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The Colorful Story of Poker Chips

The development of poker chips is as colorful as the evolution of the game after which these were named. Born out of necessity, these small discs which are used in poker games as a substitute for money in today's modern casino resorts started out in the olden days as crude pieces of bones, clay or ivory. These early money substitutes became necessary replacements for the different currencies, coins and other valuable items that were then used for wagering in the different places where poker became a popular past time.

But it did not take long before enterprising gamblers saw the opportunity to make forgeries of these early poker chips. And so, to deter the unscrupulous use of these forgeries, various organized gambling enterprises began making their own brand of gaming chips that are unique to their establishments. Although hard to replicate, these chips varied in size, shape, color and material.

By the turn of the twentieth century, many gambling establishments have adopted a standard size and circular shape for their poker chips because of the obvious difficulty in handling odd-shaped and differently sized chips. Still, there was no uniformity in terms of the kind of material used. Some were made of clay while some were fashioned out of expensive ivory.

These poker chips were in use up till the early 1950s when the technology of high pressure molding made possible the mass production of poker chips made out of durable hard-to-replicate composite materials. With a standard diameter of thirty-nine millimeters and a weight of eight and a half grams, some of these chips have very intricate inlay designs and some were even embedded with a micro chip that made them virtually impossible to forge.

The popularity of the game of poker has created a booming industry devoted to the manufacture of poker chips. Modern mass production technology and the discovery of durable and easy to use synthetic materials greatly lowered the cost of these chips and made them more affordable to individual poker enthusiasts for use in their home games.

These modern chips are more convenient than paper bills because they are easier to count in stacks reducing the possibility of mistakes in the payment of winnings by a dealer. Moreover, these money substitutes are more hygienic to use than actual currencies because these can be easily cleaned with soap and water. The use of poker chips in modern casinos and in home games throughout the world has definitely made poker playing an infinitely enjoyable and entertaining past time.