Understanding custom poker chips took me almost a year to sort out when I first started creating them – but here are the major types you will encounter when buying them custom for yourself or for your business:
Foil stamp (also called Hot Stamp) foil is usually gold or silver but it can be white or black on the chip as well-The main thing to remember is that your logo or image must look good in black and white to work correctly as a foil stamp on a chip.
The most inexpensive chips can be hot stamp foil chips – as they are made of an ABS plastic and have a weight about 11.5 grams. You are probably familiar with the standard looking dice and suit chips, but there are now many others new and fun styles available that can be stamped in foil. If you use Initials there is no extra cost for the plate. If you use a logo be prepared to spend about $125 in setup fees alone. Chips can be purchased in sets of 100 200 250 300 500 750 and 1000 and come in both aluminum cases, wooden boxes and even leather cases. Most cases available on the market today hold playing card decks as well as the chips. There is one 500 chip case made out of wood that is especially nice. It comes with a window area where you can slip in a printout of our logo or photo to customize the top part of the wooden box and the printout shows perfectly through the glass which is inlayed into the top part of the box. This makes the gift look very unique and is a terrific way to personalize the case without any real added cost like engraving or a metal etched plate might incur.
Another great chip to consider if a foil imprint is not right for you – that is if you want something printed on the chip in full color or if you want a photo on the chip. -This is known as an inlay poker chip. It is a specially molded chip with a recessed area in the center of the chip that holds a full color printed and laminated inlay – a very high quality label process that lasts a lifetime and is meant to never come off with years of use. As a matter of fact many casinos use inlay chips. These chips are available in about two dozen styles and offer great personalization opportunities as they can be printed in full color – so photos and complex art can be reproduced on them. The sky is the limit for design on these but the image needs to be visible at 1.26 -1.3 inches in diameter.
As far as weight goes – the majority of inlay poker chips come in either clay or ABS composite materials. Clay weighs in at 12.9 grams while the ABS chips weight in at 11.5 grams which is the main standard for most poker chips.
What makes this next chip unique is that the image is printed right onto the surface of the chip in full photo quality color and there is no label involved. These are called Cer blend chips. Cer blend chips with full color printed centers have a nice heavy and meaty weight of nearly 13 grams.
This chip comes standard with 12 different stock edge colors whose center is left open for printing. The printing is done RIGHT ON THE CHIP as mentioned above- there is no label inlay and these chips are even washable. Another great feature that this remarkable process lends itself to are consecutive numbering (which is not available in any other process). This is great if you want to have a raffle – a special offer or have some of the chips more valuable than others. These chips also have a unique feel and make excellent gifts as they have a very high perceived value even though they run about the same price as all the others. Some people however – want the feel of clay – and for those people you must go with the clay inlay chip described previously.
Full coverage ceramic chips are another option available as custom poker chips – and while they are only 10 grams they are still a huge favorite as the whole surface of the chip – not just the center area – can be customized as well as the edges!! This means you can make custom stripes for your chips IN ADDITION TO a completely custom center area and custom edge stripes on the side edge of the chips themselves. The imprint area is a hefty 1.5 inches on these and although they do not work well for all artwork – they do make an impressive chip when done correctly. A test run which includes a photo scan of the chip with your artwork on it – is always recommended for this type of chip to see if the art reproduces correctly and if the expected colors come out as designed. Because of the process used – these chips require a high level of design capability and understanding how the colors will actually print on the ceramic substrate of the chips.