I’ve spent years traveling around the world visiting casinos. Early in my travels, it occurred to me that I needed a way to commemorate the trips.
I’m always looking for a way to remember each casino I visited fondly. So, I began picking up small trinkets along the way to collect.
Many casino enthusiasts appreciate having unique reminders. They’re a fun way to bring a piece of the casino home and share the experience with friends.
Then there are the pure collectors. This group looks to amass hard to find items from casinos.
Many of the casinos that were home to these items have long been boarded up. The rare items pay homage to the past glory days of gambling.
Whether you want to collect a piece of each casino you visit or memorialize closed casinos, there’s a niche for you. Here are 10 cool casino items you can collect.
1 – Decks of Cards
Playing cards have always played an integral role in casinos. There’s a certain romance that follows the 52 cards.
I think part of the allure of cards is the tales they carry. Imagine the stories you could hear if playing cards could talk.
Some people appreciate the subtle beauty of cards. These fans create elaborate displays to exhibit their decks.
Casinos burn through a lot of cards. When one casino got the idea to recycle their cards to the masses, the used card business took off.
Any casino you visit will have decks of retired cards for purchase. The casino is careful to punch holes in old cards. So, don’t think you’ve found a way to cheat.
As a keepsake on the shelf or facilitating game night, playing cards are a top casino collectible.
2 – Slot Machines
I don’t play a ton of real money casino slots, but slot machines are incredible. I’m a big fan of the classic spinning reel games that rely on engineering to generate random results.
Slot machines fall more in the serious collector category than a keepsake. You can’t fly to Las Vegas, see a slot machine you like in a casino, buy it, and bring it home.
That would be a nightmare as you struggled to fit the giant game down the aisle or into an overhead bin.
The secondary market is where you’ll find slot machines. Individuals and small businesses make a buck trading in the casino relics.
Slot machines are high-ticket items compared to many of the other casino collectibles. Yet, it’s a pretty cool concept to own a decommissioned slot machine.
If your favorite casino is long gone, a slot machine that once resided there is a great find. It keeps the memory alive for many years.
3 – Casino Chips
Casino chips are one of the most collectible items in a casino. They’re easy to get since every casino uses chips on the table games.
Chips are also cheap. Assuming you only collect $1 chips, your souvenir budget won’t be much.
You’re free to collect any denomination you want. Many gamblers will mix up the amounts to add some variety to their collection.
I prefer the dollar chips for a couple of reasons. First, they only cost a buck. I can drop $10 at the tables and have cool souvenirs for friends.
However, the $1 chips are the casinos’ chance to be creative. Casinos love to add some local flair to their chips.
So, while many dollar chips are white, they come in a wide assortment of colors. That adds a tremendous benefit if you plan to display your collection.
Another benefit of collecting casino chips is that you always leave with house money. Regardless of how you do at the games, you’ll have a piece of the casino to take home with you.
4 – Strategy Cards
Strategy cards are a fantastic way for players to ensure they play their best. By following basic strategies, gamblers reduce the house advantage on various games.
Not only will the casinos sell you these cards in the gift shop, but you can use them at the games. Using a basic strategy will immediately improve your results in many casino games.
The cards only cost a few bucks, making them one of the best investments in the casino.
Several casinos will put their logo somewhere on the card. That makes these an excellent collectible.
You can save yourself some money at the tables and have a sweet souvenir. I like seeing these displayed in a gambler’s office or home.
Many recreational gamblers are unfamiliar with basic strategies. Having a card out to admire may get a novice gambler asking questions.
You may change someone’s gambling habits for the better by collecting strategy cards. That makes everyone a winner.
5 – Baseball Caps
I probably own over 20 baseball caps. I wear three of them on a regular basis.
My brother-in-law probably owns 300 and displays them around his man cave. It seemed like an easy pick for him to begin collecting caps from different casinos we visited.
He’s got an excellent collection of hats from casinos around the world. I don’t think he’s ever worn any of the hats he collects.
At $30 or more a pop, there are cheaper casino items to collect. But it makes it easy for me to shop for the holidays.
We’ll sometimes meet for drinks, and he’ll wear an exclusive hat for competitors of an event he played. Baseball caps are versatile because you can display them around the house or atop your head.
6 – Key Chains
I’ve owned an automobile for over 25 years. In that time, I’ve had five key chains.
So, it never occurred to me how wonderful the small tokens or tags are as collectibles. Then I visited a fellow gambling pundit at his home in Florida.
He had over 500 keychains from casinos he had visited. Some of the key chains were plain rings with paper wrapped around them.
It seems not all casinos were selling the trinkets on his trip. So, he decided to grab a valet ticket and affix it to his key ring.
Key chains make a perfect and inexpensive way to collect casino memorabilia.
7 – Room Keys
I am a leading offender when it comes to not turning in my room keys. I’ve got a drawer full of plastic cards in my kitchen.
I’m not even a willing collector; I merely forget one in my wallet. Then I clear out my wallet when I get home and find the key card.
The cards are essentially free and don’t take up much space. That makes them highly collectible.
8 – Dice
One of the more astonishing collections I’ve seen is dice. The thing that makes dice so collectible is the massive variety.
Casino dice have become standardized, and are used for a variety of different games, but for centuries dice were evolving. That adds a unique aspect to collecting.
Finding dice from different eras is like walking through a history lesson. In addition to all of the sweet old finds, many casinos will sell their retired dice.
These dice with the casino’s name or logo make an incredible conversation piece. Plus, you’ll never have to stress about missing a game of Monopoly because you lost a die.
9 – Photos
This may sound like a no-brainer, but they may be the most crucial casino pieces you have. Photos are the single best way to preserve memories with family and friends.
It’s surprising how often I won’t remember taking a photo, but the picture spawns a memory of the trip.
One thing to note is to make to be respectful of the casinos’ photography policies. Many casinos don’t allow photography on the casino floor. I would suggest taking your pictures in front of the casino or in their stunning lobbies.
Sometimes a good memory will be enough to help you get through a bad day.
10 – Shot Glasses
When I was 14, I decided shot glasses were my new thing. I had outgrown baseball cards and must’ve thought shot glasses would help me grow up.
I spent a few years on the collection and left them at my parents’ house when I left for college. I never took a single shot from one of those glasses.
Shot glasses are inexpensive, readily available, and look pretty cool. The only drawback is making sure they don’t break during travel.
Our Final Thoughts
If you’re looking for a unique way to commemorate your casino trip, these are a few great choices. These 10 cool casino items you can collect will at the least make your friends jealous.
Maybe they’ll be so impressed that they decide to make the next trip with you. That’s an excellent opportunity to make some new memories together.