Like with most trends and fads that people may have, my highlighted years of playing poker were when I was younger and I used to host poker nights with friends in my old terraced house. These were the days where this very same circle of friends all lived closer in the area and were all within easy reach to join in.
I was the host with the most and owned my own poker chip set case, well it wasn’t a case and more of a heavy, black, strapped satchel that included a complete fold-out octagonal game board made of wood and felt and that completely covered my dining table.
This set featured plastic trays for chips and drinks, a whole box of poker chips, dealer, small blind and big blind tokens and of course a couple of decks of cards. It was a cumbersome and heavy thing to manipulate and worse to turn over if you wanted to set-up for blackjack. I’m still in contact with these guys but things are different now, we all have grown up, moved further afield and have families and commitments to tend to.
It’s difficult to get us all back as one again but on a few occasions it has been possible and we all still do our best to try and get together. Let the games begin and the liquor pour!
It’s 2020 now and my partner and I enjoy the quality time over quantity as I’ve mentioned in another blog of mine. We enjoy sharing new experiences together and are always finding things to do, places to go and experiences to enjoy. After a conversation about indoor gaming and pastimes, card games were mentioned and the idea started to seed within me. In less than a week I’d researched some fine cards and poker sets and knew what I was after.
We took a drive out to a store, which in my case was Smyths Toys and I stood there in an aisle stuck between two sets and ready to play. The inclusion of the dealer, big blind and small blind tokens was enough to secure the bet and I opted for the premium quality poker chip set case. My partner has been very eager to learn the rules and winning combinations of Texas Hold ‘em poker and has certainly given me a run for the money so far.
This poker set was more expensive than the budget one I originally had in mind before visiting the store but I’m glad I changed suit and chose the more professional looking version. The biggest thing noticeable about this ProPoker 300 11.5g Poker Set is the weight, this thing is a monster weighing in at approx 3340g!
Recommended Age – 18+
Players – 2-8
Duration – Player Discretion
Dimensions – Width = 41.5cm, Depth = 8cm and Height = 24cm
Weight – 3340g
Box Art & Design
The box for the set is more of a protective cardboard sleeve that includes opening sides and tabs and a scooped hole at the top for the aluminium case handle. The front of the box design has all the usual casino colours present and is quite enticing, over a gaming cloth green coloured background.
The focus is on the open case and its inside contents. The cover shows the case displaying the various coloured columns of playing chips, a deck of cards neatly tucked in its plastic tray moulding as are the playing tokens, labelled dealer, small blind and big blind. To the right of the case are some stacked and positioned playing chips and a fan of cards at the lower part of the box design.
The ProPoker 300 11.5g Poker Set titles are positioned in the top left of the cardboard sleeve. Player information sits in the top right corner and the bottom right features the logo for Merchant Ambassador (Holdings) Ltd. The sides and bottom of the outer sleeve are a repeated affair of the front design but smaller, and the rear, just the same but zoomed out a little in order to see the fanned playing cards at the bottom of the box design.
There’s a little more text present on the rear, starting with the contents in the top right portion and various manufacturer and copyright details-pushed towards bottom corners, a barcode resides there too.
Firstly I wanted to comment on the case itself and the other forms of protection and packaging that are included with this set, these added extras slightly raise the bar and reassures you that you have a quality poker chip set case here. Once the aluminium case is carefully slipped out its cardboard sleeve you’ll find it bubble-wrapped in its own bag and once opened there is a dark thick foam lining the lid, the type you’d see in soundproof studios.
The case is very heavy but well made. It features two spring-loaded locks, two underside hinges, a light handle and re-enforced corners. Four plastic feet are attached to the bottom in case you’re standing it vertically and the surface and the rest of the design has a textured metal look and feel.
The black plastic tray inlay is sunk and sits tightly in the case, it’s a glossy type black and has areas for the card decks, playing chips and included tokens. There are finger notches in order to take out the components but I personally find the dealer and blinds tokens a tough affair to remove.
In this poker set there are six columns of playing chips all of which are wrapped in factory sealed plastic. There are two rolls of the white design, two of the red design, a roll of green and a roll of dark navy blue. My initial guess is that the green and blue designed chips are more than likely meant to be higher value as there’s less. My partner and I have been using the following house rules regarding the chip values:
Poker Chips Values Example:
Blue – £1.00 Each chip weighing in at 11.5g
Green – £0.50 Each chip weighing in at 11.5g
Red – £0.20 Each chip weighing in at 11.5g
White – £0.10 Each chip weighing in at 11.5g
On the rear of the cardboard box sleeve, in the upper right corner, there is what looks like a poker chips guide and how many chips should be used in a game depending on player counts. Below is that presented guide. As with many and various casino poker chips each chip has markings on that break up the background colour. In-between these markings are icons of each dice face and funny enough I’ve only recently found this fact out.
As I’ve mentioned above the included tokens are what swung the deal for me over the budget-priced set. Maybe I was thinking a little nostalgically about my past poker games and tournaments with friends and the importance of these useful tokens.
Maybe I just wanted more for my money and get the better-presented set. There are just the three, the dealer token being the largest and thickest plastic of them all. This is white with black text.
The small blind is thinner plastic, purple and with white text, the big blind is an orange token with black text. These three tokens don’t match the quality or the weight of the poker chips and you can see and feel the difference.
The cards aren’t anything too special or spectacular and simply put, they do the trick. Plain designed boxes one of which is red-themed and the other in blue. Both decks are included with a factory-sealed plastic wrap around them and can look very similar to cigarette packets.
I’ve only ever opened and used the one deck at the moment but have seriously thought about investing in some James Bond 007 Casino Royale designed playing cards, pictures and all.
I can then change up the contents and have my own professional casino deck included, in hope that the sexy “Bond girls” will unnerve serious poker players.
Instructions & Game Guide
There had to be a dodo in there somewhere right? If I want to be nitpicking, then yeah – it’s the instructional manual, or paper and very thin paper to be honest. All instructions and rules of poker, including the various winning hands and their rankings over others, are featured here.
The instructions and guide run over both sides of the paper and include an object of the game, how to play and betting explained sections. When you feel you’ve paid more than a budget poker set, see the case, feel the weight and look at the arrangements of the included contents, this simple paper sheet lets it down.
Even a glossy gaming cloth green cardboard flyer would be a little more suitable or a better quality paper, but as a novice player and reference to the winning hand ranks, it does the trick.
For those days when you want the cards out whether it be for poker, blackjack or other favourite card games, this is a high-quality poker set. As my partner has once stated and I must agree, playing with the inclusion of the poker chips and deciding on values engages you into the game more and things get and feel a little more on the serious and competitive side.
I am currently trying to push the idea of a full game with real money, exchanged for £10 worth of chips to her and up the game a little. The presentation of the contents in the case once opened is the proud moment and the best thing is the whole poker set is portable despite being on the heavy side as I’ve found out many, many times when staying over and packing a bag.
I’m glad I went for the premium choice and I am seriously thinking about switching one of the decks to a picture deck, more than likely a James Bond 007 Casino Royale addition as mentioned above. Luckily due to the dark foam lid insert that can be removed, I can hide the instructions behind there and keep the quality on show.
Thank you for reading this article, I hope you found it of some help or interest. Please feel free to drop a comment about this particular poker set, any others, the written content or even your own experiences with this genre of game.