by Max Bellamy
Poker chips are an essential ingredient of a poker game. They are special tokens that represent a fixed amount of money. Poker chips are also known as checks, especially in card rooms and casinos.
Formerly economic units such as coins, gold nuggets, and gold dust were used in poker games. Ivory, bone, wood, paper, a composition of clay and shellac were the things used in the creation of chips. However, these plain-surface chips had a major problem—individuals could easily sneak in their own chips into the game. U.S. Playing Card Co. in Cincinnati, OH, holds the record for making the most expensive clay-composition poker chips from 1907-1939.
Edge-spot patterns and complicated graphics are used in poker chips to prevent counterfeits. The process of making poker chips is very costly and is done on high-pressure compression-molding machines. Ceramic material with clay is added for texture and weight. The clay compositions used vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. The chips made for home use also vary from those made for casinos. In American casinos, the chips usually weigh between 9.5 grams and 10 grams each.
Chips are manufactured with injection-molding technology, using ABS plastic. For weight, some chips are molded around a small metal disc, called a slug. All casinos have a unique set of chips. The custom color combinations on the chip edge (edge spots) are different for each casino.
The commonly used colors in United States casinos to differentiate among chip denominations are white or blue for $1, pink for $2.50, red for $5, blue for $10, green for $25, black for $100, and purple for $500.
With poker chips being a necessity for playing poker games, hi-tech poker chips may be a trend in the near future to provide a greater level of security.
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