Over the years, casino chips (also referred to as casino cheques or gaming chips) and poker chips have been manufactured in many different shapes and sizes and from many different materials. The most common casino chips in circulation today are of the round, 39mm and 43mm kind (and those are the main focus here), but be aware that many other varieties exist.
ANATOMY OF A CASINO CHIP
The four main "parts" of a casino chip are:
1) The "face" or "rim" of the chip - in general, the area outside the label/center area.
2) The "label" or "center" of the chip - this can be a physical label or a printed area.
3) The "edge" or "side" of the chip.
4) The printed "Insert" of the chip - these come in many different sizes, shapes and styles.
5) The "pips" - these also come in many different sizes, shapes and styles.
FACE/RIM: This area of the chip can be a "plain" color but often contains a design, or more frequently, "inserts" or "pips". In most cases, the color of the chip rims will be different from denomination to denomination.
PIPS/INSERTS: Pips/inserts are used in the rim of a casino chip and are often different from denomination to denomination. By using different pips/inserts on each denomination, security personnel, dealers and players alike can more easily differentiate one value from another.
LABEL/CENTER: The label/center area of the chip can have an actual label, a printed area that simulates a label or sometimes be the same color as the rim of the chip thus having no defined center at all. A physical label can contain a variety of printed information (casino name, location, logo, denomination, etc.) and is commonly held in place with an adhesive. Some chips (such as our Formula One Series) do not have a physical label at all. Instead, the label is "printed" directly onto the chip. Although we often create artwork for our Formula One Series that simulates a label in the center, the rim and center are actually one continuous image on a smooth surface.
EDGE/SIDE: This is the thin area on the side of a casino chip. On clay chips the edge generally reveals a "cross-section" of the face pips as they travel through the chip and are visible on the edges/sides as well. On ceramic casino chips (such as our SecureChips) the edge can accommodate printing. Although a very small area, that edge printing can consist of pips (complimentary of those present on the face or not), text, denominations or a combination of these elements.
MATERIALS: Most current casino chips/poker chips are made from plastic, clay or ceramic materials. Although plastic chips maintain great popularity in the home-game market, most casinos prefer ceramic or clay chips for their table games. Our SecureChips are manufactured using high-quality ceramics that give them a completely professional weight and feel. Until now, the division between clay and ceramic customers has been due largely to the presence of a physical recessed label on the clay products and a lack thereof on the ceramics. By offering both our Fusion Series (ceramic chip with recessed physical label) and our Formula One Series (ceramic chip with label printed directly on the chip) we encompass the best of both worlds.
(No casino chip discussion would be complete without mentioning the classic "Hotstamp" chip. The hotstamp is commonly a plastic chip sometimes used by casinos and cardrooms to represent their smaller denominations, such as a 50¢ chip, or as a special purpose "one-time" chip for tournaments and events".
SIZES: In general, most casino chips in play today appear in two sizes - the 39mm and the 43mm (or sizes very close to these). It is standard practice by many casinos to use a 39mm chip for their smaller denominations ($1-$100 for instance) and move up to a 43mm chip for their higher value chips ($500-$5,000 and beyond).
COMMON CHIP VARIATIONS: Some of the more common variations of the casino chip used today include the Octagon and the Plaque (both of which we offer under our Formula One Series). Octagons are a unique "special purpose" chip and are sometimes used for buyin, commemorative or promotional events. Plaques, although more popular in Europe and Asia, are being use with some frequency in the United States as well. Plaques are most often used for higher denominations but do occasionally appear as promotional items, card protectors or to commemorate special events.
DISCLAIMER: The information above is meant to provide general information about casino chips. It is possible that some of the information is incorrect, outdated or incomplete. Although some of this information pertains to our chips, the information is meant as a basic reference guide to casino chips in general. If you have any questions regarding our casino chips, please contact us directly.