Understanding the Value and Concept of Poker Chips

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The game of poker is one of the most popular games showcased in different gambling-themed movies. This is simply necessitated by the fact that poker is one of the most popular casino games in land-based casinos as well as online casinos.

Poker Chips Colours

When one watches a game of poker being played on the TV, one will realize that there are some colored circular artifacts that are always present on the table. During gameplay, these colored circular artifacts do change hands as some players will push them to the center or towards another player.

For someone who doesn’t have knowledge about the game of poker, the presence of the colored circular artifacts as well as the constant exchanges that take place will create some confusion.

Well, to clear that confusion and impart to everyone the knowledge about what these colored circular artifacts are, we have come up with this article that explains everything about the little colored circular artifacts which enable the game of poker to be played smoothly.

Poker Chip Values

What are Poker Chips?

The colored circular artifacts that players get to see on the poker table have a very specific name. This name is ‘poker chips’. Poker chips act as an in-game currency when playing a game of poker. This, therefore, meaning that when it comes to issues such as placing bets, wagering and taking winnings, players use poker chips as they are the in-game currency.

How to Get Poker Chips

Poker chips are bought inside the land-based casino halls when playing at brick-and-mortar casinos. When playing online, poker chips are purchased at the Cashier section.

One important thing to note about poker chips especially for land-based casino players is that they do come with marked chipsets. These marked chipsets play a crucial role in ensuring that only the specific set of poker chips developed by a particular casino are those that are used in playing poker games.

This in essence eliminating the possibility of the player purchasing poker chips from another casino and proceeding to use them in a different casino.

Poker Chip Values

Poker chips do come in different colors. The different colors that each poker chip has played a very important role. This role entails specifying the value of the poker chip.

While the values of poker chips may differ from country to country and casino to casino, there is a common classification that’s used by a majority of online casinos both land-based and online. Below is a graphical representation of each poker chip (by color) and its subsequent monetary value.

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Classification of Poker Chips by Material of Origin

Poker chips are not manufactured from one universal product, no. Rather, they are manufactured from a whole host of products/materials. For some casinos, the material of origin of a poker chip is of no consequential value.

However, to some, the material of origin used in designing poker chips helps in determining the value of the chip. The four most used materials of origin in designing poker chips are as follows: plastic/ABS, clay/composite chips, ceramic chips, and metal chips. Below, we check out these materials of origins in detail.

  • Plastic/ABS

Poker chips manufactured from plastic are the cheapest to purchase. Owing to this, they are largely the majority used by folks who choose to play poker from the comfort of their homes with family and friends.

Rarely do land-based casinos use plastic chips in their casino lobbies. To differentiate the values of the different poker chips, the manufactures of the plastic chips can use colors, numbers inscribed on the center showing the value of each chip or the playing card suits inscribed on the center.

  • Clay Chips

Clay chips just like plastic chips are rarely used in casinos today. However, in days gone by, clay chips were the go-to chips for all casino operators. Clay chips go through a rigid and thorough compression molding process during manufacturing. The end result is the creation of 8 to 9-gram chips which feel great in the hand. Clay chips don’t break up easily and they are great for stacking and riffling.

  • Ceramic

Nowadays, ceramic chips are the most used in land-based casinos. These chips are produced from a special plastic that is similar to porcelain. They are of better quality in comparison to clay chips and they are also very durable. Though they are a bit pricey, some private players now prefer playing with these chips to clay or plastic ones.

  • Metal Chips

Metal chips are like gold – they are very pricey and rare to find. This is largely necessitated by the fact that the company which used to manufacture them, Time-Life Company is no longer doing so. There aren’t a majority of casinos that use metal chips for gameplay action but they may be found inside casinos for beautification purposes as they are really a work of art.

Some Interesting Facts on Poker Chips

  1. In days gone by, casinos used to lose a lot of money owing to forgery of fiat currencies. However, since the emergence of chips, forgery cases have drastically reduced. This necessitated by the fact that forging chips is a tough Endeavour. This owing to the fact that chips comes with difficult to forge texture, feel, weight, as well as microchips and serial numbers.
  2. Casinos use different chips for different tournaments. Chips for a buy-in into one tournament cannot be used to buy-in into another tournament. This prevents any form of cheating.
  3. Casinos can create poker chips with any monetary value they want (for as long as they have funds to back the chip). Owing to this, chips with a monetary value of 1 million or 5 million pounds can be found!

Note for Beginner Players

While one can read about the world’s top poker players, it’s important to always note that there was a first for each and every poker player. As such, there is nothing scary to be a poker beginner.

However, to make your gaming experience a whole lot better, worthwhile and smooth-sailing, it’s important to know all the etiquette and rules surrounding poker. There are a lot of articles on this online and reading these will help the player a big deal.


  1. What material is used in manufacturing poker chips?

Answer: Poker chips are manufactured from one of four materials. These are as follows: plastic, metal, clay and ceramic.

  • What is the standard weight for a professional poker chip?

Answer: There is no standard weight for a poker chip. However, the general rule is that each poker chip must be easily shuffled hence the general conviction that each poker chip has to weigh at least 11.5 grams.

  • Can I use another currency other than poker chips when playing a game of poker?

Answer: In general, casinos do prefer that players purchase and use poker chips when playing poker games. However, for those that may allow fiat currencies to be used, they generally only allow the use of the US 100 bill.


In the article above, we have outlined the majority of the things that newbies and even pro-players may need to know about poker chips. These relate to all things which have to do with the use of chips, how they are developed, their values as well as interesting facts about them.