How Much Do Real Casino Poker Chips Weigh?

Casino Poker Chips

There is a lot of confusion, and misinformation out there about the weight of real casino poker chips. When someone is looking to invest in a high quality set of poker chips, many times they want to try to get as close to the real thing as possible. Some like heavier chips, like some of the 14 gram sets, because they feel good and substantial and are readily available at good prices. Others, want to get true casino weight chips, although most of the time they don't really know what that is.

The answer will surprise most people. There is a general feeling out there that the 11.5 gram chips are the closest to true casino chip weight, but this is simply not true. The truth is that most Las Vegas casinos use chips that you would consider light. Would you be surprised if I said that many top-name casinos use chips that weigh about 10 grams? Well, it's true. Here's a quick breakdown from a few years ago:

Casino Weight Material
Caesar's Palace 8.5 grams Clay
Palms 10.3 grams Ceramic
Rio 9.4 grams Clay
Flamingo 9.9 gram Clay (Paulson)
Harrah's 10.0 grams Clay
Circus Circus 10.5 gram Ceramic
Bally's 10.6 grams Ceramic
Stardust 9.4 grams Clay (Paulson)

There are a few things you may notice from this data. The first is that the weight is probably lighter than you expected. In many cases, when we talk to a customer about 10 gram chips, their first reaction is almost always "They're too light!". Well, as you can see, this is actually what the real casinos use.

Official Casino Chip Weight

OK, wait for it. The answer to the question "What is the official casino poker chip weight?" is... There is none. That's right, there is no official weight. I know, you're probably devastated, but it will be alright. Many people have believed that 11.5 grams was the official weight. This is obviously not true. This myth was most likely started by the chip manufacturers and dealers years ago. The old home-quality poker chips were simply made of plastic with a metal slug. This metal slug brought the weight up to 11.5 grams. Coincidence? Probably not.

The reality is that real casinos use whatever chips they want, and for whatever reasons they want. One consideration may be that the lighter the chips are, the easier they are to handle, store and transport. Another issue may be in manufacturing costs. Less weight = less material. Other reasons may be aesthetic, or simple tradition and preference.

So, What chips should I Buy?

You are most likely asking this question for a reason. You probably want to buy a set of high quality poker chips. What should you buy? Easy, buy what you like. There is no reason to get caught up in the whole "official" weight controversy, unless that is truly important to you. Here are a few things to consider:

  1. A lighter chip set is easier to carry, especially if you will be transporting them often.
  2. High quality clay composite chips are available in a variety of weights. Look for a pleasing design and make sure the chips are of high quality and you will be happy.
  3. Don't be afraid of ceramic chips. As you can see above, many casinos use ceramic poker chips.
  4. Buy what you like, in the end that's all that matters anyway.

If you are interested in buying a nice set of quality poker chips, here are some suggestions that we carry:

  • If you want a lighter chip set, but high quality, look into the 10 gram sets we carry, either in clay composite or ceramic.
  • If you want a heavier set of chips, there are many to choose from. Here are a few of our favorites.

If you want to see more chips available, be sure to visit our Poker Chip Set page. We have a large selection of quality poker chip sets at great prices.

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