Ceramic Chips

Ceramics are a ceramic or composite slug that have graphics printed on them.  The slug can have a variety of textures, but the most common is a smooth, but not slick, surface that allows for very detailed graphics/images.

 

 

Rating System:
Everything is a 1 to 10, with 10 being the best.  FEEL is the overall feel of the chip when you handle it, shuffle it, splash it, etc etc.....  QUALITY is how well the chip has been manufactured as well as my guess on how well it will hold up in the long run. Off center graphics and bleeding colors take points away from QUALITY. Finally, LOOKS is how attractive the chip design itself is to my own eyes.  This one is the most subjective.  Here is where the pictures help you make your own decision.



 
   


American Beauties
(by Greg Hildebrant): Oh the things I do for you guys.  Forcing me to review a set of chips with numerous scantily clad, very hot women on them.  What next??  Is Playboy going to send me a set of chips???  (hint, hint, nudge, nudge.....)

Anyway...so American Beauties is a non-denom set of Nevada Jacks manufactured chips. I'll let the pictures do the talking for the most part.  If you've handled any of the Mardi Gras ceramics, these chips will have the same, 'textured' feel to them.  That's both good and bad.  On the good side, it really enhances the feel to these chips over a standard ChipCo type chip.  On the downside, the texture slightly blurs the image a bit.  It's not huge, but it is noticeable.  The edge spots are good for ceramic with one of the chips bearing a good stars and stripes set of spots.  Overall, certainly a fun, if not distracting, addition to your poker games. 
WEIGHT: 10.5-10.6 grams.
FEEL: 9
QUALITY: 9.5
LOOKS: 10 (What else????)
Manufacturer: NevadaJacks
Vendor: HoldemPokerChips

12/05


 

 

 

 

     

Apache Casino: Another ChipCo chip with yet another great graphic design. Better edge spots than the ChipCo Casino line, but not as good as the Crystal Oyster.  Another chip you can't go wrong with.
WEIGHT: 10.5 grams

FEEL: 9
QUALITY: 10
LOOKS:
9
Manufacturer: ChipCo
Vendor: ApachePokerChips
 

 

     

Archetype: The Archetype is a ceramic, ChipCo style chip.  They have a smooth, (not slick), matt finish like the majority of the ceramic chips out there.  These chips remind me of the 'Classics' also on the market because the design is very classy.  To me, the color combinations on the chips are very eye-pleasing and overall the design makes one thing 'traditional'.  Graphics on the chip face is very sharp with clean edges and no bleeding. As with most ChipCo style chips, the weakness here is edge spots.  Definitely not the greatest, with nothing really that exciting going on and even some bleeding.  The edge-spot bleeding is not exclusive to this chip...it's common in most of the ceramics.
(Note: The Archetypes are on the right in the bottom picture.)
WEIGHT: 10.5 grams.
FEEL: 9
QUALITY: 10
LOOKS: 8.5
Manufacturer: ChipCo
Vendor: BuyPokerChips


archetype is on
the right

     

Casino:I purchased a full set of 500 chips in this line a few months ago.  The ChipCo ceramic chip is a relatively 'new thing' in Poker chips and is used in thousands of casinos worldwide.  ChipCo mostly makes chips specifically for casinos, but they offer a few stock home designs for us home players.  They have a very popular design call the Crystal-Oyster that's often found on Ebay as well as some of ChipCo's resellers.  I chose their 'Casino' design.  The Casino design has great low-key colors and a fantastic, matching, low-key, graphic on the face.  The main visual detractor is almost no edge spots.  That's always been something that has bugged me.  Handling these chips is great.  They have a nice heft and surface texture.  Audibly, they really sound good.  They are easy to stack and gobs of fun to play with. These are very good chips overall, and could be mistaken easily for chips from a real Vegas casino.
WEIGHT: 10.5 grams.
FEEL: 9
QUALITY: 9.5
LOOKS:
8.5
Manufacturer: ChipCo
Vendor: ChipCo

   

Classic: First on the list is their 'Classic' ChipCo style ceramic. (Top picture). The design on these is certainly very 'classic' as well as very 'classy'.  As I look at these chips, Bellagio comes to mind. They have the standard matt, semi-smooth finish found on most ChipCo style chips.  Feel and quality are standard ceramic chip.  Very good in both departments.  These chips actually have decent edge spots for a ceramic chip, even if all the spots are exactly the same between chip denominations. Great chip, overall.
WEIGHT: 10.5 grams.
FEEL: 9
QUALITY: 9.5
LOOKS: 8.5
Manufacturer: ChipCo
Vendor: HoldemPokerChips

New: 8/23/05 - Pic of the new 25K and 10K chips added.

   

Club Desparado: Looking like chips beamed straight from the 70's, the ceramic Club Desperado distinctive good looks get better and better the longer you look at them.  Going with some off-the-beaten-path colors, I can just picture these chips in the background of movies like Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs.  They use ChipCo's standard matt chip.  The only downside I can see is the barely-there edge spots.  Good looking and very original chips.
WEIGHT: 10.5 grams

FEEL: 9
QUALITY: 10
LOOKS: 8
Manufacturer: ChipCo
Vendor: Card Room Supply

4/05

 

     

Crystal Oyster: Just read the review about the ChipCo chips, because they make this series.  Very nice chip with better edge spots than the Casino chip line also available from them.  Good looking with low-key colors.
WEIGHT: 10.5 grams

FEEL: 9
QUALITY: 10
LOOKS: 8
Manufacturer: ChipCo
Vendor: Apache Chips


crystal oyster is on the lower left-hand side
 
     

Custom Ceramic Chips: HomePokerChips.com is ChipCo dealer.  They specialize in custom poker chip sets both commercially and for the home player.  Like pretty much all of the other ceramic chips, these have a nice heft and feel.  The finish on their chips is the standard, matt finish.  What this translates to is the ability to create razor sharp images, and that's where their chips stand out.  All of the chips they sent show outstanding detail and clarity in their graphics.  The chip in the upper right was particularly impressive with the detail of the cards and poker chips coming through with no bleeding or 'fuzzyness'.  (Although, for some reason, I kept finding myself drawn to the chip below it...).  If you like ceramics and want custom chips, definitely contact these folks.

Also:

What PokerChip.com is to clay chips, The Chip Store is to ceramic chips.  They have a number of stock design options you can choose from and combine to make your own 'custom' chip set.  However, they are really about true 'custom' chips, designed from scratch.  They are very helpful and eager to lend a hand with your design.  As far as chip quality...these are good chips.  If the chips in the photos look a bit worn, it's because they've spent months at my office with myself and my employees CONSTANTLY playing with them.  They have HUNDREDS of hours of shuffling on them, and still look pretty damn good. Overall, these are very good chips and anyone who spends the cash should be very happy with them.

And another also...

Nevada Jacks is providing an amazing service with a TWO WEEK turnaround on their custom Ceramic chips.

WEIGHT: 10.5 grams.
FEEL: 9
QUALITY: 9.5
LOOKS: 9.5 - 10 (image quality-how they look is up to you!)
Manufacturer: ChipCo and NevadaJacks
Vendor: HomePokerChips.com, TheChipStore.com and NevadaJacks.net


HomePokerChips.com


HomePokerChips.com


TheChipStore.com


TheChipStore.com

   

Dead Man: If you've handled a variety of ceramic chips, then the first thing that strikes you with these is the surface texture.  They are 'rougher' than any other ceramic chip I've handled.  That's not a bad thing. These chips feel great to handle...the best of any ceramic chip I've played with. Looks wise, I'm not a giant fan of the graphics...but that's a personal choice and not nearly as important as the quality and feel. As you can see there is not 'white ring' around the chip.  The graphics go all the way to the edge.  Good stuff.  Edge spots are nice, but apparently the same for all the chips.  If you like the graphics, then don't hesitate to get these chips.  They are very good.  Manufactured by Nevada Jacks.
WEIGHT: 10.1 grams

FEEL: 9.5
QUALITY: 8
LOOKS:
8
Manufacturer: NevadaJacks
Vendor: NevadaJacks.net


dead mans are laying down up front
   

Desert Sand: The newest in Nevada Jack's line, this chip uses their textured ceramic style chip.  These chips have a great feel that you don't get in most of the regular 'ChipCo' style ceramics.  Good design with equally good color combos turned out a chip that really caught the eye of many of my coworkers.  The strongest suit on these chips is they easily have the best edge spots of any ceramic chip out there. Really well though out design.  As with the other 'textured' ceramics like these, you CAN damage the surface with another chip if try hard enough.  But you've really got to want to do it.  Manufactured by Nevada Jacks.
WEIGHT: 10.1 grams
FEEL: 9.5
QUALITY: 8
LOOKS:
9.5
Manufacturer: NevadaJacks
Vendor: NevadaJacks.net


 

   

Egyptians: The Egyptians are a great specialty chip.  There are tons of fans of the Egyptian culture out there...and if you're also a poker player, you should just fall in love with these. Designed by Greg Cagle, from the $1.00 to $500.00, the chips are a standard ChipCo chip with a smooth, but not slick, finish.  Graphics are cool to say the least. Edge spots on general are good...not great...but good.  Once you get into the $1000+ chip, things get pretty interesting.  The $1000 chip is an Octagon shaped chip that's just about 1 3/4 inch from side to side. The texture on this chip is 'linen'...or anything but smooth.  It's a raised grid on the chip similar, but not exactly like, the Nevada Jack style ceramics.  Overall, I like this particular chip a lot.  Very interesting and different...but still stays a 'poker chip'. The $5000 chip on the other-hand just isn't quite there.  It's a European style 'plaque' and it's a whopping 3 1/2 x 2 inches in size.  That in itself if pretty cool.  What's not that great is the chip feels like it's made out of plastic.  I don't believe it is...but when you handle and drop this chip, the sound and feel isn't that of some amazingly valuable $5000 chip.  It's much cheaper. Overall as a set, the $5000 chip was the only disappointment.  The lower denoms are highly recommended.  Very cool and very unique set of chips.
WEIGHT: 10.5 grams, 13.7 $1000 and 36.8 for the $5000.
FEEL: 9.5 - 4.5 ($5000 not quite there)
QUALITY: 9+
LOOKS: 10++ (great design work)
Manufacturer: ChipCo
Vendor: HoldemPokerChips

 

 


 








close-up of the edge spots.

 

   

Grand Havana: The Grand Havanas have outstanding graphics on them.  Crystal clear silk-screening with a great 'theme'.  These are ChipCo chips, so you have the standard smooth, but not slick finish.  For once the edge spots are decent on these chips.  The designer got around the current shortcomings of ChipCo's manufacturing process by creating large, bold spots.  Great design overall. 
WEIGHT: 10.5 grams.
FEEL: 9.5
QUALITY: 9
LOOKS: 9
Manufacturer: ChipCo
Vendor:
2chipguys.com

Many thanks to John Baker for these chips!!!

 



   

High Society: The High Societies are a ChipCo based chip with the standard ChipCo matt finish.  I have to say I really wasn't a fan of the looks of these chips.  The image on the face is sort of hard to read and the colors borderline on the bland side.  Additionally, the edge spots do vary a bit between chips, but they suffer from the current 'we can't make great edge spot' disease that plagues most all ChipCo chips these days.  Look at the pics and if you like how they look....then go for it.  These are still ChipCo chips so the quality is there.
WEIGHT: 10.5 grams.
FEEL: 9.5
QUALITY: 9
LOOKS: 6
Manufacturer: ChipCo
Vendor: HoldemPokerChips

 

 

 

 


 

 

   

ICON: The ICONS showed up along with the Perfect 10's.  For some reason I ended up reviewing the Perfect 10's first.  Go figure.  Anyway...the ICONS are the first *Ceramic chip to hit my door using a new ceramic slug in a long time.  Feel wise, they are probably closest to a ChipCo type slug, with a matt finish on the faces...but no actual texture. Edge spots are good and matched up nicely.  One of the more interesting features of the chip is that the graphic on the face, (which is fully customizable...I am told), is NOT just skin deep.  The image actually exists below just the surface of the chip.  This means it (the image) isn't going to just 'scratch off' after a few rounds of poker.  The supplier actually sent me a sample of 80 grit sandpaper to try and sand the face of the chip off.  And sure enough....he was right.  The image did not scratch off.  Pretty cool.  (I didn't have the heart to tell him what my belt sander and bench grinder did to the chips...but that's a different story...).  Overall a good feel.  Very stackable and very nice to shuffle. The only negative I could really find with the chip is the sound.  These chips have a metal insert in them, and I can hear it.  Can you hear it?  Maybe, maybe not.  I have found over the years that I am hyper sensitive to the sound that chips with metal inserts make.  Could just be me.  In the end, what you have is a very good quality chip, with a nice feel that is fully customizable to your liking and uses technology that will have the chips lasting a very very long time.  Good stuff.

*note: I'm still a bit on the fence for whether to classify these guys as Ceramic or Injected.  For now...they will be Ceramic.

WEIGHT: 11.75 - 12.5 grams.
FEEL: 8.5
QUALITY: 9.5
LOOKS: 8+ (Will vary with your graphic...)
Manufacturer: ???
Vendor: JustPokerSupplies

3/16/09

 







   

Lucky Dragon: These Lucky Dragons are some of the most interesting chips I've received recently.  I've got a number of chips from this particular supplier, but these stand out simply because they feel very different.  With...IMHO...a fantastically gorgeous and simply design, combined with a great texture on the chip face, I have to say that I love these chips.  (See close-up pic....that took, like, 15 tries to get a good shot). The feel is so different it's hard for me to describe...I want to say 'plastic-y'...but that's not the best way to describe a high-end chip.  The sound on these is good as well.  All good stuff.  Look at the pics and order some samples....these are some really great chips that need to make your short-list if you are into ceramics.
WEIGHT: 10.2 - 10.4 grams.
FEEL: 9.5
QUALITY: 10
LOOKS: 9+
Manufacturer: ???
Vendor: Mr. Chip

 


 





     

Mardi Gras: The Mardi Gras chips immediately strike you with their bold colors.  (2nd down). Something that my photo's really don't capture 100%.  These chips are similar to Nevada Jack's 'Dead Man' ceramics in that they have a surface texture to them.  It makes for a great feel.  The catch is that, just like the Nevada Jack chips, they can be scratched easier than the regular ceramic smooth finish.  Now keep in mind, I am rubbing to chips HARD together to do this...but it needs to be noted. As far as edge spots go, these are sort of so-so.  There is some fading to be seen, but the spots are different for each denomination and overall, they look cool. I have to admit, I like these chips a lot, and would love to have a set of them.
WEIGHT: 10.5 grams.
FEEL: 9.5
QUALITY: 9
LOOKS: 9
Manufacturer: NevadaJacks
Vendor: HoldemPokerChips

     

Mr. Chip various chip sets: Mr. Chip ceramic chips all come in the same very interesting texture and feel.  Which isn't a bad thing.  Coming in between the classic ChipCo style matt finish and the more extreme texture found on Nevada Jack style chips, the Mr. Chip ceramic slug as a fine texture on it that gives them a fantastic feel.  Sound is very good, as it the weight.  What's very impressive with these chips are the outstanding edge matching to the faces. Very nearly perfect, it shows of Mr. Chips mastery of their manufacturing and printing process.  Nicely done all around.

Some notes:
Maybe look at breaking out of the mold of your standard sized 39mm chips and take a look at the oversized 43mm chips shown to the right.  The bigger chip really is a blast to handle.

The bold colors of the The Game are countered with the more subdued colors of the the High Stakes Cash Game and Aviator Club.  All the sets look really good.  And check out the great edge spot matching on the High Stakes. Wow.

Easily one of the coolest Dealer Buttons to ever hit my doorstep.  I may have to put some more pics up of that one.  Really nice.

Notes: More pictures added 3/2/2009.

WEIGHT: 10.2 - 10.4 grams.
FEEL: 9.5
QUALITY: 10+
LOOKS: 7 to 10+ depending on the chip....just check the pictures out.
Manufacturer: ???
Vendor: Mr. Chip

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


It's a pile-o-chips!

The Game

Oversized - 43mm

High Stakes Cash

Another of the High Stakes Cash

One awesome Dealer button

Aviator Club


Some really fantastic plaques.

More plaques with a standard size poker chip on top for reference

High Stakes

Great looking Boracay
   

Palm Imports Variety: Palm Imports is a wholesaler/custom chip specialist and manufacturer that works with custom chip design.  They use a type of ceramic slug that feels identical to the Nevada Jack/Mardi Gras/DeadMan style.  The chips all have that rough surface texture found in those other chips mentioned. Pam Imports works with both large companies down to individual/consumer level orders. These photos are a sample of some of their work.  One very interesting things to note with these chips is they are the first ceramic style chip to cross my doorstep that actually does a decent job of lining up the edge spots to the top graphics. Look closely at the second pic.  It's not perfect, but it's very close.
WEIGHT: 10.5 grams

FEEL: 9.5
QUALITY: 9
LOOKS:
Varies
Manufacturer: Palm Imports
Vendor: Palm Imports

6/06

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     

Rounder's Casino: These are fantastic chips.  I had these chips laying out on my desk all afternoon, and I lost count of the number of times I heard 'Wow!' when my co-workers saw them.  These are a ceramic chip with a smooth, matt finish.  The graphic work on these chips is EXCELLENT.  Very clear and sharp edges on the image.  The edge spots are good for a ceramic chip.  They vary somewhat between denominations. In short:  I'd be thrilled to have a full set of these babies.  They are awesome.
WEIGHT: 10.5 grams

FEEL: 9
QUALITY: 10
LOOKS:
10
Manufacturer: ChipCo
Vendor: Apache Chips

11/04

 

   

The "Suits": So, looking for a non-denom chip?  Give these a once over.  The suits, designed by, Jeremy Chotiner, are extremely unique.  Manufactured by ChipCo, the chips have the standard smooth, but not slick, ChipCo finish.  Personally, I've always felt that using shading gradients on ChipCo chips was sort of living on the edge.  The effect often didn't turn out that well.  These chips are gradient happy.  Every chip has them and depending on which chip, the effect either turns out OK, or falters a little.  The whole 'feeling' these chips have is very art-deco.  I could easily see people buying a set of these chips because it went with their home or room's decor. Bottom line is that the design is bold, very different and very flexible in use.  Bravo to Jeremy.  Job well done.
WEIGHT: 10.5 grams

FEEL: 9
QUALITY: 10
LOOKS:
8.5 (some of the gradients just don't work out)
Manufacturer: ChipCo
Vendor: HoldemPokerChips

3/05

 





   

Vineyard Casinos - New Version: The original Vineyards made their mark in the consumer market due to the fact they were a *real*, (retired), casino chip that had a good design and was also a Paulson.  Demand was and still is such that sometime the prices they go at cause one to wonder about the sanity of their buyer.  Because this incredibly high demand, the supplier of the original Vineyards has made this attempt to meet it with a chip not priced through the moon.

There are actually two new versions of the new Vineyards.  Both are ChipCo chips. The first is the 'standard' version modeled closely (but not exactly) to the original Paulson Vineyards.  I've written time and time again how I'm not a fan of gradients on ChipCo made chips, and boy...do these chips have a ton of gradients on them.  On some chips like the $1000 and $25, it works OK...not great...but OK.  While on other chips, like the $5 the gradient effect results in a chip that looks like it wasn't quite properly silk-screened.  The Vineyard logo also has some highlighting in it that really doesn't work that great....especially on the $500 chip.  It's unfortunate, because the overall design of the chip is great and I think they would have looked outstanding if the gradients had been taken away...or at least lessened a bit.  As far as edge spots, there is a nice variety of to them.  They vary between the denoms, adding personality to each chip.

The second version of the new Vineyards are called Vineyard Casino Tournament.  Most notable about these chips are the lack of currency values on them.  A close second in notoriety is that the fronts and backs of these chips do not match.  They are significantly different in design.  Speaking of the design, these chips have much better graphics than their regular Vineyard siblings.  Solid colors and tones with much less gradient effects give these chips a very professional look. The highlighted Vineyard logo is a little shaky on the red chip, but that's really the worst of it.  The 'back' of the chips are the best yet, IMHO.  Spot wise, they disappoint a bit.  As you can see in the photos both here and on the vendor's site, the spots are just different shades of the chip color. 

Interestingly enough, some of the chips I Iiked the most were the 'business card' chips made for the vendor.  Three different designs, with bold, crisp colors and and great edge spots really combined for a set of very good looking chips. 

New Vineyard Casino:
WEIGHT: 10.5 grams

FEEL: 9
QUALITY: 10
LOOKS:
7.5
Manufacturer: ChipCo
Vendor: AcePokerChipCompany


New Vineyard Casino Tournament:
WEIGHT: 10.5 grams

FEEL: 9
QUALITY: 10
LOOKS:
9
Manufacturer: ChipCo
Vendor: AcePokerChipCompany

4/05








tournament version


tournament version


tournament version
(back of the chips)



vendor's business card
(nice chips!)
   

Vintage Automobiles: Car freak?  Gear Head?  The Vintage Auto chips should be right up your alley.  These ChipCo chips offer the same standard feel of ChipCo with a smooth but not slick surface.  Graphics on the chips are OK...but just a bit on the fuzzy side for my tastes.  Spots are also OK for a ChipCo chip, but it would have been nice if they changed the spots to match the denoms.  Good specialty chip.
WEIGHT: 10.5 grams

FEEL: 9
QUALITY: 10
LOOKS:
7.5
Manufacturer: ChipCo
Vendor: HoldemPokerChips

3/05

 

 

 

 







   

World Championship Poker: These chips attempt to clone some Bud Jones style chips...and they do a pretty good job of it.  A really wide variety of designs for each denom lead to some really good looking chips. Best yet, the edge spots on these are distinctive to each denom and are some of the best I've seen on a ChipCo manufactured chip.  With some pretty gianormous denom values on them (up to 25K), you can also feel like a millionaire during your poker game. Very well thought out and classically designed chip set for those who like the 'traditional' look.  These are some of the best ChipCo chips I've ever seen.
WEIGHT: 10.5 grams

FEEL: 9
QUALITY: 10
LOOKS:
9.5
Manufacturer: ChipCo
Vendor: Card Room Supply

4/05

 

 

 


 

     

World Stars of Poker: Another really good looking Ceramic from Mr. Chip. Very simple and straight forward design that has a sort of 'classic' look.  Most impressive for a ceramic chip are the edge spots which do a pretty good job of lining up with the top of the chips.  Wide variety of edge spot design also really helps give the chip a feel of something you would really see in a casino.  Great design on a great chip...and it's available with two different surface textures.  A 'rough' texture like I reviews with the Dragon chips and a more smooth, traditionally ceramic texture like what is seen on the ChipCo chips.  Well done!! 
WEIGHT: 10.2 - 10.4 grams.

FEEL: 9.5
QUALITY: 9
LOOKS: 9+
Manufacturer: ???
Vendor: Mr. Chip

5/07

 

 

 

 










   

 

 

All reviews are the opinions of John Tucker unless otherwise stated, and can be changed at any time.  Content cannot be used without express written consent of John Tucker. 
Copyright John Tucker, 2004-2008. All rights reserved.