The 3 Best Quality Poker Chip Set Brands

When hosting a home poker game, the quality of the poker chips can add to the experience and enjoyment of your players. Cheap plastic, low-quality chips should be avoided if at all possible. Take my advice, spend a few extra bucks, and purchase a high-end quality poker chip set.

The 3 best quality poker chip set brands

  1. Scroll Ceramic Poker Chips
  2. Nile Club Ceramic Poker Chips
  3. Nevada Jack Skull Ceramic Poker Chips

Now let’s go through each type of poker chip so that you not only know what to choose but also what to avoid.

Types of Poker Chips

The construction of the poker chip is what determines the quality and durability of a chipset. There are basically 5 types of poker chips:

  1. Pure plastic – Most commonly associated with the $10 kind you might see at the corner store. Good for kids only or if you want to play tiddlywinks. There are very few cheap plastic brands that are decent.
  2. Plastic with a metal slug – Has a metal weight inserted and often very basic markings. Sellers often claim these are “casino quality.” Don’t be fooled, they are often poorly made.
  3. China clay – The entry model design for quality chips. You can find some attractive chips at this level but the durability is generally lacking.
  4. Premium clay – These are often really good chips that have a casino feel and yet an affordable price. These are a good choice if you don’t like the “slick” feel of ceramic chips.
  5. Ceramic – Usually the top choice among discerning players. Ceramic chips come with an inlay design (not a sticker). As far as quality and weight go, you can’t beat these chips. 90% of poker players will probably prefer ceramic.

The Top Poker Chip Set Brands


#1. Scroll Ceramic Poker Chips

With a simple yet elegant design, these chips are my favorite choice in high-quality poker chips. While they are not as flashy or “exciting” they are also not gimmicky and are less likely to go out of style.

Check the latest price on Amazon


#2. Nile Club Ceramic Poker Chips

Nile Club poker chips are a very close second. With a denser harder feeling and a unique design, they are just downright cool in every way. Also, if you are looking for a bigger variety in denominations this is the brand to get.

Check the latest price on Amazon


#3. Nevada Jack Skull Ceramic Poker Chips

The most expensive of the three. However, they are arguably the most popular chip ever made. If you are looking for flashy then this is your chip. Design wise, they tend to feel more “plasticky” and somewhat softer than other brands. Even so, the quality is unmatched.

Check the latest price on Amazon


Reviews

Let’s take a closer look at each brand so that you can make an informed decision.

1. Scroll Poker Chips

Scroll poker chips have a simple”everyman” design that will appeal to a wide audience. They are not gimmicky and are unlikely to go out of style. If you want something more flashy or exciting, get the Nile club or Nevada Jacks.

Scroll Features

Beyond aesthetics, I really like how the Scroll chips have big easy to read numbers as well as denominations listed on the sides. They definitely also have more texture to them than most other chips. This doesn’t really add or detract from them, I just thought it was worth mentioning.

Scroll Poker Chip Specifications

  • Size– ~39.3mm wide, ~3.32mm thick
  • Weight – Just under 10 grams
  • Materials – Ultra-Hard Plastic
  • Design – Victorian traditional with square non-rounded edges
  • Texture – Coarse with a middle of the road density
  • Durability – Excellent
  • Sound – Firm to middle of the road
  • Value– Excellent for the class
  • Denominations Available= .50, $1, $5, $25, $50, $100, $500, $1,000, $5,000

Which Denominations Come in This Set?

The 600-piece set shown here comes with:

  • 150 each of $1 and $5 chips
  • 100 each of $25 and $100 chip
  • 50 each of $500 and $1,000 chips

What Kind of Case Comes with the Set?

Unlike the cheap metal case that is standard with most sets, the Scroll chips come with a really cool high-quality clear acrylic case. You can see the chips inside, which adds a bit of class and I think is a nice touch.

Cons

Here are a couple of minor issues associated with this set that you should be aware of:

  • Coarse texture – Those that like really smooth chips may not like the coarse texture of the chip surface.
  • Limited denomination selection – If you are looking for a poker chip brand with a really wide selection of denominations, you will find Scroll limited. There is a .50 chip and $1 chip but then it jumps to $5. This is fine for tournament games but cash game players might find this insufficient.

2. Nile Club Poker Chips

I have to admit, I actually have a soft spot for these chips. Being a history nerd I simply love the Egyptian theme.

The Nile’s definite have an interesting unique, yet simple, look. Each denomination has a different Egyptian themed image. I am pretty sure that these are going to be a big hit no matter what type of home game you play in.

Nile Club Features

While ceramic chips are actually really hard plastic, the Nile Clubs actually feel like real ceramic. These feel the densest of all ceramic chips.

Scroll Poker Chip Specifications

  • Size – ~39.25mm wide, ~3.35mm thick
  • Weight – 10 grams
  • Materials – Ultra-Hard Plastic
  • Design – Egyptian theme with each denomination unique. Edges are flat with beveled edges.
  • Texture – Semi-smooth matte finish, often shiny at edges. Feel harder than some other designs and actually feel like real ceramic.
  • Durability – Very good
  • Sound – Higher pitch sound due to hard feel
  • Value – Very good for the class
  • Denominations Available= $0.25, $0.50, $1, $2, $2.50, $3, $5, $10, $25, $100, $500, $1,000 (I love the fact that .50, $2, $2.50 $3 are an option, for cash game flexibility)

Denominations Customized For Each Set

When you purchase these chips, you have the option of ordering any combination of denominations you want. And the fact that there are 12 different dollar amounts to choose from, makes this a great option if you have specific needs for your home game.

The Best Choice for Low Stakes Cash Games

The fact that you can buy denominations as low as $.25 cents means that you can be really flexible when playing a home cash game. No longer are you stuck playing $1/$2 blinds any more. With this set, you can play an even “friendlier” game by offering blinds as low as 25c/50c.

What Chip Breakout Do You Recommend?

Choosing the right amounts of chips can be important. However, the chips you select will vary based on the type of games you host. Here are my quantity recommendations based on three different scenarios:

ChipsTournamentsSmall CashMid-Stakes Cash
$0.2501250
$1 0225100
$50100225
$2520050125
$100 150050
$50010000
$1,000 5000

Here are the stakes you can expect to play for cash games based on the set breakouts above:

  • Small Stakes Cash – .25/.50, .50/1, 1/2
  • Mid-Stakes Cash – 1/2, 2/5, 5/10

If you want to figure out your own distributions, here is a handy calculator you can use.

What Kind of Case Comes with the Set?

Unfortunately, this set does not come with a case. However, this gives you the option of either using a case you already have or buying one that you see fit. Here are two nice quality options to choose from:

Nile Club Cons

Here are a few minor imperfections in this set that you should know about:

  1. The chips are not always perfectly flat – While stacked the chips might easily spin. This is not uncommon among poker chips but some do a better job than others.
  2. Inconsistent texture – The chips are sometimes shiny at edges, sometimes they are the normal matte. This is not that noticeable but you will see it if you look closely.
  3. Small denomination labeling – The dollar amounts on the chips are a bit smaller than the other two options. They might be a bit hard to read for some.

I want to stress that these “cons” are extremely minor considerations and might not even be noticed by some buyers.

3. Nevada Jack Skull Poker Chips

Nevada Jack is a very popular brand due to the flashy design. However, this is the exact reason they did not make #1 or #2 on my list. I feel they might not appeal to a lot of serious players. The “old west” feel might be cheesy or tacky to some.

Basically, either you love or hate them.

Don’t get me wrong, these are extremely good quality and well-designed chips. They are very good for casual games where you don’t take things too seriously. Even so, the flashy design might eventually get old even to players who enjoy the design.

Neva Jack Features

Nevada Jack chips appear to have the most consistent quality of the three choices. There are no problems with “spinners” or flatness issues and the texture is consistent across all denominations. These have a nice feel and shuffle fairly easily for ceramics.

Scroll Poker Chip Specifications

  • Size – ~39.1mm wide, ~3.3mm thick
  • Weight – 9.3 grams
  • Materials – Ultra-Hard Plastic
  • Design – The inlay features a skull graphic with the dead man’s hand. The edges are slightly beveled but mostly flat.
  • Texture – Consistent subtle linen texture. They feel a bit softer than the other brands.
  • Durability – Excellent, virtually impossible to break
  • Sound – They sound the most “plasticky” of the three choices.
  • Value – A bit pricy
  • Denominations Available= .25, .50, $1, $5, $25, $50, $100, $500, $1,000, $5,000

Which Denominations Come in This Set?

This 500-piece set comes with:

  • $1- 150
  • $5- 100
  • $25- 100
  • $100- 100
  • $500- 25
  • $1,000- 25

What Kind of Case Comes with the Set?

This 500-piece set comes with a standard aluminum case. The quality of the case does not do the chips justice, so you may want to invest in a better quality carrier. Once again, I recommend these cases:

Nevada Jack Cons

Here are a few minor imperfections in this set that you should know about:

  • Minor edge imperfections – Occasionally, upon close inspection, you can find a few minor concave areas. However, they are almost not worth mentioning since they actually are so minor you can’t feel them with your fingers.
  • Blue $1 chips – Some players might be so used to white $1 chips that they may be turned off by having to play with blue $1 chips.
  • Somewhat expensive – Expect to pay .20 to .30 more per chip for Nevada Jack chips.

Poker Chip Variations

Pure plastic

If you need a whole bunch of chips this is the way to go. Pure plastics can be bought in large quantity very cheaply.

Even so, if you are looking for high-quality chips at a lower price than ceramics, I recommend the Nextgen Pro Classics. They are an exceptionally beautiful set for the price.

Plastic with a metal slug

This type of poker chip is usually very heavy (up to 15 grams). While these chips do look nice, they are usually obviously cheaper looking. Even so, some people prefer the heavier weight.

If you decide you like heavier chips and want a really nice chipset I recommend the Monte Carlo Poker Club Set. It’s about as good as you can get in this class.

China clay

While often very attractive as far as poker chips go, china clay chips are typically easier to damage versus other types. Interestingly, they are not really made of clay at all but are actually really soft plastic.

They do feel very similar to actual casino chips. However, the labels are usually stick on and can peel off over time and can get dirty really easily. Even so, the cost is typically much cheaper than premium chips.

If you want chips that have a softer feel and might work best for chip tricks, I recommend the Milano Poker Set.

Premium clay

Premium clays feel and look very similar to a casino chip. There is no metal slug but they are weighted with heavy metals mixed in with the plastic. These are definitely easier to damage versus ceramics.

One bonus is that premium clay chips tend to have inlays and no stickers, which sets them apart from cheaper plastics or china clays.

If you want to save a lot of money and still get a great chipset, then I recommend some Monacos. Incidentally, premium clays are also a really good option for those that don’t like the slickness of ceramic.

Ceramic

After reading to this point, you already probably know a lot about ceramic chips. Even so, here are a few more interesting facts about ceramic poker chips:

  • In Ceramics, the inlay is almost never perfectly centered, it’s normal.
  • Chip Play/Tricks are difficult with ceramics due to the texture. If you don’t like the slick chips, go with Premium Clay.
  • All ceramic poker chips have “dimples” in the side where they were separated as part of the manufacturing process. You have to look closely, but they are there on every ceramic chip.
  • The inlay is almost never perfectly centered on all ceramics. However, this is usually minor and not noticeable unless you are looking for it.

Poker Chip Specifics

When it comes to purchasing the best quality poker chip set for hosting the perfect poker night, here are further explanations of the considerations used in this article:

  • Size
    Poker chips are almost universally around 39mm wide and 3mm thick.
  • Weight
    Ceramics are generally listed as 10 grams but actually, come in closer to 9 grams. You will find that cheaper chips actually tend to be heavier.
  • Materials
    Poker chips are almost universally made from some type of plastic. “Ceramic” poker chips are not made from the same material as ceramic dishes. Instead, are solid hardened plastic.
  • Design
    Cheaper chips usually come with a sticker. Quality chips come with a graphic inlay usually imprinted directly on the surface with no sticker necessary.
  • Texture
    Poker chips come with a wide variety of textures. They can range anywhere from very coarse to completely smooth. Ceramics tend to have slick edges, which are not the best for tricks. They are usually easy to shuffle but not as easy as other materials due to “slickness”.
  • Durability
    All chips wear, ceramics do on the edge very slowly. It’s normal to have a patina eventually. Clay chips wear, but it doesn’t show as much since they are solid color throughout. Ceramics are white underneath an inlay. Ceramics will still probably last decades for normal use and are virtually impossible to break by hand.
  • Sound
    The harder the materials, generally the higher pitched the sound. Ironically, high-end poker chips often sound cheap when you bump them together. This is because they are typically made of hardened plastic. China clays and premium clays tend to produce the most popular sound.
  • Value
    Cheap plastic chips can be under $.03 each while high-end ceramics can be well over $1 each. You almost always get what you pay for when it comes to poker chips.

Additional Home Game Products and Info

I have written other informational articles on hosting a poker home game. Be sure to check them out if you want to enhance your home game experience:

Summary

In this review I tried to find the best quality chip sets for the price. To my surprise, my favorite two chip sets that I recommend also happen to be among the most affordable out there.

I hope you enjoyed this review, be sure to comment if you know of any other chip sets that should have made the list.