Poker chips have been around for almost as long as the game of poker itself has been around. Although, these poker chips were definitely not what you or I would pick up for a gaming session with our buddies. During the 1800s, as poker and gaming in general was gaining popularity across the United States, particularly in the west, there was a need to keep track of the game play and of winnings and losses.
Not everybody had the same currency, and some people had no currency at all. Instead, perhaps they had small pieces of gold they were able to mine out or other expensive ores, gems or minerals. Maybe they just had a lot of supplies or even exotic or hard to grow foods. This was all most people had, so these were used by players as poker chips. However, there was also need for standardization and larger amount of chips.
Players wanted to play with more money than they always carried with them, or if they did have their money with them, they didn’t want to leave it on a table with a bunch of angry, edgy guys getting drunk and losing their money. And who can blame them for that? So bars and gambling houses began providing poker chips to these players. They would hold on to the money, probably collect a fee for their efforts, and everybody would be on an equal playing ground and their money and valuables would be safe.
Of course, there was no such thing as plastic in these days, or any mass produced poker chips of any kind. In place of these items were stones, pieces of wood and even bones. These small gaming houses, which were also probably brothels as well, began the trend of taking people’s money or valuables and turning it into house poker chips that had the same value. But in fact, the history of poker chips can actually be extended much farther back and across the globe. Different civilizations loved to gamble and different kinds of games were played by all, all with their own “poker chips” to keep track of it all.
By the late 1800s, there were finally clay poker chips being made. As technology dewapoker improved and new materials and production methods began appearing, plastic chips and acrylic chips also started to be made. Other materials include ivory and composites of stones and other materials.
The History of Poker Chips – Paying Dividends for Poker Players Today
By the middle of the 20th century, the massive casinos that have come to be the preferred destination for gamblers around the globe began to popularize. This meant two things, both of which have helped all poker players everywhere. First, there was a need to start producing literally millions of poker chips. These casinos are massive and they have thousands of people playing at any given time and there’s more casinos than one could count.
Secondly, there was a need to be able to separate and authenticate the multitudes of poker chips on the market. With today’s technology, that means that poker chips used by casinos have microchips implanted in them, weigh very specific amounts and come with different sizes and textures. Of course, a casino’s poker chips are also intricately designed and styled so they cannot be forged by a would be counterfeiter.
But because of the companies that now have the ability to mass produce millions of poker chips and because they also have the ability to customize these poker chips to every possible detail, the average poker player like you or I benefits the most. That’s because finally there are extremely high quality, affordable and customizable poker chips that we can use for our personal games.