What Does White Poker Chips Mean

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For a set of 500 poker chips, for example, you should have 200, 150, 100, and 50 chips in white, red, blue and green, respectively. Casino Chips Casinos usually have custom-designed chips with the monetary value and the name of the casino printed or engraved on the face. These white poker chips sometimes feature the initials AA stamped in the center and may also feature the group’s name on the reverse side of the chip. 24 Hour Tokens, which are sometimes called start-over tokens, are intended to signify a moment which starts a new way of life for the recipient. They can represent anything, it is only the amounts printed on them that have any real meaning. For poker cash games and normal casino chips, the cash value is the same as the amount on the chip, whether that be dollars, Euros or Rupee. Full set of chips: Values of poker chips in all colours. White chip: 1 unit or $1. Yellow chip: 2 units or $2. Pink chip: 2.5 units or $2.5. Red chip: 5 units or $5. Blue chip: 10 units or $10.

Being a supplier of poker chips we are often asked what a good breakdown is for a poker game. Our immediate response is normally, “it depends”. Is it a cash game or tournament? How many chips do your players like to have in front of them? Do you ever see your stakes rising in the future? How deep do your players get by the end of the night?

Dia de los Muertos poker chips
There are many factors to consider when figuring out a breakdown of chips for your poker game. Make sure to consider them all. Take some time and work out your breakdown in writing so you can visualize the chips being used.
Let’s consider a poker game that is only a tournament. This is the most common type of game that is being played in home games.
Try to not think about just how many “chips” that a player starts with. You can have a player start with 100,000 chips but if the blinds are 1000/2000 in the first level they will have shorter stacks compared to a player that starts with 5000 chips with the first blinds being 25/50. In the first situation the player starts with 50 big blinds while in the second situation the player starts with 100 big blinds. That is a big difference!
So, try to think about how many big blinds (BB) you want each player to start with. A good rule of thumb is that most tournaments start with 50-100 BBs but some players prefer deep-stack tournaments that start with 100+ BBs.
Now, consider how many actual physical chips you want each player to start with. Most players like to have a HUGE stack in front of them, but you have to realize that players need to start with a smaller stack or else you will have to purchase a very large number of chips. In a normal home game tournament players will start with 20-30 chips.
Finally, consider how many players you will have in your tournaments and how long the tournament will normally last. If there are a lot of players (20+ players) it will mean that there will be a lot of initial chips on the tables. There will be so many chips that you will have to “color up” the lower denomination chips at some point during the tournament. So, you will need to have higher denomination chips than the initial starting poker chips.
Let’s look at an example set up:
Total players: 20
Starting blinds: 25/50
Starting stack: 5000 (100 BB)
Number of poker chips to start with: 21
Initial chips that each player has in front of them:

  • 4 – “25” chips = 100
  • 9 – “100” chips = 900
  • 8 – “500” chips = 4000

Starting stack of our Nevada Jack Skulls poker chips.

Total number of physical poker chips to start with: 21 X 20 = 420 poker chips
At some point during the tournament the “25” chips will be useless since the blinds will be in even “100’s”. At that point you can “color up” the “25” chips. So, you will need more “100” and possibly more “500” chips. So, it is suggested that another 20 “100” chips be added.
Extra “100” chips for coloring up during the tournament:
  • 20 – “100” chips

This brings the total chips needed for this game to 440 poker chips. At this point it is suggested that extra chips are added for a few reasons. Maybe you will have a game where 22 people show up. Some chips may get lost over time, etc.
Extra chips for special circumstances:
  • 30 – “25” chips
  • 20 – “100” chips
  • 10 – “500” chips

This brings the total count of chips to:
  • 110 – “25” chips
  • 220 – “100” chips
  • 170 – “500” chips
  • 500 total poker chips

That is a general overview of how to figure out what poker chips to get for a tournament. Let’s discuss a cash game since this will be a bit different.
Cash Game
It is understood that cash games can vary drastically in stakes. Therefore, let’s not focus on the actual value of the chips but think in terms of big blinds (BB’s). I will discuss a $1/2 NL Holdemgame, but will mention BB’s.
The difference with a cash game is that players are often able to rebuy many times. Also, in many games the buy-in is not capped so a player can typically buy-in for 50 BB’s, 100 BB’s, 200 BB’s, or sometimes much higher. So, by the end of a game the value of chips can far exceed what you start with. However, home cash games generally do not involve more than 10 players.
Let’s consider an uncapped $1/2 NL HoldemPoker game that has unlimited rebuys.
On average, the initial buy-in may be 100 BB’s per player ($200). So, let’s figure out the starting chips for each player:
  • 15 - $1 chips = $15
  • 17 - $5 chips = $85
  • 4 - $25 chips = $100
  • Total – 36 chips = $200

This brings the total number of chips starting out on the table to 360 poker chips (36 X 10 players).
As mentioned, players will often rebuy (sometimes many times) and players may be allowed to buy-in for more than 100 BB’s. This means we have to consider the extra poker chips needed for the game.
The starting value of the chips on the table is $2000 (10 players X $200).
During a typical game, the total value chips at the end of the game will be 2-3X the starting value. So, let’s figure out the extra chips needed if the value is up to 3X the starting value:
  • 100 - $5 chips = $500
  • 20 - $25 chips = $500
  • 10 - $100 chips = $1000

This brings the total chips needed to (490 = 360 + 130).
As with the tournament, it is best to add extra chips for the situations where the game gets very deep. You also may want to prepare for if the game grows into a higher stakes game such as $2/5.
Here is a suggestion for extra chips that will cover deep games and slightly higher stakes:
  • 80 - $25 chips = $2000
  • 30 - $100 chips = $3000

Also, consider adding extra poker chips for the occasional lost chip:
  • 50 - $1 chips
  • 50 - $5 chips

As you can see, with the cash game there are more poker chips to purchase. This is often the case, but you are also prepared for a deep game and for future games when the stakes move up. For this situation the total poker chips suggested is (490 + 120 + 100 = 700).
There are no rules regarding the poker chips needed for a game. You may find that your games don’t need as many poker chips or you prefer to have more. The most important thing is to write out what chips you think you need. Try to break down your game like the examples above. It is much better to be prepared before your game starts than to find out that you do not have the poker chips you need to run the game.

If your only gaming experience is at the casinos of Atlantic City, you've probably never given the chips you used much thought.

In the city by the sea, every casino has a white $1 chip. Likewise, every club uses pink $2.50 chips, red $5 chips, green $25 chips, and so on. That's how things are done in Jersey, but not so in other places.

In Nevada, where legalized gaming got its start, you might see mostly red $5 chips and green quarters, but there is no specific law requiring a certain color be used. Thirty years ago you could find $1 chips that were white, yellow, gray, blue, brown and even black. A few years before that, the casinos used Eisenhower dollars, and before that, the casinos used real silver dollars. Imagine that!

As for larger denominations, every club can choose their own color. Harrah's used white chips until the late 1980's. Today, their $1 chips are white, and that's more the norm now, partly because casinos are more corporate (with several corporations owning many casinos), and partly for safety.

Some casinos color-code their table game signs to match the denomination of chip for the minimum bet for that table. That way, all you have to do is look at the color of the sign. The colors of the chips used in the majority of casinos are the same. The denominations of the colors are:

  • White or Blue chips are one dollar.
  • Red chips are five dollars and are called nickels.
  • Green chips are twenty-five dollars and are called quarters.
  • Black chips are one hundred dollars.
  • Purple Chips are five hundred dollars and are called Barneys.
  • Orange chips are one thousand dollars and are called pumpkins.

Why Problems Arose

In the late '90's, a casino in Las Vegas issued one dollar chips that were black in color. This created quite a stir amongst the other casinos who have $100 chips that are black. There were concerns that scam artists would mix some of these in with the legitimate chips. Blackjack pizza 16th street greeley colorado. The outcry was substantial and the casino rethought their chip-color choice.

The reason casinos use different color chips is to make it easy for the dealers, Pit Bosses, and surveillance workers to determine how much a player is betting. It also makes it fun for people who collect casino chips!


By matching the color of the chips with the table signs it makes it easy to tell the minimum bet for a table with just a quick glance. A red sign would denote a five-dollar table and a green sign would tell you that the minimum bet is twenty-five dollars. This makes it convenient for the players. There are some tables that have minimums that don't correspond to chip colors such as $10 and $15 games. All you have to do is note which color sign the casino you are visiting uses. Then remember it for the next time. The casinos in Connecticut use yellow for ten-dollar tables and orange for fifteen-dollar tables.

Some casinos may have the same color sign for all table minimums. If this is the case you will need to read them before sitting down. But for most of them, all you will need to do is look for the color of your choice, have a seat and place your bet.

Roulette Chips

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As for the roulette table, you can use the same chips used on other tables, but if you are going to be playing mostly the inside numbers, the dealer will offer you a color. That means you'll get your own chips, with their own denomination. The standard value is $1, but you can have whatever value you want, you just can't cash them in anywhere but at that table - as soon as you are done playing!

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The reason each player gets their own color is to distinguish who gets what on each winning number selected by the players. If you play roulette, you know that's necessary!