Poker Chips 101: A Beginner’s Guide To Understanding Types And Uses

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One of the most beloved card games in the world is poker, and that is no less true in the U.S. than anywhere else. A game that grew in popularity from the colonial age to becoming a staple of Old West saloons and riverboats to the explosion into a mainstream obsession at the turn of the new century, this gambling contest is firmly entrenched in our society.

Unlike the old days, however, it is now played mostly in land-based casinos, dedicated card rooms, home poker games, and online. For every type of poker except digital, having your own, sometimes customized poker accessories is necessary. While this includes cards, dice, shufflers, dealer and blind buttons, etc, today we will be taking a deeper look at chips.

From poker chip values to materials to alternative uses, here are a few things you should know:

Different Materials for Poker Chips


These are your entry-level, low-quality options. They are perfectly suitable for ultra-casual games around the kitchen table or somewhere similar.


Up until the 1950s, good poker chips were made of clay. After that, clay composite was developed to reduce the brittleness and increase durability.


These are on the higher end as far as quality and customization options go.


These are much less common than the other options mentioned on this list. They’re more of a niche item.


These are also less common and oftentimes come from non-poker providers such as glassblowers and seasoned glass artists.Image3

A quality set can be significantly pricey.

Poker Chips Values

Cash Games

The standards for chip values in cash poker games tend to be pretty universal, especially at the lower stakes. Here is a quick rundown of the various colors and what they represent:

● White: $1

● Red: $5

● Blue: $10

● Green: $25

● Black: $100

● Purple: $500


Tournament poker chip values are a much more complex formula. Due to the fact that blinds grow to massive levels in larger fields, there are dozens of chip color combinations to represent rising values. In-home or charity event tournaments, it really comes down to the preferences of the host.

Various Other Uses and Benefits

Golf Markers

A great place where poker chips function away from the tables is the golf course. Generic or personalized chips make great markers for your golf ball. They’re perfectly flat and can be made in colors that stand out against the green background.

Personalized Gift Sets

Another common non-gaming use for poker chips is giving them as gifts. Whether it’s a birthday present for a family member or friend who plays poker, customized groomsmen gifts, or a unique way to commemorate an event, sports team, or any other interest, there are a lot of gifting options available regarding chips.

Customized Promotional Items

Poker chips also make great promo and marketing options for your business or organization.


You can customize them with your company logo and contact info, you could give them some type of promotional redemption value, and you could host a charity poker game and give them away to guests and potential clients, as well as numerous other possibilities.

Above All, Get Quality Accessories

No matter what specific options you choose or how you end up customizing your chip set, the only non-negotiable thing is the quality of the chips themselves. Play with a few different materials and see what you like.

Take time to consider if and how you want them personalized. Get the opinions of your poker-playing companions. You’ll likely be playing with these chips for years; make sure they’ll stay in good shape.