Once you start looking around for poker chips, you will realize that there are many choices. You will find chips with denominations, chips with no denomination, bulk chips, chips in sets and they all come in several colors and are made with different materials.
What chips are right for you? Are you on a budget? Looking for quality? Do you play tournaments, cash games, or both?
Chip Bundles - Bundles are just bulk chips. Most of the chips come in bundles of 25 chips. Some do come in bundles of 50 chips.
Chip Sets - All of our chip styles are available in a variety of set sizes. Getting a set is the more cost effective way of purchasing chips. Most of the sets are available in sizes from 300 to 1000 chips. The cases are aluminum, wood, acrylic and chip carriers. Cases styles are not available in all sizes.
What are poker chips made with?
You will find three types of materials; composite (plastic), clay and ceramic. The composite are usually the most economical, but not always. The clay have a wide range in quality and the ceramic are casino grade.
Composite – They are made from a compressed PVC material. These chips are strong and will last a long time. The edges will not wear down. These chips are a popular choice for poker leagues, were they get a great amount of use. These chips are generally less expensive too, but not always. These chips have a slippery feel.
Clay - Most casinos use clay poker chips. Clay chips come in a wide range of quality and costs. Clay chips have composite materials in them to add strength and durability. Less expensive clay chips generally contain more composite materials in them. Clay chips edges will begin to wear and become rounded, giving them a great feel. Clay chips have a less slippery feel to them. They have a “soapy” feel and tend to stack much better than composite.
Ceramic – a ceramic have the unique feature of having the graphics being part of the chip. Several casinos use ceramic chips. These chips are generally more expensive.
Chip Weight - Most chips sold range between 8 and 15 grams; with the most popular weight being the 14g poker chips. When the poker boom began in the early 2000’s, the 11.5g chips were the first poker chips widely available and there were just a few chip styles to choose from. Then the 13.5g poker chips hit the market and they were made with a clay material. Most recently, the 14 and 15 gram chips have become the heavy weights of the poker chip world.
Many people think that the heavier the chip, the higher the quality of the chip. This is not true, the heavier chips weigh more because there is a metal insert inside of them; the more metal, the heavier they are. 10 grams is the weight of most casino chips.
The weight of a chip is just personal preference. So pick a chip that feels the best to you, has a look you like and one that fits in your budget.
Chip Denominations - About half of our chips have denominations on them and half do not. Whether you have denominations or not is a personal preference.
Denominations – The benefit of denominations is that it eliminates any confusion of the value of the chips. Most chip styles have denominations of $1, $5, $10, $25, $50, $100, $500, $1,000, $5,000 and $10,000. Some sets include chip denominations that are under $1 and over $10,000. You will also find some denominational chip styles that have no dollars sign. These chips have the flexibility to be us as dollar or cent chips.
No Denominations – The benefit of non-denominational chips is that it gives you flexibility. Any color can equal any value. For example, if you play both tournaments and cash games, the chip values needed for each game can be different.
How many poker chips do you need?
The most important aspect to take into consideration is how you will be using the chips. If you are going to be using them for cash games, then that is different that if you will be using them for tournament play. When using chips for cash games, you will only need a couple of chip colors or maybe even just one color of chip. While tournament play will use three, four or maybe five chip colors; depending on the number of players in the tournament.
Tournaments – The number of chips you will need for a tournament is typical about 50 per person. The number of colors you will need depends on how big of tournaments you run. Smaller tournaments up to about 12 people, you could use just three colors. From 12 to 25, you will want to use at least four colors. From 25 to 100, you will want to use at least 5 colors.
Cash Game – When playing a cash game you generally want about 50-80 chips per person. As far as chip colors go, you could do the whole set one color, but you may want one or two other colors too.