What does it take to play like the upper echelon of the poker scene? High rollers are the players that have the sharpest skills, the deepest pockets and the best experiences playing poker. Want to know how to weave your way into this exclusive club? Read on!
What Makes a High Roller?
The term high roller has long and steadfast connections to gambling games. Coined in the late 1800s high roller originally referred to skilled players of dice games. As the term suggests, these players roll successful numbers in these games, resulting in rich wins. Today, the term can be used in many different contexts outside of the world of gambling. In fact, it can refer to any successful person living a luxurious lifestyle. In this post, however, we’ll be using it to refer to the most skilled poker players who love to flash the cash!
In terms of revenue for the casino, high rollers are pivotal. These players, although they are just a small fraction of the guests, make up the majority of the profit for the casino. Hence why casinos work tirelessly to get them the very best of experiences! Even when they lose, casinos are on a mission to make high rollers feel like a winner!
High Roller Stakes
In cash games with high rollers, typically there is no set limit. That said, steer clear of these games unless you lead a very comfortable life. These players are betting and raising in amounts that would take most of us a lifetime to accumulate. It’s impossible to play like a high roller if you don’t already have a healthy bank balance. Depending on the game, high rollers can potentially end up with a pot consisting of millions in currency - a good day if you’re the player walking home with it.
One of the advantages of playing poker is its accessibility. Not only can you log onto a real poker game with live players just with a tap of your phone, but if you’re situated somewhere like Vegas, there are endless opportunities to catch a game. As a beginner or intermediate player, viable tables with reasonable buy-ins and pots are plentiful. As a skilled high roller, however, you should aim for a game where the challenge of beating your rivals is as juicy as the pot itself.
With this in mind, high rollers can be found in some of the most exclusive and lavish poker rooms in the world. To name a few, this collection includes the Wynn, Encore and Aria poker rooms in Las Vegas, along with Casino Barcelona in Spain, Dusk Till Dawn in England and Wynn Macau in China. These and a few other rooms will give you the kind of poker experience cinema has taught you to dream of. If you want to play like a high roller, it makes sense to be where the high rollers are.
Look the Part
We’ve all seen those pictures of Adam Sandler and Jay Z floating about in box-standard oversized t-shirts and brand-free baggy bottoms. These images are usually accompanied by text highlighting that this casual, under-the-radar ensemble is the real wardrobe of the super-rich. You know what? This could actually be true. It’s a fact that even in the poker world, high-ranking players have downgraded their wardrobes in recent years, opting for a more relaxed vibe. With that said, as a high roller, some subtle effort should be made with your appearance. While there’s no need to break out the formal wear (this is certainly going too far), you should aim to look tidy and put together. If you’re mindful of looking like you belong at this kind of table, smart casual is the best dress code to follow. Think about an outfit you’d wear to an upscale but not formal event.
For men, this can mean sticking to dark-coloured suits or sports jackets with a high-quality dress shirt. If you’re unsure of your personal style and want to play it safe, avoid any fussy patterns or potentially clashing colours. As always, women have so many style options that it can make it more difficult to nail down a specific dress code. Typically a high-quality but not too flashy cocktail dress is a good call. You want to make an impression but not look like you’re playing dress up as someone with money. It’s worth mentioning that some brick-and-mortar casinos have staff members whose job it is to spot high-rollers. If you want to get noticed, looking the part is half the battle. Besides, dressing up is part of the fun of being a high roller.
Act the Part
Once you look the part, don’t neglect acting the part. When it comes to being a high roller the most important aspect of this is flashing the cash. High rollers aren’t afraid to bet and raise their way through a poker game. This is the behaviour that gets them noticed by the casino. Once you have their attention, it’s important that you keep it. This is achieved through generosity! The simple fact is that high rollers tip - BIG! Without generous tipping, you won’t receive the very best of service from the casino. If this feels unfair to you then perhaps you don’t have the mindset of a high roller. This is absolutely fine! But don’t look for special treatment from your casino if you’re not willing to pay for it. Of course, there are spaces where tipping is prohibited. In these instances, staff still appreciate a kind gesture so feel free to send a drink their way.
High Roller Perks
We’ve mentioned the superior treatment that high rollers receive from the casino several times but what exactly does this look like? Mostly, this treatment comes in the form of comps or complimentary concessions. These include everything from meals, to activities, to your actual hotel stay. It's important to note that the type of comps you receive heavily depends on how much you’re betting at the tables. In some cases, players have wagered so much that they were given a return on a percentage of their losses. Thus, remember, the larger the wagers, the bigger the comp. This is because, whether you win or lose, casinos know that if you stay with them and keep playing at their tables, they’ll always make good with a high roller.