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What Is a High Roller at a Casino? And What it Means

  • Written By Kevin Parker
  • Edited
  • Reading 11 minutes

The High roller is an important part of a casino’s customer base. In fact, by various estimates, they account for over 86% of the revenue a casino generates both commercially and online.

High rollers are often called whales and they can be anyone who loves to gamble a lot of money regardless of their background.

You get your run-of-the-mill investment bankers, media tycoons, property developers and even celebrities who love to gamble big. It’s all about the thrill of the chase with such individuals, and we will take a look at high rollers today.

In this article you will read about:

  1. How Do High Rollers Behave and What to Expect from Them?
  2. Do You Need to Be a Millionaire to Be a High Roller?
  3. How to Become a High Roller?
  4. What Is Considered a High Roller in Vegas?
  5. High Roller Casinos in Las Vegas?
  6. High Roller Games
  7. Celebrity High Rollers Who Have a Soft Spot for Gambling

How Do High Rollers Behave and What to Expect from Them?

High rollers are usually individuals who value their time and yet they find time to fly in and play. Why fly in? Because for many of these true high rollers the best way to arrive at a casino is in style.

What to expect from a high roller
What can you expect from a High Roller

Moguls are flown in from far and wide on private jets to ante up the money wagered at their favourite casinos. From Macau to Sydney to Las Vegas, high rollers are individuals who definitely enjoy a good time at a casino.

That is why casino management usually has quite the program prepared for such individuals. Managers will shower such players with various rewards and incentives, provided they are happy to spare some time to visit the penthouse suite and wine and dine on some of the finest liquor and meals the casino’s chefs can muster.

Incoming high rollers are treated like VIP so long as the casino knows they are coming, with a limousine duly waiting at the airport to pick them up. And of course, as the wealthiest gamblers in the world, high rollers are entitled to their vices.

Yet, casinos and hotels catering to their kind are “a judgment-free zone,” with everyone tending to the needs of a gambler. Stakes can go very quickly in the company of high rollers, too, with $600,000 bet per minute and a high roller gambler looking to place up to $2 million in wagers on a single night.  

Do You Need to Be a Millionaire to Be a High Roller?

You certainly don’t and anyone who comes back and places enough money will get a VIP treatment of their own. However, repeat high rollers at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, for example, often place wagers with the intention to offer the winnings back to the dealer, which makes this job one of the most coveted one.

High Roller in Plane
Do you need to be a millionaire to be a high roller?

In fact, you can only become a croupier by invite only and anyone willing to try their hand at the job would have to already have an impressive track record of experience, a pleasant demeanor and a way with high rollers to invite them and play more.

Put simply, you don’t have to be a millionaire, but sparing $150,000 and any winnings to make the dealer happy definitely requires a specific financial background that would not bring you down to penury at the merest gesture of generosity. 

How to Become a High Roller?

Obtaining the status of a high roller seems to be a lost ark to many. If you happen to be worth several billion, it suddenly seems easier to brush shoulders with the world’s wealthiest gamblers, but for anyone else considering the move, high rolling may be a dream, albeit not a feasible one.

Image of cards and casino chips
Do you need to spend millions to become a high roller?

Becoming a high roller will depend on what a casino considers a high roller. In other words, the line of credit you would need to deposit would vary. Some players try to get a free room by depositing a little more, but this doesn’t mean they qualify at all.

Other Las Vegas visitors argue that a line of credit of at least $200,000 will immediately promote you to the finer sides of the gambling world. The treats you get will also vary, but you can expect great food, quality drink, and a very cozy place to stay.

It’s important to note down that making slightly larger bets or having $1,000 in chips won’t qualify you for the high roller experience to begin with.

What Is Considered a High Roller in Vegas?

The criteria that determine your status as a high roller at a casino can often be a little elusive. Every casino sets their own requirements, but usually, players who tend to progressively spend more money will catch the eye of casinos.

image of las vegas sign
What is considered a high roller in Las Vegas?

Put simply, you must gamble large sums of money. Casinos are simple this way as they won’t judge your idiosyncrasies or nationality, ethnicity or even check on how much money you have in the bank. All that matters is to continue betting and gambling away.

However, it’s good to know that with so many gamblers trickling in to places like Las Vegas, casinos have to adjust their standards for what passes as a high roller. Betting $10,000 overnight may seem like a lot of money to you. However, some patrons may bring in as much as $500,000 million with them ready to go all out on bets.

High Roller Casinos in Las Vegas?

There are many properties in Las Vegas that are perfectly suited to the tastes of high rollers who want to find high limit tables. You can find at least ten properties which will offer you to stake no less than $250 at Wynn’s and go all the way up to $300,000 per hand on Baccarat at the Cosmopolitan.

Another worthwhile venue is the Palms Casino Resort where the ‘High Stakes Poker’ reality TV show has been shot, quite indicative of the venue’s attitude towards high rolling. For your convenience, here is a list of the casino properties you will want to visit in Las Vegas if you have high rolling in mind:

  1. Wynn
  2. MGM Grand
  3. Westgate
  4. Cosmopolitan
  5. Caesars Palace
  6. Bellagio
  7. Luxor
  8. Aria
  9. Palms
  10. Mandalay Bay

High Rollers of the Digital Frontier – High Rolling Online

While high rolling used to be the preserve of land-based casinos, there has been a shift online. The outbreak of the novel coronavirus has helped shift some appetites from the richly lit Las Vegas and Macau casino lounges to online casinos.

High Rollers Online
Can you be a high roller online?

Today, most of the action has been shifting online, and while you won’t necessarily find celebrities betting ample amounts online, many people actually are making the shift to iGaming venues where they can stake a lot and get some perks out of their experience.

Of course, the online perks you will get always tend to be different, and they come in the form of comp points that can be used to redeem part of the money you have won or win some cool, luxurious item such as a watch or even a car.

Casinos may also invite you to attend private events or send you complimentary tickets for some big sports event or a concert. There are many perks you can tap into as an online high roller.

What Games Are Available to You to High Roll On?

High rolling is a term reserved for casino gamblers who don’t mind spending a little more on their favorite games. Yet, while you can certainly place a lot of money betting on a slot, but you can’t really reach the same stature as table players.

What games are for high rollers?
What games are available to high rollers?

They are the real high rollers, and you can expect to see bets starting at $250 in games such as baccarat, blackjack, roulette, casino poker and dice games. Table limits are to be determined by individual casinos, so you will notice slight differences in the bet sizes. 

Celebrity High Rollers Who Have a Soft Spot for Gambling

The world is full of people who seem to have too much money and be too eager to spend it. But while money definitely brings a certain satisfaction and mostly security about the future, winning a $1 million bet is a whole new level of fun.

There are many people who pass muster as celebrity high rollers. While they don’t always gamble at casinos, all of the people I bring up in this list are known for their gambling proclivities among other things.

Dana White

UFC President Dana White is a controversial figure to say the least. His Fight Island intiative was scuppered so many times that for a while there, White lost all credibility. Yet, for the UFC boss, being downbeat is simply not an option and, as it turns out, he loves spending his money around Las Vegas.

His favorite game is reportedly blackjack and he is one of the most frequent high rollers you will find today. He’s also a big tipper who doesn’t mind leaving five-digit checks to his servers.

Ben Affleck

You might think that Ben Affleck’s Daredevil failed to live up to expectations, and perhaps it did. Yet, Mr. Affleck is a man of many parts and apart from being a high roller, he is also a card counter.

Remember that movie 21?

Ben Affleck may have not been cast in it, but he certainly tries to live it. Back in 2014 he was banned from playing blackjack in Las Vegas, because he turned out to be an adept card counter to the surprise of everyone. Still, he is one of the most celebrated high rollers, both for his card counting ability and let’s face it, a good deal of his movies.

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods has made a career off playing golf and he has enjoyed all the material gains his status as a legend golfer has brought him, and not least the millions he has won securing PGA Tour titles. Yet, Woods is a bit of a legend in casinos, too. His love for blackjack is a well-established fact and he has been known to place $25,000 per single hand. Having a lot of money to spare, Mr. Woods is definitely in a good position to benefit from it.

Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan is an NBA legend with a taste for gambling. In fact, it has been said that he left NBA to gamble, which seems like a bizarre reason to withdraw from the good game. However, the legend has had a few unpalatable brushes with casinos in his own time. Even his teammates have been somewhat concerned about Mr. Jordan’s flair for gambling.

One source even speculated that Mr. Jordan had to walk from the NBA not so much because he wanted to dedicate to gambling entirely, but rather because the league offices had removed him for reportedly failing to address the issue.

George Clooney

George Clooney have had the pleasure to play in almost all of Ocean’s movies and since those are about elaborate casino heists the famed actor himself has tried his hand at blackjack. Perhaps inspired by his character, Danny Ocean, Mr. Clooney lost 26 high-stake hands on a game of blackjack against fellow actors. He definitely has what it takes to be a high roller, but he hasn’t been known to indulge too much in the hobby at all.

Is It Worth Being a High Roller?

The question whether becoming a high roller is a worthwhile endeavor comes up quite often and as always it has good and bad sides.

The fact of the matter is that people who high roll don’t do so with the idea in mind of being recognized as high rollers. They just get their kicks of playing with big sums and the amenities casinos extend to them are just a bonus.

Some players who come from more modest means often fantasize about becoming high rollers themselves, but this carries its risks. While a casino won’t intervene to stop you from burning through $150,000 in a few hands, it’s important to ask yourself – can you afford to lose the money you are betting?

Therein lies your answer.

Kevin was raised on sports since a young teen and following a (fortunate) injury pursued new hobbies in table games such as Blackjack and Poker. Since 2009 Kevin has been writing for casino sites for various big names in the industry and CasinoSites.us is but one of his latest passion projects.