Always color up!

When you’re playing Blackjack or another table game at a casino, it’s good etiquette to color up before you leave the table. Coloring up is when you exchange all of your low-denomination chips for higher-denomination ones. Coloring up is easy, too; all you have to do is, between hands, place your chip stack in a place accessible to the dealer (be careful not to place it in a betting box on the layout!) and say “Color up”, and the dealer will color your chips up for you.

Why is coloring up so important?

  • This keeps the table’s chip rack fully stocked with chips. If you leave the table with a large number of low-denomination chips, the table may run out, and the game will have to be interrupted while more are brought from the vault (this is called a fill).
  • If you are simply moving to a different table, the table you move to might end up with too many chips, and, again, the game will have to be paused while some are sent back to the vault.
  • You’ll have fewer chips to carry to the cashier cage. Your pockets will be lighter, and there’s less of a risk that you’ll drop a chip without noticing it.
  • There’s fewer chips for the cashier to count. That makes it less likely that they’ll make a mistake, and a smoother, faster transaction for you.

You should always color up when you’re leaving a Blackjack or Baccarat table. Poker is usually transacted in large numbers of low-denomination chips, and the dealer is not collecting them from you, so there is usually no need to color up. The casino will allow you to borrow a few chip racks if you need them to transport your chips to the cash cage.

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