Poker Chip Storage and Display – Tips For the Serious Collector Or a Weekend Gamer

Poker is the most popular card game in the world, known as a celebrated skill game, and sport. Since it’s humble origins in the 14th century, The games jargon has become a part of English and American culture.

Poker chips are almost synonymous with the game of poker itself. Early poker players sometimes used jagged gold pieces, gold nuggets, gold dust, or coins as well as “chips” primarily made of ivory, bone, wood, paper and a composition made from clay and shellac. Several companies between the 1880s and the late 1930s began making clay composition poker chips.

Casino chip collecting also became increasingly popular beginning in 1988, with the establishment of the Casino Chips & Gaming Tokens Collectors Club (CC>CC). Casino chip collecting is the practice of intentionally taking casino chips from Casino premises, trading or collecting online, or in person, for the purpose of collection. Casino chip collecting is a part of numismatics; a variation of exonumia, or coin collecting. Before it became a more serious hobby, casino chip collecting was simply a case of people keeping chips as souvenirs from a casino they had visited. Some chips are now worth up to $50,000.

Whether a serious collector or a weekend gamer, some equipment will be needed in order to store or display your chips. The best way to store or display your chips is very subjective and will ultimately boil down to personal preference.

There are several alternatives to displaying your chips. Frames specifically for displaying casino chips are available, or you can buy special mounting “backer” board to hold the chips and frame them yourself. Another display option is easel-mounted frames for one or more chips. For that extra-special or lucky chip, you might want to consider a Casino Chip Key Chain Holder. This is typically a clear plastic air-tight holder attached to a key chain.

Storing your chips can range from very inexpensive to extravagant, depending on the type of chips you own, and whether you want them on display or not. Several vendors offer “chip” binders that are basically a padded binder with the words “Casino Chips” printed on the front and spine. These binders are designed to hold the three-ring binder pages that are in-turn specifically designed to hold casino chips.

Flips are typically stored either in binders or flip boxes. The former offer the convenience of being able to view your chips much like viewing a photo album. The flip boxes on the other hand, allow you to store more chips in a small space and are more efficient and practical for those of you who don’t have a lot of shelf space for chip albums.

Chip, or coin, wallets are small vinyl albums that typically hold anywhere from 24 to 80 chips depending on their size. Air-tights are transparent plastic coin holders that hold a single coin. An air-tight consists of two halves that snap-together around a coin to form a snug, air-tight fit. Air-tights are great storage solutions to show-case your best chips, but tend to be pricey, so it can be cost-prohibitive to store your entire collection in them.

Coin tubes are hard plastic tubes that can hold approximately 20 chips in a small space. The coins are tubular on the inside but are molded square on the outside to prevent rolling and allow stacking. When ordering coin tubes, you should order the 39mm, or “medallion” size. Coin tubes are a good storage solution to store your many traders, but you should be aware that the chips are not separated from contact with each other in the tubes. As a result, if not handled properly, it’s theoretically possible that the chips could mar each other. For well used or older chips, this may not be a concern, but you may want to think twice before storing your mint-condition chips in a storage tube.

There are several varieties of cases available from aluminum to leather to vinyl to wood – your only limit is your budget. These cases usually hold anywhere from 300 to 500 chips although there are some 1000 chip models. There are several varieties of special presentation cases that are excellent to showcase your most prized chips.

Wooden poker cases may include chip trays that can be used to protect and store your chips, or can be removed to stack each players chips at the poker table. There is a shallow groove on the back of the trays to permit you to stack the trays at the poker table. When buying or ordering wooden poker chip trays, it is important to specify the finish be polyurethane or a non-soluble varnish. Specifically, avoid any type of Oil finish such as Tung or Danish oil, as these oils can penetrate into the clay chips over time.

Again, be certain that your chips are appropriately sized for the chip case. Generally speaking, the majority of chips are of the 39mm size. Large denomination chips, as well as chips based on the Paulson Inverted Hat and Cane (IHC) fractionals mold, are of the larger 43mm size.

Another measurement that may be referenced is the mold size – 66.7 or a 67.7 rack. This number is an indication as to the length (in millimeters) that is required to house a stack of 20 chips. Paulson chips require a 66.7 rack, others are on the 67.7 size. This may not be a major concern, but it is worth mentioning. Chip thickness can also impact how difficult it is too add or remove chips from a tray. As a chip begins to show signs of wear, edges may become less crisp and the chip becomes a bit thinner. Over time, chips may wiggle a bit in the case.