Elite Play: What’s the High Roller World Like?

If you’ve dabbled a toe in the world of casinos, then you’ve probably heard the term ‘high roller’ thrown around. As the term insinuates, these players have incredibly deep pockets and, as such, are treated to lavish experiences by casinos.

But there’s no straight and clear definition of a high roller. Every brand crafts its own approach to these types of players—sometimes called ‘whales’.

Some high roller programs focus strictly on betting amounts. In a place like Australia, for example, a high roller might be someone who wagers around $50,000 per bet. But in hot spots like Vegas and Macau, that number can skyrocket to $300,000 for the latter and even $500,000 for the former. Benefits range from limousine airport pickups to player credit to private jet transportation.

Think you know about the inner workings of the roller world? Let’s take a closer look at how high roller programs pan out.

The High Roller Experience: Online vs. In-Person

You might be wondering how high rollers relate to the virtual casino world. After all, in terms of global casino gaming, virtual casinos are much more accessible for the average player.

Still, even within the world of virtual casinos, players can expect next-level treatment when they focus on VIP tables and high-roller games.

For example, VIP blackjack tables in NZ offer features like live dealers. These games are popular because they allow players to interact with real-life dealers who work in remote studios. Within live dealer options, there are variations like speed blackjack to super stakes to free bets.

These VIP experiences are some of the most popular high-roller options in the virtual casino world. Because of their remote nature and the demands of digital regulation, the betting limits tend to be a bit lower than those at brick-and-mortar establishments.

High Rollers & Early Loyalty Programs

The modern concept of high rollers revolves around high betting limits and lavish spending—which isn’t actually new to casino gaming. During the 18th and 19th centuries, European gaming houses in places like Germany’s Baden-Baden and the tiny nation of Monaco were hot spots for wealthy bettors.

In fact, some of the most exclusive casinos in the world got their start by serving the who’s-who of Europe. Still, the concept of designing programs to entice rollers and training casino hosts to cater to their needs didn’t emerge until Las Vegas took off.

Some might argue that Vegas’s early relationship with the Rat Pack of Sammy Davis Jr, Frank Sinatra, and Dean Martin was designed to draw in wealthy stars and their socialite friends. Viewed in this way, the high roller label is new—but the concept is much older and has long been part of the casino scene.

High Rollers Around the World

High roller policies are all about catering to the wants and needs of casino players who spend their hard-earned money at the tables. As we outlined above, there are dozens of ways that established casinos will cater to their high rollers.

In Vegas, it’s common for regular players to be picked up by a limousine at the airport and hosted in some of the city’s finest suites. There, they’ll be treated to free services like room service and even tickets to popular shows.

But in Macau, rollers are truly spoiled. Though Macau sought to lessen its dependence on high rollers during an economic slump in the mid-2010s, the trend hasn’t disappeared.

In fact, it started to bounce back over the last year, hinting that high rollers are returning en masse alongside low-rollers or average bettors. In Macau, the minimum betting stake for a roller hovers somewhere around $12,800. 

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