In gambling, as in every walk of life, there are hierarchies at play. And no matter what your current position on the food chain is, there's no doubt about where everyone wants to end up: right at the top in the special bracket reserved for high rollers.
High rollers are truly different, a class of gambler that attract special attention and receive VIP treatment. High rollers are the elite of the gambling world, people not afraid to drop tens of thousands on the single turn of a card. Their very presence can make or break a casino.
In this article, we'll delve into what makes a high roller, what type of offers are available for high rollers in online casinos and what makes individual table games different for high rollers.
Let's start with defining the term a little more closely though.
Types Of High Rollers
There's an old high-end retail saying that if you have to ask the price then you probably can't afford it. This applies partially to the world of high rollers too. A high roller usually doesn't have to ask if they are one, it's immediately clear to them and everyone in their vicinity.
That said, we can drill into some general numbers. Each casino will naturally have their own precise definition of what they consider a high roller but let's just look at one case as an example: the famous Crown casino in Australia. They classify a high roller as someone bringing upwards of $40,000 dollars to the table.
Now bear in mind, in some high roller circles, that would be looked down on as chump change. As a general rule though, it's fair to say that if you can't remember the last time you were thinking in hundreds rather than thousands, the chances are you're on your way to being a high roller.
In gambling parlance, there are three sub-divisions within the high roller bracket. Think of them as a ladder of achievement to climb.
At the bottom are regular high rollers. At this level you would not blink at putting $10,000 in over the course of a game. You're a big fish compared to the regular gambler in the street but in the world of high rollers you're still a minnow.
Next up come premium players. Now things are starting to get a bit more serious. Premium players will be prepared to wager $5000 to $10,000 on a single hand and could have as much as $250,000 or upwards in their stack.
Lastly, we make the quantum leap up to the level of the high rolling whales. These are the truly big beasts in the gambling jungle, the silverbacks of that world. It's not unusual for whales to be betting upwards of one million dollars in a single session.
At this level you are basically talking about the super-rich of the world and it's estimated that there's probably only around 500 or so at the truly top level active in the world at any given time.
What You Should Look For In Your Online Casino As A High Roller
Ok, we've gone through the different types of high rollers but if you are a potential high roller yourself, you'll doubtless be wondering what's on offer for you if you decide to take your business to an online casino?
The news here is very good. Online casinos bend over backwards to attract high net worth individuals with a series of tempting offers targeted exclusively at big spenders. Let's look at some of the special treatment you can expect.
Bonuses and promotions
Every gambler is always on the lookout for attractive bonuses whether they be deposit bonuses or special promotions over the lifetime of the account. In the world of the high roller, the offers are naturally generous.
Levels of high roller deposit bonuses will vary. Typically you'll have to deposit at least $1000 to qualify as a high roller but deposit bonuses reaching as high as $25,000 are not at all uncommon. High rollers have no problem with cashing them in either, they didn't get where they are by turning down free money after all!
By their very nature, high rollers are going to generate a lot of action and the cashback offers they receive reflect this. Casinos want nothing more than that the high roller keeps coming back to their tables and an attractive cashback policy is the perfect way of keeping them happy and cushioning any short-term losses. Offers of up to 15% are not uncommon here.
Personal account manager
If you're regularly betting large sums, it's only a matter of time before you're assigned your own personal account manager to smooth over any rough edges you might be having with your day to day transactions and make you aware of a stream of special offers. As a high roller you can expect to receive an extremely high level of personal care and attention in all your dealings with an online casino.
VIP and loyalty programmes
The VIP programmes on offer are what really set high rollers apart. You'll have access to perks such as accelerated payouts, cash bonuses and free tournament entries along with a range of points based rewards that can veer towards the truly spectacular.
Offline incentives on offer to high rollers are legendary. Traditionally, in the offline casino world, this would involve being flown into town and being put up in the classiest hotel free of charge for the duration of your stay.
The online world maintains this tradition and offers a range of luxury offline perks and comps to attract high rollers to their virtual tables.
High Rollers & Online Casinos: A Match Made In Heaven?
So, we've looked at some of the benefits high rollers can look forward to online but what's in it for the casinos?
The answer is, a number of things. First of all, not every high roller is a savvy gambler so there is considerable money to be made from individual whales in games directly against the house.
Secondly, the presence of high net-worth individuals tends to attract other wealthy gamblers. Money attracts money after all and in games where the casino simply takes a cut of the action such as poker, the larger overall pots are a significant source of revenue.
Casinos love high rollers because of the cash, glamour and excitement they bring in their wake. Of course they open themselves up to a slightly higher level of risk as a result but casinos will always seek to attract as many high rollers to their tables as possible.
For the high rollers themselves, the attractions are different. First of all there is the special treatment on offer that we've discussed above. They also get the chance to pit their wits against the best in the world and gain access to a player pool that can't be found elsewhere.
Online Casino Games For High Rollers
So far we've steered clear of discussing the actual games on offer for high rollers. The range of games is more or less the same as it would be normally. The difference is the amount of money at stake. Let's look at some standard options:
- Slots: Online slots might not seem like the most obvious choice for a high roller to play but with the ability to wager over $1000 a spin they often attract some big fish.
- Roulette: Roulette has always had a certain appeal to the high roller. You'll have no trouble finding table limits all the way up to $75,000 and a select group of sites even offer no-limit tables.
- Poker: Poker is loved by the vast majority of high rollers. In the world of whales, tournaments with enormous entry-fees in the hundreds of thousands of dollars are not uncommon. You'll also see several online poker sites running No Limit tables with buy ins as high as $100,000.
- Blackjack: Blackjack is another high roller favourite and famous players such as Don Johnson regularly wager millions in Vegas. The stakes aren't quite as high online but you'll often see table limits of $5000 and more.
High Roller Funding Methods For Online Casinos
High rollers have slightly different funding requirements than the average gambler and online casinos tend to go out of their way to make things as easy as possible for them with personalised on-boarding and dedicated account managers.
The most common funding methods are the following:
- Credit cards: Visa and Mastercard are standard choices for high rolling customers due to their security and flexibility.
- Bank accounts: Many casinos will make special arrangements so that high rollers can make bank or wire transfers directly to their accounts.
- E-wallets: High rollers tend to move location frequently so the global reach and ease of transfer of e-wallets such as Paypal have their advantages for some of the lower stake games.
Some Famous High Rollers
There have been many famous high rollers over the years from all walks of life. Actors such as Ben Affleck are notorious for enjoying the high life in Vegas and many a sports star has been pictured wagering truly eye-watering sums in Atlantic City over the years – Michael Jordan for example.
Even John McCain was recently famously caught enjoying a hand of online poker when he should have been paying attention to foreign affairs in Syria.
The biggest high rollers though are probably names the average gambler has never heard of. A new wave of high net worth individuals from the Far East are increasingly the focus of offline and online casinos around the world.
We hope this brief overview of the world of high roller online casinos has whetted your appetite for some big money action. As a high roller, you can expect to receive very special treatment from any casino – offline or online – and take advantage of the best bonuses and special offers in the business.
Make the most of it and good luck out there on the tables!
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