Choosing the right poker chips
Which poker chips are right for me? - There are countless varieties of poker chips with different quality levels. During a poker evening the chips permanently in your hand. Therefore, the feel and sound of a chip should not be underestimated. In the following, we will help you decide which poker chips are perfect for you.
First of all, the main differences in poker chips should be considered:
- Quality (material)
- Optics (appearance)
- Haptics (feeling)
- Numbering (with or without value)
1. The properties in detail
The quality of a poker chip depends largely on the material used. The most common materials used can be divided into the following types:
- Plastic (ABS Composite or ABS PP)
- Clay or clay composite
Plastic chips are usually the cheapest, ceramic chips are the most expensive.
If quality is only judged by stability, there is no great difference between them. The chips won't break or shatter when dropped on the floor in any of the mentioned variants. This is probably obvious to everyone as far as plastic chips are concerned, but the other two variants are no less robust, since they are manufactured with composite materials that provide the necessary material strength. So it is unusual you buy "pure" clay chips or ceramic chips, because they would be too fragile.
The price differences therefore basically result from the respective costs in the manufacturing process and the material costs. The more expensive are made of a higher-quality material that has a more pleasant feel and thus significantly influences the game experience.
1.1. Plastic poker chips
Plastic poker chips are usually made of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene - ABS plastic or polypropylene. To give them the desired weight that poker players love so much, they often have an added metal core. Nevertheless, plastic chips are often lighter than clay chips and are significantly inferior in material to the other two types.
Plastic poker chips often have the typical production characteristics that comes from being made in a mould, such as sharp, edges on the rim. They also feel very smooth on the surface and the sound they make when bouncing off each other sounds flat. This makes them less grippy and playful stacking, which experienced players like to do, is therefore more difficult. In addition, an imprint on plastic chips fades more quickly due to wear and tear. Colourful imprints at the centre of the chip are therefore usually stickers. However, plastic chips often do not have a sticker in the middle but are blank.
Who likes to buy cheap, is well advised with plastic chips in any case. However, in our experience, players quickly come to the conclusion that their poker heart only beats faster when they play with the proper equipment. Often this leads to buying a plastic set, then realising that they need an upgrade and end up buying twice. We therefore recommend investing a little more from the start.
1.2. Clay Pokerchips
Clay poker chips are the most common and very popular among advanced players. However, these are not made of pure clay, but of a clay-plastic mixture (clay composite), which gives the chip the necessary stability. This also creates the typical sound of such chips. The manufacturing process is more complex than with a plastic chip and leads to much more colourful results.
This type of chip often uses metal cores to achieve the desired weight, which is usually around 11g-14g.
Clay chips are typically not printed but are produced using a stamping process within the moulds. In this process, each colour is inserted separately at the edge with coloured material so that fading is eliminated. Minor marks from the manufacturing process can occur. At the centre of the chip there is usually a sticker to make the chip more attractive or to designate a number.
The main difference between plastic and clay chips is that the later have a better feel because they have a slightly rough surface due to the clay content. As a result, the chip feels more grippy and is correspondingly easier to stack (pile). This difference, which should not be underestimated, is quickly noticed by experienced players and will always enhance a poker evening in which the chips are constantly being handled.
You can find our selection of Clay Chips here.
1.3. Ceramic poker chips
Ceramic poker chips are of an even higher quality than clay chips due to the material used. They are not 100% ceramic but contain stability-enhancing composites. They also have a typical sound that makes a poker player's heart beat faster. The chips can be designed such that even the edge can be printed.
Ceramic chips do not need any stickers in the middle, as they can be completely printed during production. Good ceramic chips have a slightly textured surface that provides grip and colours that do not wear out quickly.
A metal core is usually not necessary. Nevertheless, the chips typically have a weight of about 10g, which feels very good.
If you invest in good ceramic chips, you will not regret investing in high-end poker equipment.
You can find our selection of ceramic chips here.