Is The King Dead ? The King of Chip Sorting Machines Chipping Machines

Chipping machines

Or to be more specific for the uneducated people from outside the business the chip sorting machines. The Chipping machine was originally introduced by TCS over 30 years ago to reduce the amount of staff required to run roulette table. In the good old days on busy tables there could be 2 members of staff to deal the game, one to place call bets, watch the layout (no cheating please) place the dolly on the winning number and then clear the layout. The other dealer at the table sole responsibility was to sort the chips back into single colours and stack them into twenties. In a normal operation there were 3 shifts per gaming day and of course during a shift they actually allowed staff to take breaks (most places anyway) so the amount of staff to cover roulette tables was quite staggering. A man chips for chipping machine named Bertil Knutsen noticed this and he partnered an engineer and developed a Chipping machine, the Chipper Champ thus replacing the need for a second team member at a roulette table. This new innovation helped the casinos to drastically reduce the amount of staff needed to operate their roulette tables. Not all managers welcomed the new mechanical device in the pit and would often put other things in there to stop them working (you know who you are) not surprising as it was their colleagues and friends who were been laid off and who knew it could be them next. Now it is a standard industry practice to have a chipping machine on nearly every table

In The Know

The chipping machines takes all the mixed colour and different denominations of chips from the layout of losing bets (they are usually pushed into the machine by the croupier) the machine passes each chip under a sensor/camera and then dependant on the information the device gets back then the machine mechanically pushes the chip into the relevant column ready for the croupier to place them back onto the table ready for the payout or buy in for a customer.

Chipping Machines

There have been quite a few imations and contenders of chip sorting machines  along the way by various companies, Chipper 2000, Chameleon and a few other,  but they have all come and gone until now. Now there seems to be a serious contender to the crown,the Shuffle Master (Now Owned by Bally) with a chipper called the “Chip Star”  aggressively marketed and competitively priced in the market place. The reports on the performance of the new chipping machine have been good so far but will they stand the test of time ?

Chipping Machine Data

What is important about  the chipping machine, is it the reliability and  consistency of the performance. What do you actually need it to do. Is it just sorting and chipping machines chipping the chips back into the colour and denominations. Do you need the additional technology  that actually counts the chips (there has always been a mechanical meter in the machine did anyone ever use it) There is now the technology to add additional items to the chipper so you can input the cash value of the chip so when the chipper counts the chips it can convert the statistics into a monetary value and transmit all the information to a central point giving you potential handle per hour from each roulette table. The additional information that can be gleaned from this data is how many players are actually playing at the table (players= amount of different coloured chips) so the theory goes if this information is in real time and the table is full that you could raise the minimum bets to increase your turnover. The information is al there to be had but the additional technology thats needed to glean this information is not cheap, and once you have that information someone needs to analyze  that data, understand it, absorb it and then make changes based on that data. This information at present is gathered by an inspector with a pencil and paper and a good amount of guesstimation today. Are the UK land based casinos large enough to warrant the cost ?

Chipping Machine Service

You have decided which machine you will be having in your Casino, is your decision swayed by other factors. You have the price to consider, the value for money BUT does the after care and service support effect what you buy (as in everyday life reputation is priceless) So does the ability of the manufacturer’s support affect your overall decision. Do you choose something slightly more expensive with better support or go with standard  , after all the chipping machine doesn’t actually make you any money it just saves you money, money in the form of less staff.

What standard of service do you actually need for your chipping machine ? With different makes and models they all require something slightly different but the main cause of your problems is common dirt, debris and probably most horrible is human hair. Human hair gets caught around the spindles and into the bearings and destroys them. There are some simple things that you can do to prolong the life of your chosen chipping machine, reduce down time and potentially save on your service costs

  • Don’t brush all the dirt down the chipper funnel,when cleaning the roulette layout at the opening of a tableplastic-butter-knifebutter-knife-ethodtme_clipped_rev_1
  • Do not place any other objects in the machine except the chips (Pound Coins)
  • Do not put any damage chips in the chipper, it will cause damage to other parts
  • Don’t oil the BELT ! some of the belts are made from Teflon and oil destroys it (if it has a belt)
  • Don’t use a knife to try and dislodge a jammed chips, you damage other things in the process
  • Don’t allow any liquid into the machine at all
  • Do use a vacuum to hoover out the base of the machine at least twice a week

If you would be interested in having more technical support please let us know,we have the expertise at C4D to help on Chipper Champ, Chipper Champ + and Chipper Champ 2  “More Experience than anyone in the business“[contact email=””]


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