Poker chips are highly valuable, and they can be forged for impure reasons. Because of that enormous profit spread, so many people find ways to forge and abuse poker chips.
Poker chips can be considered the primary currency when playing poker and are widely circulated worldwide. However, because of its popularity, many forms of fake poker chips have been used by people with bad intentions. These counterfeit chips will then be used at land-based casinos to play poker or exchange for money, causing considerable losses to gambling corporations. This has always been a headache for law enforcement, especially when it comes to an area as ambiguous as casinos. So, how to tell if a poker chip is real? That's the mystery we're going to solve today.
The Reasons Behind Fake Poker Chips
If you read through our previous article about poker chips and their value, you will understand that they are not easy to fake. So what are the reasons for many people to intentionally make counterfeit chips? It’s all about making profits.
To play poker, you need chips, whether it is playing with friends or in Las Vegas. Of course, the cost of making a poker chip will be much cheaper than its symbolic value. This is especially true for high-denomination chips like $100, $1,000, or $5,000. No sane person would have the money to make such a valuable token, right?
Because of that enormous profit spread, so many people find ways to forge and abuse poker chips. This is, of course, illegal, and those who get caught will be severely punished. Well, most of the time. However, things could turn out totally different if they act as online suppliers only, not direct consumers. In fact, there is a whole underground market for trading counterfeit poker chips of various casinos.
The sad thing is, most casinos just don’t do anything about it. Of course, the operators have their reasons. Modern casinos often implement multiple security layers on both their infrastructure and the poker chips themselves, hence any attempt to scam will be detected. For this reason, it is the player’s responsibility to either cancel any illegal transaction or learn how to distinguish between real chips and forged chips.
How to Tell if a Poker Chip Is Real
Before we go any further, we suggest you have a look at an authentic poker chip (it’s best to get a token from a real casino). Evaluate the chip based on its shape, size, color, engraved symbols, and weight - those are your starting point. You cannot find out the differences between the original and the replica without some basic knowledge.
After you get used to the poker chip, check out the mysterious ones for any flaws in the manufacturing process. Usually, it’s not the case, as fake chips are not handmade but machine-made. There will hardly be any traces of peculiarity on the counterfeit tokens.
Next, check for any hi-tech indicators such as laser-printed serial numbers, UV-ink, holographic images, internal microchip, etc. You will need some tools for complicated processes like these. If something is not right, the chip is probably forged.
Remember, even with all the hi-end tools and proper knowledge, distinguishing between a real and fake poker chip is challenging. Spending $2,500 to forge a $5,000 chip is incredibly profitable, and smart people can do a lot with $2,500. No one will know the differences, not even the trained eyes of casino staff.
How to Avoid Fake Poker Chips
In the previous section, we have learned how to tell whether a poker chip is real or not. Unfortunately, the correct answer is you can’t, unless the chip is sloppily forged. So, how can you avoid buying fake poker chips?
The best thing to do is always buy the chip from the casinos themselves. Of course, you won’t get any discount, but you are guaranteed to be safe from scams and frauds. Besides, you have to visit the casino either way, so don’t be sneaky.
Secondly, do not buy anything online, especially on shady transactions. All land-based casinos never sell anything online, not to mention that’s against the law. It’s never worth the effort if you get caught in illegal activities.
Finally, always empty your pocket before leaving the casino. “Empty the pocket” here means exchange all the leftover poker chips into cash, and don’t bring anything home, except as souvenirs. You can’t get confused if you have nothing to confuse about, right?
Poker chips are highly valuable, and they can be forged for impure reasons. To protect yourself, you should learn how to tell if a poker chip is real or not, while avoid buying and using one. The safest way to enjoy your hobby is by getting authentic chips from a real casino. Good luck, and have fun!