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Oiling Chips:

I get a huge number of emails asking about how and why to oil poker chips.  Here's a FAQ as well as some pictures and a movie on the subject, so hopefully it will help out.

#1: Why oil chips?
Answer: Oiling chips simulates the weeks and years of handling that occurs in a real casino.  An oiled chip will be brighter and more vivid in appearance than a brand new, non-oiled, chip.

#2: What kinds of chips can I oil?
Answer: ONLY oil genuine clay chips.  That's compression molded.  Paulson, ASM, TRKing, Blue Chip are all chips that respond will to oiling.  All clay chips will ABSORB the oil.  Ceramic, Composite and Plastic chips will NOT gain anything by oiling them and will basically just get greasy.

#3: Will oiling my chips hurt them?
Answer: No.  Oiling chips will not hurt them.  If you don't clean them off well enough, they can make a mess, but it's not going to hurt you or your poker chips.

#4: Will oiling my chips improve their 'feel'?
Answer: Yes...but only very slightly.  I've found that oiled chips provide a better sound and also shuffle easier.  However, the difference is extremely small.

#5: What oil should I use to oil my chips?
Answer: Only use mineral oil.  Do NOT use any kind of cooking oil like vegetable or olive.  Cooking oils can spoil and that will really not be good for your chips.

And the biggie: #6: How to I oil my chips?
OK...so you've bought the mineral oil and your staring at 500 brand new clay chips in front of you. You've got a couple options, but in the end, they take about the same amount of time. (Note: Oiling chips take a LONG time.  If you do it right, expect to spend about a minute per chip in the end.)

Option 1 is to lightly rub the chips with a paper-towel soaked with some Mineral Oil.  This will help in the dry-off time spent, but you also spend a lot of time rubbing the oil ON and getting into all the nooks and crannies of the mold.  After you've let to oil soak in for a minute or two, rub off the extra oil with a cotton towel.

Option 2 is to just dump your chips into a container of Mineral Oil and let them soak a while.  You then take them out one at a time and rub them dry with a cotton towel. 

As I said, both options will take a LONG time.  I prefer Option#2 myself, but that's just me.


So there you go.  Hope that helps.



In all the examples below, the non-oiled chip is on the left.

Also...for your viewing pleasure, extra photos have been added with 1200 pixel width.  Those are on the left.  The regular sized photos of 650 pixel width are on the right.

Oiling helps darker colored chips much more than lighter colored chips in general...but you can still see a little bit of a difference with this set.

This shows that oiling the ASM chips can help get rid of the faded looking edge

Probably the best example.  The oiled chip on the right was oiled several months ago and still looking good in comparison to its non-oiled peer.

Oiling movie in WMV format. About 5 megs.


Note: Big thank you to Larry Spinosa for loaning me the original Paulson James Bonds seen here.


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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. 
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