The atmosphere inside the walls of a casino is unreal, at times surreal. Very few, especially older casinos, have windows that allow day light in and none have clocks in view. The idea is to block out reality and allow patrons to forget whether it’s night or day, or what time of the night or day it is.
And the tinkering with reality doesn’t stop there. Gambling in a casino means turning in your real currency for a time and using a substitute currency while you are there. What we call chips or checks/cheques or even tokens date back to the early 19th century and there a many reasons why they are still used today. Most of the reasons are for the casino’s benefit, of course.
The primary characteristic of casino chip is its uniformity. While each casino may emblazon their chips with their own distinct decoration (casino name, location, emblem, or logo) they all are of uniform shape (round), size (about the size of an old half-dollar), and weight (lighter than a silver coin but heavier than a modern one). Clearly stamped on each chip is its denomination – $1, $5, $25, and $100 – for the vast majority of chips in play. Other higher denominations are available and the highest values may even be larger or in a completely different shape than the common ones.