For poker enthusiast, the poker chip set is the calling card of a serious player. Consummate players have custom made sets with a variety of emblems, markings, and colors. Chips come in a variety of weights that add to their luster and feel and are crafted by several different types of materials. Some brands are sought-after for replicating the quality and authenticity of the ones in casinos.

Emblems, Markings, and Colors

Poker is more than a game - it comes with loads of symbolism that includes allegiances to organizations, institutions, causes, and people. There are specialty emblems that are used to represent the armed forces, sports media giant ESPN, and even American Presidents. The denominations imprinted on the chip ranges from 50¢ to $25,000. To help differentiate them a color-coded system is used. The common colors found in casino play are blue, gray, red, green, white, and black. With the popularity of the game, it is not unusual to find multiple color schemes with customized poker chip sets in homes.

Materials Used During Manufacturing

Casinos around the world use poker chips manufactured from a clay substance base. Clay poker chip sets are generally more expensive than ones made from other materials such as resin. Nowadays most chips are composites of several compounds including chalk, plastic, cat litter clay, and sand. In the 1980s, a ceramic material entered the market in lieu of its clay predecessor.

Available Weights

Regardless of the materials used to produce the poker chip sets, the weight is a distinguishing factor. Because of this, serious players can tell the more expensive collections from others. The better quality chips are generally lighter. The lighter chips are actually more valuable because their weight is made without the use of a metal insert. A true clay chip doesn't have any metal which is why they are so light. United Stated based casinos use 10 grams with a range of eight to 10.5. However, there are specialty sets that have a weight of 11.5 to 15 grams.

Popular Brands

Before deciding on a specific brand of poker chip, try out some chip samples to see how you like playing with the chip. Some of the most popular providers specifically deal with casinos rather than individual players, so make sure that the chips you are sampling are available to home players and not just casinos. Each brand has different signature characteristics to their chips - from the texture, to the weight, to how rounded the edges are. Each manufacturer uses a specific material to make their poker sets and choosing your favorite brand is a very personal process. As a serious poker player, get to know your options and take a few chips for a test-drive before committing to buying a full poker chip set.