Have you ever wondered how the casino chip came to be when you’re visiting the various casinos on the Strip? Prepare for a tour into the world of gaming in the Entertainment Capital of the World, and learn more about how the currency for the 40+ casinos on the Las Vegas Strip was decided.

What was the source of the casino chip?

You can’t help but think about Las Vegas lights and action when you hear the clinking sound of chips! For nearly 200 years, the gambling world was ruled by cash when the first gaming establishment opened in Venice around the 17th century. It all started with cash, but it wasn’t until the Gold Rush days of the West that gamblers began to utilise gold and silver nuggets, gold dust, metal tokens, and ivory chips as their “bank” for gambling.


The use of ivory chips and gold nuggets became much easier to forge as the number of poker players grew, enabling institutions like mega888 to brand their own chips and produce a common denominator across all gaming platforms. The uniform design of the poker chip was first manufactured in the 1880s, when different gambling establishments began to build their own individual brands. A circular design was used across all gaming currencies, which was formed of compressed sand and clay.


Color has been integrated into the new design over the years to deal with the confusion of different cash conversion at the tables. After the poker chip’s general appearance was established, it was adopted by other gaming alternatives such as blackjack, craps, faro, and roulette. With the new currency in place when casino gambling was allowed in Nevada in the 1930s, casino operators were better prepared for the enormous amount of players.


What has changed in the design of casino chips?

The bulk of poker chips traded in casinos are made of a composite that incorporates clay but is a far more durable version of clay in the end. Ceramic chips, comparable to the cash used in a home poker game, are employed in a number of Las Vegas casinos. However, how has the design evolved through time? What factors did casinos consider while choosing the colours and other details of these little tokens to make them so appealing to gamblers?


Some of the first casino chips were made entirely of ivory with a written face value, which was a step in the right way in terms of poker currency. Chips varied in size and composition from region to location, and bigger was always better in terms of size. Individuals were still able to forge a wide range of tokens usable as currency as time went on. With the arrival of the twentieth century, the opportunity to create chips using high-pressure technology arose, and a uniform chip size was established. Today, the standard casino chip size is 39mm in diameter, with weights ranging from 8.5 grammes to 20.5 grammes. With the chip size established in stone, the only way to distinguish between the many types of casino chips from one casino floor to the next is through branding.


The differences in branding amongst Las Vegas casinos are due to a number of variables. The bulk of hotels on the Las Vegas Strip are controlled by two big companies: MGM and Caesars. This lays a solid framework for the branding process to begin. The rest of the design is determined by a variety of factors, including colour preference, logo, quantity, and what appeals to the players. Take a look at the variety of chips being exchanged on the floor as you walk around the casinos on the Strip and in the downtown area to realise how appealing these small symbols of currency can be.