In a recent post, I talked about how you can start your own home game. One of the requisites of doing this however, is having the right equipment and what is the most vital piece of equipment for poker? Chips, poker chips that is.
For the uninitiated, once you've seen standard chips (even on TV), they're all the same. For the enthusiast, though, each chip set is different and he has his certain preferences regarding this matter. Let's take a look at the basics of the chips you play with in poker so that you can pick out the perfect set to start your home game.
In the early days of gambling, people used different small items instead of chips. Pieces of wood, clay, and even gold were used as tokens for the game. It was only in the late 1800s that poker chips as we know them today were created for the special purpose of keeping count in poker. Those poker chips were made of clay composite. In the 1940s, plastic chips were manufactured and became widely available to the public.
Today, there are basically 3 types of chips according to the material. The most common and most affordable are the plastic poker chips. They are light and easily damaged so they are best used by beginners. The other type of poker chips is made of metal core. Poker chips made of metal core are heavier than the plastic ones and less sooner to damage. They are favored by those who host home games as they give that "casino feel" and they are not too expensive. Perhaps the best kind of poker chips are made of clay composite. They are the most costly and not as easy to find as the plastic ones. Casinos use clay composite chips and in fact, they have them custom made. Most casinos have their logo inserted on the chips - these are actually copyrighted.
You can buy poker chip sets with a specific number of chips in them. Usually included in the set are 2 decks of cards and a pair of dice. The set is normally housed in a metal case with an inner lining of velvet to protect the chips. Chips are of a variety of colors - red, black, white, green, and even pink.
Thanks to the popularity of poker, buying chips is not a difficult task. You can visit your local sporting store and chances are that they have chip sets. Better yet, you can search on the Internet. There is a host of poker chip vendors online that offer more variety when it comes to poker chips. You can specify the quantity of chips in one set and you can even specify which colors you want. When shopping around for poker chips for your home game, make sure that you will have enough poker chips for the number of players you are expecting. This is a case of having more is better than having less.
Once you have your chips in hand, do not let them go to waste by not taking care of them. Always keep them clean and in good shape. The case that comes with the set is meant for a purpose - to protect the chips - so use it.