AE 486 – Expression: Cash Your Chips

Learn Australian English in this expression episode of The Aussie English Podcast where I teach you the expression to CASH YOUR CHIPS.

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AE 486 – Expression: Cash Your Chips

Independent senator and power broker Nick Xenophon has vowed to continue his battle against gambling.

These figures show Australia tops the world in gambling losses.

The average Australian who gambles loses $1,279 a year and increasingly that’s via online sports betting sites.

The ABC’s national sports editor David Mark has more.


G’day, you mob. Welcome to this episode of Aussie English, the number one podcast for anyone and everyone or wanting to learn Australian English. Whether it’s your first time listening to this podcast, guys, in which case, big welcome, thanks for taking the time to listen to this podcast and take your English to the next level, or you are a long-time listener from the very beginning, back in, I think, 2015, a few years back, three years back, when I started. Big thanks to you as well. I really, really appreciate that you’ve stayed with me this whole time, and I keep getting e-mails from people who, obviously, I’ve never met, but who say, you know, I’ve been following you since the very beginning, and it really means a lot to me when you guys send me those emails to say ‘g’day’, to tell me your story, to tell me how long you’ve been listening to the podcast, because even though you guys hear me all the time when I’m talking or I’m in videos, I don’t get to hear from you guys unless you send me an e-mail. So, don’t ever feel like you can’t do that. I really do appreciate that, guys.

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Today’s movie scene, guys. Today’s movie scene was from a story from ABC News a few years back in 2016 and it was obviously on gambling in Australia. So, this is quite often a contentious issue that comes up in the news in Australia, and we’ll get to that a little bit later, but yeah, Nick Xenophon, who was mentioned at the start there, is an Australian pollie, an Australian politician, who’s always fighting against gambling. I think for his electorate, the people who voted him in, gambling’s a big issue. Anyway. We’ll get to that in the Aussie English fact today.

So, let’s talk about the Aussie joke. Well, it’s not an Aussie joke, it’s just a joke, but I got a joke today about gambling, right? So, gambling, the expression today, which will get him to too shortly, is ‘cash you chips’, related to gambling, the joke’s related to gambling as well. So, here’s the joke, guys.

What did the dealer say to the deck of cards? What did the dealer say to the deck of cards?

I can’t deal with you anymore.

What a pearler! What a pearler! What a good joke!

I can’t deal with you anymore. Do you get it? Do you get it?

What did the dealer, the person who deals cards, as in to hand them out to the players, what did the dealer say to the deck of cards? I can’t deal with you anymore.

So, the joke here is, obviously, ‘I can’t deal with you’, literally, that would be I can’t use you to deal when a we’re playing a game of cards. I can’t physically do it.

But, ‘to deal with someone’ is a phrasal verb that means to stand someone, to tolerate someone, to put up with someone. So, if you can’t deal with someone, it’s that they are annoying you and you cannot tolerate that person anymore.

So, what did the dealer say to the deck of cards? I can’t deal with you anymore. Meaning, I can’t tolerate you, but also meaning I can’t literally hand you out to other players. Alright, anyway.

Bad jokes aside, today’s expression is ‘to cash your chips’, ‘to cash your chips’. This was suggested by Paula in the Aussie English Facebook group. If you guys are in The Classroom, make sure that you send me an email with your Facebook email so that I can invite you to the Facebook group, because this is where we suggest the expressions each week. You guys then vote on them. And then, I’d do them in this episode. So, ‘to cash your chips’. Good job, Paula, this was a really, really good one. The definitions, we’ll go through that first.

If you ‘cash something’, you know, ‘cash your chips’, ‘to cash something’, it is to exchange something for money in terms of coins or notes, as opposed to check or money orders or credit online, right. That’s ‘cash’. ‘To cash something’, to turn it into cash, to turn it into money like coins and notes. ‘To cash something’.

‘A chip’. ‘A chip’ can be a few things, right. If you hit a trunk of wood, a tree, with an axe, the bits of wood that come off the tree, the small pieces of wood that chip off the tree, are called ‘chips’. And I would imagine this is where the word ‘a chip’ comes from, which refers to a small disc used to represent money in betting games like poker at casinos. Right? So, I would imagine back in the day, people probably used chips of wood in order to represent money when they were gambling with one another, right? ‘A chip’. A small disc used to represent money.

So, let’s go through the expression definition, guys.

Literally, ‘to cash your chips’, if you cash your chips, it is that you’re at a casino or you are playing some kind of game where your gambling money and you’re using chips to represent money, obviously, and you wanting to convert those chips into money after you’ve finished gambling. So, ‘to cash your chips’ is literally to exchange your chips for money when you’re done with playing a game.

And it can also be to convert your assets into money more generally, right? If you want to sell your shares in a company or something and turn it in to actual cash, you might cash your chips in that sense.

But figuratively, if you ‘cash your chips’, this is to stop participating in a gathering or an activity. It is to leave a gathering, like a party or some kind of event, and/or go to bed.

And it can also mean to die, okay? To cash your chips.

So, let’s go through three examples of how I would use this expression on a day-to-day basis, right, in everyday life.

Example number one. Imagine you’re at a casino. You’re obviously playing a card game like poker or blackjack, you’re gambling, you’ve been gambling for a few hours, you’ve lost a bet, you’ve won a bet, but at the moment you’re ahead, right? So, you want to quit while you’re ahead. You have made a bit of money. You’re not at a loss. You’re at a win. You’re making a bit of money. Maybe you’ve made a few hundred dollars, a few hundred bucks, and it’s a good time to call it quits, it’s a good time to call it a day, it’s a good time to go and cash your chips. Both literally and figuratively, right. Cash your chips, turn them into cash, but also to leave, figuratively, cash chips, go home. So, you might turn to the dealer who’s dealing out the cards at the table and maybe the other players as well and say, sorry fellas, sorry guys. I’m done for now. I’m in a cash my chips and head home. It’s time to hit the sack. It’s time to go home.

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Example number two. You’re at a friend’s party or a family gathering of some kind, right? Maybe it’s a baby shower, and ‘a baby shower’ is where you celebrate a pregnant woman who is about to give birth by showering her with baby gifts, right. Maybe you give her… what are baby gifts? Jesus. A dummy, a pack of nappies, some baby clothes. I don’t know. Whatever they sort of items are. So, you’re showering this woman with baby gifts at the baby shower, and it’s her first child. She and her husband bit the bullet a few months ago and they decided they wanted to start having children, and lo and behold, within a few months they were pregnant and well on the way to having their first child. So, once the party’s wrapping up, though, once it’s finishing up, wrapping up, people are thinking about leaving. They may say, okay, time to go home, time to leave, it’s time to cash our chips. Time to cash our chips and head home. Sorry to bail, but we’re going to cash our chips and we’re going to leave.

Example number three. In this example, imagine you are a carer are working at an old person’s home. What we call ‘a nursing home’, an elderly people’s home, in Australia, and this is where elderly people, once they get to a certain age where they can’t live on their own, they go to a nursing home and they’re taken care of by carers. So, one really grumpy old man named Bob who is always giving everyone hell, he’s always treating everyone horribly, he’s treating the staff horribly, the other members or clients really horribly, and he ends up getting sick and passing away at the ripe old age of 101. So, when you find this out, you might go and tell the other clients or the other staff, you might announce to them, that this guy’s passed away. You might say, oh, (it) turns out Bob cashed his chips last night. He passed away. He died. He kicked the bucket. He snuffed it. He cashed his chips.

And I guess, a note here, guys, referring to someone dying in this way is somewhat insensitive, right? So, you can do it, but you need to be aware that, in delicate situations, it could be perceived as offensive. Right? So, if you were to know be at a funeral or something and walk up to the person who was married to the person who died and said, oh, I’m sorry to hear that Bob cashed his chips, you would want to use the correct term ‘pass away’, right? I’m sorry to hear Bob passed away. That is the most correct term to use in sensitive situations.

If on the other hand you’re in informal situations, you’re hanging out with friends, it’s not a big deal, you don’t even know the person you’re referring to, saying things like ‘kick the bucket’, ‘snuffed it’, or ‘cashed their chips’ is absolutely fine. Okay.

Let’s go through listen and repeat exercise, as usual, guys. This is your chance to practice your pronunciation. Whether you are trying to nail the Australian pronunciation like my sort of general Australian accent, or whether you’re trying to now your American English, British English, Irish English, South African English, New Zealand English, whatever accent it is, focus on that, and let’s practice your pronunciation, okay. Let’s go.

To cash
To cash your
To cash your chips x 5

Nice one. Nice one. So, we’re going to do this in the present perfect today for the full phrase, conjugating through the different pronouns. Okay? So, the present perfect tense ‘to have done something’, in the perfect tense, right. Okay. So, let’s go.

I’ve cashed my chips.
You’ve cashed your chips.
He’s cashed his chips.
She’s cashed her chips.
We’ve cashed our chips.
They’ve cashed their chips.
It’s cashed its chips.

Good job, guys. Good job. I know it’s not easy saying it at the speed that I say it quite often, using the connected speech that I use quite often, but I don’t want to sort of coddle you. I don’t want to baby you. You guys are intermediate to advanced learners you need to be listening to and practising the pronunciation of how native speakers actually speak, and so that is why I try to keep this relatively advanced. Okay?

So, remember too, if you would like the breakdown video for the pronunciation, connected speech, intonation, everything related to your pronunciation in English for this episode as well as all the previous episodes, make sure you go to, sign up, give it a go, and you’ll get the video for today’s episode as well as all the previous expression episodes.

All right, with that, guys, let’s get into the Aussie English Fact and then we’ll wrap up for the day, we’ll finish up for the day. Okay.

So, today’s Aussie Fact is all about gambling, and it’s more than one fact, it’s a number of different facts. And I actually learned something new too, when I was researching this for today’s Aussie facts. So, gambling in Australia.

So, the most popular forms of gambling in Australia include electronic gambling machines, also known as ‘poker machines’ or the slang term ‘pokies’, casino-based games such as poker and roulette and blackjack, lotteries, scratchies, which are scratch tickets, where you get those tickets that you will use your nail or a coin to scratch the surface of to reveal a number or a symbol, ‘scratchies’, and online betting, particularly for racing and sports.

In 2010, about 70% of all Australians gambled in one way or another. Whether it was your one-off punt at the Melbourne Cup, the horse racing cup once a year in Melbourne, or the habitual gambler at the local T.A.B. gambling on sports or racing as well. And ‘T.A.B.’ is used in Australia and New Zealand to stand for ‘Totalisator Agency Board’, T.A.B.. It’s a betting shop somewhere you go to bet on racing or sports.

Australia spent about $19 billion in 2008 to 2009 on gambling, $12 billion of which was pissed away on the pokie machines alone. That’s insane. That really shocked me.

Australia leads the developed world for gambling losses, something else that shocked me.

In 2014 the average Australian lost $1,279 dollars per adult gambler only just beaning Singapore who came in at $1,243, and way ahead of the U.S. at $705 who was in third position.

The average problem gambler in Australia loses $21 grand a year, $21K, $21,000 every single year, with about 115,000 Aussies considered ‘problem gamblers’. Another 280,000 Australians are considered ‘moderate risk gamblers’ who are on their way to becoming problem gamblers. And a sixth of pokie players are considered problem gamblers.

People aged 18 to 24 spend more on pokie machines than any other age group. Something else that shocked me as every time I’ve passed through one of those places with lots of poker machines, I tend to see a lot of elderly people in there. I don’t see many people who are 18 to 24. So, there you go.

And 90% of women who are deemed to be problem gamblers report that pokie machines were where their addiction began.

Despite Australia being ranked 50 third in terms of population in the world, it has one fifth of the world’s pokie machines, easily having more poker machines per head of capita than any other country in the world. And despite poker machines accounting for 60 to 65% of all gambling revenue, most Aussies don’t even play them. Nearly 75% of Aussies claim not to play a pokie machine in any given year, which is amazing considering that 75-80% of all problem gamblers use poker machines.

So, aside from all these negative things related to gambling, guys, as with many things in life, there’s always a tradeoff, there’s always two sides to the coin or two sides to every story, right? And while gambling is obviously very detrimental, potentially harmful, to problem gamblers, it’s also an industry that comes with many positives.

State tax revenue is between 4-13% of each state’s total revenue in Australia, which is funneled into statewide services like schools and hospitals and infrastructure.

Online wagering and sports betting employs thousands of people and pays hundreds of millions in fees and taxes as well.

And in 2009, hotels, clubs, and casinos employed more than 150,000 Australians.

So, there you go, guys. Whether you like gambling or you hate gambling, there are some facts for you. I hope you find them interesting. And if you do like gambling, I hope that you do it responsibly and don’t piss away too much of your hard-earned savings.

Anyway, with that, guys, I hope you enjoy this episode. As usual, I hope you’re having a ripper of a weekend and I would chat to you soon. All the best, guys. See you later.

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