number & distribution of chips for first home tourney



Rock Star
This may be a silly question, but I've never played a live Holdem game despite tens of thousands of online hands, and I'm about to host a live home game -- it will be a tournament of 9 players, no re-buys, increasing blinds starting at 10/20, etc. I have a nice 2000 piece chip set with mostly white & red chips, fewer blues & green, and the least amount of black. I believe in casinos W=$1, R=$5, G=$25, Blue=$50, and Blk=$100. So the questions are:

1. Are those denominations correct?
2. Should I do the standard 1500 starting stack (as it usually is online)?
3. Most importantly, how many chips should I give out (which denominations, etc.) that would make sense for this kind of tourney? Thanks!

Updated Feb 2018:

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Hey honestly me too thinking about that!!!

and we also play some home tourney. It is nice to see you too.

When comes to your question, i suggest my distribution of chips stack among plyers.

I usually give it as 100/200 times the starting BB.

for ex:

say 8 members are playing and if the starting BB is 100(say) then give everbody a starting chip of 20k(200x100) or even 15k or 10k it would be good.
the lab man

the lab man

CardsChat Irregular
In A home game you have no use for 1.00 chips you can determine whatever amount you want to make the chips...

White is normally the lowest chip and black is normally the highest.

Normal chip sets do not normally give you exactly the same amount of chips,so again you have to determine.

For a 9 handed game you can probably use 4 or maybe 5 colored chips

here is one variation you could use,,Based on 2000 starting chips

15 white value 5= 75
10 red value 10=100
5 green value 25 =125
7 blue value 100=700
2 black value 500= 1000

= 2000 chips

Some tips

Start the blinds at 5/10 or 10/20 your choice
Predetermine how often the blinds will go up( cheap dollar store timers work great here or timer on your laptop or phone etc.

Post the chip amounts and colors on a wall where everyone can see them.saves arguments

Use sandwich bags to store each 2000 starting chips and each time you start a game give the players a don't waste the night counting chips.

Have fun


At our home games we play 5$ unlimited rebuy until 300/600
2000 starting chips. 2000 first rebuy, 1700 2nd , and 1500 chips third rebuy

We use 4 $25 , 4 $50 , 7 $100, and 2 $500 chips

good luck and have fun :)


All your questions answered including many you haven't thought of yet. Download and print out a copy of Robert's Rules of Poker to have on hand for the night of the game.

I'd use one of their recommended blind schedules as well.
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Rock Star
In Howard Lederer in his secrets of no limit hold'em DVD, has a sheet that tells what starting chips should be, how often blinds go up, and when to color up that is based on number of people playing and how long you want to play for.

It was the only thing of value in the DVD IMO.


Rock Star
We usually play 5 euro rebuy (unlimited) cash game. Everybody gets about 150 bb's deep at the beginning, rebuy is also 150bb of course. Ive seen some crazy hands in these games, like fh over fh on the flop. AA/KK/QQ pre flop allin and all kinds of sick things. One thing i always experienced is how richer the players are how more crazy calls/raises/all ins they make.


Cardschat Elite
Our home games have been very good with the following:

10,000 starting chips

10 White $100 = 1000
8 red $500 = 4000
5 blue $1000 = 5000
Blinds go up either 15 minutes if good players that play fast or 20 minutes for slower players and blinds are:
500/1000 take out white
2000/4000 take out red
10000/20000 we never get this far even with 30 players

we also bring in green as 5000 and black as 10000 much later in tournament

we usually start at 7 and get in 2 or 3 games by 3 in the morning

Oh and to be able to get in the extra games once it gets to heads up we play 2 20 minute rounds (or 15) and if no winner by the end then it goes by chip count


Rock Star
Here's something from which, yes WVHillbilly, ia great resource:
Issue a total of 41 chips to each player - 20x5 + 16x25 + 5x100 = 1000 chips. This is a good chip distribution and your players will seldom have to make change. This chip distribution requires a total of 410 poker chips to host a tournament of 10 players. You will also need some T500 chips for a color-ups and to allow players to rebuy - so make sure to add at least fifty T500 (Purple) chips to your poker chip set. This will also allow you to issue each player additional T500 chips to create a T1500 or T2000 chip buyin.
I used this as a general guideline, and it worked great! :)


Rock Star
p.s. I also found this nice little chart. Enjoy...



Forum Admin
I know this is old but does anyone else have some input on this subject?


4evrInmyheart RIP xoxo :(
Specifically related to op inquiry or just in general regarding a typical stack distribution? Regardless, long winded word spew comming :p

I haven't played a home game in ages but the pub game I go to when I'm home is pretty much no more than a home game at the pub lol.

There we use a 15k starting stack, if I recall the chip breakdown is like....
1 x 5k pink
1 x 2k purple
3 x 1k yellow
8 x 500 black
9 x 100 red
4 x 25 white

I don't recall the exact blind structure, although I could find out, but basically the first two hours are 15 min blinds, and then its 20 min blinds after that. Obviously given we get about 50x people in those games on avg they have a lot of chips and later in the game bring in grey and pink chips for 10k and 25k respectively.

With it being basically an stt vs a tournament a 5 color chip set should be lots (probably a 300 or 500 piece chip set or white/red/blue/green/black so prb like 100/75/50/50/25 or 150/125/100/75/50 or something I'd imagine).

I'd probably be inclined to do a 5k chip stack with 20 min blinds unless you want them to run quickly in which case 3k with 10 min blinds would be a good go. I mean the structure is a big key in defining the length of a game as well so it comes down to if you want it to be a quick game or a slow game that could take a couple of hours.

When I was at Cherokee and played some of their stt satties they were actually pretty decently structured, I might have those structures around somewhere (if they had them on the website back when I was reviewing all their structures) but not sure. But basically the low buyin (70$) was 1.5k with 10 min blinds I believe and started at 25/25 then 25/50 and i think the blinds doubled after that. The 120$ satty started with 2k and 12 min blinds and might have had a couple of extra levels in the lower blind levels to extend play as well. Then there was the 300$ stt which started with 4k if I recall and had 15 if not 20 min blinds and a nice structure probably similar to the 120 game but was nicer because of the slower blinds and larger starting stacks.

The 70$ game used to run in probably 40-60 min, the 120 game often the same sometimes up to 75 min and the 300$ game would often take 2 hours +. So can see how the different stacks and blind levels increases the length of a game which is a key factor in determing the structure for a game is how long you want it to take.

...... alright so sidetracked much right :rofl:

Back to a 5 color chipset, determining what denomination you want to set for what chips is largely going to depend on the structure you go with as well (including if/when/level you have ante's). But assume there won't be ante's and you start with 5k chips and the following blind structure

...... etc which would be a nice slow structure and basically as you can see after the 3rd blind level there will no longer be any need for a 25 or 50 chips and in fact you could just use a 25 chip rather than both as indicated in my breakdown of my pub game chipstack up above.

You are going to see that you will need to have 100 chips in play for quite a few levels during the early stages so you would want to have a fair amount of 100 chips in play and then 500 chips in play as well either to start with or once you do some chipping up at a point in the game (although no one ever typically does a chipup in a home game i guess).

So if you have a 300 piece set broke down such as the following:

Then it would actually make sense to use maybe green or blue for the 25 chip since it allows you to give 4 x to 9 people, black would be your highest value chip (maybe like 5k which you wouldn't need in this situation and probably not even a 2k chips since there are only 45k total chips in play if 9 x 5k stacks) since you have the lowest amount of them and making it the highest would mean there are likely to ever be less of them in play and only if a chip up was involved usually. Then I would likely use red as the 100 chip and white as the 500 chip and either green or blue depending on which you use for the 25 chip as a 1k or maybe 2k chip.

So a breakdown for a 5k starting stack:
4 x blue (25)
8 x red (100)
4 x white (500)
1 x green (2000)

*Note: Having fewer chips on the table also helps speed up the game as well since its easier to count out 4 red chips for a 400 bet than someone who might decide to bet 16 25 chips if they have them for the same bet.

All as clear as mud hopefully in regards to my take on the subject, and to expand on the answer I could give which was "It depends" :D


Rock Star
I know this is old but does anyone else have some input on this subject?

I'm stills sticking with what I used years ago. I haven't had a whole lot of home tourneys over the years, but I've always used the guidelines here:

I'd also really recommend getting a timer specifically for poker tourneys. Nowadays there are a ton of free Apps you can get for androids, iphones, & tablets; the better ones will tell you what the blinds/antes are for each round, remind you to chip up, calculate payout structures, etc.

Best of luck!


p.s. Forgot to mention this (also from that website):
Purchasing too many colors of poker chips can actually harm your ability to host a poker tournament -- you might not have enough chips in any one color to issue to all your players.
I made that mistake the first time; in my case it was more a mater of me wasting money on buying way more than I needed (since I got pretty high-end chips). Also, I don't think you need $1 chips unless you plan on playing cash games.
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