Why Do Nightclubs Stamp Your Hand?

As someone who goes out often, I find entry nightclub stamps irritatingly hard to remove. So, I decided to find out why nightclubs and bars find it necessary to stamp everyone’s hand.

Bars and nightclubs stamp the hands of patrons to identify who has paid and therefore eligible for re-entry. Clubs also use stamps to distinguish between patrons that are twenty-one and over, and those that are not. Some venues use wristbands instead of stamps, since they are more difficult to fake.

Here are a few of the major reasons why nightclubs use stamps:

  • Identify who has paid
  • Determine who is over the age of 21
  • Quickly spot who is eligible for re-entry
  • Discern how you entered the club
  • Differentiate between VIP clients and normal patrons

There are many reasons why nightclubs and bars stamp the hands of their customers. Though annoying, stamps and wristbands are a necessary part of nightlife. In this post I’ll help you understand exactly why nightclubs use stamps, and some of techniques they use to ensure that these markings are effective.

The Reason Why Nightclubs Stamp Hands

The main reason a nightclub will stamp your hand is to determine who has been allowed to enter. Whether you payed a cover charge, or entered for free, most nightclubs will stamp your hand to signify that you’ve been granted entry.

This entry stamp doubles as a easy way to spot people who are eligible for re-entry. If you go outside to smoke, find a friend or visit a different venue, showing your stamp to the doorman will instantly allow you back in the club. It will also save you from paying a second cover charge.

Clubs that are 18+ will often give a different stamp to anyone who is over the age of 21. This is done so that the bartenders know who is allowed to purchase alcohol.

Some clubs even have multiple stamps. For example, nightclubs in Las Vegas will stamp you once they check your ID, and then stamp you again once you have paid. You can’t get into the club unless you have both stamps. The two stamp system allows the line to move quicker, since one security guard doesn’t have to do everything.

Types Of Nightclub Hand Stamps

There are a many different types of hand stamps that nightclubs use. Some clubs use normal ink stamps, some use invisible ink and other use wristbands.

Clubs use different types of stamps to make it more difficult to fake your way in. Invisible ink stamps are really hard fake, especially since you need a UV light to see them. The same goes for wristbands. If you take your wristband off and give it to your buddy, you’re now unable to get in yourself. Bouncers also check for broken straps on wristbands.

It’s common practice for nightclubs to change their stamps on a nightly basis. This prevents people from attempting to use the same stamp two nights in a row.

Hand Stamps For VIP Entry

Many of the bigger nightclubs give out different stamps depending on how you entered the club. Nightclubs in Las Vegas give out different stamps for:

  • Bottle service
  • Guest list
  • General admission

The purpose of having separate stamps is to identify who gets access to VIP areas. A few clubs give out both wristbands and stamps to people who are allowed into the DJ booth. Some clubs even have two separate levels of DJ booth access, so a stamp doesn’t even guarantee entry!

On top of that, the different stamps let bouncers know which line you need to use for re-entry, and who has priority. Nightclubs like XS in Las Vegas give out so many stamps that I’ve seen bouncers walking around with cheat sheets so they can identify all the individual stamps.

Transferring And Removing Club Stamps

In some cities it’s common to see people trying to transfer their stamps over to their friend’s wrist. This is a way to help your friend get into a club if they are under-aged or simply don’t want to pay.

They transfer the stamp by getting it moist and then pressing it onto the other person’s wrist. This works the best if the stamp is fresh. However, I don’t recommend trying to do this. You can get in trouble, and many clubs have countermeasures.

Nightclubs will use stamps with words, so that any transferred stamp will appear backwards. Also, clubs tend to stamp the right hand because most people are right handed. If someone attempts to use a fake stamp they will use their right hand to apply the stamp to their left hand. Fakers with stamps on the wrong hand can easily be identified.

Getting Nightclubs Stamp Off Your Wrist

If you’re like me, you find scrubbing your stamp off at the end of the night to be a huge pain. Stamps that linger on your wrist for days telegraph to the world that you went out the night before. Most people don’t want their boss knowing that they went out drinking last night.

I know some people like to wear their stamp as a badge of honor, but for most, the faster it’s gone the better. I personally just use a ton of soap and scrub hard for several minutes. Applying nail polish remover before scrubbing works too.

Why Nightclubs Scan Your ID

Nightclubs scan your ID to make sure it’s real. Scanning is much faster than manually checking the date of birth on every ID. Scanners allow lines to move faster and prevent bouncers from accidentally letting in minors. Not all bars and clubs use ID scanners. They are very common in cities like New York, but are rarely used in Las Vegas.

Related Questions

How to get into nightclubs for free? Las Vegas is one of the few cities that allows guests into the club for free. All Las Vegas nightclubs and pool parties have a guest list, that guarantees entry before a certain time. Some clubs require an even girl to guy ratio, but not all venues do.

Why do nightclubs have a girl to guy ratio? Many nightclubs implement girl to guy ratios in order to strengthen the image of the club. Clubs that are perceived to have more women will often attract more men who are willing to spend money. I wrote more about girl/guy ratios in another post here.