Where to Start?

KingofHearts

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Hi all,

I am looking to get some chips and had a few questions. Is it easier to buy in a set or buy singles of each denomination? What denominations am I realistically going to need? I figure I might play with up to 6-8 people and mainly play for cash I would think, though the possibility for a tournament is on the board as well. I'd prefer not to spend over $100-200 for a set, is that enough to get a quality set? Sorry for some many questions and appreciate any answers that you may be able to share.

Thanks.
 

BearMetal

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Tight budget, but for a cash game with 8 players max, $200 is probably enough to get a cheaper china clay set or even a non-customized ceramic. 400 chips at $0.50 max per chip (ceramic) or between ($0.15 and $0.50 cheap to nice china clays) should hit your budget. Breakdown depends on buy-in and stakes, but here's an example:

25c x 100
$1 x 120
$5 x 140
$25 x 40

At your budget, I don't think you can get a tournament set together, even if you try to just expand on the existing set by adding higher denominations. A good place to check to see what you can get for your money is:

- https://www.apachepokerchips.com/ (china clays [majestics, royals, etc])
- https://abcgiftsandawards.com (ceramics [tiki kings, DDLM, etc])

Yes, there are chips there for 15c each. The wise man would say "well, I can definitely get more than 400 chips for a dual-purpose cash/tourney set". Or just "I can get away with $100 instead of $200!". But, I think at your budget, $200 goes way farther in terms of quality than 100, which is why I would suggest staying with cash-only and around 400 chips of the 50c range.

You can also scour the For Sale here for cheap used sets. They do pop up every week or so. You could get more chips for the same money this way.
 
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BearMetal

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What about the Monte Carlo chips? They seem to be decent?

I don't believe they are China Clays - they are plastic chips with lead slugs inside of them to make them feel heavy. Way too heavy, IMO. In terms of quality, they are near the bottom (just above dice chips). I think all of the 15c chips are in this category. I had plastic slugs for my first big boy set, but I grew tired of them quickly and hated the weight.

Perhaps you should start at the Milano's since they are the first of the "China Clays" that Apache offers.
 

BearMetal

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I also think this is where some people would say "get samples!"... Maybe you like the feel of the cheaper chips, who knows. But on your budget, I don't think samples make sense, as you could literally spend your entire amount on just samples. I still say: narrow it down to either ceramic or china clay, and expect to be in the 40-50c per chip range. They'll last a long time and you'll be happy you spent the full $200.

Maybe at the point you've widdled it down, you could get 1 sample of ceramics and 1 sample of your non-ceramic contender.
 
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Lemonzest

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@KingofHearts There is a broad range in quality and options. Most of the people here are really into chips and spend between $ 500-5k on a set just to put things into context.

It is a bit like going to a car collectors forum and asking about picking up a Honda Civic. You won't get much support from the collectors but that doesn't mean the Civic won't be a perfectly fine car and run well for years.

If you don't plan to spend lots of money on chips then just buy whatever you think looks good and enjoy it.

If you decide to go down the rabbit hole and get "into" chips then just beware it is expensive and time consuming.
 

GianThaMan

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Even with the added weight? I really disliked how heavy my slugged ones were.
The added weight is great. It reminds me of heavyweight BG chips. I mean they’re not as good, but I really like them. Also, china clays are pretty much just plastic anyways, so might as well choose the cheaper option.
 

BearMetal

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The added weight is great. It reminds me of heavyweight BG chips. I mean they’re not as good, but I really like them. Also, china clays are pretty much just plastic anyways, so might as well choose the cheaper option.
Yes, I never meant to imply that China Clays were, uh, clay :) ... but to me, I personally prefer the feel of, say Royals, to a slugged chip.

Also, in response to @Lemonzest, yeah people here spend like $700 on 20 chips, so don't use us as a litmus test or anything. But I still think that there's a quality difference between a 15c chip and a 50c chip, so spending toward the higher range of @KingofHearts budget might yield happier results.

There's going to be people who love the 15c slugged chips, others who love the 30c china clays, others who say that the only real China Clay is a Royal, and then those who scoff at all of these and say go ceramic. Ultimately, the decision is yours. However, the quality offered by Apache and ABC (BR Pro) is great.

One word of warning; I listed the vendors above for a reason. I know some people who went with other online poker stores for their cheaper slugged chips. And they had nothing but problems (labels falling off, inconsistent colors in a barrel, etc).
 

GianThaMan

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The added weight is great. It reminds me of heavyweight BG chips. I mean they’re not as good, but I really like them. Also, china clays are pretty much just plastic anyways, so might as well choose the cheaper option.
The glitter’s a nice added bonus too.
 

BearMetal

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The glitter’s a nice added bonus too.

Hmmm, I suppose some people play poker like this.
21i68b.jpg
 

allforcharity

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$200 Budget is tight, but for 8 max games it can be workable.

You may be able to get away with 400 chips in a cash game, but need to be careful with your breakdowns. Not too many of your lowest denom chips. Figure out what the workhorse is, usually the $5s but it could be the $1s depending on stakes.

A tourney set of 300 chips may stretch your dollar farther, but if you primarily play cash then focus on that first.
 

Kid_Eastwood

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What's the buyin you're usually playing for your cash game ?
It'll help us to provide you with an appropriate breakdown.

Also, I'd advise a separate set for your tournament even if it means taking inexpensive chips like Monte Carlo.
For 8 players, you can go with :
80 x T5
80 x T25
60 x T100
20 x T500
Total = 240 chIps for T2000 (10/10/7/2) on starting blinds 5-10 (200BB) or 10-20 (100BB).
You have enough T100 to color-up the T5 and enough T500 to color-up the T25.
Just take some extras in case of lost, ...

Even if you need to round-up to 300 (because of multiple of 25 are required), at 15c each, it's only USD 45 for a Mint tournament set.

And note that rounding with sleeves of 25 to
100 x T5
100 x T125
75 x T100
25 x T500
You exactly cover 10 players if needed.

Also, get a dealer button, a jersey neoprene topper and don't be cheap with cards. Grab some 100% plastic.
 
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KingofHearts

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Thanks for all of the advice everyone. I am planning on getting plastic cards for sure, that I know!

As far as chips the trouble I am running into is deciding how many per denomination?

I figure 1's, 5's, 25's, 50's, 100's, 500's and 1000's, is there anything else I would realistically need or could I get away with less denominations than that even?
 

Good_Barba

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The monte carlos are great chips, and I personally would choose them over any China clays, any day.

I am a fan of the Monte Carlo chips as well. I know they’re composite but these ones look really nice.

6E432994-04F9-4C50-B885-44F49DC6CCD1.jpeg


ACA0F2CB-9015-4A90-AEA4-5044C193A437.jpeg


D80CE1C2-7AB2-4DB5-BC3B-71FBBCC66CE8.jpeg


4FF9D1BA-363B-4EEC-90D3-87BFF2EE96FC.jpeg


I don’t like that glowy circle (on the inlay) that the Apache Monte Carlo chips have but I truly like these ones.

The images are from an online swedish shop. I don’t know who makes them.
 

Kid_Eastwood

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Thanks for all of the advice everyone. I am planning on getting plastic cards for sure, that I know!

As far as chips the trouble I am running into is deciding how many per denomination?

I figure 1's, 5's, 25's, 50's, 100's, 500's and 1000's, is there anything else I would realistically need or could I get away with less denominations than that even?

For your tournament set, I answered you.
I suggest you take different chips for you cash set.

Which buyin are you usually playing for your cash game ? Depending on your answer, we'll tell which denom to take.
 

Ben8257

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Hello and welcome to the forum @KingofHearts! First off... fantastic name and avitar, absolutely lovin that set up! My beautiful better half @FordPickup92 and I started with Monte Carlos and 08 Casino Royales. Still own both and they both will get felt time again in the future. Absolutely nothing wrong with either of these choices. But as many will suggest, get samples before taking the plunge and know what you are getting before you buy a bunch of chips that just aren't what you like. The resale value on cheap slugged chips is almost nothing!
KIMG0595.JPG

But do your reserch on what you really need! As you can see here, before we joined I was just buying chips. I didn't know that $10 and $50 chips basically had no use. There are many threads on proper tournament and cash break downs.
20190821_221505.jpg

Some of these are because we got an all or nothing deal but as you can see here... way more denominations than needed. I even have T200 and T2000 chips in the Casino Royale set on the left... way more 1ks and 10ks than we will ever need!

One more note I haven't seen anyone mention... while yes for a nice little home family and friends low buy in tourney set, these chips will do the job. Chip security should be in the back of your head... mixing cash chips with tourneys is a no no... someone could pocket a $25 chip and put it in play in the cash game, also these chips are widely available! After a couple times using them it would be easy for someone to buy some off ebay and sneak them into your game. Not as big of an issue with a tourney but if you decide to build a cash set, I suggest going with something a bit more rare... like a discontinued set, maybe a used paulson RHC set from here on the forum... something that you can add on over time but most of your players won't have easy access to purchasing them. This is also why many people go with custom chips!!

I hope this is helpful, make sure to post pics and share your chipping journey with the rest of us!! If theres anything I can help with feel free to send a PM any time!!

Fellow Chipper Ben
 

Ben8257

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I miss you guys as well. I'll start stopping by a little more. JUST TO TROLL THOUGH. Deal?
Wouldn't expect any less! Lol but easy on the recruits!! They are my flock and I am a good shepherd!!
20200409_194313.jpg

Come one come all! Admiration and obsession with chips is all that is needed... the rest can be taught!! Lol

Kidding of course... still a noob myself... but thought it would be a good post!
 

toynoob

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Wouldn't expect any less! Lol but easy on the recruits!! They are my flock and I am a good shepherd!!
View attachment 486855
Come one come all! Admiration and obsession with chips is all that is needed... the rest can be taught!! Lol

Kidding of course... still a noob myself... but thought it would be a good post!
TBH I enjoy the new growth. I know a lot of the elders get annoyed with repetitive questions. I'm still new myself so I haven't reached burnout yet. I had my break and I'm ready to contribute more to the community. Any newbie reading this don't be offended with anything I say, I'm a harmless troll that loves poker more than chips. I don't leave the house without a deck incase I get a chance to deal em. Shuffle stacks exist wherever I am as well.

Ben is a brother from another mother and is a great asset to the community. His facial hair domination always has a rack of fracs resting somewhere near his Adams apple.
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TheWhat

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What about the Monte Carlo chips? They seem to be decent?

Really like the Monte Carlos myself, uograde for sure over the standard non-denom.

The Super Sampler from @Apache is definitely the way to go though. You'll be able to sample everything in your general price range.
 

BearMetal

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Sometimes the problem is that there's simply too much information. As a new chipper, imagine searching "What kind of chips for a first set". You'd get so many hits. Sifting through it all can be daunting. When I hit a new topic (like oiling, cleaning, murdering), I try my best to find posts already out there. But sometimes, it's just so much easier and clearer to ask a question that's already been answered.
 

TheWhat

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The monte carlos are great chips, and I personally would choose them over any China clays, any day.

Agree, maybe I could maybe see blank Royals with custom labels over them, but takes a bit of time to find out those options.
 

GianThaMan

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The monte carlos are great chips, and I personally would choose them over any China clays, any day.
To clarify, yes, custom labelled Royals are better, but they cost about $0.50 more a chip, which isn’t much for most of the people here who have actual, quality sets of real clay, but for a newbie looking for his first set, that’s a big difference. As for the 39mm CCs, I stand by my statement. They’re okay I guess, but it feels like I’m playing with chips made of crayons, so they need to have some sort of benefit, like how the Royals are oversized 43mm. I rest my case.

Edit: Then again, you may not want to trust me, as I chose to get a custom set of Matsuis over CPCs.
 
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