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Casinotek Custom Ceramics Review

Discussion in 'Poker Chip Reviews' started by Matthew, Nov 4, 2005.

  1. Matthew

    Matthew Super Moderator
    Staff Member Lifetime Supporter

    Mar 23, 2005
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    Manufacturer: CasinoTek by: Casino Supply Company
    Retailer(s): http://www.casinosupply.com
    Average Price: $0.69 or $0.75 plus production fees, artwork fees and shipping – see price section below
    Material: Ceramic with printed graphics
    Member Review by: Matthew

    The CasinoTek line of chips is a customizable ceramic chip with full face full color graphics and printable edges. Casino Supply Company (CSC) is the retailer and the manufacturer. The chips are 39 mm in diameter and are advertised as weighing 10.5 grams. There is a very small “engraving” of CSC in the center of both faces of the chips as a security feature. ​
    As of this writing, the advertised price of chips with standard edges is $0.69 each and price with premium edges is $0.75 each. Premium edges are basically custom edges which can vary the edge spots and include printing in the form of text, denominations or symbols. There is a $175 production fee for a single artwork design with up to 4 colors or denominations which includes 2 revisions. Each additional color or denomination adds $40 per color to the order. Additionally, there is a $40 flat fee for premium or custom edges. Finally, for different designs on each chip or different designs on each face of the chip, there is an additional production fee of $95 per face. This can dramatically increase the per chip price for different designs on each denominations and can really start to increase the per chip price if different faces on each side of the chip are desired.

    A 500 chip set of up to 4 denominations or colors and standard edges would total $520 ($0.69 per chip plus $175) or $1.04 each plus shipping. A set of 500 chips with up to 4 denominations or colors and premium edges would be $590 ($0.75 per chip, plus $175, plus $40) or $1.18 each plus shipping. Change the design to different faces on each side of the chip and this will add another $380 in art fees. Delivery, after artwork approval, is typically 3-4 weeks per CSC. In summary, a 500 chip set with a common design and up to 4 colors will range from $1.04 to $1.14 per chip (plus shipping) depending on the edges.

    For comparisson, Nevada Jacks, a Chiptalk.net sponsor, custom ceramics can be ordered at $0.95 per chip using one of their free designs or by supplying your own artwork. There is a 500 chip minimum, 4 denomination maximum and a 100 of each denomination minimum per order. Custom artwork can be done by NJ for $65 per hour. No mention of shipping costs on their site, however, shipping after artwork approval is an astonishing 1 week. In summary, a 500 chip set of up to 4 colors will range from $0.95 to $1.47+ per chip (plus shipping) depending on artwork. Please note, the $1.47 per chip price assumes 4 hours of artwork by Nevada Jacks.

    Home Poker Chips, a Chiptalk.net sponsor, provides custom Chipcos at $0.98 per chip from 500-999 chips (500 minimum order) and $0.93 per chip 1000-2500 chips. Their artwork packages run from $129 to $374. Shipping for 500 chips is $32 and shipping for 1000 chips is $42. Time frame is on the order of 4-6 weeks after artwork approval. In summary, a 500 chip set of up to 4 colors will range from $1.24 to $1.73 per chip (plus $32 shipping) depending on the artwork package. Additionally, there are currently "free" bonuses including; cut cards, button set, Royal plastic cards, and acrylic chip racks shipped with each order.

    Please check all the manufacturers sites for the most current pricing information.​
    The CasinoTek chips feel like Chipcos. In fact, when I received the samples, I thought they were Chipcos and wondered if CSC were just designers. I e-mailed CSC and they informed me they are the manufacturer. The chips have a slight texture and a matte finish. The surface of the chip is uniform with the exception of the “CSC” engraving that can be felt with a fingernail. The chips are hard and have a rolled edge which make them easy to shuffle. Like other ceramics, the chips are cool to the touch but warm with handling.

    CasinoTeks are advertised as 10.5 grams while Chipco and Nevada Jacks ceramics are both advertised as 10 grams. However, the CSC chips “feel” slightly lighter than the Chipcos and about the same as Nevada Jacks. There is not really an appreciable difference between the weight of the ceramics and would not be noticed in ordinary play. It’s not like comparing a Blue Chip at 8 grams where the difference is greater and therefore more noticeable. Fins weighed 4 Chipcos at 10.18, 10.50, 10.54 and 10.55 grams. CaptLego weighed; 4 Chipcos at 10.5, 10.5, 10.6 and 10.6 grams and 2 Nevada Jacks at 9.8 and 9.9 grams. JM weighed 3 samples of the CasinoTek chips for me at 10.0, 9.8, and 10.1 grams. With this limited data, my intial "feeling" that the CasinoTeks are slightly lighter than the Chipco and not significantly different than the Nevada Jacks is supported.​
    I only have 12 samples, so stacking cannot be truly evaluated. There are actually some “spinners” in the chips I have. Comparing to 12 Chipcos and 12 Nevada Jacks ceramics, there are differences in stacking. Nevada Jacks have a different texture and therefore stack the best of the ceramics I have. Measured with a micrometer, the Nevada Jacks are on average 0.002” thinner in the middle of the chip than on the edge. The Chipcos stack nicely and are designed to sit on the outer edge of the face which is actually slightly concave, again 0.002” thinner in the middle of the chip. This is the rational behind the white wear ring. The single BG ceramic casino chip I have is also slightly concave, measuring 0.001” thinner in the center than the edge. The CasinoTeks are much more uniform in thickness across the face of the chip but three chips are actually 0.001” to 0.002” thicker right in the middle. I believe this is due to the mint mark CSC on the chips, which is most likely a stamp that displaces material as opposed to engraving, which would remove material. This displaced material is causing the convex area resulting in spinners.​
    The chips have the same high pitched click of Chipcos (see the trend developing). The sound is not quite metallic but doesn’t have the nice thud of Paulsons. They are ceramic chips and sound like ceramic chips. ​
    The graphics on the sample chips I have are good but not outstanding. As far as sharpness, they are between NJ and Chipcos, but the colors do not pop out like the other ceramics. The sample chips I have may have more muted colors than are possible in the design, but they just don’t seem as bright as my NJ and Chipcos.

    The CasinoTek chips do have the injection pimple and overlap printing on the edge like Chipcos, otherwise there are fundamentally only two major exceptions. The differences are the previously mentioned stamped CSC in the center on both sides of the chip and the absence of the white ring Chipco is currently incorporating into their chips. I image the CasinoTeks will wear similar to older Chipcos and with heavy use would have the printed graphic wear to expose the white ceramic base. In home use, the wear should not be an issue and my feeling is that if you love the chips you should use then and any wear that develops only adds character for the chips and they will have generations of games in them. The stamped CSC serves as the mint mark that all manufactures are currently required to place on their casino chips, similar to the ‘CI’ and ‘BG” seen on comparable ceramics. I asked CSC about producing the chips without the stamping, the reply was; no, due to counterfeit protection for the customer.

    As with all other ceramic chips, due to the printing process, any edge spots will be random relative to the face of the chips. Consider the use of edge spots on the face if this would be an issue for you. The chips are ceramics with full face graphics, they aren’t compression molded and shouldn’t be designed to look like it. I'm told that on B&G (Bourgogne Et Grassel) ceramics from GPI (Gaming Partners International), the edge spots do line up with the face of the chip. However, these are not availble as custom chips for the home market. The single B&G ceramic I have from Palms does not have edge spots on the face.

    As previously stated, the graphics are sharper than Nevada Jacks but with complicated graphics there may be some color bleed, detracting from the sharpness of the image. Basically the graphics and can be anything you can dream up. See the sample pictures below and CSC’s gallery page – here.
    Custom chips that only the owner can have are the pinnacle of security. CSC states that blanks are never sold so your chips cannot be reproduced. The stamped CSC adds a definite element of security. As with any custom chip, an owners biggest problem would be chips disappearing from a tournament and being introduced to a cash game.​
    Ceramic chips themselves are durable. Normal use of splashing a pot and dropping from table to floor should not harm the chips. The graphics will wear over time, but in home use this will take years. My feeling is that any slight wearing of the graphic will not render the chip useless it will only add character. These chips will last several lifetimes. ​
    Reviewers Comments
    If you are looking for ceramic custom chips you now have a 3rd option. CasinoTek chips are so similar to the Chipco ProTech series, I couldn’t tell the difference at first. They look, feel and sound like Chipcos. You have to do the math with the artwork fees associated with your design for the per chip cost. I don’t like the idea of the stamped CSC on the chips. It is very small and will barely interfere with the graphics on the chips, but I think it’s causing the spinners. To be fair, I had 2 chips in an 11 chip Chipco Vineyard sample set that were spinners, both the green and black NCV chips. Three of the 12 samples of the CasinoTek chips were spinners.

    I like these chips. Although, the artwork / setup fees seem a little much to overcome for a 500 chip set. Looking at my stacks of Chipco, Nevada Jack and CasinoTek samples, the colors seem brighter on the NJs and the graphics seem sharper on the Chipcos. People choose NJ for the feel, texture and price. People choose Chipco for the graphics. The Casino Supply Company’s CasinoTek line of chips are perfectly fine and most people will be very happy with them. As always, get samples of various designs and colors before you buy.​
    Chip Pictures

    Pictures below courtesy: Casino Supply Company website
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Pictures below courtesy: Matthew
    Pictures below courtesy: CaptLego
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 25, 2006
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