Manufacturer: Blue Chip Retailer: holdempokerchips.com, Average Price: From $1.09 to $1.29 depending on quantity Material: Compression Molded Clay Member Review by: deuce Intro Before I get into the review I just want to give you a brief idea of why I was interested in these chips to begin with. I wanted a clay chip that was unique and had vibrant colors. As you will see in the pictures, these are exactly that. I instantly fell in love with the mock-ups of these chips and when I opened the box they didn’t disappoint me one bit. On to the review!!! Price Below are the various prices from holdempokerchips.com as of 5-4-05 1-99 chips: $1.29 each 100-199 chips: $1.27 each 200-299 chips: $1.25 each 300-499 chips: $1.19 each 500-999 chips: $1.15 each 1000+ chips: $1.09 each There are also sets of 300 and 500 chips that go for $369.99 and $549.99. Also, the chips are available in both denominated and non-denominated which was a huge selling point for me. Check out holdempokerchips.com I paid 95¢ a chip on the pre-sale and I can say I’m very happy with them. They are a bit high on the price end but to be fair they are a unique set that have some unique attributes. Some may not like the color combos but they are incredible in my opinion and fit the theme perfectly. Feel The feel of these chips is harder than most clays. If Paulson is your thing then these are going to feel much too hard and may even strike you as plasticky. In my opinion I love the feel because they seem more durable and don’t get dirty as easily as Paulsons. The weight of these chips is between 9.0 and 9.3 grams. They are lighter than the standard weight of a clay chip but in my opinion heavy chips are not always such a good thing, especially if you travel with the chips often. The chips shuffle fairly well once they are broken-in and the factory dust and sharp edges are worn off. The dust wearing off on my set was sped up from me oiling them, so I can’t give an estimate of how long it would take with normal play but I would assume it wouldn’t be too long if you play with them regularly. As far as the edges getting broken-in, this does seem to take a little longer I expected due to them being hard. The stack of 10 that I have shuffled daily since I got them has worn in nicely. I probably shuffle them for about 2 hours a day and I’ve had them since early this month. In comparison to Paulson I would say they feel drastically different. Paulsons have a softer feel that I tend to prefer. The softness has its advantages in feel but disadvantages in durability and they tend to get dirty much easier. Stacking The chips stack pretty well. I can stack them about 40 high without them tipping over at all with a small nudge of the table. As you can see in the picture they stack nicely and are very well balanced. Out of 500 chips I only had one "spinner." To be fair, this seems like a low number (from what I've heard about most Blue Chip sets), but I’m very happy with the quality control in that aspect (for those who do not know what a “spinner” is, it’s when a chip is warped so the chip doesn’t sit evenly which causes the rest of a stack to “spin” against the other half). Sound The sound of these chips is far more plasticky than the softer Paulsons but compares rather nicely to PokerChips.com clays. I enjoy the way they sound, but do prefer the Paulsons hands down. The Mardi Gras sound ok but I feel this is the weakest link of Blue Chips. If they improved how they sounded then they would be that much better of a chip. To better clarify what I mean, the Blue Chips sound more like a composite chip than the Paulsons do: the Paulsons make a "thump" when you throw one down, while the Blue Chips make more of a high pitch "clank" when they hit. The difference between the two is very noticeable and this is why I feel that sound is Blue Chip's biggest weakness. Looks The looks of these chips are incredible, and for my money they are some of the best fantasy casino chips available. When I first got them home they had a bit of a chalky feel to them and looked really dull, but once I oiled them they looked fantastic. The colors are on the pastel side but are really well-coordinated. My favorite is the color combo on the black chip: the edge spots pop out well and really sharpen the whole chip. In my opinion, this is the best-looking fantasy chip set available. The quality control on these chips is surprisingly good. Blue Chip is known for having horrible QC and these chips are much better than the Blue Chip “James Bonds.” They still aren’t as good as Paulson and Matsui but are far better than other Blue Chip sets I've seen. Most inlays are round and centered. There are a good number that are a tad bit tweaked but nothing as bad as I’ve seen on Blue Chip’s JB’s. Also, I only received one spinner chip out of 500--not too bad at all. Security/Originality The chips can’t be considered too secure because they can be purchased at holdempokerchips.com by anybody. For my home games this really isn’t an issue since none of my friends even know that the dice chips I had before weren’t “Casino weight and true clay.” If you need security then order a custom set of Chipcos or pc.com chips. As far as originality, these chips are awesome. They are obviously themed after Mardi Gras and to my knowledge there are no other home-use clay chips out there that are. They look great and are unique, what more could one ask for? Durability This is a very strong point of all Blue Chips because they are so much harder than other clays. Compared to the Paulsons I would say these are more durable by leaps and bounds. The Paulsons tend to wear off on each other and get very dirty compared to the Blue Chips. Obviously, being so durable takes away from them feeling as good as Paulson so I guess it all depends on what you think is most important. Reviewers Comments I own 500 of these chips and I’m very happy with my purchase. My advice would be to contact Michael at holdempokerchips.com and get some samples. I have bought samples of nearly every type of chip out there and decided that I liked the looks and durability of these chips. On the flip side there are many people that can’t stand the firmness and sound of them. BUY SAMPLES, BUY SAMPLES, and BUY MORE SAMPLES!!! Buying chips is an expensive investment and being careful is always beneficial. Chip Pictures These are pictures of one oiled stack on the left and a non-oiled one on the right. Pictures below are courtesy of HoldemPokerChips.com.