The Bellagio Resort and Casino, Las Vegas
On December 14, 2011, a man named Anthony Carleo pulled up to the Bellagio Resort and Casino around 4 a.m. He parked his Suzuki motorcycle by the valet stand, and walked towards the main doors, waving to the security guard as he went. He never removed his helmet. It only took a few minutes before he was back outside firing up the motor of his Suzuki with almost $1.5 million worth of stolen chips in his backpack.
The most interesting part of this story is that almost as soon as Carleo stepped out of the front doors, all of those stolen chips became worthless. In under an hour, the Bellagio changed out every single chip on the floor and replaced them with a completely new custom set. It’s common practice for casinos to carry at least one backup set of custom poker chips, and in this case, it saved the Bellagio from suffering big losses.
Gaming chips are just a representation of real currency. For a Casino like the Bellagio, their true value is in their ability to promote an identity and signature brand. Custom chips create an authenticity that players can actually feel and see, and this same feeling can be recreated at home with a set of personal poker chips. Their high-quality design changes the tone of a game by adding an authentic feel and custom touch. It's like bringing Las Vegas into your living room.
Deciding on a Poker Chip Design
We give complete creative control to our clients. All of our poker chips are ceramic and made through a careful process of dye sublimation that allows for full-color printing and helps accentuate gradients in the design. Another option is custom wording or design that can be added to the edge of each chip like this one we made for Coca-Cola. While these poker chips were not used for a personal game set, they still capture a custom brand and style just like any custom set should.
Our art team will create a completely original design for you and our production team will transfer the artwork onto one of our blank ceramic chips. Some chip manufacturers use pre-existing blanks and insert a digital sticker to the recessed areas of the chip face, but this limits design potential and results in lower quality chips. The dye sublimation process we use heat transfers custom artwork onto each coin so you don’t have to worry about stickers fading or breaking away leaving a black area in coin.
Any type of personal design that adds vibrant color and unique artwork results in something completely original that becomes a personal signature for any game you host. It’s possible to include denominations on all of your poker chips, but we recommend leaving values off the main design for home sets.
While casinos have a strict system for chip values, personal games often change the values of chips depending on the stakes, how many people are playing and any number of other factors. Instead, using different colors, patterns or designs can help differentiate chips.
In general, sets of poker chips are split into three to five denominations. Most of the chips are going to represent the smallest value, while the least amount of chips will represent the largest value. Poker chips can come in sets of 100 all the way up to 1,000 chips, and the split depends on the size of the set. Below are some good starting points for different size orders, but we can make any custom split our clients prefer.
100-300 chip sets — 3 denominations (60/30/10)
300-500 chip sets — 4 denominations (40/40/10/10)
500-1,000 chip sets — 5 denominations (35/35/10/10/10)
Some Other Uses for Custom Poker Chips
Just as casinos like to create a signature design for their custom poker chips, so do all sorts of other organizations and teams that have nothing to do with gaming. We make custom poker chips for groups that use them for fundraising, team building and all sorts of other reasons. This chip was ordered by the Nevada Army National Guard for recruitment purposes.
Like the Coca-Cola poker chips, there are organizations that like to make custom designs suited for staff or other members of an organization. They boost morale and are awarded for excellent service and personal achievement. Just like a Las Vegas casino design, the chips capture the identity and character of the organization.
These chips created for the United States Navy are a good example of this idea in action. They are intended for Navy Mustangs, who are sailors that have been promoted to an officer position from an enlisted rank. Most mustangs would agree with the inscription on the front of the design: We did it the hard way … We earned it.
Hosting a Game or Event With Custom Chips
You can expect personalized poker chips to give an authentic vibe to your game as soon as the chips start passing around the table. Everything from the meticulous design to the feel and sound of the ceramic chips clinking together will give you the sensation of being in a high rolling casino. For organizations just looking for a custom chip to boost morale or recognize a job well done, our intricate design process ensures that each chip will be a one of a kind gift that captures the character and heritage of a team. Send us your ideas and see what we can do!