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If you are a regular
brick and mortar poker player, chances are you have accumulated some poker chips from various casinos over the years. You may have
wondered to yourself if some of your old chips are valuable to a collector. Or you may have even decided to become a collector
yourself. You’ll be pleased to hear that, like poker itself, casino poker chip collecting has become increasingly popular over the
years. This article will answer some fundamental questions on chip collecting and then point you to additional resources that will
allow you to receive more detailed information.
What poker chips should I collect?
Bear in mind that the most valuable chips are not necessarily the most rare or the oldest. Chip collectors are looking for items
with cachet. The chips you own should tell a story. The story could be your own (such as a collection of chips from all the places
you’ve played and visited). This type of collection may not increase in monetary value, but could become a treasured family heirloom.
The story could also be some one else’s (for example – a collection of chips from old Las Vegas Hotels or chips from illegal,
underground games frequented by famous gamblers). These chips will increase in value as the number of people who relate to or are
interested in the story increases.
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There is also an aesthetic component to chip collecting. Look for chips with more intricate designs and patterns. Make sure there is
information on your chips (such as casino name, casino logo, denomination, etc). These types of chips are almost always more valuable
then plainer chips. Unless you are buying something especially rare, the chips you collect should also be in good condition. Cracked,
warped and dirty chips will detract from your collection.
The final thing to consider
is that more expensive chips are often more likely to retain their value and are easier to resell. As a result, it is better to invest
in a small number of expensive chips then a large number of inexpensive chips.
Where can I get them?
The easiest way to get chips is to buy them directly from the casino. The casino
cage often stocks a variety of different chips beyond
what is being sold on the casino floor. Visit the casino cage when they are not busy. Ask nicely and make it known that you are
tip for their services. You will be surprised at
how far they will be willing to go to help you.
If you are looking for rarer chips, you can first look to the online auction houses and dealers, such as eBay. However, the best
way to find exactly what you are looking for is to network with other poker chip collectors through an online
forum or at a trade show.
How do I know if I paying a fair price or if what I am buying is genuine?
It is important to invest in a buying guide. The Official U.S. Casino Chip Price Guide by James Campiglia and Steve Wells contains
full color pictures and a price guide of over 15,000 casino chips. The previously mentioned Casino Chip & Gaming Token Collectors
Club has a section of fakes on its website, with pictures and examples of what to look for when looking for genuine chips.
Where do I find detailed information on chip collecting?
The following resources will provide you with the more detailed information you will need to get started identifying, procuring and
caring for you chip collections. And who knows, you may find yourself the proud owner of a chip like the $5.00 Hacienda Casino Chip,
which sold on Ebay for $15,000.
The Casino Chip and Gaming Token Collectors Club holds an annual convention is
Las Vegas. Chequers is a forum for chip collectors