Laser Graphic Poker Chips
The best poker chip sets for the money are the laser graphic series. Depending on the number of chips you need to purchase they provide the best overall value. A 500 ct poker chip set will range from $50 to $100 and a 1000 ct poker chip set will range from $100 to $200. The majority of the poker chip sets in the laser graphic series are right around the $120 price range including shipping. There are over 10 styles to choose from. They are a clay composite poker chip with a metal insert making them 14 grams in weight. The chips are durable and you will get quite a few years worth of play from them if you are an avid poker player.
Laser Graphic Poker Chip Pictures
View Laser Graphic Prices on Amazon.com
In order to purchase the best poker chip set you first have to understand the different type of poker chips that are available. For the most part there are a few types of poker chips available.
Ceramic poker chip are my personal favorite. I’ve owned two sets Nile Club and Nevada Jacks which are beautiful chips. Here’s what makes ceramic chips the best poker chips in my opinion.
If you have the money go ceramic. They are an investment and will last you a lifetime. For a 1000 ct poker chip set be prepared to spend $300 to $400 for a nice set of ceramic poker chips. Below is a picture of the Nile Club poker chips that have an Egyptian theme to them. The ceramic sets that I have owned all come in different denominations as low as 25 cents which makes playing low stakes poker games a breeze.
Clay poker chips can be extremely expensive. Paulson chips are pretty much the defacto standard for clay poker chips. Be prepared to spend over $1,000 for a 1000 ct poker chip set. I would only recommend Paulsons for the very serious and affluent player. Below is a picture of Paulson poker chips.
Clay composite poker chips are the most popular as they are extremely durable, have a nice feel and weight and look like high end chips. These are the most popular chips and if you have $100 to $150 to spend on a 1000 ct poker chip set this is your best bet. Most clay composite poker chips are between 11.5 grams in weight up to 15 grams in weight.
The below picture is a nice set of clay composites called Bluff Canyon from Claysmith Gaming with a 4 color design, inlays on the outer edge of the poker chip and a high quality PVC sticker. They are 13.5 grams in weight. I personally own a set of these chips and they are wonderful. They also come in three different faces; Bluff Canyon, Gold Rush and Desert Heat. You can create a set by purchasing all three so you have different faces but the outer edges of the chips are all the same. This is similar to how you find chips in a casino where they release different faces of chips depending on special promotions or anniversaries.
Plastic poker chips are the cheapest kind available. They do not look or feel good and can be found at any convenience store, Walmart or Target. I highly recommend against these chips unless you need some in a hurry. They are not enjoyable to play with. Below is a pick of some low-end poker chips called Diamond Suited. You will find these in any department store. They get the job done but if you are going to play poker more than once in a year then save a little more money and purchase a better set. You are not impressing any of the neighbors with a poker chip set like this.
If you are hosting a poker game there are a few things that will make your life easier which we will cover.
How Many Poker Chips Do I Need?
The first item is to ensure you have enough poker chips for everyone to play with. The most common question that I hear is, “How many poker chips do I need?” The general rule is up to 6 players a 500 ct poker chip set will be fine. Over 6 players then you want to look at purchasing a 1000 ct poker chip set. This is a general rule of course you can get away with hosting a game of 10 players with only 500 chips but it will have to be a higher stakes game because there is not enough chips to go around. Everyone like to have a stack of poker chips in front of them to start the game so if you give everyone 25 to 40 chips to start that is best. When you go to a casino and play a $1/$2 cash game most people buy in for $200 and that will get you two stacks of $5 chips totaling 40 chips. It’s a good amount of chips to play with and feel like your not playing short stacked. During a cash game most players will rebuy a few times so you need to make sure you have enough chips to handle a few rebuys.
Get a Good Poker Table or Poker Playing Surface
There are a lot of options for a poker table but the main thing is that you get something that has a little give and that is soft. Here is the reason why. If you play on a hard surface it is hard to pick up the chips and even harder to look at your cards everhand. I would often get cuts under my finger nails from trying to pick up cards on a hard surface those times we didn’t have a nice poker table. Stay away from the octagon poker tables with the green felt and cup holder in the sides. They are plywood with a very thin felt covering over them. This is pretty much the same as playing on your kitchen table. I love the neoprene playing surfaces like Poker Hoody. They stretch over any existing table so you don’t have to have a permanent poker table out all of the time. You can easily carry it with you if your having a game at a friends house too. The surface feels a lot like a the poker tables at casinos. Neoprene is a great surface material to play cards on.
If you want to go with a poker table then I recommend purchasing a poker table top or poker table with folding legs that seats at least 8 people. A poker table top will run you $100 or less and a poker table with folding legs, you can find for under $200. Just make sure it is padded. Your finger tips will thank you after the first game you host.
Make Sure You Have a Cut Card and a Dealer Button
These items are very inexpensive and they make the game easier for everyone to follow. When you are playing Texas Holdem poker the dealer button moves after each hand and it is the easiest way to keep track of the flow of the game. The cut card helps protect the hand of the card dealer so no one can see the bottom card of the deck. This is especially useful if your dealer has been drinking beer all night.
Get Plastic Texas Holdem Poker Cards
Next to having a nice poker chip set a good deck of cards is the most important. If you have never played with plastic playing cards before you are missing out. The run of the mill cards you get at Target or Walmart are junk. When people play poker they bend the cards up from the table to not reveal there hand. When you have non-plastic cards they completely break down under this type of bending and shuffling. A regular deck of cards won’t last much longer than a few rounds of play. A nice set of plastic cards will run you $20 or less. They are well worth it.
Learn How to Deal Texas Holdem Poker Properly
Below is a great video that shows the proper way to deal Texas Holdem poker. I’ve seen in home games where people deal the flop, turn and river all at once face down, but if you go to a casino they will deal the flop, then burn a card then deal the turn after everyone has a chance to bet then burn a card and deal the river. This is the proper way to deal and there is less chance of error with the cards when you deal this way.
Count Out the Poker Chips Before Players Arrive
There is nothing worse than getting to the game and the host isn’t even ready. It takes time to count out the right amount of poker chips so do your friends a favor and count out the chips and have them ready to go before they arrive. The quickest and easiest way to do this is to buy 10 acrylic poker chip trays. I can’t imagine hosting a game without them. Each tray holds 100 poker chips. There are 5 rows of 20 chips. It is by far the quickest way to count chips plus your friends will think its cool when you hand them a chip tray like they would receive at the casino.