Poker Chip Blog

An informative and hopefully enlightening blog discussing Poker News, Poker Supplies and mostly Poker Chip Design.



Free Artwork and Prototyping! Yup, Free!

SALVATORE APODACA - Friday, June 17, 2016

When I founded Old West Poker Supplies it was actually called Old West Games & Tables. The company wasn't as focused on custom ceramic poker chips as it is now. I wanted to expand into custom table and case building but dreams don't always come true and sometimes that's for a good reason. Eventually we found our niche in the ceramic poker chip community and ran with it. I was able to infuse my love for and education in graphic design into the business model.

When we first started offering design to our customers we were often doing designs based on a promise that the customer would then place an order. I soon learned that we were getting a lot of requests but they weren't actually turning into orders. So we modified our business plan to include free artwork but only on paid orders. It worked. We have been offering that same free artwork service now for 13 years this month.

So if you are a paying customer you can get free artwork creation from concept to print. We will work with you until you are satisfied. And if we can't settle on a design for you we will refund your order. Just a hint: that's never happened. We will also prototype your poker chip design absolutely free and send it to your front door so you can exactly how your design will print. No surprises!

The one drawback to prototyping is that because of how popular the service is it will take two to three weeks to complete the prototyping.

It's really a great service. Our customers love it and we love being able to offer it. If you want to take advantage of these free services then just place your order for any of our custom ceramic poker chips, buttons or plaques and then send us an email referring to your order. Let us know how we can help you with your chip design and we can begin the process from there.

Have a great Father's Day.

-Salvatore Apodaca,
Designer & Founder
Old West Poker Supplies LLC


The Best Wild West Themed Slot Machine Games in Vegas

SALVATORE APODACA - Wednesday, June 08, 2016

We can take a stroll down memory lane by watching a Clint Eastwood movie or better yet visit an online casino or go to Las Vegas, if the opportunity presents itself, and hit the Wild West themed slot machines. The scariest and harshest place I could imagine is the Wild West. Surely there was never a dull moment there. Fortunately for us that time has passed and now we are more of a couch potato generation. Nowadays there are tablets, phones, computers and so many different gadgets which allow us to surround ourselves in an environment of our choice. In a sense we can travel back in time and experience the lives of Billy the Kid and Wyatt Earp or remind ourselves of the Civil War. One of the most amusing ways to do this is by heading to Las Vegas and playing on one of the Wild West themed slot machines.

  

You can bring the casino experience home if you prefer. Make you poker nights memorable and visit the best page for casino supplies. You can find casino games, poker trophies, poker chips and many other things. The best hosts are the ones that are always prepared. However undoubtedly when someone mentions a weekend in Las Vegas our heart skips a beat and our brains, like a dog with a bone, focuses only on one thing. There is nothing better than spending a night in “Sin City”. Despite all the partying and all the alcohol you are surely there to test your luck. There are so many different ways to do that. My favorite games are the slot machines, especially the ones with Wild West theme. You can find your top Wild West slot game at top mobile casinos for UK gamblers. Some of my absolute number 1 choices are found online and some are in the Las Vegas casinos. Let`s list some of them.

1. Black Gold

The Wild West is not all about saloons and standoffs. Drilling for oil had also been a hot topic. Here you will find Ol` Bill and his trusty horse searching for that precious liquid. The design is pretty impressive and the sound and background fit the bill too. You can choose from 30 pay-lines and 5 reels.

2. Western Belles

For those of you who enjoy a lady`s company the Western Bells slot machine will hit the spot. It is a solid game where you will be surrounded with a lot of girls. Isn’t that the dream? The game itself has standard graphics and quite unique audio. The background features a lovely desert. Make sure you are not distracted by the attractive ladies or your money will be history.

3. Gold Rush Showdown

Get ready for a real adventure with this game. All the things that come to mind when you think about the Wild West are here. From pistols to a sheriff`s badge, gold and spurs. Hold on to your seat because this game will take you away. It makes you want to play again and again.

4. California Gold

It wouldn’t be the Wild West without gold diggers. This is a game which can make you rich. During the game all you have to do is find the stack of gold. You will have a long way to go through the mines; however there are dynamites, maps, lanterns and many other things to assist you along the way. I hope you are not afraid of the dark. Even if you are the crazy miner is here to help you. Hold on to your hat and let`s ride the rails.

5. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Whoever enjoys a good western movie will be happy to read this title. It is a movie based slot machine. The sound effects completely round up the Wild West experience and the theme music as well. All the symbols: unmarked grave, wanted posters, cannons and etc. are true to the movie. The goal here is to get the three main icons: good, bad an ugly and then you go into a bonus round. If you achieve this you may bank a hefty amount of money.

6. Gold Diggers

Some of the people in the Wild West were meek cattle herders and some of them were mean and rough men with blood on their hands and crime on their mind. I suppose to each their own, still no one could resist the hunt for gold. This game has a funny twist where different people such as a blond minx from saloon and goofy miners are trying to strike it big and earn some money by finding gold. The music is contagiously good and the animations will make you laugh.

7. Western Frontier

This is one of the simpler slot games with 5 reels and 15 pay-lines. The game is divided in two sections Indians and Cowboys. There is also day time and night time. Overall a great game accompanied with solid sound effects.

You can take your time and decide which one you would like to play or just try them all, it wouldn’t hurt. You never know where you might hit the jackpot and go home a hero. Fingers crossed and go for it. Good luck.




Aligning Edge Spots in Your Poker Chip Design

SALVATORE APODACA - Thursday, June 02, 2016

One of the most common elements in poker chip design is the aligned edge spot.

This of course is a carryover from clay poker chips that are made using strips of clay resin during the molding process. This isn't something a ceramic poker chip designer or printer has the luxury of doing but they can easily simulate it. Graphic designers often use math or software scripts to match the elements of the face of a cylinder to the circumference's matching design. This can work well but how does someone achieve a match without the use of math skills that not every designer is skilled at or wishes to employ?

Well, it's simply done with the use of grids or graphs. Adobe Illustrator is an excellent vector design program that every designer should learn to work with. It has two tools that work extremely well together for a poker chip designer. The Polar Grid Tool and the Rectangular Grid Tool can both be found under the Line Tool by simply clicking and holding. 

First you'll have to decide on how many edge spots you might want, how they'll look on the face and the circumference, what color you plan for them to be, etc. For now let's concern ourselves merely with learning how to use both these tools to get the desired result of matching meeting points between the face and the rolling edge of the chip.

Choosing the Polar Grid Tool in your document. You can actually download Illustrator vector templates for our poker chips here under our Design Guide. You'll want to click in the upper left corner of your artboard like below. You'll be confronted with a dialog. You'll want to make it the size of your poker chip. In this example I am using a 39 millimeter template. So fill it in with 39 mm for both the top measurements. Leave the Concentric Dividers option at zero. Then depending on how you plan to set up your edge spots you'll want to fill in the appropriate number of Radial Dividers. This is the most important number and you'll want to remember that number.


I'll use 48 here because it will work well for the example. When click "OK" you'll probably end up with highlighted transparent guides. I always give those guides a stroke weight of about .25 pt. You can actually make this a lower number if you prefer but it's important to give it a color that you'll be able to tell apart from your design palette much like the standard guides in Illustrator. Also make sure the Polar Grid is centered perfectly on your artboard and in a top layer on its own. Then you'll want to lock it down so it doesn't move.

This is your guide for your edge spots on the face of the chip. You can place them however you please but usually you'll want to keep to a specific pattern so that the printers can easily align this to your rolling edge artwork. The typical edge spots will be placed at specific points on say a clock. I used 48 for this reason. It's divisible by 12. So at 12 o'clock on the design you can place two edge spots next to each other. They can take up two grid segments each. I usually use one of the rectangle tools. For a 48 segment grid this would usually be a 5 mm square placed along the top at 17 mm on the x axis and another one placed at 22 mm on the x axis (both positioned at 2.5 mm on the y axis). Remembering this can make it easy in future designs but sometimes our customers or designers will have or want some oddly shaped edge spots. In that case you just have to use the grid for the appropriate alignment.

You can also use the pen tool to build your edge spots. The basic idea is to make sure they line up with your grid segments as shown above. You can copy these to the six o'clock position on your design by rotating and copying them then moving them to the 36.5 mm position on the y axis. Then if you select all four edge spots you can simply rotate 90 degrees and copy for the remaining edge spots.

Once you've got these lined up you can go ahead mess with their shape however you like by using the pen tool or pathfinder tricks to make them look more authentic or original. It's really up to you. And it's not really that necessary at this point to do the trimming of the squares to fit the circular design of the chip. We can always do that trimming for you or it can be done using a layer mask. It's not that important. What's really important is to make sure the edge spots align with your grid segments.

The next part is where this will all fall into place. You can open the Illustrator template for the 39 mm edge on our Design Guide page or you can create a document that is 125.5 mm high by 3.3 mm wide in Illustrator and fill it with a base rectangle of the same size. This is the rolling edge of the poker chip. Now instead of using the Polar Grid you'll want to use the Rectangular Grid. Keep in mind that you'll want to match the number of segments that were created in the previous example. We have 48 grid segments for the face of the chip. The Rectangular Grid is a little trickier. You can use the outer rectangle as a frame or not - it's your choice. I usually check it. But you always want the number for vertical dividers to be one less than the Polar Grid radial dividers. That's because that outer rectangle is counted as one vertical divider. So you will always have to use one less vertical divider. In this case we use 47 in order to get 48 rectangular grid segments.

Make sure it's centered on the artboard, there is a stroke weight for the guide lines and it's in the top layer but don't lock it down just like you did with the Polar Grid. Now you can use those grid segments to set up the aligning edge spots. It's very simple from that point on. 

There are all kinds of cool tricks you can use this for in your designs. For instance, if you wanted to wrap a snake around your poker chip you could use this to achieve that quite easily. In this case it's a simple 8 spot alignment. Do remember though that if you want these alternating edge spots to align to the second face of the chip you'll need to make a second chip face and do a vertical reflection of those original edge spots. That's the trick of alternating edge spots. 

And even more important you can always ask us to do your artwork for free when you place an order with us. Also if you have questions regarding this or any other poker chip design dilemmas please feel free to send me an email to oldwestps@gmail.com

Salvatore Apodaca
Designer
Old West Poker Supplies LLC
oldwestpokersupplies.com


Using our CMYK Color Chips Correctly

SALVATORE APODACA - Thursday, June 02, 2016

Our CMYK Color Wheel Chips which can be found here for purchase are excellent for choosing chip colors when you decide to customize your ceramic poker chips, buttons or plaques. However, always remember that choosing colors based on what you see will only work if you can actually "see" them. That means that we are often making color decisions in really poor light. Often we assume the lights in our rooms or environments are lit well enough for us to make important color decisions. We get dressed in half lit rooms. We read under really dim lamps.

When choosing your chip colors you should be viewing the CMYK Color Chips in direct rather bright light. It's a good idea to turn on a bright desk lamp and get plenty of light when looking at these Color Wheel Chips. You want to have the best available light when making color choices.

Color professionals (yes, there are color pros) often use big overhead lamps or even huge desktop size booths with daylight rated lamps in them so that they can fully experience the colors they have to choose or create. You should try your best to get some good light.

I use an extra desk lamp that is portable so I can fold it away when I'm not using it. It has three dimmer levels, runs on lithium battery power and is rechargeable. 

Here's a link to the lamp I use.
http://www.amazon.com/Modern-Student-Office-Bedroom-Outdoor/dp/B013QRJF5Y



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