When you think that all poker chips look the same and that buying a set is just as easy as buying a cd in a music store, think again. Different sets of poker chips have something about them that you should first learn before deciding to go ahead and buy them.
Choosing between the cheap plastic Chinese made chips and the more expensive clay casino chips, for example, should be thought out before you make your purchase. Do you really need a highly expensive chip set if you’ll just use it at home to start with? It might catch you as a surprise that clay poker chips cost about five to ten times greater than plastic chips.
What You Need To Know When Shopping For Poker Chips
With the flourishing market of the Internet and growing popularity of online buying, many marketers and retailers offer affordable and fine-quality poker chips online. Although you may find it convenient to just flip through sites and look for chips that may catch your fancy, it is still important to at least have an idea and understanding of what you’re buying.
Most known poker chip sellers will sell or send you a sample of their chips to help you decide if you want their chips set or not. So before you commit yourself to buying the entire set, you should first try and test out the sample using the following guides:
1. Inlay Labels
Some chips have a printed inlay or stick on label and it is important to make sure that this inlay doesn’t easily peel off. Most custom-made chips have inlay labels and you can try to peel it off using your fingernail or any blunt object to see if it comes off. If it does, then you can toss the chip away and look for another that doesn’t easily mark or scratch. You can also try to dip or expose it in water to see if it wears down the design. You should select a poker chip that cannot easily be ruined and that has the label perfectly centered and symmetrically in line with the edges of the chip.
2. Stamped Chips
On some chips, gold text indicating value or branding is stamped on them. By rubbing two chips together and checking if the stamp fades or gets dirty, you can see if the hot-stamped chip is authentic and has a hard-wearing quality.
3. Face Texture
The face texture of a poker chip usually determines its stacking property. Clay chips, in general, stack better compared with plastic or clay composite types. If you can have several samples in your hand, try putting the different chips on top of each other and see which ones easily slide off. However, consider the weight of the chip when performing this particular test as heavier chips would of course slide off easily over the lighter samples. Just observe which ones slip from the others often like the Chinese plastic chips. Ideally, choose chips that you can stack without too much effort such as the clay and clay composite types.
4. Chip Edges
The edges of a poker chip also prove to be another important consideration when shopping for poker chips. Various makes and classes of poker chips are manufactured with different edges. There are those that have square edges, rounded edges, sharp edges and softer edges. If you try to smash or contact the chip edges against each other and notice a small mark or dent on the edges, don’t be disappointed because the slight marking is probably the sign of a better quality clay chip. Nevertheless, the marking or dent should not be so bad that the chip is already disfigured or maimed. Clay chips have quite soft edges and pushing them together could create a deep marking which is why you should be careful not to push too hard when running a test on chip edges.
When looking for poker chips to buy online or in stores near you, it is always better to first look at the actual chips or samples to see if they can still look as good after several hours of play or with constant use. Whether they are made of clay, clay composite, or plastic, the best poker chips are not easy to scratch, free from discoloring or becoming dirty with scratching, and have resilient surfaces and edges that stay sturdy over a long time.