What You Don’t Know About Coloring Up

Learn how to color up, what to do during different scenarios and have your questions answered about coloring up.

Part 1: Should players color up?

I actually get this question a lot. I am pretty surprised that I get this question. But players want to know should they color up or should they take their chips and leave. A lot of players will just take their chips and leave. That is fine if they have one green chip and two red chips. But a lot of people do this when they have a large pile of chips. The answer to the question: Should players color up? Yes! When you have a large amount of chips, if you have piles and piles of chips, if you have more than five red chips for example, or more than four green chips, if you have anything like this or any kind of pile at all, then yes you definitely want to color up before you leave the table.

So coloring up is when the player will give the dealer a large amount of chips and the dealer will exchange the chips with fewer larger denominational chips. For example, if you have let’s say $400, instead of leaving the table with this stack of green chips, you are going to color up. For that amount you are going to get four black chips. It is a lot easier to walk around with those four black chips, than it is to walk around with a stack of green chips.

If you have a large amount of chips, more than five chips – more than five red chips or more than four green chips, then yes you want to color up. Now if you have a small amount, let’s say if you have one green and two red, then this is already a small amount. You don’t have to color this up. You can just take this and leave.

Part 2: How to color up.

As a dealer how do you go through the process of coloring up?

If you have a player on the table who has a large amount of chips and they try to leave, you say, “Oh Sir, let me color you up before you go.” The player would give you a large stack of chips. Whatever chips they have. For example we will use these. What you do is you bring the chips in and you cut them out so you know how much is there. Bring in both stacks and cut out the larger denomination first. When you are cutting out the larger denomination first, that is going to be the closest to you. You are able to protect it better. We are going to do green first. We are going to do it closer to me, closer to the bank. That way I am able to protect it better. Then you will do the red chips after that.

We have one red chip here that you don’t really need. This is the part I have fun with. What to do with the extra. A lot of people are like what do I do with the extra? There are a few ways you can do it. Some casinos prefer you do it one way and other casinos don’t really care how you do it. So we will start off with the casinos who do care. If your casino cares, they are going to tell you that you will lay all of the chips out. If there is an extra amount you are going to lay everything out, and then you are going to give the player the color up portion, exactly verbatim. Including the part where you don’t have to color up. Like this one red chip for example. The dealer is going to lay out all of the chips. It’s going to be on the left side of the table. On the right side of the table they are going to put the larger denomination chips out. So we have $400 right here. That’s $400 in black chips, three green chips that’s $75, and then the one loose red chip that doesn’t really go anywhere. This way we can see our color up amount exactly. The camera, the eye in the sky, can see that this is the amount that you are bringing in (on the right), and this is the amount going out (on the left). After that we would give the player their money like so. And they would take it and leave. After we give out their money, then we would bring this money in. When you are coloring up for example, you never ever have your money out and then start putting money away before you give the money to the player.

This, what I am doing right here, where I am taking the money and I’m putting it away before I have given this out (the colored up chips), don’t do that! That is absolutely horrible. Really, really bad. You never want to do that. What you want to do instead is you always want to give the players amount first, like so. Then you can take the money and put it in the bank. Always give the player their money and then put the money in the bank.

Section 3: Different scenarios when you are coloring up.

In this next section we are going to go over some scenarios. And then I am going to answer questions.

Now what happens for example, (and this happens a lot) if a player comes up to you and they say, “I finally won! This is awesome!” (slide a mess of chips on the table). Yeah! What do you do? This happens! People do that. People like having a pile of chips, it’s fun. Some people really enjoy that, and they don’t want to clean it up. They give it to the dealer. So they will just be like push it all in and say color me up. This is awesome! So as a dealer what do you do when this happens?

No problem, you muck up the chips and you do the normal color up. Now before you touch anything, the player has the chips and they push it towards you and now it is right here. The very first thing you do before you do anything at all is you clap out. You show your hands to the cameras. You want the cameras to see that you have absolutely nothing in your palms at all. So clap out, and then after that you can bring all the money in. Now you are going to muck up the chips. This is a really fast way of the dealers picking up the chips and putting in the stack of 20. So we are going to muck this up. Mucking typically happens on roulette. But for examples like this it helps with blackjack too. I am going to do 25’s first. Looking for 25’s. Now we are looking for reds. Let’s muck up all the reds. It’s been a while, my hands are not as good as they used to be. Then we have the black chips. So once you have mucked up the chips and you have them in a pile like so, now you are going to do the normal color up procedure.

Again the highest denomination is going to be the closest to you. So let’s see what we got here. We are going to do three, three and one. Since it’s an odd number it’s seven. We could do five and two. That’s an option too. If you do five and two, some casinos want you to prove that it’s five. If you are going to do this, it’s just easier to do three, three, and one. It really depends on the casino. It depends on what casino you are at and what they want you to do. And now we are going to do the green chips, and now the red chips. (Heather stacked each in three)

After it is all laid out for the cameras to see, you are going to color it up. So again we have seven, so $700, $800, $900, $1000. So we are going to get out a $1000 chip. And then we have $180. You are going to get it out. If you have any chips that are above $100 some casinos want you to call out 100. Other casinos want to have you call out anything over 100. So for example we have a $1000 chip. “Coloring up a $1180.” And then the floor supervisor will come over and double check everything, make sure everything is good. When he gives you the approval, you can hand it off to the player. Then after you hand it to the player you can bring in the chips and put them in your tray. So that is one scenario.

Another scenario is if you were coloring up, let’s say I have $500 here. If I was coloring up, if anything is happening or going on, while I am coloring up, I am not supposed to reach over the color up. If I’m set up for a color up then I would never ever go over the line while I am coloring up. This is not good. You never want to go over it. Covering it, blocking the cameras is not good. You never want to block the cameras from view. So that is another scenario when coloring up. You never want to cover any of the color up at any time. You never want to go over it. You never want to block it.

The last scenario we have before we go to questions is what is the highest chip amount you can give out when coloring up? This really depends on your casino. Really it just depends on what table you are at. So if you are on the floor and you are just doing a normal $5 game. The most money you are probably going to have on your table could be the $100 chips. Some places might be the pink $500 chips. So you are not going to go up very high. That’s the most you can do. So when you color up – even if for example, you have $10,000, you couldn’t just give the player a $10,000 chip. Because you don’t have a $10,000 chip on the bank. You only have $500 chips. So if you only have $500 chips on the table then when you are coloring up, no mater the amount is, that is what you are giving them.

If the player is betting so much money that you actually have to worry about this then more than likely they will do a credit on your table and you will have higher denomination chips on your table to accommodate that player. Now let's say for example you are on the high limit room. Well, a high limit room may have wales there all the time. It’s normal for whales to bet $5000 a hand. Then you are going to start seeing higher denomination chips in those areas, because that is what they have to accommodate for. So when you color someone up, you are going to color them up to the best of your ability of what is available to you in that bank or in that rack.

The most money I have ever seen is a $5000 chip which they call chocolate. I will give you guys a quick story. When I was dealing at the Hard Rock I saw a chocolate chip underneath one of the tables and stupid me, I say, “Oh my God I found a $5000 chip! This is awesome!” Just saying it so everybody hears it. I am walking with one of the managers and one of the managers is like no honey you did not want to do that. You saw it, you picked it up, you said something, now you have to turn it in. I am like, “Oh that sucks!” So I had to turn that in. It was like in the lost and found for 30 days. That is because as an employee if you find money on the floor you are technically supposed to give it back. Now, if I was off the clock that would be something different. But anyway.

What is the highest amount for a chip? Again it depends on the casino. It depends on where you are. One of the questions we got is, is there a $1,000,000 chip? I have no reason to think why there wouldn’t be. Of course there would be a $1,000,000 chip if you have a high roller betting $1,000,000 a hand, you would probably want a $1,000,000 chip. It’s probably a plaque. But I myself have never seen it in person.

Viewer Questions:

Rocky has an official dealers tip. Don’t show people your butt. Very good advice.

Q - Joe says, “Do you ever color up to Barnies or Pumpkins or is it mainly Blackbirds?”

A - Each color has a name. Like what I was saying before, a $5000 chip is a chocolate because it is brown. So when he was talking about pumpkins it would be the orange chip. Black birds would be black. Barney I am assuming is purple. It really depends on the casino and what table you are working at. Some tables have higher denominations than others. Also if you have a high roller on your table they will credit you higher chips so you can play with them. And like I said the most money dealt with when I was a dealer was $5000 chips.

Q - Nashvillan says I remember this being a challenge on the Amazing Race. The teams had to count out $1,000,000 in chips from a table full of lower denomination chips and a massive scattered pile.

A - Oh I would have been so good at that challenge! I want to do that challenge! You know maybe I should do a mucking challenge. Have that be one of my future livestreams. We will do like a mucking challenge between dealers. I love that idea!

Q - Domestic - Is color up a phrase a player would use when asking a dealer to do this? How do players usually convey this request to the dealer.

A - Yes, color up will be what they use. So when you are ready to leave the table and you have your money, just say, “Can you color me up?” Ok, no problem and we will color you up. Just ask the dealer for a color up. “Hey can you color me up? Can you color up these chips?”

“Color coming in.” That's another one. That is more of a dealer saying. Just give them the chips and they will be able to give you higher denomination chips. Less chips, but higher denomination chips. A lot easier for walking around in the casino.

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