Creating the perfect poker setup involves the right poker table set, chairs, ambiance, food, and, of course, chips.
While getting a cheap set of 200 plastic chips and saving some money may be tempting, a set of pristine ceramic or clay poker chips can deliver that true, casino-style gameplay.
Unfortunately, plastic chips are known to break and tarnish after a while, while a set of high-end ceramic poker chips will last you a lifetime.
Lots of ceramic and clay chips also come with personalized designs that give your poker table a personality of its own.
A set of high-end poker chips truly make the perfect gift for that poker player in your life.
So whether you’re shopping for the right poker chips for your table or as a gift, we’ve prepared this guide of our most frequently asked questions and tips to help you find the best poker chips.
Are clay or ceramic poker chips the best?
Generally, customers have three options for poker chips: plastic, clay, and ceramic. Ceramic is considered the best because it offers a smooth surface, heavy weight, and longer-lasting durability.
If you've played with plastic or clay chips, you’ll literally be able to feel the difference in the quality of a ceramic chip in the palm of your hand.
However, clay chips, otherwise known as clay-composite, are a suitable alternative to ceramic, offering greater durability, a nicer feel, and a slightly thicker weight than plastic chips. Clay chips may not have that same sound that ceramic does when you push the entire pot across an oval poker table, but they offer a nice enough feel to give you that professional-style gameplay.
In terms of budget, you can buy poker chip sets for the following price:
- Plastic: <$100
- Clay Composite: $100-$200
- Ceramic or Custom Ceramic: >$200
What is the best weight for poker chips?
While there is no official casino poker chip weight, most professionals agree that 11.5 grams is the optimal weight for a chip.
Most clay composite and ceramic chips weigh anywhere from 10-13.5 grams, while a plastic chip will weigh significantly less.
However, while weight may distinguish quality, it does not impact gameplay.
For this reason, aim for poker chips between 11.5-13.5 grams for the best bang for your buck, depending on whether or not you prefer a heavier weight.
What are the best poker chip brands?
Generally, BBO is considered one of the best brands for poker chips and tables alike, including its luxurious poker dining tables.
However, for a more affordable price, you can find good quality poker chips from other brands, such as Hathaway and JP Commerce.
Tips for Finding the Best Poker Chips for Home
Here are some simple tips for finding the best poker chips for your home playing:
- Budget: First and foremost, find poker chips that fit your budget. While professionals prefer ceramic chips, you could save hundreds on clay chips that last a long time.
- Chip Count: Poker chips are sold in sets of 200, 500, and 1000 chips. Most players should be fine with a 500 chipset, even if they are hosting large poker games at a 10-person poker table. Tournaments and larger venues can benefit from bigger bulk packages.
- Colors/Design: There is a wide range of colors, denominations, and different designs to choose from, including traditional sets with pre-set denominations or custom sets with unmarked denominations.
- Cases: Aim for a poker chip set with an aluminum case and lockable storage if you purchase a more expensive set. These cases make it easy to transport and protect your purchase.
- Cards: Lots of poker chip sets come with their own deck of cards, so search for a set with a custom deck of your choosing.
- Weight: Aim for poker chips that weigh between 11.5 and 13.5 grams for a well-balanced weight. Weight doesn’t impact gameplay, so it all comes down to personal preference.
- Composition: Ceramic chips are considered the best quality and will last nearly a lifetime. Clay chips are a suitable alternative and are more affordable.
- Brand: Choose from high-end brands like BBO that offer warranties on their products and additional bonus offers.
- Reviews: It’s never a bad idea to see how other people feel about poker chips, especially if you’re buying them online and can’t physically feel them.
Top 3 Best Poker Chips for a Personal Table
This custom set comes with 500 ceramic chips weighing about 10 grams and featuring a fun zombie-themed design. BBO offers a 1-year limited warranty, and this chipset comes with free shipping. This chip set is perfect for any poker setup, whether you’re playing a small game on a round poker table or a professional-style game with 8 players.
We also offer the same BBO poker chip set with a custom Cowboy, Treasury Mint, and Paris Casino design.
JP Commerce offers an affordable clay set with thicker 13.5-gram chips, a dealer button, an aluminum case, two card decks, and a traditional stripe-suited chip design.
We also offer similar JP Commerce sets in Monaco, Lucky Horseshoe, Z-Pro, Crown Casino, Monte Carlo, and Pro Poker designs.
Hathaway offers an incredibly affordable set of traditional-style poker chips just under $100 with this 11-gram set. This set includes 500 chips, five red dealer dice, a dealer button, two playing decks, and an aluminum case backed by a 6-month limited warranty.
Poker Chip FAQS
- ◄What kind of poker chips do casinos play with?
Most casinos play with either clay or ceramic poker chips. While professionals typically play with ceramic chips on tour, your average casino will often use heavy clay poker chips around 11.5 grams.
- ◄What are clay chips made of?
Clay chips consist of composite molded clay subject to extreme pressures and temperatures of around 300 degrees Fahrenheit and 10,000 pounds psi.
- ◄How long will clay chips last?
Clay chips can last anywhere between 3-6 years or longer, depending on their use.
- ◄Can a low-stakes game be played with chips with printed denominations?
Yes, it's perfectly legal and acceptable to play a low-staked game with printed denominations or by changing the denominations of your chips.
Finding the perfect pair of poker chips can seriously elevate poker nights and complete your poker table setup. For the best ceramic and clay poker chip sets, browse our selection of poker chips. Also, be sure to browse our selection of poker tables for tables that provide you with that professional and casino-style experience.