The main reason I see ploppies taking chips off the table is to keep themselves from spending them, to put them on ice. They figure if they leave them on the table, they are more subject to bet them, so it's a safety measure they are taking by removing the temptation to some small extent. I realize I am broadening the definition of rat-holing by supplying a different motivation from simply "not appearing to be a winner." I especially like it when ploppies are constantly putting chips in their pockets and then removing them again. It creates a presumption in the minds of the pit that any missing chips are in that person's pocket.