Online vs live poker, continued. 2nd post


I am back, and ready to continue discussing the equipment used in live poker room play.


In my experience Gasser chairs are by far the best. You can play all day or night in one of their top line chairs and not be all that tired from sitting. Unfortunately they are rather pricey so most card rooms do not have them. Their best chairs run about $500.00 US each. Most card rooms use a lesser quality chair, but all have a good supply of cushions available so you can be fairly comfortable.

Dealers Rack:

The rack is shown on the Replay table loaded with chips and situated at the center, top of table. The rack should show two slots in the center that hold two decks of playing cards. Racks used to be made of wood , but modern ones are usually made from cast aluminum. I have seen a brass one. They are about 10 inches wide by about 14 inches long and set down into an opening that is cut into the table.

Chip Racks:

Available in all card rooms so you can easily carry your chips to the table or back to the cage, or from table to table in tournament play. They are usually made from a transparent plastic. They hold 100 chips ( 5 rows of 20 ). Just ask an employee if you need one or more and they will bring to you or direct you to them.


I won’t go into the composition or materials used to manufacture the chips, but a few points should be touched on. Most of the chips that you use in open play and can be readily exchanged for cash at the cage. On the other hand, tournament chips have no inherent value. They cannot be cashed in at the cage and should never leave the table except when you move to another table during consolidation. They usually have “NCV” or “NO CASH VALUE” printed on them. They are merely used as a method of keeping score. The do have a numeric value printed on them, but this is only tournament values.

Drop Boxes:

Standard sized drop boxes are approximately 10 inches wide, 10 inches high and 14 inches deep. These drop boxes are used on smaller tables that were in use before Texas Holdem came along. They are still in use some places for some poker games that take 7 or less players. The box is mounted on one side of the dealer next to him. Some tables have two boxes one on each side. they are mounted underneath the table near the edge. The tables with two boxes use one for the house drop and the other for a jackpot. When holdem became popular and the industry began using a larger table and seating up to 10 players, there was not enough room for the standard drop boxes. A new box was designed that is the same as the standard box but only 7 inches wide. They are called Speed Boxes. Most tables only have one. Some places now have a small portable drop box that hangs over the rail that the dealer uses for a jackpot. Some house also have another small portable box they hang on the table for the dealer to drop his tips into. Most players do not like sitting in seat 1 or 10 as your leg may be jammed against a drop box and its difficult to see around the dealer. Some players when the come into a game and the only seat open is one or ten will request a seat change as soon as another opens up.
I used to go to meeting of social and professional organizations and fraternal organizations and give talks about recreational poker. I always took a dropbox and a sleeve with me. Everyone was always interested in how they worked. Since no one outside the industry ever sees the inside of these boxes I think I will take time to explain how they work.The sleeve has holes in the top of it and can be bolted to the underside of the table top positioned next to the dealer with the open end of the sleeve facing out. The slot cover on the inside of the box has been pre-set before the box left the counting room. The outside end of the box has a folding handle and a key receptacle. When you slide the box all the way into the sleeve, Its spring loaded latches lock it into the back of the sleeve. It can not be pulled back out without the key to the front of the box. The drop slot in the box is now positioned right below the drop slot in the table top.It is now ready to use. When there has been enough play that the house would assume the box to be from 60-75% full of chips, or unless a regular shift is set to pull it sooner, it will be pulled and replaced with an new box. The boxes are usually pulled either by someone from management or security. The key they have, when inserted in the keyslot in the front of the box and released causes several things to happen. The latches are the rear of the sleeve release so the box can be pulled out, the spring loaded slot cover on the inside of the box slams shut covering the slot so no chips can come out of the slot. The key they have will only release the box to come out of the sleeve, it will not open it. The box is now out of the table and secure. The boxes are transported to a safe repository somewhere near the counting room. When an owner or a licensed manager is ready to count the drop, the boxes are moved to the counting room. Doors are locked and the boxes are opened. One key is in the counting room and never leaves that room. Another is kept in the safe. The chips are counted and the boxes reset and ready to use. The count is recorded in books as well as jackpot drop. Chips are racked and checked back into the cage.

Card Protector:

This is a card the same length and width as the deck of playing cards being used in the game. Some have the house logo on them, but most are just a solid colored plastic. The most common ones you might buy at a poker supply house are the same thickness as a playing card. I personally preferred one a little thicker when I was dealing. I used one that was about as thick as 2 cards.
The dealer will place the protector on the bottom of the deck immediately after shuffling and cutting the deck. The purpose of the protector is to keep anyone from seeing the bottom card if the deck were to be tilted up during play.

Play Over Boxes:

These boxes are usually custom made by Poker Room Supply Companies. They can be almost any size. I had several different sizes, but preferred ones 4 inches high, 6 inches deep and 12 inches wide. They are made from transparent plastic about 1/4 inch thick. Basically it is just a box with no bottom. When a poker room is busy and players are on a waiting list and some player decides to leave a game to go eat, the next player on the waiting list will be asked if they would like to “play over” while waiting. the play over box is positioned over the chips of the person leaving the game. The incoming players chips are stacked on top of the play over box and the game continues. If a seat comes open before the missing player returns, the open seat is given to the person playing over and the next player on the waiting list will be asked to play over.

I think this is long enough for this post. I will finish up with the equipment on the next one. Basically just Buttons, spinners and card guards left.



Believe it or not, this is a fascinating look at stuff I’ve used as a player, but never really knew much about how it works or why. Thanks! I’ll look forward to the next installment. Ron (Alan25main)


Very good interesting read Seville. I hope to play some live tourneys soon so this information will be helpful.


Regarding the card protector: The reason for this is actually twofold. It also prevents dealer collusion with any players. Because the dealer cannot deal off the bottom of the deck with it in place. It maybe an outdated poker colloquialism from the earliest days of the game - but still, there it is.

I play live in casino and i like it , there is no moderators!! :))


They are called “pit bosses” lol :joy:

Yea… I call them dogs. Only Happiness was true moderator.

Thanks Seville. Good info here

1 Like

Thank you all, I am working on the next post, should have it ready in a day or two. If anyone has any questions about any of the equipment, just let me know.



1 Like