Running the Perfect Home Game – Part 2 – Poker Chipsets

Hi and welcome to part 2 of our guide to the perfect home game, in part 1 we looked at the different playing cards available and which is right for your home game. If you missed it or just want a recap you can read them in our Home Games section.

So moving on to part two, in this article we will look at the different poker chips currently available on the market. Of course getting the right type of chips ultimately comes down to personal choice for colour, design and domination (if you go for a home cash game) however the type and weight really should be your 1st port of call when looking to by a new chipset.

Update: Have you seen the PokerDIY poker chip calculator? It can work out your starting poker chips stacks and it’s free of course…

Why is weight so important?

Well in the world of poker getting the weight just right is a fine balance, to light and the chips can seem a little cheap too heavy and chip riffling can get a little loud for some people. There are chips thats start at 5g and these come with most cheap poker sets you can pick up at game stores and such like. These have a real plastic waxy feel to them and you will really not want to play with them, so steer clear of them. Next in line are the 11.5g which are one of the most standard chips you will come across.

If you have ever seen photo’s of poker chips more than likely they will be the 11.5g variety. The most common are “dice” chips called so because of the dice motifs around the edges of the chips. They come in most common colours red, green, white, blue, black, and even yellow and purple. Chips at this weight feel good in the hands, chip tricks are carried out with ease so showing off “the butterfly” is a walk in the park for your chip trick savvy players.

The next weight class is the 14g poker chip, these are just like the “dice” chips however the centre of the chip is usually set in chrome or a metal embossed finish, This gives the chip a nice “clinking” sound when riffling your chips or spalshing the pot. These chips with the extra weight can look great at a home game and with the centre disc displaying different dominations, these can be used at both cash and tournament based nights. These also come in array of different designs and colours, of course with this amount of choice the price will always increase. Shopping around and looking for full sets will bring the price down further but you are still looking at between £50-£100 for a set of 500 chips.

Ok, so I know what weight I want, now what about the type?

Branded poker chipsets i.e. playboy, Jack Daniels and the like are always going to be a little more expensive than the standard “dice” chipsets. However the type of chip underneath is pretty much the same as any other 11.5g poker chip. So if you really want that branded chipset remember if you want to expand your set at any time you may only be able to buy them in sets of 200, 300, 500 and so on.

Sticking with unbranded it opens a whole new world of options for poker chipsets. There are of course the standard ones we have mentioned before but there are so many more, from tri-colour edges to playing card suits edges. I would recommend looking at a selection of recognised retailers of poker chipsets to get the best price and type of chips you want.

Finally there are poker chipsets that are seen as the best money can buy. These include Paulson cardroom / NPS, Nevada Jacks and the ever popular nexgen chips. These can for be bought in 25 packs from anywhere between £5-25, but they are worth every penny. The Paulson poker chips are as close as you can get to actually owning casino chips legally, they are around the 12/13g mark and retail for around £15 per 25. They will glide across the felt in large or small stacks as you make your raises. They can be a little too good for some home game players, especially if ribs are involved!

Some sites I would suggest to get your poker chipsets from are (I have used them all before):, ,

We hope you have enjoyed this section of “Running The Perfect Home Games” , look out for more articles coming soon.


  • Avatar of rodders
    October 26, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    Ok, ok, you guys are right 😉 Thanks for the comments!

  • Avatar of
    [email protected]
    October 26, 2011 at 11:22 am

    Rod, IMO you are way off on the weight issue. Heavier is not better. You mention that heavy chips have a “nice clinking sound”, most players would say that a clinking sound is a bad chip trait!

    Fact: All chips that weigh 11 grams or more have a metal insert in them and have that “clinking” sound” My advise: Stay away from them.

    You seem to be endorsing “dice” chips! These have become so common that I would never recommend using them. They are cheap metal insert chips, the most common kind.

    IMO. A chip should weigh 8-10 grams.


  • Avatar of
    [email protected]
    October 25, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    You missed the option of custom chips. While the stakes at my home game aren’t high enough to warrant real cheating, custom chips prevent the possibility of slipping in a “counterfeit”. Poker is full of rules to prevent cheating – the burn card, cutting the deck, rules against talking about your folded cards during a live hand – why not protect your chips as well?

    Plus, with a little creativity, they can look super-cool!

  • Avatar of
    [email protected]
    December 13, 2010 at 1:45 am

    gotta love the clay chips. no plastic!

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