Explanation of Bud Jones Poker Chip Styles -- V7, V6, S2
There has been a good deal of confusion about the types/styles of Bud Jones chips out there, especially as we've been focusing on the WSOP chips recently. I'd like to clear this up based on the latest information directly from GPI.
Some of the confusion is due to the naming structure of the BJ chips by GPI. And it has been compounded by the fact that GPI's web site is outdated -- it does not list the current BJ models available. Finally, some of the confusion comes from us (me included). We've heard things on the grapevine that weren't completely accurate, and made assumptions based on outdated GPI information. So for my part in sowing this confusion, I want to apologize and try to set things straight.
The bottom line is that the WSOP chips are the "S2" product line
, neither "V6" nor "V7." This is the same as the Caesars at Sea chips recently made available, a solid-plastic chip with a B-size decal and a single-ring mold design.
BUD JONES CHIPS IN GENERAL
BJ chips were created to provide an alternative to clay chips. Bud Jones (yes, there really was a Bud Jones -- he started the company and lived until 2001) decided to make injection-molded plastic chips. He cooked up a special mixture of plastic compounds to make the chips slightly soft to the touch, yet very durable.
He started first with coins in the center for a unique look, then moved to colorful printed decals for great customization by casinos. He continued to utilize more complex injection-molding equipment to produce very intricate injection patterns, including casino names, denominations, etc. With the decal chips, he still included a weighted metal slug in the middle to achieve the desired weight.
Another innovation was that BJ chips were machine-finished after coming out of the injection molding process -- they are precisely cut to ensure their exact size, completely flat surface, and perfect edges.
BJ was combined with Paulson and the French company B&G to create Gaming Partners International (GPI), a public company but majority owned by the French investors. B&G made chips similar to BJ chips, and they have maintained the two separate product lines since the merger. All Bud Jones chips are made at the GPI-USA facility in Las Vegas.
BUD JONES "V6" FAMILY OF CHIPS
The V6 line of chips is very similar to the original chips invented by Bud Jones. Most V6 chips are coin-center chips -- molded plastic around twin coins in the center. There are also V6 decal chips, with an inner metal insert but with printed decals instead of the coin on each side. There is a unique set of mold designs for V6 chips, characterized by a single molded design between the coin and the edge. The V6 mold allows only an A-size decal or coin in the center (the smallest decal size).
The three types of V6 chips are:
- V6 -- V6 mold designs, internal metal slug, printed A-size decal (weighing about 11 grams)
- V6N -- same as V6 decal chips except with no metal insert, they are solid plastic (9 g)
- V11 -- current name for V6 coin center chips (12+ g)
Here are some pictures of V6 chips:
BUD JONES "V7" FAMILY OF CHIPS
The V7 line of chips was the successor to the V6 chips, and incorporated many features requested by casinos. Almost all V7 chips use a printed decal, and the decals are available in 3 sizes:
- A size, approximately 31/32", and it may have a foil ring printed around the inside edge of this area
- B size, approximately 1-1/8"
- C size, approximately 1-5/16" and almost the full size of the chip.
V7 chips have a unique set of mold options, characterized by an outer ring design plus another inner ring design. Casinos can mix these designs if they wish, so they can create something of their own. In addition, BJ will create custom injection patterns if desired. The multi-pass injection process allows BJ to produce 2, 3, and even 4-color molds. See the end of this thread for the V7 mold options.
As noted above, V7 chips are machine-finished after injection for perfectly consistent surfaces. These chips may be produced with a beveled edge if desired.
The V7 A-decal chips are often thought to have a magnetic center. In fact, the chips have a natural suction effect caused by the perfectly finished smooth surfaces and slightly indented inlays. But the metal inlays are non-magnetic brass. Since the A-decal chips have the most surface area of the plastic compound, the suction effect is most pronounced. By contrast, the B and C-decal chips have little of this suction.
V7 chips are also available as a coin-center chip, though this is rare.
There are four types of chips in the V7 family:
- V7 -- standard V7 chips with A-size decal (weighing about 11-12 grams)
- V8 -- V7 chips with a modified mold design and the mid-size B-size decals, formerly called V7-B chips (12 g)
- V9 -- V7 chips with a modified mold design and the largest C-size decals, formerly called V7-C chips (10-11 g)
- V10 -- coin-center V7 chips (12 g)
Here are some pictures of V7 chips:
BUD JONES "S" FAMILY OF CHIPS
Some years ago, B&G started producing an intermediate line of injection molded chips called the S2 line. This line was "transplanted" from France and became the newest line of Bud Jones U.S. chips. They have the same name and similar mold patterns, but are different chips from the French S2 chips. The BJ "S" chips are manufactured in Las Vegas.
These chips use a similar material to the V7 chips, but not exactly the same compound. The material has a slightly different feel (at least to me), but still the typical BJ combination of a hard surface and a soft touch. These chips may be produced with a metal slug, or as solid-plastic unweighted chips.
The "S" chips are produced with the B-size decal, so there is almost 1/4" of molded plastic on each side of the inlay. This allows enough area for colorful mold designs.
This line has its own unique line of mold designs (originally designed for computer-assisted optical recognition, though that was not widely accepted). They are single-ring mold designs, with only one area containing the design, unlike the V7 chips where two rings can be combined. But there are dozens of mold designs available, and BJ will make custom injections if desired by a casino. The S mold designs are not produced on V7 chips, and vice versa.
The designs on the face of all BJ chips are molded at the same time as the edge, so that each design element on the face is perfectly aligned with the edges.
There are two types of chips in the S family:
- S2 -- multi-colored, B-size decal, unique S molds with a solid plastic center (no metal insert and weighing about 9 grams, close to a clay chip)
- S -- same chips but molded around a weighted metal insert in the center of the chip (11 g)
To answer a recent question: the chips recently seen at the WSOP are Bud Jones S2 chips. The Bellagio high-stakes tournament chips are also S2s.
Here are some pictures of S chips:
ONE LAST ITEM: MORE DETAIL ON THE V6/V7 MOLD DESIGNS
For those of you with an interest in the detailed mold designs available, here are some pictures of the V6 and V7 families. There may be other combinations not shown, and some casinos have unique designs that are not published. I do not have any pictures of the available S2 molds.