House Rules






Poker Nights - Choosing Poker Chips


      Until just a couple of years ago, a nice set of poker chips was exotic - expensive, fascinating, with some serious WOW factor.  Then poker got televised, and popular, and now you can pick up weighted poker chips in a nice case at the grocery store.  So much for the wow factor - but on the bright side, they are a lot less expensive than they used to be!

       It's very true that, to give your poker night a good feel, a nice set of chips is a must.  Plastic interlocking chips tell the players subconsciously that they're little kids playing a mere game;  that cheap clinking sound they make when they hit each other rattles in the brain, and raking in a pile of plastic shavings that weighs nothing... well, it just doesn't feel like real money!  So get out there and get a nice set!  Here are some things to consider:

  • How Nice? - Go for 11.5-gram chips or heavier, and get chips with at least two colors on each chip.  (Usually the base color with white accents, for example.)  Even chips like this are amazingly inexpensive these days, so do it - you'll be glad when you feel and hear the quality when betting.  And especially when you rake in your wins...

  • How Many? - Don't get a set of less than 500;  as I keep saying, these sets are soooo inexpensive now, and you just don't want to have to deal with portioning out chips.  You want to just plain have enough for the night.  500 is definitely enough for a night with up to 8 people, at least. 

  • What Colors? - Choice of the actual colors is, of course, up to you!  But I will say that you should have three colors in general use (for example, one color for 25 cents, one for 50 cents, one for a dollar), and one extra color for special cases (like really huge values, or for use as markers, etc).  Also, make sure that the ratios make sense:  if you buy a set of 500 chips, I'd get:

            - 200 of the smallest value (25 cents)

            - 150 of the next value (50 cents)

             - 100 of the top value (1 dollar)

             - 50 to be used for special cases.


  • Case - Make sure they come with a portable case.  Most sets do - but make sure, so you can bring the chips to wherever the game is!


  • Where to Buy - As I said before, thanks to the popularity of poker nowadays, you can get'em pretty much anywhere!  Still, you probably want to buy them in such a way that you can choose the colors and amounts that you want - so I'd steer clear of retail stores that only sell "standard" sets.  Go to a gambling or gaming store, or buy from online retailers or eBay.  Chances are that the Google ads on this page are all for places where you can buy these kinds of sets - so check them out!  (Plus, you'll be helping support Dave's Guide...)


Got your chips?  Sweet - now how about a Table...