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Soft Count

What is a 'Soft Count'?

A soft count is a method for casinos to count banknotes. It is called a soft count as only banknotes are counted, as opposed to a hard count, used for chips and coins. Performed in a soft counting room, usually a room with extremely tight security due to the large amounts of cash present, two or more employees of the casino will use a large count table and arrange notes so that they can be easily counted. The count itself is carried out with a combination of manual counting and by using banknote counting machines, which can count as many as 20 notes per second.

'Soft Count' Explained

Usually, only professional accountants will be employed to undertake a soft count for a casino. Soft counts traditionally used two separate counts by two separate professional counters, which would be compared after the count to see if both matched. If both did not match, the count would be retaken until they did. However, in the modern era, the process is increasingly automated and computerized. Detailed spreadsheets and databases are used to assist counters, as well as machines for counting banknotes which can count far more rapidly than humans and require a lower level of expertise to use. However, some smaller independent casinos and gambling rooms may still carry out their soft count manually, since the money taken will be lower and the cost of banknote counting machines can be prohibitively high.Since hard counts count chips and coins, which are more difficult to sort using machines, they are more usually counted by separating them by denomination and weighing them. However, for high-value chips, manual counting is still widely used, even at some of the largest casinos.