Originally Posted by ipgyst
Historically speaking, I believe that plaques are new to home/fantasy sets (correct me if I'm wrong). I've noticed at least one set or two where the manufacturer offers plaques and chips in the same denomination. My best example is the Mardi Gras clay chips, where you can get both 5000 and 25000 in both chips and plaques (go to holdempokerchips to see pictures).
My question is, why do this? Am I missing something? Is there some historical precedent here? I know plaques are common in European casinos. So do European casinos offer chips and plaques in identical values also?
(Mod - I really wanted to avoid putting this thread in Poker Chips General and this seemed the best place)
Someone else can correct me if I'm mistaken, but as I understand it, In the Mardi Gras (MG) chip line at HPC, I think the ceramic (Nevada Jacks) MG chip set came first, and the plaques were designed for them. Then Michael had the BCC clay MG chips made, and they only went up to $100 (limited by 3d14 spot patterns). The $500-$25,000 denominations were added on later (and maybe in 2 parts; e.g. $500 and $1,000, and then the $5,000 and $25,000 even later... but I'm not sure). Now, the plaques go nicely with either the ceramic or clay chip sets, and allows for some customization.
I'm guess the main reason plaques weren't available to the home market in the past was cost. 5 years ago, a 500-chip set of dice chips cost > $100, and very few people played with anything better than those at their home games. Along came ChipTalk, and us connoisseurs/addicts are "happy" to pay > $1/chip for a quality clay chip. Meanwhile, plaques are significantly more expensive than even the nicest home-market chips; typically $8-$10 each! Not a lot of players are willing to spend $200 for 20 plaques to top out their sets... so it's just a matter of market (not enough demand to support many sets with plaques).