Casinos do not use the same chip colours for tournaments and cash games. Both scenarios have different betting systems. For cash games, the chips represent the exact value of the bets from players.
Tournaments have a different system where players buy-in for a specific amount. Their starting chip stacks can be far from the money they deposited. Nevertheless, there are other reasons casinos separate them.
Like bringing coins from outside, players may want to bring coins from cash games to tournaments. With the differentiating system in place, that will be impossible.
Also, players can keep casino poker chips as their own, with no monetary value. That could be memorabilia or something.
On the contrary, tournament coins remain under high security until D-day. They are exclusive to the casino, and players only touch them during the tournament.
Cash games and tournaments have different poker chip colours and denominations. Tournaments often require higher denominations than cash games. Hence, the colours will be different in both gameplays.
Also, it is not surprising to find the tournament's name engraved on the coins. For instance, you may discover the World Poker Tour or the World Series of Poker on them when playing the game.
With that in mind, let's look closely at how cash games differentiate the value of poker chips by colour.
Poker Chips for Cash Games
Different cash games use poker chips in casinos. Most will use the same denominations and col our system for their gameplay. Again, there is no global rule for assigning values and colours to the coins.
The ₱100 black chips appear to be the norm in most establishments. Other colours, like red, have universal recognition and often refer to the same denomination.
Bearing that in mind, the following are the popular colours and their denominations in cash games:
- White: ₱1
- Yellow: ₱2
- Red: ₱5
- Blue, orange, or brown: ₱10
- Green: ₱25
- Black: ₱100
- Pink: ₱250
- Purple: ₱500
- Yellow, burgundy, or grey: ₱1,000
- Light blue, red, or orange: ₱5,000
- Brown, dark blue, or dark green: ₱25,000
- Grey or light blue: ₱100,000
Local betting regulatory bodies have jurisdiction over the most crucial aspects of casino currencies. As a result, operators must register the logos, colours, weights, designs, materials, and sizes. This law is dependent on the state or region.
One significant addition joined the family for more straightforward gameplay in high-stakes games. Operators introduced rectangular plaques to add to the poker chips.
The rectangular plaques have a significant monetary value that will require several high-end chips to add up to. They have become high rollers’ favourites because of their exclusivity and immense monetary value. In other words, you can think of stakes worth hundreds of thousands of pesos when you see these plaques.
Poker Chips for Tournaments
As mentioned earlier, poker chip denominations work differently for tournaments. They don’t represent the actual amount in real cash. Once in, you will see the prefix T₱ on them.
Let us see an illustration. A player may buy into a poker tournament with ₱500 and receive 50,000 in chip value poker. The operator will spread these chips across different colours and denominations.
What happened above means the player has T₱50,000 to wager in the tournament. That amount is different from the actual cash deposited for the event. Nevertheless, the operator will use that amount to track the distribution and the stack sizes.
The World Poker Tour chips value is printed at the centre of the coins. As a result, you can identify them without looking at the colours. Local casinos may also print their values.
Notwithstanding, you should note the following:
Chips with High Value
You will rarely find high-value poker coins in cash games. That is because players rarely bet much when playing them. If you find high-value coins, they will come in the form of rectangular plaques, as discussed above.
Tournaments often involve massive prize pools. Hence, casinos must have enough coins to go around all the players. Among them are high-value chips reserved for high-end gamers.
Colour-Ups and Manageable Stacks
We have identified the crucial role colours play in poker coins. They help the dealer and staff identify which denominations a player has. However, the remaining players accumulate extra coins from losing or withdrawn players.
The stacks can quickly increase and become unmanageable. That gets worse if the pile consists of lower denominations than needed for the bets. As the blinds increase, the tournament staff will replace smaller denominations with higher ones.
Doing that helps the players and dealers manage the coin stacks easily. This practice is a crucial part of poker tournaments.
Dealers and players stack poker coins by colour. It is standard practice to ensure organisation at the game table. Often, you would find them stacked in their 20s.
The reason for stacking chips by colour is for quick identification. Players should quickly identify each other’s bet amounts. Of course, that will help to assess the odds and make betting decisions.
Throughout this article, we have discussed single-coloured coins representing specific denominations. That is only sometimes the case, as some tournaments may have a multi-coloured design. It adds some flair to the event.
One primary colour will be at the centre of the chip, but the outer part will have different colours. It could be two or more colours depending on the provider and style. There are no regulations prohibiting the use of multi-coloured casino chips.
The World Series of Poker at Rio is a perfect example of where multi-coloured poker chips were in play. They had black as the primary colour, but with blue highlights. Seeing them from the top or side revealed their black nature.
However, stacking them in perfect alignment brought the secondary colours to the forefront. It was up to the organisers to decide whether it was to make the event more colourful.
Multi-coloured coins are rare in cash games. Casinos typically reserve them for tournaments. Still, there is no guarantee of finding them.
Cashing in Chips for Money
We have repeatedly mentioned that tournaments' poker chips differ from monetary deposits. Indeed, there must be a way to classify them. Their values or denominations correspond with the blind structure of the tournament.
While they don’t have cash value, the blind structure controls their distribution. You cannot cash in tournament chips for real cash, even though they show their tournament value.
Typical Poker Tournament Coin Values
Although the values are tournament-specific, some colours have become synonymous with specific values. The coins often start at T₱25 and can go up to a million. Their denominations are as follows:
- Green: 25
- Black: 100
- Light blue or Purple: 500
- Gold or Yellow: 1,000
- Grey or Orange: 5,000
- Brown or Dark Green: 25,000
- Lavender or Pink: 100,000
- Red: 500,000
- Light Yellow: 1,000,000
Tournaments often reserve higher-value coins for the later stages. Then, the players are fewer, and the stakes are higher.
As the blinds rise, organisers will release big coins with higher values. They may share the same colours with the lower-tier options, but their size makes them unmistakable. Even with their colours, you can still pick them out as high-end coins.
Of course, you can always look at the coins to read their numerical values. There is no need to rely only on the colours to figure out their denomination.