Looking for the BEST – CHEAP chips - for ME!

TX_Golf_N_Poker

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Hope y’all see the humor in my title. I can see in my short time here on PCF that the choices are endless, and what some hate, others love. And apparently some of your budgets are endless as well! Dang, are all you guys spending 5 figures on your collections single? I’m trying to keep my costs under $500, honestly, WAY under if I can. And my wife is still gonna be pissed when she asks how much it all cost! LOL! So what will work best for me is probably WAY down the list for what most of you guys like to buy and use.

Anyway, so many people have tried to help me already, and I keep hijacking other people’s threads, so I figured it was time to create my own and put everything in one place. Here are my criteria for the perfect set of chips:
  • What I’m looking for is chips that look and feel as close to clay casino chips as possible, but…
  • On an EXTREME budget. Ideally across the set an average cost per chip between 20-25 cents.
  • Not slugged. Would like a weight of 8-10 oz per chip. 10 oz Milanos feel just about perfect.
  • And finally, edge spots. I LOVE edge spots. Majority of the chips must have nice colors and at least two colors of edge spots.
My Claysmith samples showed up in the mail today. I ordered Milanos and one of their slugged sets. I love the Milanos! They appear to be pretty much exactly what I’m looking for. I also got samples of the cheaper Rock & Roll. I don’t love them, but I suppose I could possibly live with a different slugged chip, although I’d have to see them first. I really like the lighter weight of the Milanos, and the sound they make when dropped or splashed.

OK, you say, so if I love the MIlanos, then what’s the problem??? Issues:
  • Cost – Between both a cash set and a tournament set I’d like to buy about 1400+ chips. So that puts 100% Milanos over the budget! I suppose I could buy a few now and add to the set over time. That’s certainly an option. I might be able to distract the wife with that trick. But if I could put together a set with another chip that’s just as good AND Cheaper- more better!
  • Denominations – I’d really like to have a nickel chip for .05/.10 cash games. (I told you I was cheap!) There is no 5 cent Milano chip, so I seem to have three choices – (a) get some custom labels, (b) assemble a mixed set, or (c) use the $5 chip as a nickel in low stakes cash games. The first option means more money, so it’s the last resort. And I’d prefer to have a dedicated nickel chip.
  • Mixed Set – This is the way I’ve been leaning. I’ve been eying some discontinued DaVinci chips at ChipsandGames.com on clearance. They have an unlabeled chip that could work for my nickels, and some $1 chips that I actually like (in photos) a little better than the Milano $1. Blue > White. Together these would be about 1/3rd the cost of Milanos. For $60 to my door I could have a significant portion of my cash set and then fill in the rest over time with either more DaVincis or some Milanos.
  • All chips not created equally. As I was told in another thread, I may find differences in thickness between chips in a mixed set that may be undesirable, or even un-playable. But it’s been also pointed out that sometimes this difference can even be found within a set from the same manufacturer! So I could be rolling the dice either way.
  • Finding DaVinci chips – Unfortunately, filling out a set with DaVincis may not be too easy. This appears to be a discontinued chip. ChipsandGames.com has a few for sale, but not many denominations that I want. And no sample sets. If I were to buy a couple of stacks for samples, then add in shipping… Well, I’d might as well just spend the $60 and get 350 chips. AND… now I’m sort of comitted to finding more or having a mixed set. Or replacing them all down the road.
Questions:
  • Once I have some DaVincis in hand, will I like them as well as the Milanos? No, I don’t expect you guys to answer that. But does anybody have both and can tell me how similar they are in look, feel and size? How do the heights of an equal stack of each compare?
  • Am I likely to find the missing DaVinci denominations I need to fill out my cash set? At a minimum I’d like 150 quarters and 100 $5. 200 5s would be better. Above $5 I’m considering a few $20 plaques or some over-size 43mm $25s, maybe Royals. I don’t need $100s, but I’d take a few if they were available.
  • Is there another chip in the under 25 cents a chip price that I should be considering? Needs to meet my criteria above of (a) looking and feeling similar to a real clay chip, (b) in the 8-10 oz “casino weight” range, and (c) nice colors and edge spots. Used in great condition is fine.
  • Any PCF members here that have any of these or similar CCs that need to find a new home? Hit me up if you do, or tag em if you know em.
I’m sorry. I know this is a ridiculously long post. God bless you if you’ve made it this far. I know I’m being super picky. And SUPER CHEAP! If I had a thousand bucks to drop, it would probably be easy. Or maybe it would be harder? Anyway, thanks for bearing with me and I truly will appreciate any input.

UPDATE: OK, you guys have been MORE THAN AWESOME!!! 60 replies in 12 hours. Lots of great ideas and a few more things to think about and talk about. I think my biggest conflict now is the DaVincis. Some of you say better than Milanos and others say they're going to crumble into dust. At the clearance prices I'm looking at, I think I'm willing to take the chance. I can't believe the whole set will become unusable within a few years, so if it's just a few chips at a time, then all the more reason to buy lots of extras.
 
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BarrieJ3

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I don’t have an exact answer, but a question. Do you think you’ll build this set and be done, or do you think you’ll slowly upgrade over time? There’s a large sentiment to buy as nice as you can now, as it saves in the long run, and while I don’t always agree with that (I still have my first chips), I think it might apply here.

You want to buy 1,500 chips. Let’s say you build out the whole thing at .15 a chip, you’re still over $200. And you’re gonna lose whatever $ of that is spent on the cheapest of chips (you’ll resell for pennies on the dollar). My best piece of advice is just to consider the “nicer” chips in the mixed set you were thinking of. If you mix in Royals or 8V CCs or something from BRPoker or whatever for certain denoms, you’ll almost certainly want to slowly change out your whole set for those.

My advice is to get your samples, figure out what you like, and start with a small tourney or cash set of them (wel under $500). People here can help with low chip amount breakdowns for whatever you’re looking for to save money.

This approach may not be for you. Negatives are you start slow and have to build over time.

The positives are you have much better chips (perhaps even semi custom!) and they’ll resell much closer to cost should you decide to sell. Keep an eye on the clasifieds. Super cheap chip deals come up pretty often, and from posting this thread you’ll probably get tagged in some by myself and others.
 

TX_Golf_N_Poker

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I don’t have an exact answer, but a question. Do you think you’ll build this set and be done, or do you think you’ll slowly upgrade over time? There’s a large sentiment to buy as nice as you can now, as it saves in the long run, and while I don’t always agree with that (I still have my first chips), I think it might apply here.

You want to buy 1,500 chips. Let’s say you build out the whole thing at .15 a chip, you’re still over $200. And you’re gonna lose whatever $ of that is spent on the cheapest of chips (you’ll resell for pennies on the dollar). My best piece of advice is just to consider the “nicer” chips in the mixed set you were thinking of. If you mix in Royals or 8V CCs or something from BRPoker or whatever for certain denoms, you’ll almost certainly want to slowly change out your whole set for those.

My advice is to get your samples, figure out what you like, and start with a small tourney or cash set of them (wel under $500). People here can help with low chip amount breakdowns for whatever you’re looking for to save money.

This approach may not be for you. Negatives are you start slow and have to build over time.

The positives are you have much better chips (perhaps even semi custom!) and they’ll resell much closer to cost should you decide to sell. Keep an eye on the clasifieds. Super cheap chip deals come up pretty often, and from posting this thread you’ll probably get tagged in some by myself and others.
I can definitely answer that question. Based on the Milano chips I have in hand right now, if I put together a set of that quality, I will be very happy with it for the foreseeable future. And yes, I've been here long enough to know that about 80% (or more) who read that last sentence will cringe at the thought of china clays and quality in the same sentence. Short of receiving a financial windfall, I don't see a set of Paulsons or CPCs in my future. This is a recreational set. Might see play 10-12 times a year. Hopefully more, but could end up on a shelf gathering dust, knowing me and knowing all the different hobbies and past times I have.
 

BonScot

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My advice to you is to go for quality rather than quantity. Unless you’re running multi table games you’re unlikely to need more than 400 / 500 chips.
For $500 you’ll be able to pick up a set of Paulson horseshoes. Also check out site vendors like the chip exchange who are selling Bud Jones chips for under 70c per chip.

I started off with Milano’s and wasn’t a fan. The smell was enough to put me off. Also no matter how often I tried cleaning them they always reverted to looking faded and powdery after a couple of weeks
5F3BA826-18DA-4959-98F5-76C66FFDCB70.jpeg


If you’re on a budget and want a lot of chips you could look at getting your own custom ceramic set made. The scrub donkeys cost around 25c per chip including shipping.
 

davin

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I can definitely answer that question. Based on the Milano chips I have in hand right now, if I put together a set of that quality, I will be very happy with it for the foreseeable future. And yes, I've been here long enough to know that about 80% (or more) who read that last sentence will cringe at the thought of china clays and quality in the same sentence. Short of receiving a financial windfall, I don't see a set of Paulsons or CPCs in my future. This is a recreational set. Might see play 10-12 times a year. Hopefully more, but could end up on a shelf gathering dust, knowing me and knowing all the different hobbies and past times I have.
You do know those cheap chips crumble over time. They start to break up in crumbs on your poker table. I suggest using your stimulus and get a Paulson starter set. Atleast if u ever decide to sell it someone will actually give you money for it whereas the cheap chips you will never get close to what you spend on them esp if they are all crumbled.
 

BarrieJ3

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And I know people are giving you advice after you said you don’t want to do a, b, or c, but this might interest you as a man of many hobbies.

China Clay 8Vs. .10 a chip, with whites, browns, and purples still in stock. Covers you’re immediate need for .05/.10 games, you can do your own labels. A ton of these have come up for sale and will be in the future for you to add on the other colors.

Basically for $50 you have enough chips to cover your cash game, and while he’s spotted blank china clays may have been beneath what you wanted, the finished product will be far above when you’re done.

https://www.pokerchipforum.com/threads/8v-compression-clay-blowout-sale.35015/
F4EEEE1A-8C93-49C5-AC41-5FCDAD4B7C22.jpeg
 

BarrieJ3

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$50+ shipping. Make this work for your tourney setup.

https://www.pokerchipforum.com/thre...ey-set-really-cheap-ends-monday-at-8pm.49355/

If you don’t mind playing without denoms for now, and pay the $ to have them milled and custom label applied later:

https://www.pokerchipforum.com/threads/600-diasqr-solid-hotstamps-diamond-square-cheap.48463/

Im starting to sense a theme in my replies. I like the idea of spending pennies now on chips, especially if they’re not used often, and leaving the door open to spend a bit more later on to turn them into something great. Plus if you’re only going to ever have one single set sitting on the shelf, why not make them semi custom, erasing the need to upgrade later on?
 

tabletalker7

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If you are looking for the best CHEAP chip and you like the weight of the Milanos, get a sample of "NexGen Pro Classics". You can find them here https://www.thepokerstore.com/colle...le-pack-nexgen-pro-classic-9-gram-poker-chips. You would be surprised how many people actually started out with a set of either these or the NexGen 8000's (they might be the same thing I don't know). At their per chip cost you can easily get 1400+ of these, and any labels you need from @Gear to cover denominations they don't make, and still be WELL UNDER $500.
 

BGinGA

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The Cadino Da Vinci chips are far superior to the Milano chips. They were one of the very first china clay chip designs (made by Eastony Industries for DaVinci Imports) using the spirit mold, and are much closer in sound and feel to real clay chips than the more modern plasticized china clays sold today.

Although no longer produced, the older spirit mold china chips were widely sold with other themed artwork (Pryamid Casino, etc.) and also as blanks (no labels) with a variety of different edge spots and colors (mostly 4d14 pattern), meaning that there are a large number of them in existence -- which you might pry out of hiding in the used chip market, typically at 20c-25c or less.

There may be other scattered stashes of new old stock (mostly blanks) still out there on various old web sites that could be garnered at a discount, but will require some dedicated searching.

Afaik, there aren't any older-style china clay chips that offered nickel denominations except for the Pharaoh's Club & Casino, which although on a different mold, can be reasonbly paired with the spirit mold chips.

There were also a large number of similar-material china clays made using other molds (Dunes, Desert Palms, greek key, among others) that used either similar spot patterns or 8V spots, that would work as part of an older cc set.

They all turn up in the PCF classifieds and other places (ebay, craigslist, facebook, etc.), but if you're looking for a single turnkey solution meeting all of your requirements and within your budget constraints, it's simply not gonna happen. It will take time, patience, and money.
 

BarrieJ3

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If you are looking for the best CHEAP chip and you like the weight of the Milanos, get a sample of "NexGen Pro Classics". You can find them here https://www.thepokerstore.com/colle...le-pack-nexgen-pro-classic-9-gram-poker-chips. You would be surprised how many people actually started out with a set of either these or the NexGen 8000's (they might be the same thing I don't know). At their per chip cost you can easily get 1400+ of these, and any labels you need from @Gear to cover denominations they don't make, and still be WELL UNDER $500.
At best this is a .39 per chip option, without a good breakdown (buying in bulk). .42 a chip if buying what you need.

If you go this route, it’s only worth it if you find a cheap deal on here for used.
 

BonScot

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He would need to relabel the entire set.
I’m saying just go with them as is not relabel. I think it’s a false economy to invest in a set of china clays and relabell them. Personally if I could do it all again I’d skip my 2 million China clay chip phase and start off with a budget Paulson 400 chip set.
 

BarrieJ3

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I’m saying just go with them as is not relabel. I think it’s a false economy to invest in a set of china clays and relabelling them. Personally if I could do it all again I’d skip my 2 million China clay chip phase and start off with a budget Paulson set.
Yeah I feel you, probably smarter. Meanwhile dumbass is still over here building CC and Paulsons sets.

1588665212274.jpeg
 

tabletalker7

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BarrieJ3

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https://www.thepokerstore.com/colle...00-nexgen-pro-classic-9-gram-poker-chips-bulk 1000 chips pick your denominations $189.99 sounds like 19 cents a chip to me - did I miss something?
They’re unusable as is, labels add min .20 a chip. Not arguing, just didn’t want him to get excited about chips and professional labels at a cheap price. Option like this is closer to $600 ($560ish), not well under $500.

At that point I’d agree with others you’re burning $.

At their per chip cost you can easily get 1400+ of these, and any labels you need from @Gear to cover denominations they don't make, and still be WELL UNDER $500.
 

BGinGA

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tabletalker7

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They’re unusable as is, labels add min .20 a chip. Not arguing, just didn’t want him to get excited about chips and professional labels at a cheap price. Option like this is closer to $600 ($560ish), not well under $500.

At that point I’d agree with others you’re burning $.
He needs 400 labels tops (both sides of nickel and quarter) - the rest of them can be used as is. While I agree he should be saving his money for something better (I preach about custom ceramics from brpropoker) that wasn't an option he offered. He wanted cheap as possible and liked the weight of Milanos. That is dirt cheap. Hell if we are afraid labels will put it over get this https://www.discountpokershop.com/c...MIkeqhxKOc6QIVj4bACh0-WQEBEAQYAiABEgJWRvD_BwE but I think we both know Gear is better
 

BGinGA

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Far better choices for 19c/chip or less imo.
 

Jake14mw

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OP, stick with a budget that is comfortable for you. If you purchase in the used market, if you do choose to upgrade sometime in the future you can sell them for close to what you buy them for. How many people do you play with? As others have said, make sure you really need 1500 chips.
 

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My 2 cents...

If you are patient, you will find either Milanos, Dunes, Majestics or Pharaohs in excellent used condition for .25 to .35 per chip, which will fit in your $500 budget for 1500 chips. I would hold out for/solicit PCFers for a large base set that you can then complete. There is no reason to drift below the china clay (or entry ceramic) level.

A nice used Paulson set would be great, but I can't see putting one together with the denominations you need for less than $2,000 for 1500 chips, after labels, etc.

Good luck.
 

Beakertwang

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Are you sure you need 1500 chips?
@TX_Golf_N_Poker, I posted that quickly, but I have a few minutes to expound.

How many players do you expect? A ten-player tourney can be covered with as few as 300 chips, with a good breakdown. Most cash games can be covered with 500-600 chips, again of the breakdown is good.

Will you play more tournaments or more cash games? I only host a few tournaments a year, so I went cheaper for my tourney set. These are 12¢/chip (plus shipping and storage), and I’ve been very happy with them. They’re heavy, of course, but not as slippery as some sluggers I’ve tried. The colors are nice, and they have easy to read denominations.

That will leave you with well over $400 for your cash chips, which gets you into 43mm Royals from Apache (very nice), or semi-custom ceramics from @BR Pro Poker.

Welcome to the forum, and happy chipping!
 

Goldfish

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How about the “all in” clay chip? The are non denominations so u have flexibility and they have a decent feel and they are pretty inexpensive. This was my first set and I thought they worked pretty well. There is a 500 chip set on sale on Craigslist for 100. Just a thought.
 

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MaxB

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(c) use the $5 chip as a nickel in low stakes cash games.

This will save you money and is the perfect solution for having a 5c chip (I do the same with my cash set). Cheap ass poker games is like going out to eat at the Golden Corral. People that eat there aren't looking for t-bone steaks, filet mignon and caviar. They want quantity sub-par food at a cheap price to feel satisfied about getting a deal. Using $5 chips, those players don't want high end custom 5c Paulson chips, they will play with anything just to have a friendly low cost game and a good time
 

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If you are patient, you will find either Milanos, Dunes, Majestics or Pharaohs in excellent used condition for .25 to .35 per chip, which will fit in your $500 budget for 1500 chips. I would hold out for/solicit PCFers for a large base set that you can then complete. There is no reason to drift below the china clay (or entry ceramic) level.

Exactly!!! A great CC set posted 30 minutes after my recommendation. Clairvoyant? Perhaps...
 
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