What is a ‘Marker’?
A casino ‘marker’ is a line of credit for a regular player, provided to make gambling easier and to facilitate high-value play without the need for cash. Markers are given to players depending on their status and are at the discretion of the casino, based on the player’s financial worth and their ability to pay their bill. ‘Marker’ also refers to the ‘button’ in a casino poker game, which designates which player is the ‘dealer’ in a game operated by the house.
In the casino, the players who play high stakes games will not want to carry that much cash with them. To avoid banking fees and to allow play to start as soon as possible, they can request a ‘marker’ – a credit line from the casino. Only players who are trusted, regular visitors or those who can prove they are good for the money will be allowed credit. Failure to pay a casino marker is considered theft and will be chased in the civil or the criminal courts.
A ‘marker’ can also refer to the small token which is used in casino poker games to designate the dealer. While casino games still use a staff member to deal, who does not take any further part in the game, the rules of posting blinds and passing play around the table still apply. The ‘marker’ shows which player is the ‘dealer’ in terms of play, and therefore which players need to place the blinds to start play.
Occasionally, a player might use a ‘marker’ – a small plastic token, a coin or some other item – to mark their stack as their own and prevent confusion. This might happen on particularly busy tables where chip colours have run out, or at tables where several high-value bets are on the table. It can also be a means of preventing tampering of wagers by other players.