The Basics of Casino Chips Value and Color

If you’re playing Texas Hold’Em Poker or any game that uses chips as a currency, you should know the value of each chip; this can be a bit tricky because most chipsets are unmarked unless you are at a casino or a professional tournament. 

In most poker events in the US, they follow common standards even though there is no official rule on how chips should be valued. For example, in tournaments and private poker games, a set of poker chips contains white, blue, red, green, and black chips, while high-stakes competitions typically include more [darker] colors. 


Standard Poker Chips Value and Their Colors 

In most cash games, each chip of a certain color usually represents a specific monetary value that’s imprinted on it.

  • White chips – $1
  • Red chips – $5
  • Green chips – $25
  • Black chips – $100
  • Purple chips – $500
  • Maroon (or orange) chips – $1,000


Full Poker Chip Colors and Their Standard Value 

  • White chips – $1
  • Yellow chips – $2 (rarely used nowadays)
  • Red chips – $5
  • Blue chips – $10
  • Gray chips – $20
  • Green chips – $25
  • Orange chips – $50
  • Black chips – $100
  • Pink chips – $250
  • Purple chips – $500
  • yellow chips – $1,000 (sometimes gray)
  • Light blue chips – $2,000
  • Brown chips – $5,000

Large-stake tournaments use higher poker chip denominations that generally follow the standard color-coding. You’ll also notice that as their value increases, the darker their color becomes to make them stand out more. 

Meanwhile, poker tournaments usually start at higher blind levels–e.g., 25/50 and 50/100–so chips of lower value are not used. 


High-Value Denominations 

Betting chips valued at more than $5,000 are rarely used except in private high-stake games. On the other hand, casinos typically use rectangular plaques about the size of a playing card to represent $5,000, $25,000, or higher denominations.

Casinos where high-value rectangular plaques are used are often found in Atlantic and Nevada City. 


Casino Chips Outside the US 

While the vast majority of US casinos follow the standard poker chips’ value and colors, a few use a slightly different shade. Another thing to keep in mind is that artificial lighting may change the color a bit, so you have to be careful to avoid costly mistakes. 

Additionally, casinos in Europe, Australia, and other countries/continents may not always follow the same poker chip values and colors often used in the US. However, chances are the differences are just subtle. 


History of Poker Chips 

The standard poker chips we know today were first introduced in the early 1800s; this is not uncommon since most gambling games use some type of marker to represent monetary value.

Initially, the betting chips used in gaming houses and saloons were engraved clay, ivory, or chips, which were easy to counterfeit. As a result, by the early 1880s, casinos started commissioning custom-made clay chips for their games and tournaments. 

Today’s betting chips are still custom-designed, with many still containing clay in their composite material. To further make it hard to counterfeit these chips, some casinos use specific texture, weight, color, and design, while others even embed microchips to make them virtually impossible to forge.