Ultimate Guide to Poker Chip Values & Colors

Poker Chip Values: Ultimate Guide To Poker Chip Colors & Denominations

Poker chips are at the core of any poker game. Playing poker without them in a live setting is nearly impossible. While for those running the games, understanding poker chip values is key to providing smooth, fast, and uninterrupted gameplay. Discover everything you need to know below.

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Standard Poker Chip Values

Here’s a look at some popular poker chip values you may find in poker rooms:

⚪White Chips: $1

🔴Red Chips: $5

🟠Orange Chips: $10

🟢Green Chips: $25

⚫Black Chips: $100

🟣Purple Chips: $500

⭕Dark Red Chips: $1,000

There are two different types of poker chips: cash game chips and tournament chips. The above values are common in cash games.

Cash game chips have direct monetary value and can be cashed out at the cage for the exact value they display. A $25 chip is worth exactly $25, and you can walk away from the table and cash this chip in for real money at any time.

On the other hand, tournament chips don’t have any real money value and can only be used for the duration of the tournament. At the end of the tournament, all chips are taken back by the casino and players are then paid out based on their finishing positions.

Tournament chips typically have higher denominations as well.

Poker Chip Values in Cash Games

Poker chips in cash gamesImage credit: LLudo/Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Typically speaking, chips that can be used on the casino floor are also used at cash game tables.

There is no universal industry standard for the value of poker chips, but many major casinos use the same poker chip color values to help players easily adjust when switching to a new venue.

These are some of the most popular poker chip color values that can be found at cash game tables around the world:

Grey or White Chips: $1

Red Chips: $5

Orange or Blue Chips: $10

Green Chips: $25

Black Chips: $100

Purple Chips: $500

Dark Red, Yellow or Orange Chips: $1,000

Red-White-Blue Chips: $5,000

Red-Blue Chips: $25,000

Grey-Orange Chips: $100,000

Red, green, and black chips are staples of the poker world and are found in nearly every poker venue. The red poker chip value is $5, the green poker chip value is $25, and the black poker chip value is $100.

Chips with values of over $1,000 are less common, but the Red-While-Blue $5k chips offered by the popular Aria Poker Room in Las Vegas are the chosen currency of many high rollers.

Poker Chip Values in Tournaments

Tournament poker chipsImage credit: World Poker Tour/Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0

Tournament poker chips can come in varying denominations depending on the venue you’re playing at. Plus, different poker tours around the world usually have sets of chips designed specifically for that tour.

For these reasons, it’s particularly difficult to explain poker chip values in tournaments in a universal way. Our advice is to examine the chips carefully before you start playing.

Tournament chips universally display the chip value in the middle of the chip. This allows you to figure out what every chip is worth without having to ask the dealers or other players.

Remember, when you see a new chip introduced into play, find out what the chip is worth, even if you don’t have any for the time being. You don’t want to end up calling a big bet accidentally.

While poker chips are different at every venue, here’s a good example of how poker chip values are represented with different colors at the European Poker Tour (EPT):

🟢Green Chips: 25

⚫Black Chips: 100

🟣Purple Chips: 500

🔴Red Chips: 1,000

🟡Yellow Chips: 5,000

🔵Blue Chips: 10,000

🔘Grey Chips: 25,000

⭕Pink Chips: 50,000

Color-Up in Tournament Poker

An essential part of any poker tournament, especially one with a big playing field, is the color-up or chip-up process. This is where the tournament staff introduces bigger chips into play as the blinds go up.

For example, if you look at any big field tournament, you’ll see that players start with some small denomination chips in their stacks, including 25 chip and 100 chip values.

These poker chip values become obsolete once blinds go to 1k/2k and above, increasing in increments of 500 or 1,000.

For that reason, tournament staff will go through the chip-up process, exchanging players’ small denomination chips for higher denomination chips. This doesn’t influence the overall value of each stack.

Color-Up Example:

You find yourself with 30 chips worth 100 at the 1k/2k level.

The floorman takes your 30 chips and hands you three chips worth 1,000 each.

You will still have 3,000 in chips, but 27 less physical chips to have to stack.

The chip-up process is most commonly used to remove the 25 and 100 poker chip values from play, but the 500 chips, 1,000 chips, and higher denomination chips are removed in some events.

The biggest events, like the WSOP Main Event, eventually use chips worth 1,000,000 and 5,000,000, forcing multiple chip-ups throughout the tournament.

Special Chip Values and Sizes

Poker plaques and chips Image credit: World Poker Tour/Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0

The difference between most poker chips at a single venue will be in the color and the number displayed on the chip. But on rare occasions, you’ll notice that very special chips are introduced, which also have a different size or shape.

Oversized circular poker chips are sometimes introduced at later levels of play in poker tournaments to help ensure that the players know exactly how many “big chips” each player has.

While common poker etiquette suggests players should stack their chips by color and in stacks of 20, 30, or 40, some players don’t adhere to this. Players may even shuffle their big chips in with smaller chips for deception purposes.

Oversized circular chips in a new color are introduced to ensure that such deception cannot occur.

In many cash game venues, oversized chips of a rectangular shape are also offered for similar reasons. Although this is mainly to ensure that the player does not put these into the pot unintentionally.

For instance, large $25,000 chips are used in some high-stakes games. These chips have a rectangular shape and are called plaques. Larger plaques worth $100,000 or more are used in some games as well.

Poker plaques and oversized chips can also be used in poker tournaments to represent bounties in KO events, as well as in cash games to represent time bank chips.

Poker Chip Values at Major Poker Tours

WPT poker chipsImage credit: World Poker Tour/Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0

As we mentioned, all major poker tours have unique sets of poker chips that they use across all of their events.

WSOP, WPT, and EPT use such chip sets in order to ensure their regulars get accustomed to the poker chip values throughout the tour.

We’ve already shown you the poker chip values for EPT, so let’s check out how chips look at two more of the world’s most popular poker tours.

World Series of Poker Chip Values

The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is the biggest poker festival in the world. Its Main Event is still considered the true World Championship event.

The festival includes over 100 events every summer, along with some extra events in Europe and the Caribbean. One of the things all these events share are the poker chips and their colors and denominations.

Here’s a look at the most common poker chip colors you will find at WSOP and their value:

Green WSOP Chips: 25

Black WSOP Chips: 100

Light Blue WSOP Chips: 500

Yellow WSOP Chips: 1,000

Orange WSOP Chips: 5,000

Dark Green WSOP Chips: 25,000

Lavender WSOP Chips: 100,000

Beige WSOP Chips: 250,000

Oversized Red WSOP Chips: 500,000

Oversized Yellow WSOP Chips: 1,000,000

Oversized Purple WSOP Chips: 5,000,000

World Poker Tour Chip Values

The World Poker Tour (WPT) is another one of the most popular tours. It features events on every continent and all year round.

WPT events are offered at different buy-in levels, but the poker chip values don’t change between these different events.

Here’s a quick look at the chips you will most commonly find at WPT tables and their colors and values:

Black WPT Chips: 100

Red WPT Chips: 500

Yellow WPT Chips: 1,000

Blue WPT Chips: 5,000

Green WPT Chips: 25,000

Working Out Chip Values in a Home Game

To run a home game, you first need to figure out how to assign the correct number of each chip to each player.

If you’re running a private home game, you’ll need to have the stacks ready to go before the game starts.

Example 1:

Here’s a quick example of how you could set up the starting $200 stacks for a $1/2 cash game (the format most commonly played in home games):

Chip ColorChip ValueNumber of Chips🔘Grey$120 ($20)🔴Red$516 ($80)🟢Green$254 ($100)

As the game starts, each player will have enough small chips to post the blinds, while half of their stack will be sitting in those four green chips with a higher value.

As the stacks get deeper, you can issue rebuys in black $100 chips or green $25 chips, while the dealer can exchange $5 chips for $1 chips as needed.

Example 2:

Here’s an example of how you can set up the chip stack for a deep-stacked $2/5 cash game with 250 starting blinds ($1,250 per player):

Chip ColorChip ValueNumber of Chips🔘Grey$15 ($)🔴Red$549 ($245)🟢Green$2520 ($500)⚫Black$1005 ($500)

In this example, we’re using only a few $1 chips since those will only be used to pay for the small blind. Note that the dealer will break up the $5 chips as the game goes on in order to take a rake if the game is raked.

As for the bigger chips, you want to have a lot of red and green chips in play since those will be used for most of the betting. The black chips can be added to the game as players purchase rebuys.

This is all fairly simple. The real complication comes when you try to run a tournament in a home game, especially if you don’t have appropriate tournament chips.

Whatever the denominations on the chips may be, you can quite easily turn cash game chips into tournament chips by assigning them a certain value.

Example 3:

If you want to run a home game poker tournament with 10,000 starting chips and starting blinds of 25/50, here is how you could distribute the poker chip values at the start:

Chip ColorChip ValueNumber of Chips🟢Green2520 (500)⚫Black10020 (2,000)🔵Blue5003 (1,500)🟡Yellow1,0006 (6,000)

Again, the exact poker chip value you assign to each chip is totally up to you, but if you already have chips with certain denominations on them, using them to represent those exact denominations is the best way to go.

If you’re planning to run poker tournaments on a regular basis, the above table is the best way to start. We’d also recommend purchasing a set of dedicated tournament chips with 25, 100, 500, 1,000, and possibly 5,000 denominations.

How to Stack Poker Chips

Poker chip stackImage credit: World Poker Tour/Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0

If you want to be taken seriously in live poker circles, you need to learn how to stack, shuffle, and riffle your chips. While these techniques are not a part of any poker strategy, they are useful tricks that will earn you some respect from your peers.

That said, many serious players purposefully stack their chips in silly ways and act like they don’t know how to riffle their chips to present themselves as less experienced than they really are.

In either case, stacking your chips properly is a part of poker etiquette. You should always stack your chips in even stacks of 10, 20, 30, 40, or 50 chips per stack. Keep doing this throughout the game.

Other players will know how to read those stacks and quickly count out your chip stack without having to ask you how much you have. This helps speed things along, especially in tournaments where the blinds escalate.

Check out our poker articles for more tips.

Poker Chip Values FAQ

How much are poker chips worth?

While tournament poker chips don’t have any real money value, cash game chips can be converted into real money at face value. The number displayed on a cash game chip typically represents the dollar value of that particular chip.

What color poker chip usually has the highest value?

In many casinos, the $500 purple chips are the highest value chips, while many other casinos have significantly higher denominations on offer. At this time, the $100k Grey-Orange, $25k Red-Blue, and $5k Red-While-Blue chips spread by the Aria Poker Room are among the highest valued cash game chips.

What color poker chip usually has the lowest value?

In most poker rooms, $1 chips are the lowest valued chips. They typically come in white or grey.

How many chips do you start with in poker?

The number of chips you receive at the start of a poker game differs significantly between different games and venues. In cash games, you may receive as few as one chip to start with, which has a higher monetary value and can be broken up into smaller chips. In poker tournaments, you will typically start with about 50 chips of different values.

How do you assign poker chip values?

In a casino or poker room, the poker chip values will be displayed on the chips. In home games, it’s up to the organizers to decide on chip color value (see above).

Can you play poker without chips?

Yes! While chips are typically used as currency in live poker games, you can use other currencies, such as cash, to represent value at a poker table.

Lead Image: World Poker Tour/Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0

Author: Gerald Griffin