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Poker Chip Cases & Racks

There are several different types of poker chip cases available. Aluminum poker chip cases are probably the most popular since they are often free with a set of poker chips. Vinyl and wood poker chip cases are also quite popular. Smaller (100-chip) poker chip racks or boxes also come in handy.

Carousel chip case   Aluminum 500-chip poker chip case Wood chip case
Carousel  -  Aluminum  -  Wood
Poker Chip Cases

Carousels were more popular in the past then they are today. They only hold a couple hundred chips and usually cannot be locked. They may be fine for a small dealers choice game but are not a realistic option for storing large amounts of poker chips for a tournament.

Aluminum and vinyl poker chip cases are the most popular cases today. Most are of rather poor quality and the handles bend and break quite easily. Common case sizes are 300, 500, 650, and 1,000 poker chips. Make sure that you have a very strong handle if you are going to carry around 1,000 chips! Many poker chip sets include playing cards or dice. Dice are of no use when playing poker and the included playing cards are usually cheap and don't last long. Acrylic cases are similar to the aluminum and vinyl cases except are made of clear plastic. They are usually a little stronger than the aluminum cases, but not much. The benefit of an acrylic case is that you can view your chips through the clear plastic, making it a more attractive long-term storage solution.

Wood cases offer the most attractive options. Because of the weight, wood cases are usually used for stationary storage of poker chips, rather than as a traveling set. You can buy wood poker chip that can hold up to thousands of poker chips. Many are made of very fine wood with intricate moldings and hardware and can add class to any poker room decor. The large Mahogany cases are very beautiful and have received good reviews on a couple poker forums. Most of the wood trays come with removable trays, usually of 100 chips. This can be handy during your game for rebuys and chip color-ups.

Poker chip rack 100-chip rack Box with cover
Acrylic Rack (with cover)  -  Acrylic  Rack  -   Plastic Storage Box
Poker Chip Racks

(Visit my Poker Chip Racks page)

Acrylic racks are a cheap and efficient method of storing your poker chips. Each rack holds 100 chips, making it very easy to count your chips. They travel well (with a cover) and you can easily carry a couple trays to the table to make change or do a chip color-up. They cost about $3 with a cover and $2.25 without. Approximate measurements are 8" x 3".

Composite poker chips are slightly larger than clay poker chips so a row of 20 clay chips might be a little loose inside the chip slot in your rack. In fact, it might even be possible to squeeze 21 clay chips into the same slot as 20 composite chips. There are several different brands of racks. The most popular are Paulson and Chipco. When buying Paulson or Chipco, you can be assured of the exact size of the rack. Other brands of racks are hit-and-miss as to the exact length of the slots. Standard racks have chip slots that are 2 11/16" in length but other racks may have chip slots that are 2 12/16" in length, just enough extra space to hold that 21st clay chip! And to make matters worse, some composite chips such as the 13g are a bit thicker than usual and will only fit 19 chips to a slot! The best advice that I can give you is to sample one rack before you make your final purchase and then buy enough racks, all at once, to accommodate your entire set.

Birdcage carrier Storing your chips in the traditional 100-chip acrylic racks will allow you to use a 'birdcage' to store your poker chips. These are the types of cases that you see carried around at casinos. They allow you to store 10 racks of 100 chips in a see-through carrier. A birdcage full of chips makes for a lovely site sitting on any bar or poker table! It's a great way to display your poker chips and allows you to open the box and remove the racks one at a time as you need them, making it very practical. They even sell these things with wheels and long handles so that you can wheel it around like an airport travel bag.

Plastic storage boxes are similar to the 100-chip acrylic racks except they are made of a softer plastic and they hold 4 rows of 25 chips rather than 5 rows of 20 chips. Approximate measurements are 6 5/8" x 3 1/2" x 1 7/8" and they cost about $2.25 with a cover. I find that the boxes travel better than the acrylic racks and the shape is a bit easier to accommodate inside travel bags. The box covers stay on with no problems. The boxes do, however, look cheaper than an acrylic rack, like they should be holding cheap composite chips rather than nice clay chips. They also do not fit into the 'Birdcage' chip carrier shown above.

My Poker Chip Storage

Poker chip cases
  • 600-chip Acrylic Poker Chip Case (lower left)
    Used for long-term storage of poker chips.

  • Mini-Laundry Basket (top left)
    Used to move a player's chips from one table to another when a player is moved, or when you combine tables.

  • Beer Coolers (top middle)
    Used to store each player's initial buyin of poker chips. Also used to keep beer cold. Also used to protect the poker table from cold, wet beer bottles.

  • 100-chip Poker Chip Storage Box (far right)
    Used for long-term storage of chips. Also used during the tournament for rebuys and chip color-ups.

I use the 600-chip acrylic case to store and display the majority of my poker chips on my home bar. I also considered using a nice wood poker storage box for this purpose but I like the ability to view the chips through the clear acrylic. I think that some of the wood poker chip and playing cards boxes are far more beautiful and might be my next poker purchase (unless some nice poker retailer would like to send me one to review!).

I use 3 or 4 mini-baskets (the grey basket in the top left of the photo) to help players move chips from one table to another. You can buy a couple baskets for about $1 at a Dollar or Discount store. You could instead use large plastic bowls or shoe boxes.

I require that each player at my house use a beer cooler for their refreshments so I use Styrofoam beer coolers to hold each player's initial buyin. By putting the initial buyin of chips in beer coolers, I can hand each player their buyin chips and beer cooler at the same time! You could instead use large drinking glasses, jars, or Ziploc bags for the same purpose.

100-chip box I like using the 100-chip clear plastic boxes to store my poker chips. They make it easy to count your chips, they travel well, and they are very convenient. It's much simpler to carry one or two boxes of chips to your table than it is to carry your 500 chip aluminum case.  I prefer the plastic boxes with covers (shown on the left) over the standard poker chip racks (shown below) for several reasons. The boxes are cheaper (with a cover), they travel better (they are a bit more flexible), they are more sturdy (4 rows of 25 chips rather than 5 rows of 20 chips). Disadvantages are that they look cheap but mostly, that they do not come in standard rows of 20, which is more common than rows of 25.

Four stacks I use the 100-chip boxes to store rebuys that I keep within reach during the game. I keep a box of rebuys next to my seat so that when a player needs a rebuy, I can simply grab the box of rebuy chips, remove a (pre-counted) stack of 1000 chips, hand the chips to the rebuy player, collect the money and place the money into the box. I don't even have to leave my seat! I can then place the box back down beside my seat until the next player needs a rebuy. The storage box shown here contains four rebuys of 1000 chips each. The stack on the far left of the box contains red ($5) chips and would be given to a player who busts out at the beginning of a tournament when the red chips are still needed. The stack on the far right contains 10 Black ($100) chips and would be given out towards the end of the rebuy period when red chips are no longer needed. For my 16-player home tournaments I usually prepare 8 rebuys of various chip configurations.

Travel bag The 100-chip storage boxes are excellent for traveling. I can easily fit ten or more 100-chip boxes in a travel bag for "road games". There is no chance of the boxes accidentally opening or the chips moving around inside the boxes. Frankly, the handles on most aluminum and vinyl poker chip cases are horrible, most bend or break quite easily. I avoid this problem by carrying my poker chips in a travel bag. Here is a photo of 8 boxes of 100 chips in my travel handbag. There is a 500-chip aluminum poker case in the same photo. I can put 1600 chips into the travel bag without worry but I have to carry the 500-chip aluminum case with both hands because the handle always feels like it's going to break at any moment. To secure the chips, I lock the zipper on the travel bag with one of those tiny padlocks that is included with luggage ... it's always good for a laugh!

Cardboard shipping box I store some of my poker chips in the cardboard poker chip boxes that my customized ASM Horse Head clay poker chips were delivered in. The boxes are too flimsy for everyday use but are okay for long-term storage. They each hold 100 chips and can be stacked quite well.

 

Poker Chip Container

Poker chip container

 

Poker Chip Cases

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