Casino Chip Colours — The Ultimate Guide

Casino Chip Colours — The Ultimate Guide

Casino Chips on TableIf you regularly play at a brick and mortar casino, you’ll probably be very used to handling casino chips, and may even know how much each colour of chip is worth without thinking about it. In contrast, if you play table games at an online casino, where the chips put down automatically on your behalf, you may have never thought it necessary to learn much about this niche subject.

If, for some reason, you’ve never shown an active interest in learning all there is to know about casino chips, we can probably guess why. It sounds boring, right? This colour chip is worth this much, this colour chip is worth a bit more… and so on and so on.

However, casino chips are actually fascinating (bear with us here). Not only are they valuable, but they’re also designed with precision, and there’s a lot of interesting history around why certain denominations of money came to be represented by the colour chip they are today.


A Brief History

Poker Being Played in a Saloon Casino chips are one of the most iconic symbols of gambling, yet it wasn’t always this way. Casino chips actually have a long and complex history which is, naturally, tied very closely to the history of casinos themselves.

In the 1800’s, players placed their wagers with any item they had of value such as coins, notes, gold nuggets, jewellery and even gold teeth! Casino owners, however, were growing tired of having to deal with having to assess the value of these random items, and players were equally annoyed that their winnings could be given to them in such a mixed way.

Towards the end of the century, an American casino had the bright idea to create casino chips, which their players could exchange money for. These would allow players to be able to simply exchange their chips back for cash when they wanted to get their winnings, and allowed the casino to stop counterfeit items being wagered.

The first casino chips were made out of pressed clay, and looked much like they do today. By 1940, chips became standard practise in almost every casino around the globe, and they would change the way we play poker forever.


What Does Each Colour Mean?

Casino Chip Values and Colours

Casino chips, which are sometimes also referred to as tokens or checks, are used to represent a fixed amount of money when playing table games. The most common denominations of chips are £1, £5, £10, £25, £50, £100 and £500. If you visit a high roller table, you may also see higher valued chips and sometimes casinos also use ‘plaques’, which are rectangular chips which usually represent denominations over £25,000 — not that we’ve ever used one!

Each value of chip has it’s own specific colour, so that the dealers can keep track of how much is being wagered at one time. Furthermore, in some casinos, tables will use colour coded signs, so that you can see what the minimum bet is for that table at a glance. For instance, if a table is displaying a green sign, it may have a £25 minimum bet amount.

There is no standardised colour scheme for casino chips, so they can vary from casino to casino. However, in general, most casinos use the same colours to represent the same amounts of money to make it easier for players. The most common colours and their corresponding values are:

  • White – £1
  • Red – £5
  • Blue – £10
  • Green – £25
  • Black – £100
  • Purple – £500

When playing poker, you use different coloured chips dependent on how much you wish to wager. However, when playing at the roulette table, you may be offered a specific colour by the dealer.

This mean you’ll be given a stack of chips with their own denomination, which you can set yourself, and they’ll all be the same colour. This is so that the dealer can distinguish which bets are who’s, however you’ll only be able to cash them in at that specific table.


Casino Chip Security

Fake Casino Chips

In the history of casino chips, there has been many attempts at creating counterfeit chips. Back when chips were first invented, this was quite an easy task, however today’s chips come with so many security measures that they’re virtually impossible to copy.

Each casino will have their own artwork on their chips, which usually features the casino name and logo. This artwork will have been created to a very high standard, making it insanely hard to replicate. In addition, each casino has their own custom pattern on the edge of the chip. This makes it easy for the dealer to see if someone is trying to use chips from another casino.

Casino chips may also feature serial numbers, microchips or UV markings. They are also designed to be a specific weight and texture. These security features mean that the casino staff can identify a fake chip almost instantly.


The Future Of Casino Chips

Casino Chips StackedEvery now and then, there is talk about replacing poker chips with something more technologically advanced, like an electronic device. This would allow players to manage their own money and to be able to cash out online, or to store their funds for the next time they visit the casino – much like we do at online sites.

It would seem like a great invention, if it wasn’t for the history of chips and the significance they have. For instance, it can be very satisfying to accrue a whole load of chips and tower them up in front of you. Moreover, casino chips allow you to physically see how much money other people at the table have, which is important when playing a game like poker.

For these reasons, it doesn’t look like casino chips will be being replaced any time soon. Whilst the security measures in each chip may advance, the overall look of the chip won’t change, which is great news as casinos just wouldn’t be the same without them!

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