$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.
   

Mardi Gras Casino: It has been a good few weeks as far as chip reviewing goes.  Several very good chips have shown up on my doorstep as of late, and I'm not complaining.  The Mardi Gras keep up this trend of great chips with a vengeance.  Blue Chip manufactured chips, using the coveted Martini Club mold and custom colors and graphics combine a really fantastic set of looking and feeling chips.  Of all the Blue Chip made chips, I have to say my personal favorite mold is...by far...the Martini Club mold.  HPC worked something out with NevadaJacks.net, who owns the mold, to make these chips. The chip vs spot color combos on these are outstanding.  Also, to add to the interest, these chips are available in both denom and non-denominations.  See the pictures for the difference.  With great looks and great feel, can there be a downside?  Well, it's nothing new to Blue Chip chips, but there is the issue of weight (about an ounce or so to light when compared to real casino chips) and quality control in the sense of slightly off-center labels.  In the end, if you like how these chips look, the positives FAR outweigh the negatives and these are a must for your short-list.  Simply put, these are the best Blue Chip made chips to hit my desk since I put up the site.
WEIGHT: 8.7- 9.2 grams

FEEL: 9.5
QUALITY: 9.5
LOOKS: 10+++
Manufacturer: Blue Chip

Vendor: HoldemPokerChips

New: 8/23/05-Added a pic of the new high-denom chips! 
Kick-butt colors!!!!!!!

 

 


high denom chips

     

Martini Club: VERY nice clay chips. A surface texture somewhere between the BuyPokerChips.com and Pokerchips.com clay chips. Not as 'soft' as BuyPokerChips, but not as 'hard/slick' as Pokerchips.com.  Nice design around the edge.  Fun to handle, and cool edge spots.  I really couldn't find anything wrong with these chips. Manufactured by Blue Chip Co.
WEIGHT: 8.7- 9.2 grams

FEEL: 9.5
QUALITY: 9.5
LOOKS: 10
Note (1/6/05):
Added a new pic of the Martini Clubs.
Manufacturer: Blue Chip
Vendor: Nevada Jack's

 
     

Modern Clay Chips: I ordered the 10 chip sampler from BuyPokerChips.com. These chips are just outstanding.  Great colors and even better edge spots. These chips are genuinely worth a place in any Vegas casino.  They are a true clay chip with a great mold, sharp edges and in general lots of feel-good texture throughout. They have a very 'soft' feel to them caused by the texture in the mold. The only negative on this chip would be that the center poker logo is often printed off center.  Mildly annoying...but in the big picture, not worth getting all that upset over.  For 'old school' poker chip fans who may not like the new ceramics very much, you simply MUST order a sample of these chips.  I would suggest the stack of 10, which allows you to really play around with them and get a feel for what they'd be like during a game. 
WEIGHT: 8.4 - 8.6 grams.
FEEL: 8.5
QUALITY: 7.5
LOOKS: 9.5
Manufacturer: Blue Chip

Vendor: BuyPokerChips

 

 

 

 

 

 

National Poker Series: Seems like my 'in box' gets filled up every time a new Paulson chip is about to hit the market.  The Nationals showed up at my door today, and I must say right off the bat....they don't suck.  Immediately you notice the new spot styles on the chips.  There are two different styles depending on the denom.  (I'll let the photos do the talking).  Colors are strong and bold aside from the 1 and 5, which almost look subdued when compared to the 100, 1000 and 25's.  Second thing that hits you is, no currency values.  Way to go!  I can't tell you how many emails I get from readers outside the U.S. asking for chip recommendations that done have a "$" on them.  Smart move by the designers here....so all you guys in Norway that keep emailing me...heads up!  Insert design is simple and good looking.  Another thumbs up.  There is a non-denom chip (grey) for flexiblility, which is another nice thought. Unfortunately, the insert is slick, which is a minor ding when you compare the chips next to the Samurai's or KeyWest's, which have textured inserts.  Additionally, the only other issue with these chips is the mold, which wasn't all that bad until recent chip releases like (again) Samurai, KeyWest and InPlay have come out with great (and sometimes original) molds that add a lot to those three chips.  So what's the final verdict?  These are great chips, and IMHO, easily the best looking of any of the current Paulson designs.  If you're a die-hard Paulson fan, then you should be happy that they relaxed the spot restrictions a bit.  Another must-have sample set if you're looking for high-end consumer poker chips.
WEIGHT: 9.8 - 10.3 grams.
FEEL: 10
QUALITY: 9.5 (several inserts printed off-center)
LOOKS: 9
Manufacturer: Paulson
Vendor: Apachepokerchips

 

Added 6/11/06:
National Poker Series Plaques.  These plaques are pretty large - 3 3/8" (85.7 mm) x 2 1/8" (54 mm), with a glossy finish.  They weigh in at a hefty 41 grams and all in all have a good feel.  An interesting chip.  Pics shown on the right at the bottom.
Vendor: Apachepokerchips

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 







Plaques Below:

   

Nevada Jacks: Take the Martini Club chips from above, and take a baby step towards the BuyPokerChips.com clay chips, and you have the Nevada Jack's Clay.  A 'softer' feeling chip than the Martini Club, these really nail 'the perfect handling chip' award in my book. The 'NEVADA' imprinted on the chip surface is just GREAT.  These chips look outstanding and are great to handle. Great, great chip. Manufactured by Blue Chip Co.

Addition 3/21/05: Added a bunch of new photos and also added a couple showing the difference between a new, out of the box chip, and one that's been lightly oiled with mineral oil.  The pictures don't do it justice....the difference is huge in person.

WEIGHT: 8.7- 9.4 grams

FEEL: 9.0
QUALITY: 9
LOOKS: 9.5
Manufacturer: Blue Chip

Vendor: Nevada Jack's

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 



new left, oiled right


new left, oiled right
   

Palmas Club Casino Chips: Ace Pokerchip brings out the big guns again with their Palmas Club Casino chips.  These are ASM/Pokerchip.com chips made several years ago for the Palmas Club Casino.  I initally wasn't totally impressed by them, but I have to say that these chips really grew on me during the days I played with them.  Excellent quality and detail in the mold design. (I really like that Horsehead mold) with overall good feel and sound. It's worth noting that these chips do not have the odd 'hazy' look on their edges that is so common with many of the current day Pokerchip.com chips. If you're a fan of ASM/Pokerchip.com, these chips are going to send you to the moon.
WEIGHT: 8.8 - 9.0 grams.
FEEL: 8
QUALITY: 9.5
LOOKS: 8.5
Manufacturer: ASM
Vendor: AcePokerChipCompany

 

   

Paulson Home Chips Sample: After months of waiting here's the first look at the return of Paulson to the consumer market.  First thing to check out is the mold, which is a combo of 'Paulson Chips' and their hat/cane logo.  Personally, I like the mold.  More important than the wording/logos, is the texture, which is good stuff and gives the chip a nice feel.  Quality is top notch.  Center logo, (which is a glossy, smooth inlay), is perfectly centered and cannot be damaged with a fingernail.  Not a big fan of the spot colors...but what can you say.  Downsides?  First off is the weight, which with these chips is NOT the hoped for 10-ish grams, but well below that at around 9.2-9.4 grams.  I weighed several Vegas chips along side these to make sure the scale was in order, and all the 'real' Vegas chips came in heftier than the Paulson Homes.  Only other downside for me is the slick center graphic, which I'm not a fan of.  However, in the end, if you're a Paulson fan and have been looking forward to owning a set of 'REAL' Paulson, high quality chips, these are going to really hit the spot. 
WEIGHT: 9.2 - 9.4 grams.
FEEL: 9.5 (if they weighed the full 10 grams, this would be '10')
QUALITY: 10
LOOKS: 7 (these are samples, remember
Manufacturer: Paulson
Vendor: Apachepokerchips

 

 




paulson movie
 .wmv format-3.2mb

   

Paulson 'Classic': With all the controversy generated by the Paulson James Bond chips that came out earlier this year,  the '2nd Generation' of new Paulsons to come out was supposed to fix the big "Mold Issue".  I'm here to tell you that the issue is still up in the air.  The new Trademarks have a different mold than the JB's in that it now wraps directly around the small sized decal vs spacing away from the center logo by 2mm or so.  The results are decidedly.......strange.  Maybe even stranger than the JB mold.  I could type probably two paragraphs on this...but I'll cut it short and say that Paulson really should have increased the inlay size vs change the mold itself.  The new mold is quite possibly stranger than the very odd JB mold/inlay combo. 

Aside with all the mold weirdness, the chips themselves have that great 'Paulson' feel to them.  Correct weight, easy to shuffle...all the nice adjectives associated with a good feeling chip.  Paulson is requiring the same chip and spot colors for their consumer line, so the only major difference between these chips and the James Bonds is the inlay.  Are these inlays better looking than the JB's?  I'll leave that up to you.   In the end, what you have is a great handling and feeling chip with an odd mold and interesting choice of inlay colors/schemes.  Should these be in your top 5 if you're in the chip market?  Absolutely.  Just make sure you order samples first.
WEIGHT: 9.8 - 9.9 grams

FEEL: 10
QUALITY: 9.5 (all of my sample chips had un-centered inlays...see pics)
LOOKS: 8 (very subjective...decide for yourself)
Manufacturer: Paulson

Vendor: AcePokerChipCompany
(as of this review...not yet available to the public)
5/05

 

 

 


check out the $1.00...it's the James Bond mold!  This is a fluke, and no...the vendor does not have anymore...so don't bug him!!  :-)

 

   

Paulson Pharaoh's Club: Hey! Look! Another Paulson Chip!!!  So here are the long awaited Pharaoh's Club chips that many folks have been really eager to see.  What's the story?  Basically, if you've been following the new Paulson 'consumer' chip saga, you'll already know that as far as the chip goes, there isn't anything new from the previous Paulson 'Classic' chip.  The only change here is the center insert...which isn't a bad thing.  Those that email me regularly know that I think the 'Classic' inserts are about as attractive as a lime-green AMC Pacer that been set on fire.  So...in the world of inserts, the Pharaoh's Club are a nice, and sizeable, improvement in the looks department.  A fairly toned-down, and classy looking design that differs for each denom, I think that anyone that has even a remote Egyptian fetish will have to change their shorts when they see these chips.  I stick to my guns as far as not being a fan of the 'new' mold design, (see Paulson 'Classic' review above)...but in the end, for a consumer chip, it's really good stuff all around.  Well done.
WEIGHT: 9.7 - 9.9 grams

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

Vendor: Apachepokerchip and HoldemPokerChips
8/05

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

Private Cardroom: These foil stamped Paulsons come to you as a 'budget' minded high-end chip.  The chips have the identical mold found in their more expensive cousins, the Top Hat and Cane series...so you're getting a nearly identical feel and weight. The variety of spots between the various denoms is really nice.  Color combos are OK....but that's more your taste.  In the end, these are the same great quality Paulson chips...at a bit of a lower price.  Check them out.
WEIGHT: 9.7 - 9.8 grams.
FEEL: 10
QUALITY: 10
LOOKS: 8  
Manufacturer: Paulson

Vendor: Apachepokerchips
1/07

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 









 
    Protege: Some new compression molded chips out of the Blue Chip arena that take aim squarely at the recent Top Hat and Cane Paulson chips.  So how do they fair?  Pretty damn good overall.  With a wide variety of both inserts and spots, you get a lot of looks with these.  Additionally, the color combos are really outstanding with this line. Sidepot's 'cigar and snifter' mold design is low-key yet very classy. (Also see Sidepot's InPlay chips using the same mold.  Another set of really good chips.) Sound is very good, as you expect from a Blue Chip chip.  Feel is good as well, with the chips having a slightly textured surface on the inserts.  Only downers I picked out on these were some quality issues with the centering of the inserts and the fact that the denoms used dollar (and cent) signs, which may limit their usage internationally.  Still, these are very nice chips, and if you like the looks of them should be included on your sample hunting.

Note from the supplier: These chips were designed using input from consumer poker chip fans from around the world...so you're seeing the results here of many individuals.  Nicely done!
WEIGHT: 9.5 - 9.8 grams.
FEEL: 9.5
QUALITY: 8
LOOKS: 10
Manufacturer: BC
Vendor: Sidepot Clay Pokerchips

5/07






 










   

'Rounders' Replica Chips: A.K.A. - Teddy KGB's chips.  I'll make it easy for you:  THESE CHIPS KICK A**!!!!!!!  I am already a fan of the manufacturer, TR King, so I had pretty high expectations of these chips when they came out of the box.  That said, I'm also a BIG fan of the movie Rounders, so I was eager to see how these chips held up to the originals.  Well...the news is pretty so-so in that regards.  The only chip that was really close to the original movie as far as looks and colors go is the $100.  The $500 and $25 are 'sort-of' close and all the rest are either completely different or I couldn't find them at all.  That said, the center 'bear' logo/graphic is spot on as is the font used for the denom values.  These chips looked good upon first inspection, but after a quick oiling, they absolutely looked outstanding.  Brilliant colors on both the chips and edge spots.  FANTASTIC variety of edge spotting.  TR King quality, feel and sound....which is all a good thing.  The icing on the cake...they weigh in at a real casino weight.  If you've been looking for a quality alternate to the new line of Paulson Home chips that are out....get samples of these ASAP.  You will not be disappointed.
WEIGHT: 9.7 - 10.1 grams.
FEEL: 10
QUALITY: 10
LOOKS: 10+ (after oiling
Manufacturer: TRKing
Vendor: AcePokerChipCompany

4/05

 

 

   

Samurai Palace: One of the most eagerly awaited chips in quite some time, the Samurai Palace set does not disappoint.  Showing off a custom mold, and some very interesting spot combos, these chips immediately stand out from the crowd.   As a whole, the colors on these chips are very...VERY...classy. Everything about the Samurais is about subdued tones and classy design.  Each chip has two different inserts...which is almost never seen in home or casino chips and is one more thing that separates these from the rest of the chips out there.  Icing on the cake regarding the inserts is they come with a great texture on them to add to the chip's feel. While these chips are manufactured by Blue Chip, there is yet one more surprise under their sleeve...their weight.  Coming in between the 9.3 and 9.9 grams, these are the heaviest BC chips I've ever reviewed. So what's wrong with them? Well...not much, really.  You'll want to oil these chips to really bring out their colors.  And, there is still the occasional off-center insert.  However, Blue Chip's new process seems to really have improved on the long dreaded insert issues.  These are amazing chips....completely at home either in your house or the Winn or Bellagio casinos.
WEIGHT: 9.3 - 9.9 grams

FEEL: 10
QUALITY: 9.5
LOOKS: 10+++ (Amazing)
Manufacturer: BC

Vendor: HoldemPokerChips
4/06

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

    Stralka: Here's a new supplier from Germany that's sent a very interesting set of samples my way.  Just like any good German car, the first thing that pops out at you with these chips are their quality.  The detail of the molding as well as the quality of the matt finished insert is just entirely top-notch.  The chips do not feel like Paulsons, but that's not a bad thing. They just ooze class, with just a slightly higher pitched tone when shuffled than a traditional 'compression molded' chip. No currency symbols is a very good plus.  I would love to see what these guys could do with edge spots, as that's really the only thing missing in the appearance category.  I really like these chips as they are easy to handle, look good and appear to be some of the best quality I've seen in a LONG time.  Great job from these guys and I can't wait to see the next round from them.  USA manufacturer's better watch out!!! 
WEIGHT: 10.0 - 10.2 grams

FEEL: 9
QUALITY: 10+
LOOKS: 9
Manufacturer: Stralka

Vendor: Stralka
3/10
 









         
   

Top Hat and Cane: Don't you just love competition and the wonders of a competitive market?  I mean....wow, look how our consumer chip selection has taken off this past year.  Following in the recent trend of outstanding new chips comes the new Paulson Top Hat and Cane.  And these may very well be the single best chips available right now.  They are easily the best consumer Paulsons.  So, "why?" you ask?  Here's why:  Number one....the mold is new and great.  Replacing the long-thought-to-be-obnoxious 'Paulson Chips' is a classics hat and cane logo along with the four card suits.  Classy and good looking.  Next comes the inserts, which if you haven't noticed by now are ALL DIFFERENT for each denom!!!  COOL!!  Third are the spots, which again, are all different for the various denoms.  Double cool. The designers were smart and left off currency symbols. (Hear that you guys in Norway that email me all the time about non-$Dollar$ chips!!!). Lastly, these are Paulsons, so they have that great Paulson feel and heft to them......golly gee....just like out of a casino.  So, any down sides you ask?  Only one I see is personal preference, and that's some of the color combo's just don't do it for me.  Specifically the 1 and the 500.  But that's just me.  Check out the pictures and decide for yourself.  Order a sample.  You'll love these chips.  Period.
(Note: I moved some of the photos into this column to save space).

WEIGHT: 9.7 - 10 grams

FEEL: 10
QUALITY: 9.5 (several inserts were off center with my sample)
LOOKS: 10
Manufacturer: Paulson

Vendor: Apachepokerchips
12/06

 

 

 

 

 

   

Vineyard Casino: These chips come from the 'Vineyard Casino' in California that was shut down by the State back in 1996.  The supplier to these chips bought up the entire supply and is now selling them out in sets.  These are real Paulson chips.  What else do you need to say?  Aside from the fact that they handle, look and feel great, they are border-line collector items to those who are a fan of
Paulson. 

10/17/04:  Geeze guys.  Man, I got more emails complaining about this review than anything else on the site!!!  OK...so what makes these 'Paulson' chip so groovy?  First thing to consider is that all home-use poker chips aspire to be like real casino chips.  *These ARE real casino chips*.  Even companies that make both home-use and real casino chips will admit there is slight difference between the two.  The graphics on these are very nice.  They are a bit slick, which I'm not a fan of, but the edges, where the clay is fully exposed, is very grippy.  That small detail goes a long way.  Quality wise, these may be the best chips available for the home-buyer that I've handled.  The graphics are razor sharp and will take a lot of abuse.  The edge spots are also very good.  I mean...if you have the cash and you like the looks of these chips, then just freakin' buy them.
WEIGHT: 9.9 - 10 grams.

FEEL: 10+
QUALITY: 10
LOOKS: 9
Manufacturer: Paulson
Vendor: AcePokerChipCompany
 

 

   

Vineyard Casino: Commemorative Issue 2005: The string of good chips showing up at my doorstop continues. More so, these chips caused me to stop and look at several of my existing reviews.  In the past I have really been harsh on the full-decal chips from BC.  If you look at my review of the Paulson Vineyard above, and the Viva Las Vegas chip below....you see that I gave the Paulson a 10+ and the Viva Las Vegas a lowly 5.5.  That's going to be adjusted now...because the new BC Vineyards are almost identical to the original Paulsons in everything except weight.  I'm still not the biggest fan of the full decal, but these chips LOOK absolutely outstanding.  The graphic image is razor sharp and clear.  The edge spots are great...just like the originals up through the $100 denom.  I haven't seen original Vineyards beyond that value, so I can't tell you if they colors and spots are accurate or not.  What I can tell you is that both the $500 and $1000 chip are fantastic.  The neon orange of the $1000 almost makes look like it would glow in the dark. The $100 is one of the prettiest chips I've laid my eyes on.  No 'spinnies' with my sample set.  The only things remotely wrong is the weight, coming it in the low 8's and the 'standard' BC flame mold, which is slightly on the boring side, and they are a tad on the slick side.  That said, if you're looking into upper-end chips, keep these high on your list to get samples for.
WEIGHT: 8.1 - 8.3 grams

FEEL: 8.5
QUALITY: 10
LOOKS: 10 (because of the new chips)
Manufacturer: Blue Chip

Vendor: EdgeSpotDesigns

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


original Paulson Vineyards on the left and the new BC Vineyards on the right

 

     

Viva Las Vegas Clay Chip: According to the Dice702 this style of chip is used in the Four Queens, Golden Gate and Stratosphere casinos in Vegas.  It's a real clay chip with a very clear and very smooth graphic printed on the face.  I myself did not like the smoothness of the graphic.  No edge spots, so that's a bit of a bummer. There is a very subtle design around the rim of the chip, but you can't see it unless you look very close. Not a bad chip, but not at the top of my 'must have' list.  I did try to vigorously scratch off the graphic with a fingernail, but I didn't damage the chip at all.
WEIGHT: 8.3 grams

FEEL: 8.5 (adjusted 5/05)
QUALITY: 8
LOOKS: 6
Manufacturer: Blue Chip

Vendor: Apachepokerchips

 
viva las vegas chip is in the 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.