In our last column, we talked about the different kinds of poker tables for home games. Well, now that you have your super awesome poker table, it’s time to consider what kind of poker chips you’d like to get. In this column, we’ll go through the different types of poker chips currently available in the market, and I’ll give my personal opinion ranking them from most entry level to highest in terms of quality.
Basic Poker Chips
When you first start and you go super economical, you can buy poker chips online, or maybe at a Walmart, or at a Target. If they’re something that’s super light, something like a four gram, really low-weight plastic poker chips, those are sort of your beginner novelty chips that you can get that come with a deck of Bicycle cards or something like that; And that’ll work great for something that it needs to do, which is being a poker chip.
Standard Inlay Poker Chips
As you start looking more and you’re hosting home games more often, maybe look into investing something that’s going to have a little longevity and add a little character to your home game. So in that case, the next step up in terms of quality and readily available are anything that you see is like a 13.5 gram weight all the way up to a 15 gram weight. You’ll often see them marked as inlay chips.
What gives the inlay chip a heavier feel is it usually has a piece of weight, generally a piece of metal, inside the plastic. So, those chips are primarily made of plastic on the outside coated over a metal slug to give it the weight. There’s a variety of different designs where they use a sticker to show the denomination and have different artwork designs. This is great, and they generally come from Asia. I’ve seen all kinds of poker chips.
Worth noting is that a failure points for these particular inlay chips is that if they’ve been out for too long or the grade of glue that they used is not very good sometimes the stickers may fall off after a while. That’s sort of the extent of the failure of these types of chips. And just personally, I think a 13.5 or 15 gram chip is a little overkill for the game. They feel good, but when you’ve got five hundred of them and you try to lug it around that’s maybe a 27-pound case that you’re carrying around too. It does become a little heavy sometimes.
Premium Quality Poker Chips
Now the third quality chip – my personal favorite – is 10 gram ceramic poker chips. Ceramic poker chips are really cool in that there’s no inlay, no metal inside of it. It starts as just a white ceramic base, and what they do is they use this process called dye sublimation. What this means, in layman’s terms, is that there’s changes from a piece of paper on ink, and you heat it and it turns to gas, which fuses on your blank ceramic canvas. Very cool technology. And what that yields is a product that doesn’t need a sticker. It’s able to replicate the entire color spectrum. And you’ve got some really cool artwork in this ceramic grade of chip.
I think the cool thing about not having the metal inlay is the lighter weight. They still feel great, like a casino chip, and some of your real casino chips only weigh 9 or 10 grams, so it’s actually on point in terms of weight. Plus you’ll get really cool graphics with it, which is why they’re my personal favorite.
The Rolls Royce of Poker Chips
Now if you have a long established game and you want to go all out, and you want to get the Rolls Royce of poker chips – the experience that you get at a premium casino – you’re generally playing with all-clay chips. You may have heard the brand Paulson before. Those chips are 100% clay. They’re also made with a mix of materials with security features built into the poker chip. A very technologically advanced product that is generally overkill for most home games, but if you wanted to go super high roller, those are kind of the cream of the crop.
The only problem with these cream of crop casino poker chips is that about four years ago Paulson and other companies stopped producing them for private consumption, so the only way to get them now would be to buy them on the second-hand market, or to get them from a casino that has shut down or rebranded. The cost of these chips are pretty expensive. Sometimes they even cost upwards of $2 per poker chip, so you might be looking at $1,000 for a 500-piece set, which makes it highly desirable and highly luxurious and premium at the same time.
So there you have it. Once you have a really cool poker table from BBO Poker Tables, and you’re looking at some really cool poker chips to match, that sort of covers the entire gamut of what’s out there in terms of poker chips, presently.
I hope you’ve learned a little bit about poker chips and the poker chip market. Remember you can always reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Until next time, this is George from BBO wishing you the best home games.