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History of Poker Chips (a guest post)

Poker chips are used for everything from home card games to fundraising casino nights to cash substitutes at actual casinos, but have you ever wondered how they came to be? Learn a little about the history and evolution of poker chips so that you can show off your knowledge at your next game of Texas Hold’em. 

The game of poker dates back to the early nineteenth century. Poker chips were not too far behind, making their appearance in the mid-1800s when players as well as card dealers wanted an easier way to determine how much money was at stake for a particular hand. While wadded up bills and piles of coins were difficult to tally, color-coded chips could be summed up in just a few moments. Some chips were also made in varying sizes according to their denominations.

Once gamblers were familiar with and comfortable using the chips, casino and gambling hall managers quickly observed that players were looser with their money when it was not cold, hard cash, so the chip quickly overtook the coin or dollar as the prevailing currency.

Soon, underhanded gamblers learned how to make or purchase phony poker chips, allowing them to gamble at no cost or even trade in chips for cash. Once casinos wised up to the counterfeiting, they quickly began creating custom chips that differentiated theirs from other gambling halls as well as the fake ones.

Poker chips have gone from being comprised of agate, bone, glass, ivory and mother-of-pearl to their current predominant compositions of clay, ceramic and plastic. Buying your own unique set from a reputable retailer such as is a fun idea if you enjoy hosting serious poker games in your game room or club, but since you are probably not concerned about shady strangers with counterfeit chips, it is okay if you and your friends happen to have the same chips. In fact, it can be beneficial when you need to pool them together for a tournament-style get together.
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5 witty retorts:

Brandon Lostinidaho said...

Even though this is a sponsored post (take it as you like it) I have make custom sets of poker chips before.

I used to be a Marketing Director / Event Planner, and I would be in charge of coordinating my company's open house. People loved "Vegas Nights" where they could gamble and have fun without losing their money.

I would order 2 sets of custom poker chips. One set would be given to the person with the highest overall winnings, the other would be given to the winner of a Texas Holdem Poker Tournament. They were always a HUGE hit.

Business logos, text, dollar denominations... anything you can think of to put on a poker chip, they can do for you.

Tony Van Helsing said...

But why are they called chips? Over here chips are what you lot call French Fries.

Brandon Lostinidaho said...

Because Poker Monies sounds funny?

G said...

Ah the old devil I miss your fickle charms... nice idea to have a customised set of chips.

Anonymous said...

I thought that poker chips were used because handling money was vulgar? Is this true?

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