Why Are Blackjack Discard Trays Red, Anyway?
History tells us that about 15 minutes after the invention of gambling, there were gambling cheats. As gambling has evolved, so too have the methods of cheaters. Cheats are endlessly coming up with new ways to try and beat the odds.
Las Vegas casinos, of course, have a vested interested in cheating not happening. Some security measures are high-tech, like state-of-the-art surveillance cameras and face recognition software, but others are much more low-tech. Enter the simple discard tray.
Ever wonder why those plastic dealer discard trays at blackjack tables are red? Well, come to find out, they’re a response to cheaters who have attempted to use inks or “daubs” to mark cards. Such inks are invisible to the naked eye, but can be seen with special sunglasses or red-tinted contact lenses.
The translucent, red discard trays used in Vegas casinos act as a filter and allow dealers and casino security staff to spot potential cheats immediately.
The potential of card-marking is another reason casinos swap out cards so often, and why they’re so plentiful and inexpensive in your hotel’s gift shop.
Now you know!