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Buying Poker Chips: Clay, Custom, And Casino Chip Sets

If you’re in the market for poker chips, it’s a good idea to get the chip which best suits your needs. Poker chips come in varying weights and are made from different types of materials. The intended use should be the primary factor taken into consideration while making your poker chip purchase.

Poker chips come in different sizes which are measured by weight in grams. The most popular chip used in casinos is the 11.5 gram chips which are 39mm in diameter. These poker chips are used for their pleasing weight and size, plus they are not the most expensive poker chips on the block. With the amount of handling and abuse poker chips suffer, casinos would rather not shell out the extra money for the most expensive poker chips.

Actually, who could blame the casinos for wanting to reduce the costs involved in keeping an item which can be put in the players pocket and taken from the casino? Collecting poker chips is growing in popularity, so logically the amount of poker chips leaving the casino premises would also be on the rise.

If you’re in the market for a regular game night with your friends type of chip, you may want to go with a less expensive poker chip yourself. If that is the case, then you have the option of going with the low budget ABS plastic poker chip. If you’re intent is to impress your friends, or have a local charity poker night gala, then you may opt for the next step up the ladder which is the mother-of-pearl chip. The mother-of-pearl chips are also referred to as ‘plaques’.

The clay chip is next in line, and most of them are made of ABS plastic with a metal insert to give it an extra bit of weight, which makes for a more pleasant feel to the hand. Some clay poker chips are made of a ‘clay composite’, and are what is currently considered to be the top of the line in poker chips.

A new poker chip to make it on the scene is called ‘Nexgen’, which is made up of a type of clay composite material with a metal insert added to give it a weight of either 13gm or 15gm. It is yet to be seen whether this new poker chip will become the next favorite among avid poker players, or become the new choice for casinos.

You can purchase poker chips at novelty stores, online auctions, casinos and online gaming and hobby stores. Of course the price you pay for your poker chips will depend on the type of chips you choose, and the vendor. Before buying any of the higher end poker chips you should always do your research, and also ask other poker players where they purchase their poker chips.

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How To Build A Poker Table

Are you interested in building your own poker table? There is an amazing sense of pride that comes from being able to tell your friends that you made, with your two hands, the table that they are sitting at. If you have ever used a tape measure, a saw or a staple gun, you can build a one of a kind poker table. Just a few simple tools, some wood and an idea of what you want it to look like are all you really need to get started.

Before you can start your project, you need to have wood. A good choice is usually Red Oak, this is because it is a hardwood which is known for its durability and beauty. This is the phase of building where you can really customize your design. If you want to add cup holders, chip holders or any other kind of holder, now is the time to do it. When you are measuring the size of your table, remember to take into account that you will be adding rails along the edge, these will take up surface space, so you will need to plan accordingly.

When building a table, you first need to find a piece of wood large enough for the table surface or two pieces what will fit together nicely to form the surface. Next, the wood needs to be cut out in an oval shape according to the size of the table. After the tabletop is made, a one-inch rim needs to be made. The rim should be cut to fit the tabletop and glued into place. Once the rim is in place, a rail needs to be measured and cut out so it fits nicely onto the rim, this will prevent cards and chips from falling off the table.

Next, a pad should be fitted to the table so the table will have a soft feeling. Holes need to be cut through the padding to fit the corresponding holes in the table that were made to hold the chips, cups, plates, etc. Then the table is, often times, covered with a soft velvet like cloth. Some people prefer a billiards table cover, which works just as well. Make sure to cut holes in the cloth to line up with the holes in the table.

After getting the table padded and covered, the rail needs to be padded. This can be completed by simply cutting out the padding to the exact measurements of your rail then covering it with a layer of vinyl. When covering the padding, be sure to pull the material tight and use a large amount of staples so it will stay that way.

Keep in mind that this is a very basic overview of how to build a poker table. The beauty of building your own table is that you can personalize it to fit your needs and wants. If you would like directions that are more precise, there are handbooks available on the subject of building a poker table, which can be purchased at almost any poker store as well as online.

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How to Get Hired as a Casino Dealer

Before you can get any job in a casino that requires you to handle money you will need to have a background check. If you have ever been arrested for any criminal activities no gamming commission anywhere in the country will license you to work in a casino.

Assuming you have a clean record you will be required to register and complete one of the many authorized casino schools. These schools can be found scattered around the USA wherever you find legal gambling, but the largest amount of them can be found in the Nevada area.

The length of the course depends on the game or games you choose to learn, but on average for one game the course can be between 50 and 100 hours, and some schools have set days for you to go to class and other schools allow a more free approach and offering revolving hours where you can show up when it is best for you and there is always classes going on for you to sit in on.

Generally the schools will offer classes for:

  • Poker
  • Craps
  • Blackjack
  • Roulette
  • Baccarat
  • Pai Gow Poker

Here is an example of what you will learn in the blackjack class:
General Procedures – card placement, player issues and backing up the deck
Shuffling – How to Deal from the shoe
Handling and cutting the cards
Appearance, How to project a professional attitude and how to control the table
Security and maintenance
Payoff procedures
Deck, bank protection and walking the table
Hands on dealing lessons

After this it is just a matter of contacting as many different casinos as you can. There is competition for casino dealers, so you should not expect to get into one of the countries top casinos with no experience unless you have some connections. A good way to make some fast money and get some experience is to work on a cruise ship.

Many people do not like this option because you will have to share your cabin with a roommate or 2 all sharing one small room, but the rent is free and you get free meals. This is a great way to save money if you are looking to move to an area like Vegas or Atlantic City. After a few months on the ship you will have some experience and some cash in your pockets.

You should avoid moving to Vegas or Atlantic City until you have at least a year of experience as a casino dealer. There are many smaller casinos around the country many are on Indian reservations. These casinos will be able to give you a start and the experience needed to make it in the bigger casinos.

Once you have your year of experience, you can then move to one of the big casino towns. You still may not be able to get a job on the strip but you will be earning more and getting better tips. Then you can keep trying every few months and eventually you will be working in the casino of your choice dealing the game of your choice.

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How to beat the casinos with their own money – literally!

No – you didn’t read the headline incorrectly. With a little patience and discipline you can take advantage of on-line casinos generosity and beat them, quite literally, with their own money.

There are hundreds of casinos paying their trade on-line. It’s pretty much a standard feature of every one offering new customers a monetary incentive to open an account with them.

These monetary incentives are generally either a:

  • fixed amount of money – for example $100
  • match bonus – the casino matches the amount of your initial deposit
  • percentage amount – they’ll add a percentage amount on top of your initial deposit

Some of the new account incentive offers are very good indeed. Obviously, the casino is adding the money to new account holders to attract new business, with the belief that the average players will gamble and eventually lose much more than the incentive they’ve received.

Sound business sense from the casino – right?

Not necessarily – the clever casino player can turn the tables and the odds in his (or her) favour by playing “perfect blackjack” for example.

The bonus incentives come with strings attached – the casinos are not silly enough to allow you to withdraw your bonus money straight away – you have to play it through a few times first, so you might lose it!

Each casino has its own terms though a typical example is that they may require you to wager the bonus amount e.g. 20 times. So if they’ve given you $100 as a new account bonus you would have to place wagers to the cumulative value of $2000.

By playing “perfect blackjack” you really can walk off with your initial stake intact and a sum on top courtesy of the money the casino has given you.

The house edge (percentage the casino might expect to win) from blackjack is variable, depending on conditions, but generally in the region of 5%. In other words the casino expects to win $5 for every $100 a player bets.

However – by applying basic blackjack strategy (“perfect blackjack”) you can reduce the house edge to 1% or even less.

Now – back to the $100 new account bonus and $2000 wagering requirement example above. You’ve deposited $100 and got your free $100 making $200 in your account. Under the terms of the bonus incentive, you have to wager $2000.

By utilising basic strategy you reduce the house edge to 1% – thus on average you expect to lose 1% over the course of meeting the wagering requirements (2000 hands assuming flat betting $1 per hand). Each hand you play counts towards the wagering requirement.

1% of $2000 is just $20 – you can cash out with £180 left in your account. You’ve still got your initial $100 and you’ve taken an extra $80 from the casino literally out of their own pocket. Repeat the process at other casinos and you can rack up a tidy amount of money.

Some casinos even give monthly bonus incentives so you have the opportunity to take some money every month!

You won’t win every time – sometimes you’ll bust out and lose, other times you might win more than the above example. But by playing blackjack with the application of basic strategy it is entirely possible to literally beat the casino with their own money.

I personally use this technique and make money doing so. It’s possible that you can do the same – but if you give it a try, please never, never gamble with money you cannot afford to lose.

Good luck at the tables!

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Custom Poker Chips

Casinos have long been using custom poker chips for their clients playing pleasure. Custom chips are not only for gazing upon, the customization serves a purpose. When a casino opts for customized chips, they are not only branding the chip to their establishment, they are also protecting themselves from thieves.

The type of chips used, which are usually clay composite chips are nearly impossible to duplicate in themselves. Adding customization to the poker chips makes them a much more secure playing option, which thwarts most of the would-be chip counterfeiters.

The cost of these secure chips is a little more expensive. However even with the increased cost, the combination of the higher end composite chip plus the one of a kind logo imprinted on the chip makes up for itself in the money saved from those who would try and make knock offs of the casino’s chips. Without these precautions, casinos around the world would go bankrupt virtually overnight.

With the variety of custom designs available, casinos can insure that they have a one of a kind chip which appeals to the players and provides the needed security. Design options are only limited to the imagination.

Of course, casinos are not the only ones who are opting for personalized poker chips. Many players have found that the customization of their poker chips gives their games an added appeal, playing with flashier pieces that cater to the owner’s sense of style.

If you’re looking to get customized chips for your weekly poker game, then you’ll be pleased to find you have several options, which range from inexpensive to extravagant.

On the low end of the monetary spectrum, players can make their own customized chips by simply placing stickers on existing chips. Next up the chain, players can opt to use a graphics program to create one of a kind graphics then print them off using an inkjet printer onto sticker paper. You may also purchase chip labels from an online poker supply store.

If designing and applying your custom logos, you can purchase a set of 500 composite clay chips with recessed centers for around twenty five cents each. Look for specials at poker supply retailers, and at online auctions.

On the high end of chip customization, you can order your chips brand new with either hot stamping or a custom label for up to two dollars per chip.