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Poker is a popular card game worldwide with the excitement of gambling and the potential for huge payoffs. Almost integral to the game of poker are poker chips, and indeed poker doesn’t feel like poker without a poker chip set.
Chips are small discs of various colors representing different denominations, intended as a substitute for real money, which are kept in a safer place. The use of substitute money, or token money, can be traced back to the 13th to 17th centuries in Europe. Today’s poker chips are often made according to a theme and format that brings together a particular set of chips. This is useful for avoiding counterfeiters, even for games at home or in private.
Casino chips use many different anti-counterfeiting measures, with the most basic being chip coloring and embossed or printed patterns. The holographic inlay, distinctive colored markings on the edges and ultraviolet markings on the inlay further deter potential counterfeiters. Lastly, Radio Frequency Identification or RFID tags are used by some companies. The latter method can be very expensive, but companies that use it feel the cost is justified. Given the difficulty in forging chips, idnpoker.com chip scams in casinos are rare.
If you plan to play privately, you should watch out for scams, especially if you use mass-produced chips. Another reason for these security measures is to identify which casino they are from. This is usually not a problem, as casinos usually only respect their own chips and it is more of a branding issue. In Nevada, however, casinos are allowed to honor chips from other casinos, and this identifier makes returning chips to their casinos easier.
Poker Chip Sets – Composition and Color
Real casino poker chips are made of clay, though not pure clay which is too soft. A special composite blend has been created, using a trade secret technique, the secret of which is yet another speed bump in the counterfeiter’s path. Occasionally, special edition poker chip sets may be purchased from the casino, although generally the poker chips remain in the casino. Poker chips made for home use on the other hand may or may not be of the same quality as their casino counterparts.
For home use poker chips, ceramic and ABS plastic are the most common materials. When ceramics are used, the special composition allows them to approximate the feel of real clay while maintaining a lower price profile. Ceramic chips are also used in some casinos. ABS plastic chips on the other hand can be molded with metal discs or snails inside, to give weight. For those in Europe, poker chips may come from pearls, which gives them an unparalleled sheen and luster. Coloring is standard for different denominations within a set, but may vary between sets. For example, in some places there is a standard coloring scheme for chips, while in others there is none. Of note is the US State of Nevada, where casinos are given free rein over their chip designs and colors.
Poker Chip Sets – Sets and Themes
Since poker games often involve large amounts of money, a large number of chips are required. The standard set has 300 pieces, while others can have 500 pieces, and others go up to an astonishing 1000 pieces. Some casinos sell poker chips similar to those used on the floor but with some differences for identification purposes. This is great for those who want to emulate the feel of their favorite gambling venue at home games. Limited edition sets can be very collectible, and there is a thriving community of poker chip collectors.
Many poker chips are traded through eBay, and the most special ones can cost thousands of US dollars, regardless of face value. All of these special poker chip sets can cost more than individual pieces. What really binds the members of all poker chip sets is the chip design. Poker chips in a set are often the same size, consistent color, and have similar inlays. Colors and inlays vary by denomination, but the idea is that chips from one set can be identified from the same set.