Review of 500 (expandable to 650) chip case - works great as a 600 chip case plus 30 more slots (1 Viewer)

GreekRedEye

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I did not readily find an existing review of this case. Decided to buy it and review it myself. I got mine from Spinettis at a great price, but it is available on other sites. The descriptions are confusing and the photos on all the websites are low res. I hope my photos and description help anyone considering it.

https://spinettisgaming.com/collections/chip-cases/products/500-chip-expandable-case-600
https://www.thepokerstore.com/collections/empty/products/500-ct-empty-expendable-aluminum-case
https://www.amazon.com/Expandable-Poker-Locking-Holds-Chips/dp/B07CW4SSB6/

Okay, so how many chips does this really fit?
There are 10 long rows and 2 short rows. Long rows can hold 62 chips (Paulsons with a little slop or ceramic BRProPoker chips tightly). Short rows can hold 15 Paulsons tightly or 14 BRProPoker ceramics with a little slop. Does 62 seem like a strange number? Not when you realize that 62 = 3 barrels + 2 spacers. Which makes this case very versatile. You could squeeze 620 chips in the long rows and then another 28 to 30 in the short rows for a total of 650 chips. But, I think this case shines when you use spacers and place 3 barrels a row for 600 in the long rows and then use the short rows for seating chips/bounties and/or those 10 to 20 high denom chips.

Build quality
Whereas I like the design, I wish the build quality where better. The case is made of thin aluminum similar to Da Vinci cases. The racks are made of thin plastic covered in that pseudo felt material similar to Da Vinci cases. The top foam, unfortunately is not compressible. The foam is stiff, which means it does not make as good contact with the chips as I would like and it is not forgiving. You can squeeze in 43mm chips but they dig into the foam. If your cards/dealer button are too high, it just won't close.

Cards and dealer buttons?
The slots for cards will accommodate bridge cards easily, but it was a bit of a squeeze to get a poker size tuck box of bicycles in. Because of the non-compressible foam in the lid, you can just barely get 4 packs of cards (if you need two setups) but only if they are in tuck boxes or with a rubber band - no way you could fit the typical 2-deck box from Copag for example. And you cannot can just barely get 4 decks and 2 dealer buttons into this case as long as the dealer buttons are slim. - you have to choose between 4 decks or 2 decks + dealer button(s).

Bottom line
Who is this case for? If you have a specific need for 600 to 650 chips that you want in a briefcase style case, then this is for you. I really like the design, I just wish the case were sturdier and had compressible foam in the lid. For the price at Spinettis, I think it is a good purchase, but not at the higher prices I have seen from other vendors. I may purchase egg crate style foam and replace the lid foam myself as I really want to be able to put 4 decks and 2 dealer buttons in this case.

Photos

With Dia de Los Muertos. 3 barrels + 2 spacers per long row. Tight fit, but works. 14 green chips in the short rows (15 is impossible with these chips).
pxl_20230901_213954136-jpg.1190724


Alternate arrangement of Dia de Los Muertos with 62 in each row.
PXL_20230901_215314587.jpg


Paulsons. 60 chips + 2 spacers per long rows, with a little bit of slop (easy to get in and out). I can fit 15 in the short rows with tight fit (photo shows fewer than 15 - you just have to believe me).
PXL_20230903_150144701.jpg


Can accommodate at least some 43mm. Those are Royals. Closes fine with that amount, but does crunch a bit into the foam. Not sure how it would close if the entire case were filled with 43mm chips. Also, proof that a poker size bicycle tuck box will just barely fit.
PXL_20230904_213455317.jpg


You can see marks being made into the lid foam after only opening and closing this thing about a dozen times.
PXL_20230904_213503460.jpg
 

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Edited to reflect that I was able to get 4 decks of cards and 2 BroProPoker DDLM buttons into this case today. It was a little crunchy but fit!
 

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