Are old Poker Chips Worth Anything?


Picture this: You’ve had a swell time playing poker at your favorite casino, and for some reason, you decided to take the chips home with you. After some time, you’re back to the casino with your chips, hoping to exchange it for real money. But they tell you that your chips have expired and you can no longer exchange them for their monetary value.

Not only have you lost a substantial amount of cash, but you’re also stuck with expired poker chips and have no idea what to do with them. So you wonder, ”are old poker chips worth anything?” Let’s find out!

Are old poker chips worth anything? Yes, they are. You can make a ton of money selling them to poker chip enthusiasts or build an assortment of antique poker chips. While you can sell your chips, they won’t hold much value until they become a collector’s item. Vintage poker chips can fetch you a significant amount of money.

Poker chips hold great value, whether they are old or new. However, once new poker chips leave the walls of a casino, they become entirely useless as they no longer hold a monetary value. On the other hand, old poker chips will become useful outside the casino when they age.

Old poker chips can be sold on ebay.
If you have old poker chips, chances are they could be worth some money. Their value depends on a few key factors.

Sadly only certain chips hold some value while the majority of old chips will be close to worthless.

What do You do with  Old Casino Chips?

If you own old casino chips, you can sell them for a reasonable price. Casino chips expire and go out of use. Sometimes, old casinos close down, and their chips are destroyed or stored away somewhere.

People with old chips generally viewed old poker chips as being worthless until a trend in the late 70s saw people keeping old poker chips as antiques.

People that traveled far and wide authenticated their travels by collecting different chips from different locations.  And from this hobby emerged a business.  Casino chip collectors are numismatics but could be specifically called exonumia collecting.

In 1988, the Casino Chip & Gaming Tokens Collectors Club (CC&GTCC) was established as casino chips collecting gained increasing popularity. It became even bigger after eBay, the online auction site, was created in 1995. This gave owners and buyers a great platform to buy and sell vintage casinos chips with ease.

Some Collectors pay a massive amount of money for antique casino chips. The prices vary according to the state of the chip and the time it was in use. The older the chip,  the more it’s valued.

Not all old poker chips are worth money.
Not all old poker chips are worth any money. Some can be sold on eBay. If they are very rare, then they can be sold on special auctions. Sadly the vast majority of old poker chips won’t hold much value.

What are Old Poker chips Worth?

There is no fixed range for old poker chips. Their quality and rarity usually determine the prices. A large number of vintage poker chips are sold off on eBay. This means it’s even harder to put an exact price on an old chip. However, there are high-value chips that naturally cost more.

In 2014, an extremely rare $5 chip from Golden Goose casino was sold for $75,000 at the Casino Chip & Gaming Tokens Collectors Club (CC&GTCC) convention. The chip was so rare that it was regarded as the only surviving chip of its kind.

But here’s where it gets interesting; the same kind of chip was sold for $3000 in the 90s. So what changed? Rarity. When it was sold for $3000, there were probably still a few of them available.

The Golden Goose Casino was closed in 1980, and you’d expect that a fair amount of their casino chips would still be around for 10 to 15 years. But by 2014, it would already be 34 years since the casino was closed, making it harder for any of their chips to exist.

Now, it’s important to note that the prices of chips aren’t based solely on how old they are. The primary factor is a rarity.

For example, a $5 chip from a lucky casino was sold for $52,500 at the same convention. Meanwhile, chips of higher denominations from the same casino have been sold for less. The $5 chip went for that much because only 2 of its kind was known to have survived.

Therefore, if you own a vintage casino chip that’s likely to be very rare, you’re almost sure to make a small fortune. Otherwise, you can auction your vintage casino chip on eBay and make some money from them. 

YouTube: Collecting casino chips grows in popularity

What Buyers Look out for in Poker Chips

If you have a chip you want to sell off, here’s a chip guide that should tell you how valuable your chip may be.

  • Type of Casino Chip: Buyers/Collectors lookout for casino chips based on their types. Poker chips can be differentiated by their colors and material used in their production.
  • Inlay of the casino chip: This is an important check,  to avoid counterfeit, casino chips are thoroughly examined for the inlay. An inlay that has been tampered with can be deemed as fake. 
  • Stamp: A casino chip without a stamp can not be redeemed. Stamp resonates with the originality of the casino chip.  Without a clear stamp,  the casino chip is nothing. 
  • Edges and Texture: Although due to age and usage, the edge and texture of the casino chip may be worn out, that is no excuse if it’s heavily damaged. Casino Chip Collectors deal with casino chips that are well preserved.  
  • Rarity: The lesser the number of surviving chips,  the higher its value. If you have a chip from a collection that has long been lost, you could potentially sell it for a lot of money.
  •  Source/Mold: A casino chip gotten from known and trusted casino and card rooms have better chances to be redeemed even when they’ve expired. The mold identifies the manufacturer of the casino chip.  

If your chip passes the above,  it could probably be worth great money. Preserve it well and cash out big.    

Final Thoughts

Don’t be quick to dispose of your old casino chips. They could be worth much more than you could’ve imagined. Some chips are sold for as much as $70,000. As long as you have your casino chips appropriately preserved, you can be sure it is worth some money in the market (although this could only be a few dollars instead of thousands).

If you happen to come across a casino chip from a defunct casino, you might be able to sell it for a good amount of money. Alternatively, you can keep it for some years and sell it off when the value has skyrocketed. Either way, right old casino chips are immensely valuable and highly coveted.

Frequently Asked Questions: 

  • What’s the maximum amount of money that can be exchanged for a poker chip? There’s absolutely no limit to this, as long as the casino room can provide casino chips equal to the value of the money. There are known high-value poker chips ranging from $5,000 to a whopping $25,000. These are mainly seen in rich and professional poker plays.     
  • Can my poker chips be used at any casino? Yes.  Although you’d have to go through scrutinizing verifications to ascertain:
  1. Ownership of the chip
  2. Outstanding markers/debt with the casino you got the chips from. 
  3. The expiration date of the chip
  4. Your player’s card to ensure you won the casino chip during a game. 

Even with all these,  it’s not always a good transaction to the casino room as chips can only be cashed in ONLY at the casino it was issued.

  • How do casinos identify fake casino chips? After intense physical scrutiny and checking the chips against the known casino standard weight, the casino organizers go ahead to check for the embedded microchip and use UV rays to identify their unique markers on the casino chip.
    When all these aren’t identified, the chip is confirmed as fake. 

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Primoz

I have played poker professionally for more than 10 years. I was a winner at every poker format that I played - from tournaments to cash games, both in NL Holdem and PLO. Now my biggest satisfaction is to provide enthusiastic but new poker players with answers to all of their questions.

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