What Are Poker Chips Made Of? – Poker Fortress

What Are Poker Chips Made Of? – Poker Fortress

If you wish to create an genuine poker site really feel on your house poker video games, choosing the proper poker chip is essential. However, it’s complicated attempting to work out the variations between the array of poker chips obtainable. In the long run, getting that genuine really feel is determined by what the poker chips are fabricated from.

Poker chips are fabricated from a wide range of completely different supplies. Usually, poker chips utilized in casinos are predominantly clay, with sand, chalk, and different components. Some casinos use ceramic poker chips, that are a tough, dense polymer.

If it looks as if there’s no restrict to your confusion, don’t fear. Let’s flip that round now by going by in additional element the completely different supplies used within the making of poker chips. 

Medium high quality plastic poker chips, or low entry clay composite are the most typical in house video games while you play with mates.

Clay Poker Chips

Should you’re in search of poker chips of the sort historically utilized in casinos, you then’re speaking about clay poker chips. However, let’s be clear, it’s many years since poker chips had been crafted from 100% clay.

Clay Poker Chips Aren’t All Clay?

That’s proper. The trendy clay poker chip is a mix of clay, plus, sand, and chalk. These and different components make the clay much less brittle and improve sturdiness. If chips had been 100% clay, they’d harm simply and even snap in two.

So, in trendy parlance, a clay poker chip isn’t fully fabricated from clay. However, they’re nonetheless known as clay chips.

They’ll be predominantly clay, however with different components added for energy. So, we’ll speak about them as clay chips because it’s a handy method to distinguish them from different varieties of chips. 

Typically, the best-known examples of clay poker chips are these made by Gaming Companions Worldwide Company below the Paulson title. However, it not produces for the retail market, just for casinos.

You’ll be able to choose up Paulson chips on the second-hand market. An instance is that this $5 Binions Las Vegas chip, which bears the well-known high hat and cane mould utilized by Paulson.

Different occasions, you possibly can seize some when a on line casino modifications its title or branding. Then their present chips grow to be out of date and are sometimes supplied on the market.

Because the man on this video explains, it’s a must to keep watch over poker chip boards to remain abreast of what’s obtainable.

YouTube video.

The Paulson clay chips appear to be the royal flush within the hierarchy of poker chips. So, they’re the usual by which many individuals choose all different poker chips. That occurs even while you get right down to plastic poker chips, as you’ll see later.

How Are Clay Poker Chips Made?

The manufacturing of clay chips makes use of a course of known as compression molding. It’s a course of that makes use of excessive strain and warmth to realize the specified form and design.

Briefly, the base-colored clay disc goes into the underside heated mould cavity, after which the highest of the mould is pressured down onto it. The strain compresses the combination into all areas of the mould. That manner, when set, the combination takes on the detailed mould sample.

The mould sample consists of the flamboyant embossing across the outer edges of many poker chips.

The trickier elements of the method are the inlay and the inserts or edge spots. Coping with these elements of the clay poker chip is the place the prices actually are available.

The inlay is the middle of the chip, the place you’ll see some kind of branding or design. Usually, it additionally shows the denomination of the chip. 

The inserts or edge spots seem as stripes on the chip floor. They’re the strains or blocks of colour that encircle the inlay and prolong over the chip’s edges.

The inlay is paper, so it’s lined with a skinny layer of plastic to supply sturdiness. It’s then inserted into the mould earlier than compression in order that it varieties a part of the chip. Meaning you possibly can’t peel it off. 

The sting spots are sections of clay minimize out from across the edges of the disc. The producer then inserts the specified colour of clay into the minimize out areas to kind the sting spots.

So, as you possibly can see, making clay poker chips of the sort you discover within the casinos is an concerned course of. A part of the method is labor-intensive. However this course of is what provides the chips their feel and appear.

The best way to Inform if Your Chips Are Clay Chips

Clay poker chips vs. composite clay poker chips.Usually clay composite poker chips are labeled as clay chips. be certain to make your analysis earlier than shopping for a poker set. It’s also possible to selected from our suggestions under.

There’s a number of confusion round this. It’s not useful that product descriptions at all times appear to seek advice from chips as clay or clay composites.

You could have seen this your self. For instance, seeing a retailer describe plastic chips as clay composite chips. Now, there could also be some clay in these chips, but when so, it’s in all probability a smidge. So don’t fall for the bluff. Name or elevate them on it. 

Higher nonetheless, bear in mind that this occurs and know the tells. Some pointers are:

Value per chip. Examine what you’re paying. If it’s not not less than $1 a chip, you possibly can just about assure that the chip isn’t predominantly clay. That’s to not say there’s no clay in it. It’s simply that it’s extra prone to be solely a small proportion of the supplies used. As a result of manufacturing course of, a compression-molded chip that’s predominantly clay is pricey.
Chip weight. Casinos have a tendency to make use of chips weighing between 8 and 10g (0.3 to 0.35oz). Most lower-end chips are heavier, in all probability between 11 to 14g (0.39 to 0.49oz). Now, it’s not at all times the case as there are respectable composite and plastic chips obtainable at round 9g (0,32oz). So, verify different elements.
Chip diameter. Most casinos use 39mm (1.53’’) diameter chips. Some lower-end chips are about 43mm (1.69’’). Once more, this isn’t conclusive.
The sound chips make while you shuffle them. It’s laborious to explain the sound that clay chips make. You would say that it’s a particular clacking. After all, all chips will clack while you shuffle them. However with the on line casino clay chips, it’s in all probability a deeper or a extra stable sound than you get from different supplies. Cheaper plastic, for instance, would possibly sound extra like an irritating high-pitched tweet.
The inlay. Clay chips have the inlay sealed into the chip in the course of the manufacturing course of, so you possibly can’t peel it off. There could solely be a sticker on cheaper chips, so that you’ll be capable of peel it off. The sealing of the inlay into the material of the clay chip additionally means the colours received’t bleed in the event that they get moist. So, you possibly can wash the chips with out distorting the graphics on the inlay. Thus, bleeding colours could recommend your chip isn’t clay.
The mould. Anticipate to see some imperfections in a compression molded clay chip. For instance, the delineation between the sting spots and the chip’s base colour might not be sharp or exact. That’s a part of the character of clay chips. As you’ll see later, nevertheless, some cheaper chips attempt to mimic this impact.
The feel. Real clay chips shouldn’t really feel slippery while you deal with them. There needs to be a little bit of texture, supplying you with some grip.

China Clay or Clay Composite Poker Chips

China clay is kaolin, a kind of clay that’s mushy and white, and normally present in China. You’ll usually discover it in porcelain merchandise. When blended with water, at round 25 to 35%, it turns into like a plastic. This implies you possibly can then mould and form it.

Extra Confusion in Nomenclature

China clay chips are also referred to as clay composite chips. That’s as a result of there’ll be components within the combine to strengthen and supply further weight. So, once more, we’re speaking a few composite materials, not pure China clay.

Chances are you’ll even see them described as clay chips. Once more, not useful.

It will get much more complicated while you see some plastic chips described as clay composites, however we’ll get to that later.

The best way to Inform if It’s China Clay?

China clay chips ought to have a barely dusty really feel, which you received’t get from plastic chips. 

Poker chips produced from China clay might be related in look, really feel, and sound to the clay chips detailed above. So, they’re a wonderful various for clay chips.

The benefit is that they’re significantly cheaper than clay chips. We’ll have a look at why subsequent.

The Manufacturing Course of for China Clay Chips

Not surprisingly, these chips are mass-produced in China. 

A few of these chips could have the time period compression molded of their description. However, it’s in all probability not the identical methodology used for clay chips. 

Their manufacturing course of is probably a multi-shot injection molding course of to get the a number of colours on the chip. 

It’s a extra environment friendly manner than the kind of compression molding used for clay chips.

With injection-based molding, the filling of the mould is by steady injection, not handbook. So it’s much less labor-intensive and cheaper. You’ll be able to see the multi-shot course of on this video.

Molding course of.

On a China clay chip, what’s known as the inlay is normally only a sticker or label hooked up with adhesive. This distinguishes them from clay chips produced by compression molding.

Not like most moldable chips, the China clay chips don’t have a metallic insert or slug inside. So, they mimic extra carefully the burden that you simply’ll discover in on line casino clay chips, round 10g.

Should you’re trying to emulate the genuine on line casino expertise however don’t have the funds for on line casino clay chips, China clay chips will do the job. They’re considerably cheaper than the clay chips, normally across the 50c degree, give or take.

A widely known instance of a China clay poker chip that’s been round for some time is the Milano 10g Poker Chip by Claysmith Gaming.

This video provides a prolonged assessment of the Milano chip. It’s a very good watch should you like what you see however wish to know extra earlier than splashing your {dollars} into the pot.

Milano poker chips assessment.

Right here’s an in depth assessment of varied China clay chips normally. It’s price viewing should you’re contemplating shopping for a set of this sort. It provides you some good factors and a few dangerous factors about this type of chip.

China clay chips: the nice and the dangerous.

Ceramic Poker Chips

Opposite to the title, ceramic poker chips aren’t really ceramic. They’re a hardened plastic or resin materials, maybe a bit like bakelite. 

The fabric is a polymer composite. It’s the fabric’s high-density composition that offers ceramic chips their hardness. It’s additionally what makes them really feel and sound like ceramics, therefore the title.

How Are Ceramic Chips Made?

The manufacturing course of for ceramic chips is injection molding. It’s a simpler kind than the method described above for clay composite chips. That’s as a result of the bottom of a ceramic chip is a single colour, normally white. 

The method takes melted beads or pellets of the polymer composite and injects them into the specified mould. You’ll be able to see how the method works on this brief video.

Injection molding course of.

After you have the clean chip, a type of digital printing often known as dye-sublimation transfers the design onto the chip, so that you print immediately onto the chip. This eliminates the necessity for separate labels or inlays.

Moreover, the strategy permits the design to cowl the entire floor space of the chip. The method additionally permits for extra vivid colours and complex designs. 

So, ceramic chips lend themselves to customization. In all probability due to the limitless design potential, in addition to sturdiness, ceramic chips are in use in some casinos.

What Do Ceramic Chips Look Like?

These Nevada Jack 10g ceramic chips are a very good instance of one of these chip. 

You’ll be able to see that not like clay and China clay chips, ceramic chips are likely to have a flat floor. There’s no want for a middle indent as a result of there’s no label or inlay. The flat floor helps with the printing course of.

However it additionally means some ceramic chips could also be overly clean and slippery, whether or not you want that’s down to non-public alternative. The issue is, in the event that they’re too clean, chips are susceptible to sliding round and slipping off your stack. 

The Nevada Jack chips have a barely linen-textured floor, so that they’re much less susceptible to slipping. The feel additionally makes them pleasing to deal with.

It’s price getting samples of any designs that you simply like earlier than selecting if the smoothness is a matter.

Ceramic chips are sometimes pricier than the China clay choice, however cheaper than the genuine clay chips. Nonetheless, they’re extra sturdy, so you could get extra play out of them than a China clay chip. Anticipate to pay round 60c to 70c per chip.

Plastic Poker Chips

lowest entry plastic poker chipsLowest entry plastic poker chips. Usually they don’t seem to be even ok for an informal house sport with mates.

Plastic poker chips are exactly that, plastic. They’re on the decrease finish of the value vary. That makes them helpful should you want a lot of chips, however your funds is tight.

The Low-cost as Chips Poker Chips

Plastic chips are considerably cheaper than the opposite varieties of chips mentioned above. 

The most affordable, like this set of 160 Plastic Poker Chips, mark the underside of the value vary. However, you’re not going to wish to whip these out should you’re enjoying with even mildly critical poker gamers. Effectively, aside from as a bluff.

You may get plastic chips above this fundamental degree, which look extra like a poker chip.  

Some, like these Brybelly Tremendous Diamond Poker Chips, are an identical weight to on line casino chips. 

However, like these Da Vinci Cube Striped Poker Chips, others might need a metallic insert or slug so as to add weight. The slugged chips usually weigh greater than actual on line casino chips, generally coming in at about 14g (0.49oz). Some gamers like this or don’t thoughts, whereas some don’t prefer it in any respect.

Plastic Chips With Authenticity

Better quality plastic poker chips.Some plastic poker chips on higher finish have a surprisingly good high quality. After all, they’re much more costly additionally.

Surprisingly, you may get one thing far more reasonable in plastic that received’t break the financial institution.

The Nextgen Professional Traditional is a plastic chip that tries to duplicate the feel and appear of a real on line casino chip. The promoting spiel refers to a novel manufacturing course of used to realize this.

On appears, they attempt to mimic the traditional Paulson clay chips, even right down to imperfect strains of the sting spots talked about above.

In addition they really feel like clay chips while you deal with them due to some added texture. So, they’re not slippery, opposite to what you’d count on from a plastic chip.

Weight-wise, at about 9g (0.32oz), they’re the everyday weight that you simply discover in casinos. Not like most moldable poker chips, the Nexgen Professional Traditional chips are metallic slug-free. So that they sound much less clunky while you shuffle them. The sound in all fairness near that of the clay chips.

They appear to do a very good job of imitating the clay on line casino chips, as you possibly can see from this assessment. So, clearly, the producer is doing one thing proper.

Nextgen Professional Traditional poker chips.


As you possibly can see, what are poker chips fabricated from has a number of solutions.

You’ll discover the costlier finish of the vary dominated by clay, clay composites, and ceramic chips. Whereas on the cheaper finish, you’ll discover a wide range of plastics.

The easiest way to resolve which to decide on is to get samples of ones that curiosity you and evaluate them within the flesh. It’s solely by seeing them up-close and dealing with them that you simply’ll be capable of make an knowledgeable alternative,

Which materials you select is down to non-public desire, in addition to funds. However, with the vary of selections obtainable, the percentages of discovering one thing to go well with are stacked in your favor.

Associated Articles

Author: Charles Cox