Counterfeiting Casino Chips – Why You Should Never Try to Fake It!
There’s a common saying in the gambling world: “It's easier to counterfeit real money than casino chips.”
Hearing this makes you ask, how hard is it to counterfeit casino chips, and can you get away with it?
To answer both of those questions, we think that counterfeiting casino chips nowadays is extremely challenging, and you should never try to do it.
If you want to find out the reasoning behind this, learn how casino chips are made, and discover the truth behind some common casino chip myths, make sure to read the entire page!
How Are Casino Chips Made?
The production process of casino chips has evolved significantly over the decades and is a far cry from what casino gamblers used to play with half a century ago.
Nowadays, casino chip manufacturers use precise and expensive equipment that ensures uniformity and no variation between each produced casino chip.
Biggest Security Features of Casino Chips
To better understand how difficult it is to counterfeit casino chips, we should further discuss some of the most common security measures casino chip manufacturers implement to deter scammers.
Here are some of the most common anti-counterfeiting measures manufacturers take to ensure their casino chips are harder to replicate:
Laser printing logos and unique artwork is a common practice among the biggest modern casinos.
The main purpose of laser-printing casino chips is to make it impossible for scammers to remove the inlay graphics in order to replicate them.
Some manufacturers even use holographic images within each casino chip.
This is a step-up from laser printing and makes it even more expensive and challenging for scammers to counterfeit casino chips.
Unlike the previous security method, this one involves using materials that are invisible to the naked human eye.
Moreover, UV ink is a cheap alternative to the expensive holographic or laser-printed artwork on the chips.
Casino employees can quickly put the chips under a UV light to check whether or not they’re real.
Most often, UV ink is used for lower valued chips, making it not only risky but not worthwhile for scammers to try and counterfeit them.
Unique Chips Only Used Within a Specific Casino
Another effective method casinos implement to deter counterfeiting attempts is to keep the chips exclusive to one casino and make them unique and easy to identify.
That way, scammers would need to steal a sample chip from one specific casino and could only cash their fake chips in the same casino. This makes it easier for casino employees to keep track of the chips.
High denomination chips, like those featured at poker tables or other high roller tables, even contain RFID chips to ensure an extra layer of protection.
This feature makes it impossible for anyone to counterfeit the casino chips, as the casino keeps tight control of all of the chips containing an RFID tag.
Some high-end casinos have chips that feature printed serial numbers on them. While this practice doesn’t help casinos prevent scammers from using counterfeited chips, it allows them to mitigate the financial damage this can cause.
As every casino chip has a serial number, the casino can easily track the chips and decommission a specific group of counterfeited chips suspected to be used in the scam.
That way, the scammers are left with worthless chips they can’t exchange for cash in the casino.
Lastly, this doesn’t directly pertain to the chip manufacturing process. Still, it’s an important tool for preventing counterfeit casino chip scams.
Modern casinos use sophisticated monitoring systems that cover every table, making it extra difficult for scammers to slip counterfeit chips to the dealer without anyone noticing.
What Are Casino Chips Made Of?
Casino chips can be made of a handful of different materials, some more popular than others. Here’s an overview of the most commonly used materials in the chip manufacturing process:
- Composite Clay – The most commonly used material for casino chips around the globe. They’re relatively inexpensive to make, durable, and allow manufacturers to input many anti-counterfeiting features.
- Plastic – Plastic chips are often cheaply made, and you definitely won’t find them in respectable casinos. They are also the easiest to counterfeit of all we’ll feature in this list.
- Ceramic – Casino chips made of ceramic are a step up from the standard composite clay chips. They are seldom found in casinos, most often in high roller games.
- Metal – You’ll rarely find metal chips in casinos, as these types of chips are most often used for home games and collector sets. These chips are the most durable ones and make for a unique experience.
Common Casino Chips Values
Besides featuring their monetary value on their face, casino chips of different denominations are also represented by specific colors.
This makes it easier for both players and casino employees to keep precise track of how much each player is betting. With that in mind, here are the common casino chip values you’ll find in most casinos worldwide:
- $1 Chips – White Color
- $5 Chips – Red Color
- $10 Chips – Blue Color
- $25 Chips – Green Color
- $50 Chips – Orange Color
- $100 Chips – Black Color
- $250 Chips – Pink Color
- $500 Chips – Purple Color
- $1000 Chips – Yellow
- $2000 Chips – Light Blue
- $5000 Chips – Brown
Some of these color choices can vary from casino to casino. That said, most casinos stick with this unofficial, universally accepted design.
Moreover, most casinos generally use the same colors for the $1, $5, $25, and $100 chips, as these chips are typically played with the most.
Some casinos also use $2 chips which are bright yellow, and $20, which are often gray, but these two denominations are used less often.
The colors also depend on what other denominations are used, as you’ll rarely find casino chips of different denominations that feature closely resembling colors.
Standard Poker Chip Values
Poker chips often don’t differ in value from other chips featured in the casino. In most poker cash games, you’ll be playing with the same colors and denominations as other casino players on other games that include chips.
But, while most casinos will use these poker chip colors, there’s no standardized rule, meaning that every casino can set its own colors for different denominations. This is why you may sometimes see differences if you play in different casinos worldwide.
How to Tell If a Poker Chip Is Real?
Poker chips are often among the most counterfeited casino chips, so the quality of the counterfeited chips can vary significantly.
For example, some chips precisely imitate the look and feel of real poker chips. Others are made so badly that you don’t have to be a poker pro to almost instantly tell that you’re holding a fake poker chip.
The things you should look at are the paint and the inlay graphics of the chip. You should also try to feel the material of the chip to see whether it’s made of the same substance as the rest of the poker chips in your stack.
Of course, some poker chips can be made so professionally that you can’t spot that they’re fake.
A good rule of thumb is to pay special attention to poker chips that carry higher denominations. This is because higher-valued chips are more worthwhile for scammers to counterfeit.
Creating elaborate and precisely laser-printed designs using quality materials is expensive, so top-level scammers often don’t bother counterfeiting low denomination chips.
Casino Chip Myths You Shouldn’t Believe
The topic of counterfeit casino chips is undoubtedly a very exciting one, so you’ll find many myths about it circulating on the Internet.
Many of these myths are harmless, but some can be dangerous if they lead you to think that you’re playing with fake chips when you’re, in fact, betting with real chips, and vice versa.
To help you avoid any problems when playing casino games that use chips, we want to identify and highlight a few myths you should keep in mind. Here are some of the most popular casino chip myths:
Casino Chips Have a Standardized Weight
This is arguably the most widespread myth when it comes to casino chips. And, what’s interesting about it is that even these “standardized” numbers can vary, depending on who you hear the rumor from.
For instance, the most popular misconception states that casino chips all weigh 11.5 grams. In reality, there’s no truth in this.
While you might find multiple casinos that use chips that weigh exactly this, it’s nothing more than a coincidence.
There’s no universal standard, as carrying this rule worldwide would be an immensely challenging and, more importantly, unnecessary task.
It’s Easy to Find All Security Features in the Casino Chips
This is another myth casino chip counterfeiters often fall for, as it is not remotely true. We’ve discussed some of the biggest security features casino chip manufacturers implement.
And while these methods are publicly known to be used by many casinos, there’s no telling what other methods casinos use to prevent counterfeiting scams.
In other words, there could be a handful of other security features put into practice that we don’t know of.
So, if you’re considering using counterfeit casino chips, bear this in mind. The casino might have a few techniques that you don’t know exist that could possibly get you caught before you even realize it.
Counterfeit Casino Chips – A Dangerous Business You Should Avoid
Counterfeiting casino chips is an extremely risky undertaking and one that doesn’t pay off in the slightest.
Even if you manage to slip the casino a few counterfeited chips once by some chance, you’ll certainly get caught on the second time.
So, trying to cheat the casino out of its money through this simply doesn’t pay off. Plus, it’s illegal and can get you in a lot of trouble, especially in the US.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, if you’ve read through this page looking for helpful tips and advice on how to spot fake chips and avoid accepting such, hopefully, we’ve provided you with useful advice and pointers.
Remember, trying to spot fake casino chips by comparing weight and design features often won’t help you distinguish a counterfeit chip from a real one.
It’s always best to ask a poker dealer or the casino staff if you suspect that you have fake chips in your stack.