How many poker chips do you need for your home poker games?

Sunday, February 17, 2013

t-licious1By: T-Licious

So you finally decide that you want to start hosting poker games at your place. Maybe you’ve got the perfect man cave underway, or you’re just starting out in the living room or garage. Either way you’ll need the basics and arguably the most fundamental purchase is a set of chips that any self-respecting host would be proud of. Now before you start down the road of composite vs. clay or 11.5 gram vs. heavier, you need to decide how large your chip-set needs to be.

Luckily I have come up with this handy guide:

  • Set of 300 chips can support up to 25 buy-ins or 1 table (typically up to 8-12 players)
  • Set of 500 can support up to 47 buy-ins or 2 tables (typically up to 16-20 players)
  • Set of 600 can support up to 56 buy-ins or 3 tables (typically up to 24-30 players)
  • Set of 1000 can support up to 175 buy-ins or 10 tables (typically up to 75-100 players)

Of course, this guide makes a number of assumptions to achieve an apples to apples comparison:

  1. Chip values: assuming unmarked chips valued at $.25, $.50, $1, $5, $10, $20 depending on the size of the set. This works roughly the same for $25, $50, $100, $500, $1000, $2000 so you can make adjustments.
  2. Starting stacks: assuming $20 stacks
  3. Tournament style: assuming you are playing tournaments where multiple buy-ins can occur up to a certain cutoff point. However, you can use the same comparison for cash games and make adjustments as needed. For example, a 500 chip set can support 47 $20 buy-ins so you could roughly support 20 $40 buy-ins. A typical home cash game may have anywhere from 6 to 10 players so 500300 poker chips set should be enough for every player to dump $80 in which would be plenty and would, in all likelihood, never happen.

Hopefully this little cheat sheet can help you zero in on the size of the chip-set you need so you can focus your remaining energy on finding a set that channels your inner casino. It’s hard to go wrong with a set of 600 unless you are preparing to host large charity games. Now go to the Texas Poker Store and find a set of poker chips that calls out “winner” to you.

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