casinos where the cards are not changed regularly,
the cards will get bent, cut, and generally beat-up
after a few hours use. The cards develop "warps"
from players handling them and can even be torn. The
card edges can get frayed from being dragged along
the surface of the felt by the dealer, which eventually
causes them to split into layers. The physical condition
of the cards can also deteriorate rapidly in humid
climates. Sometimes, cards are simply manufactured
with some slight defect.
An observant player can use this knowledge to his
advantage if he notices the back of a card has no
uniform characteristics as it is waiting to be dealt.
Note, this is not the same as playing with marked
cards, which is illegal. The player is merely taking
advantage of the games conditions as they are offered
to avoid plastic; even the heavy ones feel cheap.
And if you're thinking of getting the relatively expensive
pastel edge-spotted clay chips printed with "Viva
Las Vegas!" or something like that, make sure
you investigate the custom clay chips option, which
will only cost you a couple hundred more and will
be much less obnoxious. If that is still too much
of a capital investment, you can be a total cheapskate
and stock up on the thin plastic chips that you find
at the drugstore for a few bucks. If you're lucky
, you may even be able to find a value-pack that includes
two decks of cards!!! you'll just have to hope that
no one gets the bright idea of going to the drugstore
on his own and buying $100 worth of your chips for
Obviously you can make the colors and designs on your
chips anything you want. But you will make it easier
on your players if you honor the conventional order
of chip colors in casinos. This order, from small
to large, is white (or often blue), red, green, black,
and purple. Again, the actual values, and even the
order of the colors, will change depending on the
game you are playing. But you have to choose some
color scheme, and a 500-chip set following a traditional
configuration of 325 white, 100 red, 50 green, and
25 black will serve you well.