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Subject: Mini clay poker chips on the cheap (review) rss

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Ricky Cantrell
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First off, a tip of the hat to the following BGG user who posted a link to these last week. Thanks Curt!
Curt Carpenter
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A few weeks ago I played a game of Navegador using a friend's most excellent set of Game Knight poker chips. I'd heard of pimping your games with chips before but never thought much of it, until this one session. The next day I began the search for a set of my own. Game Knight has an amazing product but the price tag was just too rich for my blood.

Some threads here on the geek had pointed to a mini set from Meeple Source. They looked nice but with the cost of shipping I couldn't justify the purchase for an accessory (might as well just buy another game for that price!). Plus, I hadn't considered that these did not come with white (1$) chips, sure you could just substitute colors for different values but my poker playing friends would've been annoyed.

Then last week I ran across a post from Curt that linked to another mini set from Discount Poker Shop for only 10 bucks. I jumped on that deal immediately, and now having received them I'm wishing I would've ordered two.

I was surprised at the weight of the box they shipped in, a good sign to start. They come in an aluminum case. The description on the site said the case may have some imperfections such as dings/dents but mine was fine. Your mileage may vary though.


Here's the chips in the case. You get 80 White, 80 Red, 80 Blue, 40 Green, and 20 Black.


And a shot of them in my hand for size reference. They have a nice heft for their size, much better than a cheapo plastic poker chip.


Overall I'm very pleased with my purchase. Do some of the chips have slight imperfections? Sure. Am I going to complain? Not at all, for the price you just can't beat them. And the vendor shipped quickly and packaged them safely as well. If you're looking for some chips to replace paper money or money chits in your games, these will definitely do the trick.

You can pick up a set here (shipping to US & Canada only, sorry my international friends!):
http://www.discountpokershop.com/clearance-300pc-gram-suited...
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Dave Gray
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These are awesome for the price. I picked up two sets a couple of months ago and couldn't be happier about it. thumbsupthumbsupthumbsup
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いい竹やぶだ!

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Wow—the site says these chips weigh 7 g apiece. They must be mostly metal.Nope—they're ceramic.

I own a set of Poker to Go chips (from MeepleSource), and although they're a definite improvement over paper money, I find them a little too small for easy handling in money-intensive games like Power Grid. Perhaps the extra weight of these chips helps with that. However, if you really, really like poker chips for gaming, I recommend splurging on a set of full-sized ones. I don't find carrying around 300 regulation-sized chips to be too much of a burden.
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Ricky Cantrell
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robigo wrote:
However, if you really, really like poker chips for gaming, I recommend splurging on a set of full-sized ones. I don't find carrying around 300 regulation-sized chips to be too much of a burden.


Fully agree that full size is the way to go. But for an interim solution for those of us on a budget these are freaking fantastic.
 
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Curt Carpenter
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I find full size chips to take up too much game space. With mini chips, you can just have a pile (or piles on each end of the table), and you can also put chips on the game for games that such things (e.g. Puerto Rico).

These chips look slightly thicker than previous sets, including the Meeple Source ones (which I own). This makes it easier to pick up since chips off the table.

My set hasn't arrived yet. How's the blue/black contrast? That's the main factor that caused me order yet another (third) set of mini chips (my custom set suffers from low blue/black contrast).
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Ricky Cantrell
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curtc wrote:
How's the blue/black contrast? That's the main factor that caused me order yet another (third) set of mini chips (my custom set suffers from low blue/black contrast).


Ah good question. I suppose it'll depend on the lighting, from the face of the chips I think the blue/black contrast is quite good. While they're stacked I have a little bit of a harder time distinguishing them, but not too bad.

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Curt Carpenter
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louper wrote:
Only disadvantage is that these don't have denominators printed on them for non-poker players. Oh well.

Once you play with them a bit, you'll realize that's an ADvantage. It lets you change the values to meet the each game's needs.
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Travis Dean
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And ordered.

louper wrote:
I used coupon code xmas5 to save 5% - not a huge savings, but thought I'd pass it on as well.


And I saved 50 cents.
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Burster of Bubbles, Destroyer of Dreams.
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I have some of these; they are a little bigger and noticeably heavier than the Poker To Go sets.

I find that black and blue chips are hard to tell apart in many lighting conditions, and I needed a slightly different chip distribution than the stock anyway, so I took two sets and combined them to make one set with a good distribution for 18xx and one set with everything else. (70 white, 91 red, 79 green, and 60 blue, with a handful of loose blue chips and full-size $500 chips from another set, plus a calculator, in the well where the deck of cards was. [For 18xx it is valuable to be able to quickly set up a bank of a known total size, which varies from title to title, so I made each color boundary be a nice round number.])

These are very cool mini chips, they work well in the games where I've tried them, and I've recommended them to several people already.

I bought some other stuff from http://www.discountpokershop.com at the same time, and while I was mostly very happy with my purchase, the larger aluminum chip cases for 300 normal-size chips are junk, and differ from the description on the website in several small ways that might be important to some people. I'll use the one I got until the thin plastic insert that supports the chips cracks (it twists easily in my hands if I lift it out of the case, and isn't much thicker than the plastic insert in many game boxes while needing to support a much heavier payload), which I suspect won't be long for a chip case that actually gets carried to gaming instead of sitting on a shelf to be pulled down occasionally.
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Randy Alton
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Thanks for the tip. Just ordered some mini's plus a full size set from their discount page. They had a new 5% off code.
 
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Agent J
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djthree6t wrote:
curtc wrote:
How's the blue/black contrast? That's the main factor that caused me order yet another (third) set of mini chips (my custom set suffers from low blue/black contrast).


Ah good question. I suppose it'll depend on the lighting, from the face of the chips I think the blue/black contrast is quite good. While they're stacked I have a little bit of a harder time distinguishing them, but not too bad.



My biggest complaint. I can't see the difference most of the time unless I pay close attention, and I shouldn't have to pay close attention to the chips - I should be paying close attention to the game.
 
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Curt Carpenter
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Yeah, after getting mine, I still feel that the black/blue contrast is a little subtle (like my custom set). So the quest for the perfect mini chip goes on.

But these are vastly superior to the Poker To Go chips (which I also have).
 
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Jonathan Baker
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How well do you think these would hold spray-paint? I have been looking for something that I can spray-paint gold, silver, and copper for coins in a game...

Thanks,

Jonathan
 
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Burster of Bubbles, Destroyer of Dreams.
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Get together with a friend and build one set of white/red/green/blue and one set of white/red/green/black. Four colors is enough for most purposes -- 1/5/25/100 for Americans, 1/5/20/100 for Europeans.)

(SF Bay Area folks, talk to me.)
 
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Mike Peterson
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Thank you for the info. Ordered 2 sets.
 
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Alison Mandible
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Chobabot wrote:
How well do you think these would hold spray-paint? I have been looking for something that I can spray-paint gold, silver, and copper for coins in a game...


I have no idea about spray-paint, but they hold Sharpie ink really well, after a drying period during which they smudge horribly. (I think the white chips, which are easiest to see black Sharpie on, are going to become non-money homebrew tokens of various kinds.)
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Jon
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I received two sets a month ago and they are great. I personally don't have a problem with the blue/black but I have good lighting in my main gaming space. As a bonus my wife likes them as well.
 
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J C Lawrence
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I find them quite acceptable for eurogames (which don't involve a lot of money movement), but a little annoying for 18xx. The high(er) frequency of money movements in 18xx made their weaker stacking and handling a bit annoying.

Weaker handling? Example: with standard poker chips it is easy to take a jumbled handful of chips and with a quick shake of the hand align them in neat stack/cylinder in the hand, and this does not work as well with the mini-chips, leaving them still jumbled in the hand. This is not a horrible or onerous thing, but with the mini-chips I suddenly found myself having to pay attention to sorting and stacking chips where I usually don't, and the main reason for using chips in the first place is to make money handling rapid and attention-free.

Too annoying to use? Yes, if I have standard-size chips readily available. However, they're a clearly reasonable compromise solution for traveling and seem quite good for eurogames.
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Agent J
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He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
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clearclaw wrote:
I find them quite acceptable for eurogames (which don't involve a lot of money movement), but a little annoying for 18xx. The high(er) frequency of money movements in 18xx made their weaker stacking and handling a bit annoying.

Weaker handling? Example: with standard poker chips it is easy to take a jumbled handful of chips and with a quick shake of the hand align them in neat stack/cylinder in the hand, and this does not work as well with the mini-chips, leaving them still jumbled in the hand. This is not a horrible or onerous thing, but with the mini-chips I suddenly found myself having to pay attention to sorting and stacking chips where I usually don't, and the main reason for using chips in the first place is to make money handling rapid and attention-free.

Too annoying to use? Yes, if I have standard-size chips readily available. However, they're a clearly reasonable compromise solution for traveling and seem quite good for eurogames.


Why play games that don't involve a lot of money movement? Seems silly.
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Curt Carpenter
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clearclaw wrote:
Too annoying to use? Yes, if I have standard-size chips readily available. However, they're a clearly reasonable compromise solution for traveling and seem quite good for eurogames.

BTW, these specific chips are significantly thicker (and slighter broader) than previous mini chips (namely PokerToGo). Check them out if you haven't already. They still won't pass the "shake them to organize" test, but I find I prefer these to full-size chips, even though I have a good quality set of them too. I should take a picture comparing different size chips.
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Justin Case
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curtc wrote:
I should take a picture comparing different size chips.


Yes, please do -- it would be very nice to see good photos actually showing how these chips compare in both thickness and diameter to a standard chip, and especially to a Poker To Go chip.

With the modest erosion of the poker fad, I've had some good fortune finding some nice chip sets and carriers/cases in the thrifts during the last 6 or 8 months, but I'm quite curious about a nice set of smaller chips as well, and there's nothing quite like being able to actually see the differences when comparing such things.


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Julia Ziobro
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RA_gamer wrote:
Thanks for the tip. Just ordered some mini's plus a full size set from their discount page. They had a new 5% off code.


Which is? Edited to note that the February 5% off code is love5 thumbsup

I think I'm going to pick some up, thanks to this thread, even though we have the "chip collector" set of Game Knight chips, a 50-coin set of Realm Coins, a full-size set of regular clay poker chips (which take up a lot of room on the table), and a bejillion PennyGems. I like using the Game Knight chip to identify the denomination of the stacks of not-numbered chips we put out. That seems to work well for most players and most games.
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I bought some of these. They're great, well worth it. Waaaaaay better than small plastic chips which I don't like at all.

Good:
- heavy
- clinking (a bit metal but I like it)
- the side markings (makes it easy to count)
- stacking 10, 12, even 15 is easy
- colors and assortment are good

No biggie to me but YMMV:
- the blue and black are easy to tell apart in bright light, but indistinguishable in low light.

Strange:
- a very fine sort of metallic dust or glitter was on these. But it comes off, especially if you rub it. I'm trying to think of an easy way to get it off of all of them - maybe shake them in an old towel or something.
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Curt Carpenter
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Gambiteer wrote:
curtc wrote:
I should take a picture comparing different size chips.


Yes, please do -- it would be very nice to see good photos actually showing how these chips compare in both thickness and diameter to a standard chip, and especially to a Poker To Go chip.

Done. After using the new chips for a while, and then busting out my PokerToGo (and custom) chips, I was almost startled by how thin they are. I will definitely never use them again.

So, the four sets are, from left to right: My "good" chips (full size/weight), the chips mentioned in this thread (Discount Poker Shop, for lack of a better name -- I haven't seen them anywhere else), a custom set I had made as a sample in China (exact same size/shape as PokerToGo chips, but with better design, and including white, as well as purple--not shown), and finally the PokerToGo chips (which only come in four colors, so I duplicated red so that all stacks would have five chips):



As you can see, these new chips are slightly bigger than PokerToGo, which is nice, but more importantly they're much thicker, even thicker than my full-size chips! This makes them very easy to pick up, especially single chips when sitting on game components. For example in Archipelago I put them right on the board to mark used markets/ports.

But sadly only my full-size chips have good blue/black contrast. Of course the tri-color helps.
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Justin Case
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curtc wrote:
Gambiteer wrote:
curtc wrote:
I should take a picture comparing different size chips.


Yes, please do -- it would be very nice to see good photos actually showing how these chips compare in both thickness and diameter to a standard chip, and especially to a Poker To Go chip.

Done. ....


And very well done too -- now those are some informative photos.

Thanks so much for taking time to help in the discussion, and doing such a bang up job of it; you may have even brought the whole thread to a fruitful conclusion!

meeple
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