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A Review Of The Most Common Poker Chips

Jun 6, 2008
Description: Which Poker Chip set material is durable and affordable for you? Read our review to know. When shopping for Poker Chips, what points should be taken into consideration and observed well?

In the 1800's, Poker Chips of clay were used in United States. But due to the lack of durability (they can be broken easily), they were replaced by clay-filled composites that were more durable and secure, as well. For approximately the last 75 years, clay chips have not been made of pure clay. In the early 1900's, chips were found to be easily molded with a formaldehyde molding compound named Plaskon. For security reasons, a unique identity was given to the Poker Chips by applying die-cut metal foil on the chips in the 1930's. These chips were first used by Bugsy Siegel in his new Flamingo Casino.

Security was still lacking, so in the 1940's, the center of the chips were printed and spots around the edge were also printed. Most casinos in the 1950's started using the new Poker Chips with house designs, with the logo molded into both the rim and the top of the chip. Today, due to higher security levels, each casino has their own unique style and material used for the manufacturing of the gaming chips. Some have a metal coin in the center surrounded by a structural plastic outer rim. Some casinos use cloth fiber over unbreakable polymer-molded chips, or chips full of metal anodized to different colors.

Clay composite chips are the most popular and hence are difficult to find and quiet expensive, too. The weight of clay composite chips is usually found to be from 8 grams to 11.5 grams. They are of standard casino size, i.e., 39 mm diameter.

Composite Metal Core Chips

Due to their heavy weight (8gms or 11.5gms), they are very durable and can be found easily. They can be customized through a hot stamping or decaling process. These chips have heat resistant (i.e., does not soften when heated) plastic around the internal metal slug, which gives the exact Casino look. China and Taiwan are the major manufacturers of metal core Poker Chips.

The quality of chips from Taiwan is far better than that of chips from China. China may be lacking quality due to imprecision in composite mixing and the imperfect dyes used in manufacturing. Chips from Taiwan can be easily differentiated from those of China due to their higher quality. The price of both is approximately the same. However, don't just look at the label "Made in Taiwan" and opt for it, as there is no guarantee that it wasn't manufactured in China. Examine the quality properly; preferably, purchase a sample before making a large purchase.

Casino Chips

Casino chips are the best in regard to security. Very few companies located in USA produce Poker Chips for casinos. To prevent counterfeiting, each casino has its own unique secret composition used to mold their chips. The chips are copyrighted designs and are injection molded during manufacturing; this provides security against rivals.

Most modern casinos use a chip made of a synthetic polymer acrylic composite with a laminated center. To buy real casino chips, you may buy from the casino directly at face value or from a reseller that will include a large mark-up cost. Casino chips mostly weigh in at around 10 grams.

Plastic Chips

As the most basic gaming chip option, plastic chips are easily available anywhere, and much cheaper than chips made of other materials. They are also found at supermarkets. They usually weigh as much as 7gms. However, plastic chips can be damaged easily and lack looks when compared to composite chips. For people who are new to this game, use markers in other games, or have a very low budget, plastic chips are the best option.

Most reputed vendors send samples of the composite Poker Chips of your choice on your request with a self addressed envelope. Plastic chips also come in travel cases, like Poker Portfolio - this set includes 300 chips and 2 decks of cards for approx $15 - $20. Another travel case is the Poker Attaché, which includes 500 chips, 2 decks of cards and a dealer button, all for approximately $27.50 to $32.50.
About the Author
Learn what's hot and what's not with Clay Poker Chips and learn more about Poker Chips at Poker Stars Direct by Brian Garvin and Jeff West. This article is free to use as long as our bio and links remain active.
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