Recently I was at a IDN Poker game in town that I never played at before. There were several aspects of the game that I did not care for, such as how the shuffling was handled, allowing splashed pots, and not using a cut card. However, the real problem occurred when the chips from each player was cashed in at the end of the night. As the last player was being counted out it was clear that there was a significant shortfall of cash left to pay the remaining chips.
Unfortunately, this is a problem that happens more often than you would think. The problem is that if you have a game with 10 or more players it is often that you have players that you don’t know very well. These players can be very dishonest and may try sneaking in chips, which are essentially counterfeit. The problem is that most poker game hosts use chips that are standard design and can be purchased at just about any retail store or online website.
It is because of this ongoing problem that it is highly recommended that custom chips be used in every poker game, whether the game is a cash game or a tournament.
Custom poker chips will make it very difficult to bring in foreign pieces. Not only will this save you money in the long run, by not having to pay out your own money to cover the extra chips that were sneaked into the game, but it will make the poker game feel much more secure. Each night of poker will be much more enjoyable if you do not have to worry about whether someone is trying to sneak extra chips on the table.
If you search around you will find that there are many varieties of custom chips available. There are many differences in security, composition, style, and even the amount of customization that can be done with them.
The cheapest custom poker chips available are plastic and have labels, stickers, inlays, or some sort of print on the chips. They are cheap because the base chips are the same for everyone and only the removable sticker or print on top of the chip is custom. You can not change the color or design of the base chips. Therefore, these are not recommended because they can be easily copied by anyone with a printer at home or access to a print shop.
On the other hand, clay poker chips or ceramic poker chips are the most secure. If you play poker in the casinos you will notice that these are the types of chips used in poker rooms and casinos worldwide. The custom poker chips made of clay or ceramic that you can get for your home game are the exact same chips used in casinos. These types do cost more but you will feel more secure in your game and will not have the expense of cashing out with your own money.
Clay poker chips have been around for well over 100 years. Be aware that it is very hard to find real clay poker chips that can be customized. If you can find them they will cost at least $1 per chip. There are retailers that claim to have custom clay poker chips but they often are a cheap plastic and the chips are not fully custom.
On the other hand, ceramic poker chips are more readily available. This type of poker chip is fairly new, but there are a few companies that offer fully custom ceramic poker chips to home poker players. Ceramic chips start out as a solid white disk that can be completely customized. The entire face, from edge to edge, as well as the edge can be customized. This means the color and the design can be changed to your liking. You can use your artwork or you can commission someone to create artwork for you. The image on a custom ceramic poker chip is embedded within the chip so that it can not be removed unless you actually damaged the chip. It is because of these features that ceramic chips are the most secure chips that you can purchase.