Recently, I was visiting a friend’s home and the topic of poker came up. He asked me if I could play poker without having to use chips. After that, I thought about it and decided to share some tips.

The basis of poker games is betting or wagering. You will need some currency or another monetary option if you play poker for pleasure. It is almost impossible to tell who is winning and losing without a currency or monetary substitute. Poker chips are the most commonly used alternative to real currency.

Sometimes, however, an impromptu game of poker will occur and there won’t be any actual poker chips. Don’t worry. There are likely many other options available to you in your home or business. I know this because I searched my home and office for options to satisfy avid poker players who want to play without chips.

Broken Piggy Bank - 7 Creative Ways to Play poker without Chips

These are some of the more obvious, but not always so obvious, quasi-poker chips options.

1. Spare Change

This is the obvious one, but I kept it for last because you might have forgotten your child’s piggy bank or the coins stored in your car’s center console. I did once build a $4,000 bankroll using spare change. You could surely use your accidental savings to play a quick round of golf with your friends and family. You could use rolls of pennies, nickels or dimes or any combination thereof. You should set the parameters before the time to determine who gets the money.

2. Play Money

The most common way to have money lying around is through play money from different board games. Monopoly and Payday are the most common. Most likely, one or more of these games is hidden in a cabinet or closet somewhere. You can use the fake money to play poker if you have it. The best part about using fake money is pretending that it’s real money and you’re a high-roller group!

3. Board game pieces

If you discover that your game collection does not include play money, don’t despair. Other games have game pieces that are very good substitutes for poker chips. These are just a few games that offer money-altering game pieces. There are three games that have good substitutes for poker chips: Othello and Connect 4. Backgammon is also available. One could also use Scrabble tiles to make a bet.

You can mix and match game pieces from multiple games to make enough poker chips. Scrabble tiles can be as low as $1. Red Connect 4 chips may be as high at $5. Black Othello pieces could cost up to $1,000.

Color Paper Clips - 7 Creative Ways to Play poker without Chips

4. Dried Foods

You can also use dried foods from your kitchen pantry, but this could cause problems for your partner. Dry beans, corn, and/or other legumes are a good choice because they don’t create a mess and can be bought in large quantities. Even better, you could boil them and make some poker chili.

Monopoly Money - 7 Creative Ways to Play poker without Chips

Be careful not to eat foods that are already cooked. The temptation to eat all of the profits is too strong for most people. Aside from that, it is hard to imagine anyone wanting to eat an M&M after everyone has touched it. This is pretty disgusting.