When you play poker at home, you want to create an atmosphere that’s authentic and fun. Whether you play in serious weekly cash game or have the occasional friendly poker party, having the right poker gear is an essential part of the poker playing experience. You’re going to need refreshments, beverages, a decent table, multiple decks of cards and a quality set of poker chips. With so many chips to choose from, how are you supposed to know what kind of chip is right for you? You know that chip weight is important, but how heavy should your chips really be?
There are quite a few poker chip variations available on the market. Toy plastic chips represent the bottom level. These types of chips may work for 12 year olds, but if you’re arranging a home game, these shouldn’t really be an option. These chips are virtually weightless and could mess up the most sophisticated poker strategy.
Plastic and Acrylic Chips
There are other types of plastic and acrylic chips that are made of a higher quality than flimsy, toy-style chips. Many affordable home game chips fall into this upper-class plastic category. These chips can weigh up to 7 or 8 grams.
Composite Metal Chips
Composite metal chips are durable, inexpensive chips that are injected with a plastic-like particulate substance. These chips have metal inserts that increase their weight. These low cost, chips are often manufactured in China. Advertised as the heaviest chips on the market, many composite metal chips can weigh 13 grams or more.
Clay Composite Chips
Chips made of pure clay haven’t been around for some time. Composite clay chips are more durable than chips constructed of pure clay. These composite clay chips are injection molded with a clay-like substance of natural origin. Ceramic chips would fall under this category. Clay composite chips can be pretty pricey, and they usually weigh around 10 or 11 grams, but there’s plenty of weight fluctuations given all the different varieties available. You may find good chips offered as promotions from online poker sites, such as Full Tilt Poker.
Authentic casino chips are the king of all chip types. Each casino uses their own secret recipe for crafting their official chips. The composition and manufacturing process of these compression-molded clay chips are considered industry secrets. These chips can weigh about 10 to 11.5 grams. By all accounts, casino chips have the optimal weight, feel, texture and construction. It’s worth noting that chips with metal inserts actually weigh more than premium, authentic casino chips.
Weight is just one consideration among many. You want your chips to look nice and feel solid. You want to avoid slippery chips and warped chips that won’t stack right. There should be no fading colors, exposed seams or pattern anomalies. If you’re looking for the perfect weight, avoid chips with metal slugs. Target the chips that best replicate the chips you’d find in real casino.