$1-$100 comparison!

 

Compression Molded ('Real Clay')

 

Some thoughts on 'Clay' chips:
Many chip sellers out there sell their chips on the idea that they are 'real' clay chips.  As far as this web site goes, the only chips considered 'real' clay are those formed by compression molding.  These are the chips you will find in casinos around the world.  There are many nice injection-molded chips out there, but they are referred to as 'Clay Composite' chips on this site.

 

 

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.

 



Questions?
Let me hear them.
email me.
 


  Avalon Club: The latest consumer chip from Paulson continues to maintain the great chips we expect to see from them.  These are hot-stamped in gold, offering both denominational and non-denominational chips for your selection.  Lack of currency is always a plus.  As a whole, there are no surprises here.  You're getting a tried and true casino grade chip with, in general, great color combos along with a great soft feeling chip.  The soft feel comes with the minor issue of the darker chips can 'mark' the lighter chips if shuffled together.  An FYI for those who may see some marks in the photos.  Sound is fantastic...very muted.  Quality is good on chips I received, with no off-center stamps.  The edge spots are really great....with a nice variety of styles between each chip denom. The spots are possibly the single best thing about these chips to be honest. Just a very good chip all around...so make sure you order a sample if you're chip hunting these days!
WEIGHT: 10.1-10.3 grams

FEEL: 10
QUALITY: 9
LOOKS:
8
Manufacturer: Paulson
Vendor: Apachepokerchips
 











   

 

 

Capone's Clay Chip: Stock Blue Chip Co mold. On these chips, there is only the gold foil print on the front and they have no edge spots. Good quality chip, just not that exciting to look at.
WEIGHT: 8.3 grams

FEEL: 6
QUALITY: 8
LOOKS:
4
Manufacturer: Blue Chip
Vendor: Apachepokerchips


   


capone chip is light blue in the upper right hand corner

     

Clay Chips: Pokerchips.com made the chips for the movie Rounders.  That alone is wicked cool.  My sample from them included a few chips each from their top of the line, down to their uber-cheap I-bought-these-at-K-Mart chip.  Unfortunately,  I wish they had included more of the nicer chips in the sampler.  Anyway, Pokerchips.com is on the map for their real clay chips, which I got 3 to play with.  The clay chips are very dense with a much slicker surface than BuyPokerChips.com Modern Clay. More along the lines of a Paulson chip.  Not saying one is better than the other...just different.  Quality appears very good.  Pokerchips.com is really about custom poker chips.  I don't know of any other Clay chip manufacturer that allows so many choices when designing your own chip.  One thing that is strange with my sample was that the edges of all 3 clay chips had gold 'glitter' and a very 'dull' finish to them.  I personally found effect to really take away from the edge spots on the chip and didn't like it at all.  However, when I contacted Pokerchips.com to ask if all their clay chips had this effect on them, they had no idea what I was talking about.  I had several conversations via email and phone, and I still think they believe I'm insane.  Insane or not, the pictures are attached.  You can decide for yourself.

Note (9/28/04): I've received a ton of emails on these explaining to me that the 'gold glitter' are metal shavings put in the chip to help weigh them down. Also, I need to clarify my statement above that it was more the 'dull' edge finish and not the 'glitter' that I felt took away from the chip's overall appearance.

Note (2/21/05): After having a durability test a few weeks ago, it became very apparent that ALL ASM chips are more fragile than their BlueChip Co. and Paulson cousins.  Dropping the chips from a height of 4 feet caused the ASM to break in half within 4 to 7 drops.  At over 20 drops per chip, the BlueChip and Paulsons were only showing minor dings and scrapes.  Keep that in mind if you expect to play over a hard (tile/cement) floor.
WEIGHT: 8.6 - 9.3 grams.
FEEL: 8
QUALITY: 7 (due to chips breaking and chipping when dropped)
LOOKS: 7.5
Manufacturer: ASM
Vendor: Pokerchips.com

 

 

   

Club Desparado: The Club Desparado chips hit you with a wide variety of eye catching colors and and equal variety of edge spot designs.  From a design perspective, these are great chips.  Well laid out and and just good looking in general.  You can *almost* use these chips as non-denominational because the denom values on them are so tiny you almost miss them. Unfortunately, you do end up with the standard Blue Chip oddities that plague so many of the manufacturer's for-the-consumer chips.  The center logo is more often than not mis-shaped and off-center.  The mold design is pretty boring and, of course, they are not casino weight.  That said, I would highly recommend you buy yourself a sample of these chips if you're shopping around.  Their great design alone deserves some attention.
WEIGHT: 8.4 -8.5 grams

FEEL: 8
QUALITY: 8
LOOKS:
9.5 (design) 8.5 due to manufacturing problems.
Manufacturer: Blue Chip
Vendor:  Card Room Supply
4/05

 

   

Commission: Some new chips arrived at the office and there is a mix of good and bad news for them.  Let's look at the not-so-greats, first, which deal mostly with their appearance.  First, the graphic on the insert is a great idea....but falls short due to the light artwork on a white background.  I would love to see these chips having a darker colored background on the insert and keep the same graphics.  Also, the inserts are often off-center, and for some, this is a real issue.  On these chips, I think it adds a little character, but to each their own on how they feel about this.  The mold is custom to Two Face Poker, and while I initially wasn't completely impressed, it actually grew on me quite a bit and now, as I sit looking at them and typing this...I like the mold.  Spots on all the denoms are the same light grey color.  OK OK...enough of the picky stuff...lets get on to what these chips are all about, and that is FEEL.  Manufactured by Blue Chip, these suckers come in fairly hefty (for BC) at just under 10 grams.  The material has a nice chalkiness to it that I really liked. Speaking of chalky, these chips beg to be handled a lot or just oiled to bring out their colors.  Sound is great...slightly higher pitched when shuffling than a Paulson.  Once broken in they shuffle great...which is good because you'll be shuffling them like crazy due to their nice feel.  The entire chip face, including the insert, is nicely textured.  Well done here. Denoms have no currency on them, which is big in my book.  All in all...while my first impression of these chips was not the greatest, they really grew on me the more I handled them and I must say I'm hoping that Two Face will come out with another line of chips using their mold with and some improved graphics.  Nice job all around.
WEIGHT: 9.8 -10.1 grams

FEEL: 10
QUALITY: 8
LOOKS:
8
Manufacturer: Blue Chip
Vendor:  Two Face Poker
3/08

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 













   

Deadwoods: These new TRKing chips showed up last week, and boy...what a pleasure it has been to review them.  While there are some out there that do not like the slightly smaller diameter chip size of the TRKings, there is no denying that in the catagories of looks and quality, these are top-notch chips.  Overall, the color combos can only be described as outstanding.  The center graphic is simple, clean and very 'old' Vegas like.  With as many requests I get in the email asking for denoms WITHOUT currency symbols, I have to say my only major dissapointment on the chips are just that....they are "$" signs.  Very limiting and a little irritating for the international market.  That said, once you begin to handle these chips, it starts good, and they just continue to grow on you.  A little mineral oil on the outside edge of the chips will help brighten them up...for those conserned.  So...overall...another great design using the TRKing chip and an absolute must have on your short list for high-end chip shopping.
WEIGHT: 9.7 - 10.1 grams

FEEL: 10
QUALITY: 10
LOOKS:
10
Manufacturer: T.R. King
Vendor: Apachepokerchips

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Desert Palms: Arriving with a both a unique mold and spot design, the Desert Palms show lots of promise right out of the box.  The mold has the words, "Desert Palms", written around the outside of the chip.  The spots vary greatly between denoms, which is really a nice thing to see these days.  Something that isn't found very often in the consumer market and adds a lot to the casino look.  A straightforward and good-lucking graphic on the inlay is well done.  The inlay is slick.  Not my favorite, but doesn't really take away from the chip to much.  The chips stack very well, as any 'real' clay should.  Quality with my samples was very good, with no spinners or major molding issues.  There is a crazy amount of denoms available with these chips, so check it out.  Look at the pictures!
WEIGHT: 8.3 - 8.5 grams

FEEL: 9
QUALITY:
10
LOOKS:
9.5
Manufacturer: Blue Chip
Vendor: TheChipRoom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


















 

     

Fan of Cards: The Fan of Cards are identical to the Viva Las Vegas chip reviewed above.  While I personally like the graphic on these more, they still have the same slick graphic on the majority of the face of the chip.  However, if you like the graphic, then don't be afraid to snag a set of these chips.  Good quality.
WEIGHT: 8.4 grams

FEEL: 8.5 (adjusted 5/05)
QUALITY: 8
LOOKS:
7
Manufacturer: Blue Chip
Vendor: Apachepokerchips

   

     

Grand Island: Edge Spot Designs sent me about a dozen of his casino quality clays.  These chips are a custom design by David Fleming, owner of Edge Spot. Right off the bat you realize that these chips are a direct competitor to the James Bond chips.  Same manufacturer, same mold, same feel, weight...etc.  That's not a bad thing in any way shape or form.  It boils down to personal taste, but these chips look *great*.  Bold colors with even bolder edge spots make these chips some of the best looking out there.  Some slight issues with bleeding and non-centered logos...but not really enough to detract from the overall effect of the chips.  Every once in a while I get some samples in that make me want to sell off a kidney to buy full set...and these fall in that category.  Great chips.
WEIGHT: 8.3 grams
FEEL: 7.5
QUALITY: 8.0
LOOKS: 8.5
Manufacturer: Blue Chip

Vendor: EdgeSpotDesigns


 

   

InPlay: Something unique with these new chips is the mold.  They live up to their marketing hype on the vendor's web site by feeling 'used'.  That's not a bad thing.  If you know about everyone oiling their clay chips, and trying to 'soften' the edges to feel like real casino chips....these InPlays come out of the box like they've been on a casino floor for a month or so.  Minus the dirt and grime, of course.   The edges are not 'round', but they are also not razor sharp like you find on the current Paulsons.  The mold itself has a sort of Hat and Cane-ish looking design and one feature I REALLY liked was the texture on the insert.  FINALLY!!!  Someone out there is listening.  Depending on the chip, the color-combos range from 'great' to '...hummmmm?...'.  I'll let you be the final judge on that from the photos.  However, with your basics....the $1.00, $5.00, $25 and $100, you have a solidly good looking set of chips.  The $1.00 is strikingly similar to my favorite (affordable) Vegas casino chip....the Mandalay Bay $1.00.  The minuses?  Well, these are Blue Chip chips, so they are slightly light in weight and several of the inserts are off center.  That said...I would be VERY happy if a full set of these were stuffed into my X-Mas stocking.  (Hint to the wife....nudge...nudge....).  Overall...these new chips go on my highly-recommended list.  You MUST order a sample set of these if you're shopping for a new set of chips.
WEIGHT: 8.3 - 9.0 grams

FEEL: 9.5
QUALITY: 9.0
LOOKS: 9.5
Manufacturer: Blue Chip

Vendor: Sidepot Clay Pokerchips

 

 

 

 

 

 

 










     

James Bond Clay Chips (Blue Chip): The 'Casino De Isthmus' chips are stock Blue Chip mold.  A good chip...just not a lot of 'wow' factor with the design  I did like the fact that the entire surface of the chip wasn't smooth like the Viva Las Vegas chips.  Tried scratching the center graphic and edge spots but didn't do any damage.  Note: See the picture for additional James Bond Chips. I upped the LOOKS and FEEL slightly on these because of the new chips sent.
WEIGHT: 8.3 grams

FEEL: 7.5
QUALITY: 8
LOOKS: 8
Manufacturer: Blue Chip

Vendor: Apachepokerchips


 
james bonds are on the left
 


 

James Bond Clay Chips (Paulson): I didn't really know what to expect as I opened up the box containing my set of James Bond samples.  The Paulson Home sample set had been good...but not anything to blow you doors off.   I had also seen the artwork for these chips several months ago...so I new what to expect as far as their appearance went.  The minute I pulled them out of the box and began handling them, one word kept going around in my head over and over: "fantastic".  The new Paulson James Bonds are, to put it simply, the single best currently manufactured real Clay chip available to the consumer as I write this (2/25/05).  The bar has well and truly been raised in the consumer chip market. First off...the weight on these chips is very, very obviously the correct casino weight of roughly 10 grams.  My scale gives me between 9.8 to 9.9 grams depending on the chip.  The chips have very sharp edges right out of shoot and are a bit hard to shuffle at first, but break in nicely. Sound is exactly like a poker chip is supposed to sound. The mold will continue to cause some controversy, especially to those die-hard Paulson fans, but I can't find anything wrong with it myself. The most 'controversial' thing about these chips is that the mold and center graphic don't really match.  In photographs, this looks a bit odd.  However, much to my own surprise, in person it's really not a factor.  The entire chip design goes together very well.  I can't recommend these chips enough.
WEIGHT: 9.8 - 9.9 grams

FEEL: 10+
QUALITY: 9.5
LOOKS: 8.5
Manufacturer: Paulson

Vendor: Apachepokerchip
2/05

 

 

 

 

 

 

New: Mini-Showdown

Old Paulson James Bonds vs Current Paulson James Bonds.

Larry Spinosa was kind enough to loan me some of his old Paulson James Bonds to compare to the new versions out today.  Here are the results. 

Feel: Both chips are made out of the same stuff, but using a hugely different mold.  The out-of-box edges on the new JB's are significantly sharper than their older cousins'. The older JB's have a single, and significant, advantage with feel - the center graphic inlay is textured where as the new JB's center inlay is slick-to-the-touch smooth.  Winner: Old JB's

Quality: As far as chip manufacturing goes...the quality is identical between the two chips.  You can argue all you want about design and looks...but if you want a TOP END chips, either of these are it.  Winner: It's a tie.

Looks: Personally, I find the color combos of the new Paulsons much more appealing than the old versions.  The old JB $1000 chip is borderline fugly in my book. If you're a mold-guy, then you're going to pick the old-style hand's down simply because the mold is correct for the center inlay.  If you're not picky (like me) and like pretty colors....then you could lean towards the new JB's. This is the most subjective of the ratings, though...so look at the photos and decide for yourself. Winner: New JB because of the better colors.

So who's the overall winner?  Well, I'd have to say that the old JB's handily beats out the new JB's in the Feel catagory...where as the new JB's just sort of squeak out of win in the Looks catagory.  So...overall winner would be old JB's by a nose.
3/05

Note: The bottom 3 photos were added in July of 2005.  They are all of the original Paulson James Bond chips.  Many thanks to Larry Spinosa for loaning the chips to PokerCHIPReviews.com.  Also note that the colors are more correct on the previous two Old Paulson JB photos.  The $1000 is not a bright yellow, but more of a tan color.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 







james bond movie 5.5mb .wmv

-------------


Mini-Showdown pics below


'old' left, 'new' right


'old' right, 'new' left
(can't make this easy for you, right?)


old and new


old JB's


old JB's

 

 

   

Key West: It's been a while since a new set of ASM manufactured chips crossed my door.  These Key West chips do a great job with color combos and an insert that is simple, good looking and very much what you expect to see at any top-of-the-line casino. I have to admit, I'm particularly a fan of the $1.00 and $5000 chips.  Additionally, the mold design on these is a classic, having been used by the majority of Vegas casino's in the 50's.  Not a bad thing.  In fact, scary cool in my book.  One thing to note is that if you buy these chips, you're going to want to oil them.  The bottom pic is a comparison of oiled chips (right) vs. non-oiled chips (left).  The difference is actually MUCH bigger in person.  Downsides?  There is really only one, and that is the fragility of ASM chips in general.  I did the dreaded 7-foot-drop-to-a-tile-floor experiment again, and the blue NCV chip shattered on the 3rd drop.  If you're a long time reader of the site, you'll know that BC and Paulson chips simply do not shatter/break under the same duress.  Now...that said, under NORMAL use, these chips are going to last a LONG LONG time....so take my experiment with a grain of salt.  In the end, you've got great color combos, with a classic mold and well designed insert.  Not a bad combo.  Well done.
WEIGHT: 8.5 - 9.3 grams

FEEL: 9
QUALITY: 7
LOOKS:
9.5
Manufacturer: ASM
Vendor: Apachepokerchips
12/05

 

 

 

     

King's Crown: This is a very nice feeling chip.  It has a nicely done design around the edge and good texture when you handle it.  My favorite of this vendor's clay chips.  No edge spots.  Bummer. These would make a good poker set.

Note: 1/29/05 - I received a good sample directly from T.R. King.  Great looking and feeling chips.  To see more pictures, click on the T.R. King link below.
WEIGHT: 10.1 grams

FEEL: 10
QUALITY: 10
LOOKS:
8.5
Manufacturer: T.R. King
Vendor: Apachepokerchips and TRKing

 



king's crown is the blue chip on the right with a white center

   

 

 

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.