Casino Colours Psychology
Find out what red, black, green, and gold symbolise in brick-and-mortar and online casinos. Know the effects of these colours when you gamble!
What you’ll find on this page
Overview of the casino rainbow
In brick-and-mortar casinos, ambience plays a significant role in the patron’s sessions’ length and quality. Nothing is left at the chance. All the furniture, decorations, and even the dealer uniform colours are meticulously chosen to make you feel at ease and engaged in your game.
Interesting fact: Colour-scheme and cultural references are the top priorities for game developers that focus on slot games, backed up by the same psychological reasons.
The roles of the most frequently seen shades are not unique to casinos. In fact, they are inspired by other real-life situations. Thus, you will most likely see things you see daily in traffic. Do they mean the same thing?
- Red is supposed to attract your eyes and make you stop doing your current activity;
- Yellow is supposed to put you in the guard that something new is on the horizon;
- Green is supposed to push you to play and give you certainty.
Interesting fact: Strategic colour psychology is employed in other types of games, not just in gambling. Children’s apps and social media also use this marketing strategy to attract and keep users engaged.
The response given by average users springs from a primary psychological reaction. Some of it comes instinctually, and some of it differs from our cultural backgrounds. For instance, while white is considered pure and holy in the Western part of the world, it is a way to signal to mourn in Asia.
Visuals are vital when it comes to customer behaviour. According to Kissmetrics, over 90% of the respondents make a decision about the product or service in under two minutes, and the colour is the most apparent factor that changes this decision.
On the part of the seller, studies seem to show that a powerful brand is also sustained by a cohesive and convincing hues scheme that is both eye-catching and sends a message of trust.
Interesting fact: 80% of established brands, casinos and non-casinos alike, are recognised immediately by users by their colour choice and trademarked logo.
What our team of experts observed
So far, in our over 5 years of experience in the online casino industry, we have yet to see casinos change their visual portfolio cross-culturally even though, as we have said, each region has its own code of emotion-reaction when it comes to different shades.
Well established casinos, brands that began from physical establishments and migrated to the online sphere when the time came, prefer darker options like black, deep blue, purple, or any other similar pick, as these suggest sophistication and are relatively gender-neutral.
Oppositely, ‘new arrivals’ prefer a vivid theme, where warm colours and neon accents play the main role. However, in the US, casinos need to walk a fine line between eye-catching thematic and selling towards minors. As per the USGC statements in place, casinos have to be careful to use themes and visuals that do not look too cartoonish or ‘too fun’ so they do not end up marketing themselves to minors.
Whatever theme is chosen, consistency is the key to success. In marketing, especially in the branding sub-branch, choosing a defining scheme and sticking to it helps a lot with sales and recognition over the years. Even if changes are applied, they are often close to being unnoticeable.
Psychological experiments have shown, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that coloured lights in continuous exposure, change the way gamblers behave. Thus, while blue light is more mellow and peaceful, red light triggers a more robust response, just like a stimulus, on the gamblers’ behaviour.
Red light is seen to make punters more prone to risks. This, at the gaming tables, translated into bigger bets, wagers with higher odds, more ‘all-in hands’ and other similar behaviour. The frequency of bets is also higher in environments where red predominated.
How can we experts explain these differences?
Blue light is not that arousing for the human psyche. Because it instils a calmness which is unnatural for warmer hues, blue light decreases our focus. Red light, however, makes us more engaged in the tasks we have in front of us. This is why gamblers are much more game-focused and ready for risky steps.
Casino colour code with explanations
Follow our breakdown of what colours mean in online and offline casinos, along with a comparison between what the shades mean outside the world gambling.
This section will give you insights on:
Green means money
Green is a staple of casinos, and it has always been this way. We already know that tables and chips are forest green, mostly to contrast well with what’s on the table, but there are also other reasons. Green is associated with health and prosperity, giving an optimistic outlook to the casino sessions.
Green is also a strategic choice for long sessions for casino purposes because it does not tire the eyes like neon or warm colours. Another advantage is that compared with other hues on our list, it contrasts really well, making the game moves more evident.
In the US-speaking territories of North American, green is also associated with money, particularly the icon dollar bills, which are all the same shade of green, no matter their value, instead of the local pound bills.
Other green symbolism
Other green symbols are predominately found in health and care domains, because of the inherent optimist and vitality that it exudes. This is why we see health workers and social workers in minty or deep green uniforms.
Of course, on the folklore side of interpretation, green is associated with the Irish Shamrock, a clover that indicates prosperity, although from its religious origin it was meant to symbolise The Holy Trinity. You will see it or its rarer counterpart, the four-leaf clover, quite frequently concerning casino wins and jackpots.
Interesting fact: Psychological analysis has determined that green is preferable and attractive because it creates a steady balance between warm and cool colours. This is why it is meant to put punters at ease when they’re at the real-life or virtual table.
Lastly, both in gambling situations and others alike, green signals that it is safe for you to proceed with a particular action, just like the green light signals you can go. This why it may push you to proceed with your wagers, kind of similar to an encoded call to action.
Gold means a pot of riches
We know that ‘not all glitters is gold’, but in casino codes, gold is the final destination you to achieve, much like in sports competitions. Mostly, when it comes to gambling, this precious metal colour is used to symbolise a large sum of money at stake or a jackpot. This is again derived from folklore, as the ‘jackpot’ symbol in mythology is a cauldron with gold coins in it, usually found at the end of a rainbow.
These coins can come from a table bet, where the chips have slowly replaced cash or a slot machine if a winning combination is hit. Thus, gold accents are found on table game chips or in the design of slot games (most often combined with red for contrast and prosperity symbols from The Far East).
Interesting fact: Studies have shown that gold attracts players to try out new things, be them completely new games, or be them bonus rounds in games that they are already familiar with.
Historically, gold is associated with the sun’s warm, life-giving essence, and consequently, all the sun deities in different denominations, like Ra in Ancient Egypt or Apollo for the Ancient Greeks. This vivacious meaning, ingrained in our consciousness, allows us to feel welcomed at casinos adorned with the colour, making bets feel appropriate.
Gold relates to high status
Gold is also often employed by casinos, along with the other metals, to differentiate novices from pros in high-roller rooms or VIP/loyalty programs. Using the same system as national and international sports competitions like The Olympic Games, gold is amongst the highest ranks a punter can receive for his loyalty.
Other symbols derived from the colour are the stars, which are usually used in a celebratory fashion or for rating something on a more simplistic scale than one through ten. As you can see from our page of newest casinos, we employ the star-rating ourselves. The most significant qualification we can give a US casino is 5 stars out of 5.
Of course, we have to touch upon the obvious use of gold in other types of branding, as a way to signal luxury and wealth. Since the dawn of time, people of high status have adorned their bodies, homed, and even graves with gold jewellery, signalling the continuous fascination that we have for the shining metal.
Red for passion
Red is widely spread in casinos, and it even precedes gambling houses, since it has been found for hundreds of years in the illustrations of playing card decks. Initially, the themes were more complex, but now, standard 72-card decks are parcelled between red and black.
Interesting fact: Playing cards that we use when gambling or learning tricks are a simplified version of the Marseille Tarot deck, one of the oldest recorded type of card decks in Europe.
The symbols of red cards are the hearts and the diamonds and are often employed by casinos to associated feelings of femininity and passion. As discussed before, red is also an inciting colour, and the one that makes are more risk-prone when gambling.
Red makes us hyper-aware of our surroundings, signalling to the brain that it is time to be dynamic and make fast decisions. The feeling often describes in the arts that ‘it makes our hearts and blood pump faster’ actually has psychological evidence behind it.
What red inspired in casinos
You will also find red on table games such as baccarat or roulette, also under the influence of the playing card decks and its distinction. Besides these undeniable places, red is also used as an accent colour to delimit luxurious and exclusive spots and events delicately. Usually, a red and gold ribbon will delimit the access to the VIP/high-roller room.
Interesting fact: In Chinese traditional symbolism, red is a colour associated with life, joy, and happiness, which is why it is worn in traditional clothing.
Because of its powerful relation to the feeling of passion and adrenaline rush, red is also the colour of intimacy and love, alongside pink hues. Casinos do not necessarily play upon this aspect, but the punter’s psyche may visualise it as such.
Interesting fact: In a psychological experiment conducted in the late 70s, red is much more stimulating than blue. This resulted in more purchases and quicker decisions.
Black is the new black
In card games and casinos, black is the counterpart of red, associated with the spades and the clubs. You will see it often in the card game tables, such as roulette, baccarat and others. Funnily enough, the game that integrates the colour in its name, Blackjack, has no distinctive black symbol, besides the known cards.
Black is not usually found in casinos in a large majority since it has negative ties in Western culture, like mourning and seriousness. But it is often found in accents on the interior design, on the tables, and the uniforms of the dealers and other additional staff.
Psychological reasoning gives black the interpretation of power and authority. This means that casinos can use it to make themselves look prestigious and attractive. In marketing, this is not a new strategy. As we know, banks offer their top clients black cards, to show their differentiated status from the rest.
When it is combined with white or gold, this shade also represents stability, making the environment friendly and balanced, and allowing the player to feel free in his or her choices.
Interesting fact: Many professional poker players chose to wear black while participating in televised competitions, like the WSOP, because it exudes the notion of authority and professionalism, while not attracting much attention.
Black also offers a more relaxed counterpart to the passion and risk of red, a thing quite known to card players. Even so, it is rarely seen as a background colour for any game or something similar because it is not quite as identical in feeling with green or blue.
Case study on poker chips
Colours and sounds create a ‘positive trance’ for casino players. This translates even beyond the interior design, game tables, and uniforms of the staff, into even more detailed things like the poker chips. Usually, the colours are associated with a certain value, but we have found a famous case with an exception in it.
If you are interested in our more in-depth analysis of genuine casino players on the effect of the music and ambient sounds from casinos, reach our other blog post specialising in the phenomenon.
Interesting fact: Researchers have come to the conclusion that the combination of dim lights of certain shades and the sound ambient will put players in a place where they do not sense the passing of time as usual. This why we advocate that you limit your sessions thoroughly, through all the means possible.
What does a poker chip mean by its shade?
Here are the chips ranked, and each colour value explained in GBP. However, variation may appear depending on the place or web domain in question.
- White or blue chips are the smallest in value, at $1;
- Red or yellow chips come next with the value of $5;
- Green is already in a different category, growing to $25;
- Black is one of the baselines of high stakes, valued at $100;
- Purple is the second to most significant value, usually at $500;
- Dark brown is the ‘queen’, valued at $5000.
Please note that our qualification is based on the arepasandempanadasdistrict’ team collective experience, but that does not mean that you won’t find offline and online casinos that chose a different pallet.
Interesting fact: The chip with the highest value is also called ‘a flag’. This is casino slang for a high valued item; however, it is rarely used in the online version of things.
The curios case of the Bellagio
One of the most emblematic places to gamble in Vegas is the luxurious Bellagio. According to our research, we have seen that they have a different way of consolidating things around the game tables. To see how variation works in real life, we present you with their case summarised in a list.
- Simple blue chips are worth one dollar.
- Simple red chips have a higher worth of five dollars.
- A combination of orange and blue/green designates the worth of ten dollars.
- A duo of yellow and purple means twenty dollars.
- A combination of green and black is a code for twenty-five dollars.
- Black chips with orange, white, and purple accents are valued at one hundred dollars.
- Simple purple chips are in the high value of five hundred dollars.
- Chips represent the most significant value coloured yellow, purple, and green, and it’s worth one thousand dollars.
Punters don’t need to remember this distinction, because the chips have their sum plastered in a big font on their centre. This case shows that not all casinos follow the same rules when it comes to their shading, so you have to be prepared to see differences from place to place.
Our ending on casino colours
Informed punters must know what strategies casinos use to keep them hooked and make them play more. Only an informed player can learn how to make smart gambling decisions and keep their spending in check. As always, we advise you to set a budget for your spending at casinos, never go over it under any circumstance, and gamble safely!
- Gaming the Competition: How the Psychology of Casinos Can Win Your Next Bid – 24hrco
- How Colors Affect Conversions – Kissmetrics
- Differential effects of red and blue coloured lighting on gambling behaviour – American Psychological Association
- The importance of colours in casino – Express Digest
- The Psychology of Interior Design and It’s Influence on Your Subconscious – Architecture Lab
- How to Use the Psychology of Colors When Marketing – Small Business Trends
- Colour Atmospherics and Its Impact on Player Behaviour – Griffiths Publisher
- Bellagio – Poker Wiki