Typically, roulette chips are worth the minimum straight up bet (the minimum amount that can be placed on a number). This could be $1, $5, or more depending on the table. However, you can choose how much your roulette chips are worth by simply telling the dealer before you start playing.

For example, if the minimum straight up bet is $1 and you give the dealer $100 without saying anything, you will be given a hundred chips and each will be worth a dollar.

If the minimum bet is $1 and you give the dealer $100, and tell them you want to play with fives, you will be given a stack of twenty chips and each will be worth $5.

Roulette chips vs cash chips

Left: cash chip. Right: roulette chips.

Each roulette table will have its own color chips (usually at least six different colors, so that there can be at least six players).

As explained, these have no standard cash value, which is why you won’t see any numbers printed on them — only drawings or decorations.

Some roulette chips do have a number printed on them, but that’s simply to differentiate them from those on other tables.

So for example, color chips from the first roulette table will have “1” printed on them; color chips from the third roulette table will have “3” printed on them, and so on.

This doesn’t refer to their cash value. It simply indicates which table they should be used on.

This can be confusing, so why do some casinos do that?

Because if, say, both table 1 and table 3 have red chips, and on table 1 they’re worth a dollar each, but on table 3 they’re $25 each — a player could buy a bunch of red chips from table 1 for $50, go to the third table, and cash them out for $1,250.

Cash chips always have the same value

And then there’s cash chips. These will always display their cash value, usually on both sides.

Moreover, these will always have the same color.

Example of cash chips

So for example, if you go to a casino and notice someone is playing with $25 chips, and they’re green, that means all $100 chips will be green.

Now, can you play roulette with cash chips? Typically, you can.

In some casinos, even chances bets with cash chips will not be accepted, and that’s simply to prevent disputes if a few players place cash chips on the same outside bet and then don’t remember which belongs to who.

So always double check with the dealer before you put a big bet on the layout — rules change from casino to casino.

Roulette chip values: examples

  • The minimum bet on a number straight up is $5. You give the dealer $300, and ask for purple chips, without specifying the value. In this case, you will usually be given three stacks of purple chips (60 chips).
  • The minimum bet is £1, but you want to play with £2 chips. You give the dealer £200 and ask for orange chips, specifically £2 chips. You will be given five stacks of orange chips (100 chips).
  • You’re at a table with higher minimums and maximums. You give the dealer $10,000 and ask for red chips, each worth $100. In this case, you’ll get a hundred red chips.
Orange chips: cash. Red chips: roulette.

Wouldn’t it be easier if all roulette chips had the same value?

I mean, it probably would be a lot easier, especially for new players.

And it would prevent the very rare but possible mistake in which you get paid more (or less) than you should because the dealer assumes your color chips are worth more (or less).

But the thing is, a player may only want to gamble a hundred, and use the lowest denomination, whereas another player may want to gamble tens of thousands, in which case $1 or $2 chips wouldn’t be enough.

As long as you clearly say to the dealer that you want color chips by $1, or $5, or whatever value, that will be how much each of your color chips will be worth.

Of course, you can ask for a specific color as well, e.g. purple, but as explained the color itself has nothing to do with the value — it simply differentiates your chips from someone else’s.

Thanks for reading, and feel free to leave a comment or question! 👇