A high roller (also referred to as a whale) is a person who plays at land-based or online casinos and makes large bets in such games as roulette, dice, poker, blackjack, and slot machines.
Minimum and maximum bets are characteristic of high limit games, which are available for regular casino players. Some games even require special invitation while the others are allowed for usual customers. Only flourishing establishments invite high rollers because small ones cannot afford to conduct high limit games.
Poker Tournaments for High Rollers
High limit bets are common in large land-based and online casinos. The size of bets may amount to astronomical sums and vary depending on the casino, its popularity or poker tournament level. That is why not many players can afford to participate in such games. During the last series of WSOP No-Limit Hold'em tournaments, there was the biggest buy-in in the world history – $1 million.
A huge amount of money is hard to bring in cash, therefore players usually use online payment services, which makes it easier and safer to play a high-stakes game.
Read more: How not to Lose Money when Gambling Online
High Rollers in Casino
The number of players at one table depends on the buy-in limit. It usually varies from 50$ to 500$ thousand depending on the country and gambling establishment. Casinos with the highest buy-in are usually located in Las Vegas and Macao.
As for high rollers, they are mostly experienced players who know the best winning strategies and gamble not for fun but for a big prize. In casinos highrollers prefer several games:
- Baccarat or its simplified version – Punto Banco. The house edge here is usually lower than 1%, which makes this game attractive for players.
- Dice. This is one of the most favorite casino games due to its complexity and low house edge.
- Blackjack. The game has a relatively low maximum limit of 500$ and the lowest house advantage starting from 0.36%. Card counting can benefit players, but casinos quickly identify such cheaters.
If a player makes a deposit via Visa card, the transaction fee may be paid by a casino. Respected and reliable casinos always do that.
The main difficulty for highrollers is to deposit money in a casino account and withdraw it after the game. There are different ways to make it, but transaction via Visa card is considered the best. Another way is a money transfer which guarantees the funds will be received. The main advantage of this approach is that the transaction fee decreases with increasing the total sum of money. The transfer is also available for withdrawals.
Read more: Online Gambling: Basic Conditions
Ways to Attract “Whales”
High rollers in online casinos differ from the ones in land-based establishments. Here, most players make small bets, hence anyone who bets over $100 may be considered a “whale”. The main privilege of online casinos is providing clients with generous bonuses. It is nothing comparing to regular casinos, where players may receive free shuttles on a private jet, a limousine, free luxurious apartments, different discounts, etc.
But, of course, online casinos also have something to lure their customers, such as extended credit limit or compensation payments on bets turnover or losses. Among other benefits there are:
- Big bonuses, namely betting bonuses (minimum 50% of the bet over $1000), deposit bonuses (can reach 500% of the deposit) and personal cashback bonuses.
- Expensive prizes for VIP clients during closed tournaments.
- Maximum bets on spins.
- Personal manager.
- Loyal attitude, invitations to private parties, birthday gifts, etc.
Read more: Gifts for Casino Gamblers
Prominent High Rollers (VIP-Players)
There are several big names and the stories related to them in the history of big bets.
Phil Ivey’s Unpaid Millions
Phil Ivey is famous for being one of the world’s best poker players. But this game is not the one he has been playing in pursuit of risk and excitement. As an avid dice fan, he visited five different casinos during his so-called “World Dice Tour”, betting $100,000 in every game, which made him one of the most well-known highrollers.
Another important event took place in London in 2012 – Phil won nearly $11 million in baccarat sessions at the Crockfords Casino. Unfortunately for him, the casino did not pay the prize accusing Ivey of cheating. Phil sued the casino, demanding to get his winnings, but to date, this case remains unresolved.
Mystery of the Sultan of Brunei’s Family
Being one of the richest men in the world with the fortune of 20$ billion. Besides, the Sultan of Brunei is always welcome at the biggest gambling establishments. No one has accurate information about how much money he lost gambling in casinos, disregarding the incredible stories about his secret visits to Macau, London and Las Vegas, and spending millions of dollars per night.
The whole family is known for its tremendous losses in gambling establishments. For example, Mariam Aziz (Sultan’s former wife) once blew £3 million overnight. The Sultan’s brother, Prince Jeffrey, is also a famous “whale”.
As mentioned earlier, the Dutch regulator officially announced the main requirements regarding new iGaming licenses for operating in the country.
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