Casino chips are small tokens used to represent currency in games. While these tokens can be easily managed and counted, they can also be easily forgeried by gamblers.

CT scans have revealed that certain clay balls contained tokens made from low-density materials such as bitumen – an petroleum substance. Each time one of these tokens left its container and made its way onto a casino floor, a profit would accrue.


As early as the mid-1770s, various materials have been employed as counters in gambling games to represent bets – these early counters included anything that could serve as currency such as gold pieces, coins, stones, wood, ivory and paper.

Modern casino chips are typically composed of plastic and can be manufactured through injection-molding or compression molding processes, depending on their manufacturer. Though some companies market their chips as “clay” composite chips – this designation often serves as an marketing ploy since even high end “true clay” chips typically contain significant percentages of other more durable materials besides clay itself.

Cheap plastic chips known as ABS or dice chips are perfect for casual home games when on a budget, while premium options exist including mid-range plastic chips that offer more premium gaming and compression clay composites.


Modern casino chips are typically composed of composite materials. Historically, different gambling establishments employed different tokens which could easily be counterfeited; to combat this security features were added and their design standardized.

Casinos now primarily use ceramic chips made of clay-like material known as “clay composite,” typically manufactured through compression techniques and giving the feel of clay without injection dimples associated with plastic chips manufactured using injection molding processes.

Thin edges of these chips can often be customized with designs, stripes and other symbols to form what is known as the “rolling edge.” Their center features numbers printed using dye sublimation – this process embeds ink directly into polyester chip material making it resistant to wear while making this type of chip popular among players as its colors won’t fade over time.


Anybody who’s visited a casino or used real casino chips will be impressed at how diverse their sizes, colors and designs can be – you might have even noticed some come with different textures!

Even during the Old West heyday of poker, distinguishing which chip belonged to which denomination could sometimes be tricky. Gunslingers like Wild Bill Hickok and Doc Holliday would use whatever was at hand (from bones to gold nuggets) as representation for their wager.

As casinos and gambling houses expanded, it became necessary to standardize chips so players could easily recognize their denomination. A circular design for all chips made them easily identifiable to both the player and gambling establishments.

Nowadays, casinos use plastic composite material that mimics the feel of clay chips for gaming purposes. These chips are extremely durable and can even be printed with graphics using inlays clad with plastic films – however these chips are difficult to buy as they’re only meant for use within casinos.

High-Tech Tokens

The museum’s Tools of the Trade display showcases tokens people have used for millennia to record transactions and verify ownership. Today’s high-tech tokens pack more technology into smaller spaces.

Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT) have become incredibly popular digital collectibles in gaming. Each NFT has a unique identifier linked to its individual blockchain address, making it impossible to replicate an item identically and making them ideal pieces for art as witnessed by Beeple’s sale of one digital collage for $69 Million in 2021.

Midmac provided line integration, programming and hardware for a rotary unit that dispensing tokens onto an indexing tray conveyor. From there the tray passed six MGS IPP 190 intermittent-motion pick-and-place systems which placed additional items such as token jackets, floppy disks, wallet cards, information literature booklets and graphic cards into each package before finally assembling and sealing clear plastic trays containing these products.

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