Chequers Book Reviews
The Professor, Michael Knapp

Old Poker Chips, Dale Seymour (1997)

196 pages, plastic comb bound, $24.95 plus $3 postage, P. O. Box 50863, Palo Alto, CA 94303 (also carried by dealers)

It sounds a bit extreme to say that this is the ultimate workbook for poker chip collectors, but that's exactly what it is. Extracted largely from Seymour's newly-revised Antique Gambling Chips, Old Poker Chips concentrates on clay and clay composition chips made in the United States since about 1880.

As with Seymour's Ivory Gambling Chips, this book is intended to be a workbook for the serious collector of clay poker chips, allowing not only for new finds and variations of known illustrated chips, but for inventorying one's collection as well. Chip illustrations from the larger, perfect-bound Antique Gambling Chips appear on each right-hand page. Facing pages contain blank circles for insertion of photocopies of new finds and varieties, an area for notes, a conversion chart for Seymour numbers from the original 1985 edition of Antique Gambling Chips, and the Seymour Value Rating Code.

At the end of the book, a 28-page section contains master pages, which the author encourages the purchaser to photocopy for his own use, to inventory one's collection. For each of the Seymour chip identification codes, there is a list of 17 colors, and a method for indicating whether a chip was made with a round or square edge. Virtually every known poker chip can be inventoried using the Seymour master pages, and the book is far more useful for the inclusion of these inventory pages.

For the poker chip collector, the ability to make notes and to include new finds, as well as the convenience of a thinner, spiral-bound book which is easy to carry to shows and flea markets, is of substantial benefit.