack at any moment? Then it would be obvious you were ratholing if what you should have didn't match up with what you did have. And if they noticed this wouldn't it make it obvious that you are counting cards?
  14. moo321

    moo321 Well-Known Member

    There are a few ways of ratholing. One is by palming the chips: this can't be seen by the regular cameras.

    Also, they probably don't give a crap. Surveillance is there to prevent theft and cheating in that order. Proper accounting will be far lower on their priorities.
  15. FLASH1296

    FLASH1296 Well-Known Member

    "One is by palming the chips: this can't be seen by the regular cameras."

    I beg to differ ! Security cameras can read the serial numbers off of a banknote, dates off of a coin.
  16. aslan

    aslan Well-Known Member

    To newbies: There are ways to rathole that are not detectable by cameras. The main thing to remember is that your purpose is to get recorded at a loss or at least a lessor amount than you actually won. It is not good on a public Forum to spell out all the ways that ratholing can be achieved-- make the surveillance teams earn their keep. Use you imagination and you will find ways, maybe even new ways no one has ever thought of before, but keep them to yourself and your trusted friends.

    Part of the purpose of the Forum is to help APs improve their skills, but an unintentional and unwanted byproduct of this is to provide a training tool for casino-employed surveillance people. The last thing we should want to do is to help these students of AP techniques on the other side the fence to hone their detective skills. It is my hope that they will always be at a serious disadvantage, and always a safe distance behind the player practitioners.

    So don't be discouraged if the answers you sometimes get on the Forum are less than satisfying. This goes for books on counting and other AP techniques, as well; savvy authors do not tell the entire story, nor should they. As you are vetted by Forum members over time, you will find more and more of the answers you are looking for. And some of the information you seek may only be obtainable face to face, or you will have to figure it out for yourself. That's just the way it is.
  17. psyduck

    psyduck Well-Known Member

    Well said.

    The winning elements are scattered out there on this board. However, knowing these elements may not be enough to beat your game based on my own experience. One needs to evaluate his own situation such as the specific game you play and your risk tolerance and then come up with a strategy specific for your game. After you play more, think back and see if the outcome could have been better if you would have played differently. Keep the winning elements in mind and keep modifying your strategy. Get a simulator and study the game you play from every angle you can think of. You know your most recent modification is good once you start to experience more steady wins.
  18. PonyPrincess

    PonyPrincess Active Member

    always rathole, always buyin for cash, always show a loss
  19. peaegg

    peaegg Well-Known Member

    never say always

    You can't rathole if you play heads up. PC would know the exact count of greens and up.

    I don't see while one has to buy in for cash.

    If you always show a loss, you probably are losing more often than you should.
  20. aslan

    aslan Well-Known Member

    It is more difficult to rat-hole playing head up or with one other person, but I have done so. The shorter the time, however, the more I must agree with you that it is pretty hard to fool the PC, especially if he knows the green and black count in the tray before you begin.

    I don't understand the buy-in for cash either; they always check how much I am bringing to the table when I begin.

    If you always show a loss you will be lost in a sea of other players who always lose or almost always lose. Maybe you will not be able to rat-hole enough to always look like a loser, but that is my goal. In truth, I have never come close to always looking like a loser because it is most difficult to hide winnings when they come at the end of a shoe just before you color up.

    What sticks out, if they have a record on you, either rated or by alias, is if you always or most always win, even if it is not a lot. No one consistently wins without engaging in something that goes beyond basic strategy. I don't know whether they do it or not (I certainly would), but all they have to do is take their database of customers and sort them by net win/loss. Those who pop up as net winners with a long record of visits deserve special scrutiny. If you play rated, or if you play a store so often they can keep track of you by an alias, I would take special care to rat-hole as much as possible without raising suspicion (rat-holing itself may be a cause of extra scrutiny if it looks like you are hiding something), and I would also keep in mind that if you have an atypical win record, they might give you a special look each time you arrive for a visit, provided of course that you play at a level that represents a risk to the casino. I think most Christmas chippers (red and green) find it pretty easy to stay under the radar, at least at the larger casinos, but at the black level and above, I would take nothing for granted. That's just me. You may differ.

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