What Do Casinos Do with Old Cards? Exploring the Surprising Fate of Discarded Cards


Many of us have played card games at casinos at some point in our lives. But have you ever thought about what happens to those old cards you’ve used at the blackjack or poker tables? The answer may surprise you. Casinos go through hundreds of decks of cards each day, which means a lot of them end up in the trash or recycling bin. But what can be done with all those discarded cards? In this article, we’ll explore the different ways old casino cards are handled and how the casino industry has become more sustainable in recent years.

From Table to Trash: The Surprising Fate of Old Casino Cards

Many people assume that casinos simply reuse old cards after shuffling them. However, this is not the case. Old casino cards are typically made with plastic-coated paper, which means they wear down quickly and can’t be used for long. Additionally, the casino industry has strict regulations around the use of new, unmarked cards to prevent cheating and fraud. As a result, old cards are usually discarded after a few hours of use.

The typical process for discarding old casino cards involves cutting them into small pieces so that they can’t be used again. Some casinos have machines that shred the cards, while others cut them manually. Once the cards have been destroyed, they are sent to recycling facilities or landfills.

Sustainability in the Casino Industry: How Old Cards Are Given a Second Life

The casino industry has begun to prioritize sustainability and responsible waste management in recent years. This means finding ways to reduce waste and give old materials a second life. One way casinos are doing this is by recycling old casino cards. Some companies specialize in recycling plastic products, including casino cards. These recycled materials can be used to make new products, such as plastic bags or composite decking.

Other casinos have found creative ways to repurpose old cards. For example, some casinos donate their old cards to local schools or art programs. Students can use the cards to create art projects, or teachers can use them for math activities. Old cards can also be turned into home d├ęcor, business cards, or even guitar picks.

Behind the Scenes: The Operations and Logistics of Replacing Casino Cards

While it may seem wasteful to replace casino cards every few hours, it’s an important part of casino operations. New cards are essential to preventing cheating and fraud. Casinos typically have strict protocols for replacing cards, which usually involves staff members collecting the old decks and putting new ones into circulation. Casinos use different types of decks, including regular and jumbo-sized cards, and some have customized designs.

The process of replacing cards can be time-consuming and expensive, but it’s necessary for maintaining the integrity of casino games. Some casinos take additional security measures, such as using cameras to monitor the replacement process or keeping track of how many decks have been used.

Why Shuffling Isn’t Enough: Understanding the Importance of Replacing Casino Cards

Many people assume that shuffling old cards is enough to prevent cheating and fraud. However, this isn’t the case. Over time, the wear and tear on casino cards can lead to markings or scratches that are visible to trained eyes. This can give some players an unfair advantage, which is why new cards are necessary. Additionally, new cards have unmarked backs and edges, which makes it more difficult for cheaters to mark them.

The Journey of a Casino Card: A Look Into Recycling and Repurposing

As we’ve mentioned, some casinos recycle old cards or repurpose them into other products. Plastic recycling companies can turn old casino cards into pellets, which can then be used to make other plastic products. Some casinos donate their used cards to organizations that provide cards to military bases for games and events. Others give them to magicians for use in their tricks or donate them to charity auctions.

Another creative use for old casino cards is to turn them into business cards. Some people enjoy the novelty of handing out a card made from casino plastic, and it’s a fun conversation starter.

The Secret Life of Casino Cards: How They’re Retired and Reused to Prevent Fraud

Even after casino cards have been retired, they can still be useful. One way they are used is by being given to military bases for games and events. These cards are marked to prevent them from being used at casinos, so they can’t be used for cheating. Similarly, retired cards can be used in magic tricks since they can’t be used for gambling.

However, casinos take precautions to make sure that retired cards are not used dishonestly. Some casinos mark retired decks with a hole punch or a stamp to indicate that they’ve been removed from circulation. Others require retired cards to be signed out by managers and tracked to prevent them from being misused.


It may seem like a small detail, but the fate of old casino cards has become an important issue for the casino industry. Thanks to the growing focus on sustainability and waste reduction, many casinos are finding creative ways to recycle and repurpose their materials. However, replacing old cards with new ones is necessary to prevent cheating and fraud, so this process will continue to be an integral part of casino operations. By understanding how old casino cards are handled, we can appreciate the efforts of the casino industry to become more sustainable and responsible.

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