Article by Thom Riemersma
So you just got back from your last gambling trip. Maybe you went to Las Vegas, maybe Atlantic City or maybe even somewhere abroad. You were sitting at the cards table with a stack of casino poker chips. You were clinking the chips together, stacking them up (because you won a lot of money that night), and you finally notice the chips. Maybe you even decide to take one of the one dollar chips back home with you. You are wondering about the chips. What kind of chips are they? Why do the casinos use these chips (instead of the plastic discs that I use at home)? How long do they last?
Let’s talk about what kind of chip it probably was. Most likely, the casino poker chips were made of clay. They usually aren’t 100% clay, but have a compressed core made of a stronger material that helps to make the chip super strong. Remember, these chips are used twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, so they need to be tough. Clay chips are the best poker chips that money can buy, and they also last a long time. Casino poker chips usually last about three or four years before they are replaced. Think of all the things that people are doing with these chips, and you really can see that they are durable. From tossing a couple of chips to your buddies, because they already lost all of their money, to dropping them on the floor when you’ve won so many chips that you can’t carry them all, casino poker chips really get abused. So, if you have a set, they will probably last you years (if not your lifetime) if you take care of them.
Another interesting thing about casino poker chips is that they contain some security devices so that they can’t be easily replicated or counterfeited. Some of these security features are holograms on the chips or custom color combinations along the chip edges. Some of the higher denominations even contain a radio frequency ID device, so that they can be easily checked if it is real or not. But counterfeit casino poker chips are rare at a casino. Why? Because the staff is trained very well on how to specifically ID the chips to make sure they are real. It’s kind of like having someone who works at a bank check for counterfeit bills. If you work around something all day, you can definitely spot the fake casino poker chips a mile away.
How are they made? Sorry, no one except the manufacturers really know. It is a heavily guarded secret. We do know however, that parts of casino poker chips are hand crafted to thwart counterfeiters, and that the process to make a single chip is a long one.
On the chip itself, you can always find out some basic information. For example, on casino poker chips, you can see what casino it belongs to, and how much it is worth. Almost all casinos follow a typical color pattern for their casino poker chips, so that it is easy to tell how much the bet is just by glancing at the color of the chip. For example, if you go to an Atlantic City casino, the one dollar chips are white, while the five dollar chips are usually red.
Authentic casino poker chips are really cool to think about, and it would be even cooler to have a set. Because the manufacturing process is a highly guarded industry secret, the closest you probably will come to having your own casino poker chips is to take home some from your next gambling vacation.
About the Author
Tom Riemersma plays a lot of recreational poker and is a poker chip expert. He offers his poker related advise through Elite Poker Chips, the one and only casino poker chips destination worth visiting on the web. See more at http://www.elitepokerchips.com
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