Poker Chips Explained

Poker is an exhilarating game that most people the world over love to play, either at their own homes or at the Casino. There is no better feeling than winning a giant stack of chips that you have to use both hands to group them together next to your chest. In the gaming industry, you will hear people talking about “Poker chips” and “Casino grade chips”. The names may not be official but essentially, there are major two classes of chips and these are: the premier or casino grade chip and the alternative low cost ‘home-game’ chips so read texas holdem poker chip reviews for more.

Casino Grade Chips


As you might have known, poker started to be used in gambling games in the 19th century when there was dire need for some kind of standardization. Most gaming houses that offered poker started using rare items such as ivory, clay and bones. These were all easy to forge and so with time, the chips were made more and more forge proof. In the 1880s, companies started making clay composition poker chips. Casino grade tokens now come in clay and clay composite chips, which look similar and weigh between 9-11 grams. Most pro poker players prefer to use clay chips. Clay chips are made from a highly secretive compression-molding process and is accepted as the standard for most Casinos throughout the world. They are a very labor-intensive products which makes them one of the most expensive chips going for an average of $1 apiece.

On the other hand, clay composite chips are made through the injection-molding process. They are manufactured by two main companies: Chipco and Kardwell in the U.S. Kardwell. They are very popular since they can be easily decorated to suit the needs of specific gaming houses. Kardwell produces chips that feel natural, like clay while Chipco’s products feel like some kind of ceramic.The clay composite chips have grown in popularity over recent decades even though the clay chips are still the standard. This is due to their relatively cheaper price and as mentioned, they are easy to add graphics and decorations to.

Home-grade chips

The third type of chip available in the market is meant for playing poker at home. They are mostly clay composite chips manufactured in China. They are made of PVC plastic through the injection process and are specifically designed to serve the domestic and inexperienced rookie market. You will find most of these being closely marketed as the “heaviest chips in the market” but nobody said the heavier the better. They weigh between 11.5-13 grams per chip and are never used in a Casino. They have a metal core which increases their weight. These chips are readily available throughout the world at extremely low prices. However, as a buyer, you should always look for the highest quality composite chips since it could be heavier and cheaper but only last a month. Buying a set of poker chips should be a once-in-a-lifetime affair. Furthermore, you will find the cheap Chinese chips very slippery hence harder to stack them together or perform some nice chip tricks.