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Chips Types and Their
True 'Clay': Think Paulson. These chips are compression molded. IE- The chip is formed through a process of compressing the 'clay material' in a mold, physically forming the chip. Spots can be added if need be. Cool thing about compression molded chips are they are EXTREMELY sturdy and the colors go completely through the chip...so scratches and nicks are easily hidden. The spots on the chip also go COMPLETELY THROUGH the chip...which surprises many folks who think the spots are just painted on. Examples of home-use Compression Molded would be James Bond, BuyPokerChips.com clays and PokerChips.com. Blue Chip Company is a current manufacturer of compression molded chips who supply both casinos and the home user.
Ceramic: Ceramics are a ceramic 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. You can also have a raised grid surface and a raised bump surface. Both these surfaces give the chips a great feel, but allow the image to be scratched off easier than the smooth surface. One negative on ceramic style chips are their edge spots will not line up with the top and bottom artwork on the chip. The edges are finished with a separate process. I have heard that GE is the slug manufacturer....but I cannot verify that. ChipCo is the most well known supplier of these chips. Nevada Jacks and HoldemPoker-Chips.com both sell ceramic chips with the grid texture on them.
Bud Jones: Bud Jones are a high-end injection molded chip. Bud Jones is currently owned by GPI (as is Paulson) and their chips are not available for home-use purchases anymore, but there are copy-cat vendors on the market. They Bud Jones style chip that's available for home-use is the classic coin centered chips. These chips have a metal coin surrounded by an injection molded composite. One thing that I've always been impressed with these style chips is their complete lack of visible seams or injection points.
Injection Molded-Composite: Composite is a term very loosely used in regards to poker chips. When you read or hear about "composite" clay chips, the general idea is that they 'feel' more like real casino chips. Material can be softer feeling, or even 'chalky' feeling. Composite chips can be made both with and without metal inserts to increase their weight. Recent developments with the composite material have lead to heavier chips without the need for any kind of metal inserts.
These chips are constructed exactly like their Injection
Molded-Composite cousins, with the only difference being the material is
regular plastic instead of the composite. Most of the infamous '11.5 gram
Dice' chips are plastic with a metal insert. These chips are usually
pretty slick and hard to stack. They can me made with or without a
metal insert...but are most often found using the insert.
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Chip Anatomy-When poker chips meet a belt
#1: Bud Jones Style: This chip has TWO coins back to back in the center with the composite/plastic material around the outside. No real surprises here.
#2: Composite 11.5 gram dice chip with a metal insert: You can see the multiple pieces (one piece per color) that make up this chip up, and the metal slug is clearly visible. Unlike some Ebay retailer claims, you can also see that this composite chip has different colored dots on the dice.
#3: High-End injection molded composite chip: This is probably the best of the injection molded composite chips out there right now. No metal insert, but still heavy. Even when looking very closely at this chip, it's construction is outstanding.
#4: Injection Molded Plastic Chip ($25 green and white chip on the right): Here is a plastic chip with a metal insert in it. These chips, unfortunately, are often advertised as composites. Make sure you buy your poker chips from a reputable vendor.
#5: Real 'Clay' Compression Molded Chip: Here's an interesting one...you can see that the edge spots on this chip go straight through. They are obviously NOT painted on.
#6: Real 'Clay' Compression Molded Chip#2: Just another example of a compression molded chip. This chip broke after repeatedly throwing it on the cement. I have no life.
#7: Composite injection-molded: This chip I broke in-half with my bare hands. Easily at that. The material is incredibly soft. Same construction style as most of the plastic and composite chips.
#8: ChipCo ceramic: This is maybe the most interesting. First, it's obvious that the color is simply printed on the outside of the chip. More interesting is the ring of white around edge of the chip. These chips did NOT arrive like that. After months of handling, the edge of the graphics wore away. That is why most ChipCo chips have that white band around the edge of the graphic. It's to hide the wear at they age. You CAN purchase ChipCo style chips with a full bleed on them...but if you're chips will get heavy use, it's not recommended.
All reviews are the opinions of John Tucker unless
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