The Business Strategy Behind Frequently Empty High Roller Tables

Published on March 23rd, 2024 1:08 pm EST

Waiting for the whales at the high-roller blackjack table.You've likely seen a scenario like this play out if you've ever walked the floors of a casino.

A low-limit table game (like blackjack) will be packed, while a high-limit table game will be completely empty.

In fact, this high-limit table will have a dealer sitting at attention, waiting for somebody to sit down.

What is the rationale behind this? Why would the casinos have multiple high-limit tables sitting empty? Why would they pay one of their dealers to do nothing?


There are a few reasons why casinos will do this.

To start, high-roller tables make much more than lower-limit tables. All the casino needs is for one high-roller player to sit down and it will be more than worth it for them.

If you are a high roller and are looking to play some blackjack, you aren't going to be too happy if there aren't any tables open. It would look bad if the casino scrambled to open a table - it would look like they didn't want your business.

Instead, casinos will almost always keep multiple high-roller tables open, even if there is nobody sitting at them. It's worth it to them.

Casinos make the most money from high-roller customers and not from low-limit players, even if their tables are crammed.

It might not make sense from a player's perspective to have two jammed low-limit tables and two empty high-limit tables, but the casino isn't worried about their low-limit players - they want the whales, and they want to be ready when the whales want to play. They don't want to give a high-roller even the slightest excuse to walk down the street to another casinos, where there will be a high-roller table open for them.


Casinos derive a large portion of their profits from high-limit players, and they don't want these players leaving under any circumstances.

This is why casinos will often have empty and open high-roller tables.