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Things to know about poker chips…

Poker chips are the fundamental equipment in every poker game that takes place. Knowing them can be of great help if you wish to understand in depth on the details of the poker chips that are used by the mega casinos or which are the best ones for home games. One of the first things which we must understand is the types available in the market and what the key differences are.

Plastic chips:

It is the most common and oldest type of chips which could be found even in supermarkets and their price is usually the cheapest. Traditionally, they were created in red, white and blue colors but currently, they are available in many others such as orange or even violet. They are also light weight, ranging between approximately 5 - 11.5 grams. It is a very practical decision for those who are on a budget or want to start playing poker leisurely without giving much consideration to chip designs.

Clay chips are commonly used by regular poker players and they have a weight range of 10 – 14 grams. Majority of chips in the market are made from clay or clay composite and it is the crowd’s favourite. Numerous designs are available and there is bound to be one which catches every player’s eyes. Clay chips is higher quality as compared to plastic in terms of shuffling, tactile response and even the sound which the chips make when they are stacked. This type is ideal if you are going for medium – high end chips since they are considered high quality with a texture that is easy and great to handle.

Ceramic chips are in the top tier of poker chips and typically commands a high price due to the material. Ceramic chips have a grittier surface which hold the chips well when stacked. Ceramic chips usually weighs 10 grams with great, illustrious and bold designs. One added advantage of ceramic chips is the ability to customize. Many home games who want to up their game can do so with a set of customized ceramic chips which they can truly call their own with a design unique only to them. They are definitively the most elegant chips in play.

Metal chips:

Metal chips are the most unusual and difficult to find, it is made in metallic tones such as silver, gold and bronze. The special thing about them is that they offer unique designs and configurations for the most demanding players. However, they can be really heavy and hard to handle.

Poker plaques are generally used to denote high denomination values. They are heavier and larger in size as compared to the rest of the chips. Their use is more evident in professional tournaments and, more recently, in local tournaments. However, this never stops home games from utilizing the plaques to heighten the sensation of playing poker.


Colours may vary by casino but they tend to follow similar colour patterns.

o $1 – white

o $5 – red

o $10 – orange

o $20 – yellow

o $25 – green

o $100 – black

o $500 – purple

o $1,000 – yellow

As denominations increases. You can expect to see larger sized chips used in casinos to differentiate between the small and large values.

High tech chips using RFID.

Normal chips with RFID (radiofrequency identification) capabilities consists of a technology that allows digital data (smart tags) to be captured through a specialized reader that uses radio waves.

In casinos in general, especially in poker, the use of RFID in chips has several applications and helps in areas such as chip security to prevent fraud and imitation chips. This technology also can count the chips betted in every round and how much each player has in his stack, ultimately increasing the casino’s productivity.

UV spot printing for security purposes:

In casinos and games, the hosts bear the risk of counterfeit chips being introduced into the games. That is a major issue which can cost them to lose a large sum of money. Most casinos and games will implement a form of security ink to identify against counterfeit chips.

UV security printing is an option to provide added customization and protection against counterfeiting. Usually, a logo or phrase that can only be seen under UV light is printed on the surface.

Short guide on how to buy the perfect set of chips:

If you plan to purchase your own chips, you should consider the following points.

1. Budget: As mentioned earlier, each type of chip is different in terms of cost. If you have a low budget, the ideal option would be to buy the affordable plastic chips. Learn the game first and you can always upgrade the chip set when you feel ready to commit.

2. Materials: Every material has its own pros and cons. Find out what you really want to achieve, if you want a more professional setting, clays and ceramics will be great. If you are looking to customize a unique set, ceramic chips will be the most appropriate material to go for, as it allows for a full custom design.

3. Number of players: this will define the number of chips you will need according to the number of people playing at any one time.

Recommended number of chips that would be needed:

4-5 players - 300-500 chips

5-6 players - 500-650 chips

6-8 players - 650-800 chips

8-10 players - 800-1000 chips

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