Poker and poker chips naturally go together. People just don’t think of playing poker without using poker chips. But in the early days of poker, chips weren’t available. Read on if you want to learn more about poker chips past, present, and future.
Early poker players played the game with things like gold nuggets or gold dust. Gaming houses and saloons soon saw the need for the standardization of betting units, so they started using clay, ivory and bones. When some players found it easy to forge these units, the gaming houses and saloons began branding the units with unique symbols.
But forging continued to be a problem, so companies started creating clay composition poker chips, and by the 1880s the poker chip industry was born. And, naturally enough, some players started finding ways to forge poker chips.
Is it still possible to forge poker chips?
The truth is, it is virtually impossible to forge poker chips nowadays. It is actually harder to forge poker chips than it is to forge American currency. Even if a chip was forged, it would be easy for a cashier to spot the fake. Poker chips are designed to have individual textures and weights. They have their own special feel.
Of course, casinos go much further in protecting against chip forgeries. Many casinos plant microchips inside their poker chips. They even use serial numbers on their chips. And, of course, they use plenty of other security measures which they’re not telling.
So, will the trusty poker chip ever be replaced with another betting tool? Will casinos resort to a form of electronic betting device? No one can say for sure. After all, there’s a lot to be said for a player being able to see what is in front of him and all of the other players as well. And what would players do if they didn’t have the chips to fiddle with while deciding how to play their hands?
But, by the same token (no pun intended), if an electronic betting apparatus can save casinos the cost of producing chips, the iconic chip just may go the way of the Dodo bird.