A Newbie's Guide to Buying Quality Poker Chips

February 15, 2011 :: Posted by - admin :: Category - Poker Articles

A Newbie’s Guide to Buying Quality Poker Chips

Let me start off by saying that there are (3) main types of Poker Chips available, Plastic, Clay and Ceramic.

 Low end (dollar store) Plastic are the least expensive chips and can be found at most grocery stores or “dollar” stores. They are very low in weight and are made solely of cheap plastic. Needless to say, these type chips are not very durable and are not recommended.
ABS Plastic (high impact strength plastic) are made with a higher end ABS type plastic. Most of the time ABS Plastic Chips will be manufactured with a metal inlay, this adds to the weight and “real feel” of the chips. The use of this material allows for a more defined design than Clay Composite’s. They are very durable and will outlast most Clay Composite’s due to the strength of the ABS plastic. Plastic chips make a “ding” type sound when thrown into the “pot”.
NexGen Plastic: This specialized manufacturing process makes these chips feel very close to a Clay Composite Chip. NexGen Chips have a softer, duller surface and stack very well. Dollar for dollar you cannot beat the value of the NexGen line for longevity and durability.
Clay (clay composite): There are really no 100% clay chips, they are made of a Clay Composite. If they were 100% clay, they would crack and break constantly. If a chip is 5% Clay, the manufacturer can still say they are clay. With that said, there are many grades of Clay Composite’s and a wide price range. The best Clay Composite Chips are manufactured using “compression molding” instead of “injection molding”. An example of “compression molded” chips are Paulson, they are Casino Quality and are the best available chips for the home gaming market. Clay Composite chips make a “thud” type sound when thrown into the “pot”.
Ceramic: These type chips are not 100% ceramic, they are mixed with a polymer to give them added strength. A very important factor to remember about the ceramic chips is that the image is embedded below the surface of the chip and will never fade or peel off. Ceramic Chips have a textured surface and stack very well.

There are also a number of different chip weights (measured in grams). There is a misconception that chip weight is a direct reflection of the chip quality, this is totally untrue. Chip weight is only a matter of preference.

I hope this guide has helped you gain a better understanding of the various Poker Chip types that are available and will assist you in making a better decision when choosing your Poker Chips.

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