You may have heard the saying “almost anything can be counterfeited”. Well gaming chips definitely fall into the anything category, and in fact, are a prime target for counterfeiting. After all, in any type of cash game, whether it be in a casino, private card room, or home game, a denominated gaming chip is the same thing as cash.
Counterfeiting a gaming chip is as easy as you make it for the counterfeiter. While there is no such thing as a 100% counterfeit-proof chip, if you follow these steps, you certainly can make it more difficult on the cheaters without using expensive RFID tracking systems that the big casino’s use.
1. Use ceramic poker chips – Produce your custom poker chip or other gaming chip on a ceramic poker chip. A ceramic chip allows for full edge to edge customization with the printed image embedded in the chip. While this alone will not stop someone from copying your chips, ceramics are a bit more difficult to produce than hot stamped or inlay poker chips.
2. Good Design – Create a design (or have someone do it for you) that is not so simple, and hide something in the design that may be hard to pick up by a counterfeiter. We had one customer that hid the letter R in a small watermarked font in the back of a design, where only a portion of it was showing. He could easily pick it out, but a counterfeiter might have missed it on the artwork. This is a similar strategy used by countries when printing currency.
3. UV Security Markings – This is a strong security feature where a marking of your choice is printed in a UV or Ultraviolet ink on the chip. The UV image is invisible under white light, but visible under a UV light. You can print anything you want in the UV ink, and the cost is inexpensive since the only reading device you would need is a UV light.
The chip below was printed with with a UV security ink pattern. First photo shows the chip under UV light, making the UV security graphic visible. The second photo shows the same chip under white light from a standard fluorescent bulb :
It’s worth noting again that it’s very difficult to make anything counterfeit-proof, but if you do the three things mentioned above, your chip will be tougher for the average counterfeiter to duplicate. I’ve seen a few good attempts by cheats come to us trying to counterfeit chips, and we’ve successfully worked together with the casinos they were trying to rip-off, and law enforcement, to get convictions on at least one case.
Security features as described above are not only used on gaming chips, but for any redeemable chip where counterfeiting may be an issue, (drink tokens, coupon or price chips, etc.). Pokerchiplounge.com offers custom ceramic poker chips, graphic design services, and UV chip marking options that will help you create a secure chip for the least amount of money.