Custom Poker Chip Set

Rancho

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Hello Everyone at PCF!

My name is Wilson and I'm very new to this forum. I only recently discovered this site and have spent the last several days reading every thread that interested me, cover to cover (sorry work/wife). I am wanting to build a custom set of chips to go at our ranch and I'm looking for some recommendations from everyone here that's forgotten more about chips than I'll ever know.

While we will certainly use the chips to play poker, "friendly" blackjack games are far more common with my friends. I have spent quite a bit of time at different casinos handling their chips, but I've never had a set of my own any nicer than a cheap, plastic, off-the-shelf kit. I'm not sure if I personally have enough experience to tell the difference between clay vs ceramic vs cheaper china clays, but while I'm not looking to bankrupt myself here, I want to get this as right as possible and buy once, cry once. I want a good set that will last out there and look professional to all audiences. I'm thinking a 500 chip set should cover my needs with 5 different chip colors/denominations ($1, $5, $25, $100, $500). I was originally thinking that a custom inlay was what I was looking for, until I fell in love with an old hot press set I found listed online for sale. If I'm doing this right, hopefully a picture of the "El Rancho Vegas" chips show up below.

1611257617936.png


There's something about the simplicity, beauty and old school nature of these chips that really speak to me. For mine, I would plan to have the ranch's brand in place of the windmill and the ranch's name in place of "El Rancho Vegas" on the other side. While I started out building different chip/spot color combinations on CPC's website, that was really fun, but I don't know that I really need super fancy/high end spotting and if I might be just as pleased with keeping it simple - just as the El Rancho chips are. In recreating the above chips with their font's I also believe that I will need 6 dies (1 front and 5 backs due to the different denominations - please correct me if this is not how this works). Purchasing everything directly through CPC would involve (per their website) $600+ in die costs ($100-$150/each).

Now that you know a little about me and my project, here's where the questions start. What's the most economic way to build these chips? The things that I "want" unless you tell me that I don't need them are 1) good clay chips and 2) hot stamp's as described above. The things I'm less concerned with are 1) spot pattern 2) buying chips new/getting to totally customize colors / color schemes. What would you recommend here? Buying everything directly through CPC? With $600+ in dies, I estimate the 500 chip set would run me roughly $1,500 with relatively simple spot patterns/molds. Collect/purchase good blank chips new/used/second hand on here/ebay/other places and then get a vendor to do the hot stamping on those? I'm not sure this exists, but maybe there is another option that I'm unaware of that has limited stock clay chip options that offers hot stamping without the exorbitant die costs. I guess another question that I had - will CPC use other people's brass dies (I've seen Owosso mentioned here or a similar company)? It would certainly cut down on costs if I would have someone else make the dies and CPC just use them. I have actually asked them this question but have yet to get a response. I thought someone on here might already have experience with this.

Anyways, thank you all in advance for reading and any suggestions/help here! Please let me know if I need to clarify any of the above and I apologize to the extent that any of this has been covered in previous posts. I look forward to being a part of this community and I'm excited to build my first set!

Wilson
 

allforcharity

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Hello, Wilson, and welcome to the forum! Congrats on finding the old Large Crown mold chips originally provided by TRK. I'll be doing my in custom set with CPC using this mold as well.

One should never approach custom chips quickly or haphazardly. First thing I would do is get some sample chips to compare between true compression clays (like Paulson, etc.), ceramics and hybrids (BR PRO and SunFly, etc.) and high end plastic (Bud Jones, Abbiati, etc.). There are various sets available for members for evaluation - just sign up.

You'll need to figure out whether you are really married to the hot stamp idea or whether you really want inlays. With hit stamps, you could potentially save money by using one custom die for one side of all denominations, and then a bunch of standard denomination dies for the other side (probably for no or minimal additional fees).

Take your time to evaluate inlay designs as well. You may find that ultimately they offer more flexibility of design at low cost compared to multiple dies.
 

Silver_Fiend

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Yep, definitely take lots of time and dont rush custom chips! Get lots of samples and explore lots of options. Look at enormous volumes of chip designs. What you want now is very likely to change, at least somewhat, over the next few months of your research and planning. IF you rush now, you could be left with buyers remorse later.

Part of this is also to take a serious look at chip break down. Are you and your friends high rollers? Do you plan on buying in to your games for thousands of dollars? If not, you really dont need $500 chips. You will probably never need $100 chips, although having a few for those rare times would be helpful. You need to look at the betting and buy-in levels you will be playing. Ask questions here, lots of very knowledgeable people to help you plan your chip needs. You may even find that you want more than 500 to allow for a broader range of games.
 

Rancho

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Thank you both for your replies! I really appreciate all the help I can get!

I will look more into those alternative options and see how well they take hot stamps. Personally, I know that I’m horrible at “going down the rabbit hole”. I can turn a simple thing into something much more complicated. I’m just worried the more I think about it and research it, the more I’m likely to realize that I “need” some holy grail of chips and everything gets far more involved and expensive. However, I’ve seen you both and countless others on here say - get samples - and I intend to do that.

As for the denominations and breakdowns - we’re not necessarily high rollers, but we are good at turning our “friendly games” that start at $1-$5/hand into $100+ After a few drinks. $500 hands have happened before but are far less common. I just thought $500 chips would be a fun thing to have in the off chance it gets used - knowing it’s kind of a novelty. I was thinking something along the lines of:
$1 - 175
$5 - 150
$25 - 100
$100 - 50
$500 - 25

I doubt I’ll need anything higher or lower than that, but I figured I would get some half dollars to go with the set to pay out blackjacks and stuff because they are cheaper than making $.50 chips.

A couple more questions I’d add.... Is there one chip that takes hot stamping better than others? Like do clay chips take hot stamping the best? Or do ceramics do just as well.

Also, I guess my ultimate question would be - if you were trying to recreate the hot stamped El Rancho chips, not caring as much about the chip colors and to a degree, the chip mold, what would you do? Custom CPC’s? Or is there another viable alternative that you think would be better / comparable / more economic?

Thanks again for all the help!
 

Silver_Fiend

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well, if your games get to that level, then you could definitely use the $500 chips. If you normally play $5/$10 you wont need any ones. If you sometimes play lower, you need some $1s but not that many. Have you played something like 1/3 or 2/5 in a casino? Players typically are bought with all $5s and then given $1s as change for blinds. Most people dont have many, and not many are needed as after the blinds they arent used except people who like to make weird number bets. Depending on the number of players, I would cut the $1s back to a single rack at most and shift those over into your workhorse chips whether that would be $5 or $25

PS- all chips are in reality plastic, just different formulas and processes that earn them different classes such as "clay" (which really isnt clay), ceramic or plastic. But we refer to them like this because the differences are understood when comparing options. Most people prefer the feel and sound of clay, but those are the least durable. PLastics can be high quality like Bud Jones, matsui, abiatti, but some people dont like the slickness. They are a lot more durable and cheaper, which is why many casinos are switching to this type. The ceramics give you the option of custom printing over 100% of the chip face and edge, are extremely durable, cheaper than clays but some people dont like the overall look.

Which brand or type of chip accepts hotstamps better is better answered by someone else, as I dont have any experience. I do love the old school look of a nice hotstamp on a simple chip. CPC can be stamped because I've seen people make those sets and they looked very nice. For an economic option, I would wait and look for sales of old school chips, murder them and then have them hot-stamped. It will be a longer road but theres an old saying about the three options of fast, good and cheap.

Lastly, I know what you mean about getting deeper into things than intended, I'm the same way. I originally came here looking for a decent cash set to add to my crappy dice chip tourny. Now I have 1900 cash chips and can play anything from nickle/dime up to $5nl. :whistle: :whistling: and I just bought 1300 chips to de-label which will become my new tourney set.
 
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Eriks

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Cpc can’t hotstamp the lcrown mold afaik
 

Rancho

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Thank you all for your replies! Sorry, I was gone and away from my computer over the weekend. I still can't decide exactly what I want to do here, but your information has definitely helped.

On another note, I found an auction taking place this upcoming weekend that a lot of you on here would probably be interested in. I'm not sure if any of these chips serve my purposes, so I figured I'd pass it along. If I do decide to bid on something, please don't bid me up! ;) :ROFL: :ROFLMAO:

https://www.liveauctioneers.com/cat...ium=email&utm_campaign=SearchAlert_928_188932

Also, @AK Chip, thank you for your thoughts. Before I made my post, I went through and read through your entire hot stamping journey and it was a fun to follow along! Keep up the good work!
 
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