BGWS 018 – Poker Chips

I’ve explored Poker Chips as a replacement for money in games, and this week’s episode explores the cheap to the expensive of poker chips. (26:41)

Announcement: Board Games with Scott is going Biweekly. When I started it, I had hopes that I would be able to significantly reduce the time to edit an episode. While I’ve gotten better, I’ve chosen to make a higher-quality production rather than cut corners, so I’m producing a better show in the same time. Rather than burn out and stop completely or make lower-quality shows, I’m going to produce one every other week. As time and content allows, I’ll create appropriate special episodes in selected off-weeks, but my regular game explorations will now be every other week.

This week I’m talking about poker chips. Earlier this year, I went on a quest where I started with my cheap chips that I’ve had for a while and started looking for some nicer replacements. I’ve been getting into the 18xx games where it’s really handy to have chips and thus my exploration began.

A note about poker chip breakdowns – I don’t talk about what amounts of what denominations to get. That depends upon what you plan to do with the chips. Look at the games you are replacing and consider those ratios in your chips. This site – – tells you what to use for a home poker tourney, but the needs for a poker game are very different than the needs for boardgames For my nice set, I got 100 each of the lower denominations and 50 each of the higher denominations, for a 650-piece set; I figured that was generic enough to handle most games.

You can watch the episode here:

Or Right-click and Save one of the these files:
BGWS 018, Low quality (47 MB)
BGWS 018, High quality, (273 MB)
BGWS 018, Audio only (32 MB)

Here are some links to buy chips:
Turf Club Clay chips (and other high-quality chips) –
Cheaper chips (Nexgen, diamond, etc.) –

(I’ve personally used both of these companies in the past. If you use the links above to make a purchase, you’ll be supporting BGWS.) is a good side for poker chip reviews and discussion.

In 2 weeks, I’ll be covering one of the big hits from the Gathering of Friends – Thurn und Taxis.

Discuss this episode over at BoardGameGeek.


  1. Matt said

    Oh man, I looked forward to watching your reviews every week. Oh well, I guess I’ll have to get my fix somewhere else during the weeks that you won’t be doing reviews. 🙂

  2. ekted said

    I enjoyed that more than I thought I was going to given that it was just about Poker Chips, although I haven’t gotten to the point where I want to use other forms of currency. Quite an investment you have there. If I saw you coming with all that, I’d hide my wallet.

  3. Martin Bell said

    I would just like to add my two cents on the low-end chips. Pearlized euro-style chips have a certain panache and feel more like a money substitute than something that belongs in a smoke-filled room. I look at these chips and think of James Bond playing high stakes Baccarat against the super villian.

    On the very low end, you’ve American Science and Surplus with 400 chipettes for two bucks. They’re mostly white with some red, but that’s good enough to play Caylus.

  4. Matthew said

    Just a quick note that I love the show, and more than understand the need to move fortnightly.

    I would love it if you did a show on Tichu. 😉

  5. Steve McIlhatton said

    Moving to a biweekly schedule is definitely better than cutting corners.

    I’ve already commented on your blog as to what other games I would like to see but I definitely would like to see more games like Indonesia.

    Keep up the good work!

  6. Shawn Dumas said

    I bought 500 11.5g Bicycle Clay Chips (not the WPT ones). How bad are they?

  7. >I bought 500 11.5g Bicycle Clay Chips (not the WPT ones). How bad are they?

    It’s not that they are bad; use whatever you would like to use for games!

    I haven’t seen them, so I don’t know, but they are probably in the same class as the many, many other 11.5 gram chips with the metal insert.

    If you are happy with them, then that’s all that matters.

  8. Shawn Dumas said

    Ok, I bought and received a 12 pack of sample chips. InPlay (IP), Modern Clay (MC), Archetype (AT), and Neophyte (Neo).

    I thought the MCs where too textured on the surface, too much of a corner on the ridge, too light, somewhat ugly (read, metro-sexual colors), and chalky. The ATs had muted colors, an unpleasant ringing sound, and a cluttered, confusing graphic. The IPs had less then desirable colors, where too light for my tastes, every chip was out of round in the inset (which would bug me at ~$1 per chip), and chalky, but otherwise I liked them. The Neos, believe it or not, where the ones I liked the best from the sample. The had a fair to good sound, a good to great heft, a clean and clear look, good color (though the darker chips kind of showed through on the inset), smooth ridge corners, and not at all chalky.

    Having said all that I actually like the 11.5g clay filled Bicycle chips better then any of them; albeit mostly because of the Neos where not better enough to warrant the cost. They have a great feel on the surface texture wise, great ridges, are not slippery, great heft, great colors (though no denominations, but I can get stickers), and all and all a great deal at ~$85 for 500 or ~.17 per chip!

    But…I ordered a set of Paulson samples; so lets see how long I am pleased with what I have…

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