Compression Molded ('Real Clay')
Some thoughts on 'Clay'
Let me hear them.
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.
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.
8/23/05-Added a pic of the new 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Vendor: Sidepot Clay Pokerchips
'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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.