11 Common Casino Items, Extremely Close Up

If you visit casinos, in Las Vegas or elsewhere, you’ve seen these items before. You just haven’t seen them like this!

1. Craps Stick

This device is used by the “stickman” (yes, it’s a “stickman,” even when it’s not a man) to retrieve the dice. They may also be used by shady stickmen to “short stick,” which means pushing the dice to a female gambler just far enough so she has to lean forward to pick them up, cleavage-wise.

craps stick

A craps stick is also called a “mop” or “whip.”

2. Paddle

On casino table games, there’s a slot where your money goes and never comes back. The paddle is used to push the money through the slot.

A paddle is also called a "plunger."

A paddle is also called a “plunger.”

Here’s a normal view of a paddle so you know one when you see one.

casino paddle

This paddle is useless in a canoe, so don’t even think about it.

3. Cup Holder

These handy devices keep your cocktail safe.

casino cup holder

Casinos hate spilled cocktails on their fancy felt, so cup holders serve a very useful purpose.

Casino cup holders have a special lip that goes under the table’s arm rest, a little insurance to keep us from being whacked by pit bosses.

These are often called "slide-under" cup holders.

These are often called “slide-under” cup holders.

4. Dice

There’s nothing like the feel of dice in your hands. Just don’t switch hands while you’re shooting at craps. Casinos prohibit hand-switching to avoid the possibility of cheating.

The spots on dice are called "pips."

The spots on dice are called “pips.”

5. Discard Tray

This is where your cards go after they’ve been used. Discard trays are often translucent and red to help casinos catch players marking their cards.

Casino discard tray

Cheaters use inks or “daubs” which can be detected by viewing cards through the discard tray.

Amazing the things we take for granted when we see them in a casino.

casino discard tray

Discard trays are usually affixed to the table with screws, but we’ve always had a couple of screws loose.

6. Gaming Chip

Casino chips are also called checks, cheques or casino tokens. There are several reasons casinos use chips rather than cash, but the main reason is customers gamble more freely when they use chips rather than cash. Surprise!

Casino chips

Many casino chips are made from the same kind of clay used to make kitty litter.

7. Felt Brush

Brushes are used to keep felt tables clean in casinos. Leave brushes off our list? We bristle at the idea.

Felt brush bristles are made of nylon, a family of synthetic polymers known as aliphatic polyamides. Yes, we knew that off the top of our head, thanks.

Felt brush bristles are made of nylon, a family of synthetic polymers known as aliphatic polyamides. Yes, we knew that off the top of our head, thanks.

Here’s another look at the typical felt brush.

felt brush

A “Brush” can also be a poker room employee who helps players with chips, seating and other tasks. The name was inspired by the brushes used to clean debris from the tables.

8. Roulette Marker

When a number is called in roulette, the dealer places a marker on the number. Players are asked to wait until the marker is removed before retrieving their winnings.

Roulette markers come in a variety of styles and materials.

Roulette markers come in a variety of styles and materials.

A roulette marker is also called a “dolly.” That’s because the profile of some markers looks like a doll.

We'll say it. We love playing with dollys.

We’ll say it. We love playing with dollies.

9. Craps On/Off Puck

A craps puck, also called a “buck,” marks the number you’re shooting for to win. One side of the craps puck says “On” and the other says “Off.” When it’s showing “Off,” you need a seven or 11 to win. When it’s “On,” you need to hit the number the puck is sitting on (the “point”) before a seven to win. Wow, quickest craps lesson, ever. Just ask your dealer for help.

craps puck

We have no idea why the edges of craps pucks are made of rubber, unless they help prevent unintended pucklets.

The house edge for a Pass Line bet in craps is a mere 1.4%, making it one of the best bets in a casino.

craps on/off puck

Depending upon which way you turn the puck, it can read “On,” “No,” “Oz” or “Zo.” The Zo are an indigenous tribe in Myanmar, also known as Burma.

10. Bingo Dauber

Bingo players have the option of using machines to track their games, but lots of players still love to daub. Dauber manufacturers say purple is the most popular dauber color.

bingo dauber

This is a new dauber, but the fun really starts when the sponge is saturated with inky goodness.

Some people make their own dauber ink. These people clearly have issues.

bingo dauber

Much like with ChapStick, nobody has ever actually used up all the ink in a bingo dauber.

11. Craps Pyramid Bumper

OK, here’s our favorite close-up of the bunch. To ensure craps dice land randomly, there’s a portion of the craps table wall covered with pyramid-shaped bumpers. Some players claim they can influence the dice through practice and skill. The bumpers are intended to squash that possibility, real or imagined. This is why you’ll hear dealers and pit bosses insist, “Both dice need to hit the back wall.”

They look a little menacing, but the pyramids are made of rubber, so there's no danger, other than the danger of losing your bankroll.

Somebody could use a little lotion.

Some gamblers believe they can influence their roll by “setting” the dice, or putting them in a particular configuration before the throw. Players believe casino staff discourage the practice because dice-setting is a threat to the bottom line. It is, but not for the reason they think. Casinos don’t like dice-setting because it slows down the game. The quicker the pace of the game, the more money a casino makes.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our close-up tour of some common casino items. Maybe you’ll see them a little differently the next time you play!

Special thanks to our friends at the Gambler’s General Store for letting us photograph their stuff.

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