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Rack of Chips

Rack Your Chips - Card Rack

by Jesse Knight
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Poker Rack of Chips
Rack
1. A plastic tray used to hold chips.
2. A unit of 100 chips.


Poker chips are frequently sold in 100 chip increments. Since dealing with 100 small, round plastic disks can be time consuming and cumbersome, an effective transport method is necessary. Racks were specifically designed to make the transport and distribution of chips easier. Chips can be packed into the racks, and the racks can then be stacked, for easy carrying and convenient storage.

A rack is a plastic tray that holds 100 chips. It is rectangular in shape, and has five wells which each hold a stack of twenty chips. A unit of 20 chips is commonly referred to as simply a “Stack.” Racks are usually made out of clear plastic, and this is intentional. It is to prevent players from hiding cards, oversized chips, or other disallowed items underneath the racks. Some casinos go even further and do not permit racks to be on the table at all while the game is in play, and mandate that all players remove their chips from the racks. This rule may protect the game somewhat, but when the house puts it in, the goal is often revenue enhancement. There is a sneaky reason disallowing racks on the table can lead to increased revenue for the casino.

The house knows that if players are allowed to keep their chips racked up on the table, it is very easy for them to leave the casino in a snap decision. Management wants to keep the customers there as long as possible, so that they will continue to pay rake. Their goal is to prevent these snap decisions and make leaving a more deliberate process. If they disallow racks on the table, they can prevent snap decisions, and force customers to make a deliberate decision to leave, because they will not be able to just run to the cage on a whim. Instead, they will have to take the time to pack up all of their chips into racks, which can take several minutes. The effect of this rule can be enhanced if the casino has an employee whose duty it is to collect the empty racks from around the room and bring to the main cage. Now, in addition to having to pack before leaving, the player must also go through another step, locating an appropriate number of empty racks. Casinos frequently have rules and promotions which are design to prolong play, some of which are completely legitimate, and some of which are ethically dubious at best. Rules and promotions that are specifically designed to artificially prolong play are sometimes referred to as “hostage” situations, because the intent is to basically hold the customer hostage.

When a player runs out of chips in a poker game, they will frequently request more chips by simply asking for a “rack” from the dealer, chip runner, or brush. They may also ask for a “rack” when cashing out, but in this case, they mean an empty rack. Players who do not want to buy an entire rack of chips may also order their chips in stacks. A stack is always assumed to be 20 chips.

When a player seems to be consistently very lucky, they are sometimes referred to as a “card rack.” The insinuation here is that someone is somehow able to beat the law of averages, and is able to win at a disproportionately unfair rate. This term is widely used in online poker chat.

Usage: Racking Up The Chips, Racking Up The Cards, Full Rack Of Chips, Empty Rack

Previous Poker Term: Race Off
Next Poker Term: Ragged

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