Choosing what type of poker chips, (known as ‘cheques’, or sometimes ‘checks’) you want to use for your game is a decision that everyone who plays home poker needs to make, as it dictates the entire game. Some of the lower-stakes at-home poker games use coins as chips, as it can be more convenient, but it can be quite inconvenient finding the change when you need it.
Chips come in all different colours and carry different values. Tournament chips and game cash chips differ, especially so in a casino. Luckily, most of the chips have a dollar value written on them, so that makes life easier.
Complete basic sets of chips used for private poker games usually comprise of simple block colours such as white, red, blue, green, and black chips. The larger, higher-stakes tournaments may potentially use sets with additional colors. When playing Texas Hold ‘Em Poker it’s vital to know each chip value. While there is no official “rule” for how chip values are assigned, there are common standards used for most poker events. There is no nominal value written on the chips themselves, and the values should be agreed before playing.
Hosting a Poker Night
If you’re hosting a poker event that consists of up to 10 players, it’s advisable that you have approximately 500 chips in three or four basic colors. If you’re hosting a larger game, that could involve up to 30 people, you should go for up to 1,000 chips in 4 or 5 colors.
When putting together a set of chips to run your own games, you should keep the number of different colors low, and your put your collection together so the majority of your chips in the lowest denomination, with progressively smaller numbers of chips as the denominations ascend.
So, to demonstrate: A set of four chip values of $1, $5, $10, and $25, the number of chips by ratio should be 4:3:2:1. With 500 poker chips, you should have 200/150/100 and 50 chips in white/red/blue and green (respectively).
Casinos commonly have a custom-design on their chips which includes the monetary value and the name of the casino which is printed (or engraved). The chips can be multi-colored and/or patterned so it is unique to that casino. The color-coding may follow the values below, or an individual casino may a truly bespoke color coding system.
If you’re in a casino, simply ask the dealer. They’ll explain it to you (ideally before you bet). Most dealers will be happy to explain things to you (but their help stops there!).
You will find in most American casinos that tournament chips (as well as other cash games) are, more often than not, the same thing, and so commonalities can easily be found.
The answer is that it truly depends on where you’re playing, as geography will facilitate variations.
In casinos in Atlanta, most will follow the basic primary color-coding values for white, pink, red, green, and black chips, with the addition of yellow chips at $20 and blue at $10.
Las Vegas casinos do also subscribe to the basic primary color coding but add $20 chips.
In California, where there are no legal mandates on gaming chip colors at all.
Poker Chip Values & Colors
|Pink||$2 or $2.50|
Chip values above $5,000 are very rarely seen (or used) by the general public in casinos; since such high-stakes games are, generally, not held in view of, or by the public. For very high-stakes games may, casinos have special rectangular plaques which they issue to players.
They are roughly the size of a deck of cards. In casinos where high-stakes gambling is permitted in public areas, there could these special plaques in denominations of $5,000, $10,000, $25,000, and up, but these casinos are typically limited to Nevada and Atlantic City.
In summary, it depends where you are, and what you’re playing.