The Art of Poker Chip Collecting: Uncovering Rare and Valuable Poker Chips

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Poker has evolved so much over the past few years, but the basics of the game will never change – win as many hands as possible and walk away with money. Many even study the science and history of poker to gain an advantage.  Most new players in the modern era are introduced to the game through poker sites. There are also multiple variations of the game, especially online, but the most popular version remains the one from Texas and it’s why the poker sites here offer real money holdem.

Online poker still uses “chips”, but they aren’t in a physical form anymore and it’s a shame to see that side of the game disappearing. What this also means that physical chips are more collectable than ever, and rarer than ever, so it’s no wonder that chip-collecting popularity is growing in tandem with poker sites becoming more and more prevalent.

What makes a poker chip valuable anyway?

There could be a few thinking, why would a chip worth $1 ever be worth any more than that single dollar? Well, some chips are produced for special events that have special significance like a bespoke tournament which means that they have collectability. Some come from casinos which have since shut down meaning that they are no longer in production or circulation, making them rarer. If it was a particularly popular casino, it would become more valued. They are graded on a numerical scale, R1 is a very common chip that can be found at contemporary casinos, whether as a R9 category chip has just a few surviving chips left in the world.

A man from Las Vegas has over 2,000 poker chips in his collection

Gregg Fisher is the man who has bestowed the credit of having 2,222 poker chips – the largest collection in the world. He lives in Las Vegas, meaning he has good access to many chips on his doorstep. Almost none of his collections are duplicates…meaning he’s been to a lot of casinos in his time. He was awarded the record in 2021, however…the previous record holder was him too. Fisher previously held the record a year before when he had just over 800 poker chips but wanted to re-ratify himself as the record holder as he collected a lot more in the space of a year.

Dunes Hotel Country Club $5

Dunes, the Hotel and Casino was a staple of the Las Vegas Strip. The Arabian-themed casino stood from 1955 until its eventual demolition in 1993. As it has been closed for some time now, it means that the chips are sought-after collectibles because they aren’t being produced anymore. The five-dollar chip from 1965 is valued at around $3,999 per chip. Have you got one? Yeah make sure you send it to the address below…

Showboat Casino $1

Back in 2017, a woman from Missouri listed what she thought to be a simple poker chip on eBay. Little did she know that she had one of the few remaining $1 chips from the illustrious Showboat Casino. This chip was valued at around $15,000 by industry experts but sold on the auction site for…$30,000. Not bad, especially when the auction started at $2.50! This chip was revered due to its rarity and came from the now-defunct and well-remembered Showboat Hotel and Casino on the Boulder Strip in Las Vegas.

Anything from the Golden Goose Casino or Golden Nugget Casino

The Golden Goose in Las Vegas isn’t just that big statue of a goose that tourists take photographs of. The casino operated for just a few years and was more of a destination for slot players. These conditions made the poker chips relatively rare and have since become collectible items. There’s a rumor about the internet that someone paid $75,000 for a single $5 chip back in the 2010s. These chips seldom come up on auction sites so if you see one out in the world, make sure you buy it! The Golden Nugget Casino also has a place in the hearts of all poker enthusiasts. While not usually as sought after by collectors, they are usually still worth a lot of money.

Novelty Chips*

There might be some chips that are rare to some collectors but not to others. These are likely to be novelty poker chips. Over the years, some poker chips have been produced with no intention for them to be used in a poker game. Some interesting ones are those displaying imagery like the Nine Inch Nails logo, Hulk Hogan, and even the 007 film series insignia. Some of which have more in common with poker but all are collectable to someone. Some other chips that fall into this category are ‘no value chips’ or ‘promotional chips’ which can be given away for free to advertise the casino or any business. Harley Davidson used to produce a lot of them which are collected by motorcycle enthusiasts.

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