What is Color Up in Poker?

1 minute

Last Updated: December 28, 2023

Color Up

Coloring up in poker is exchanging chips with smaller denominations for those with a bigger value. This can happen when a player is on a winning streak and has accumulated a sizable stack of chips. It also frequently happens in later tournament stages, when there are fewer players and the blinds and antes increase.

Color Up Poker Example:

You’re playing a poker tournament, and have four full stacks of $25 chips, meaning you have 80 chips in total, or $2,000. At this point of the tournament, the blinds have reached $100/$200, so using $25 chips is inconvenient and complicates the game. 

To streamline betting, you will color up and receive your $2,000 in higher denomination chips, for instance, 20 chips valued at $100 each.

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