Tourney 12/12/5/6 vs 8/8/8/5

Squidge

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It seems as though most the tournament sets I am coming across in the classifieds are set up to play starting stacks of:
12 - $25
12 - $100
5 - $500
6 - $1000

To play a T10000 it seems more logical/simple to play with starting stacks that are equal from one denomination to the next. Also decreases the starting stack from 35 to 29 allowing for more players with equivalent chips.

Am I missing something or is it just personal preferences. Are 8 chip stacks prohibitive during play? Would it slow gameplay and require making change often?

My 650 ideal set for two tables max would be as follows:
8 - $25 (160)
8 - $100 (160)
8 - $500 (180)
5 - $1000 (120)
N/a $5000 (30)

Should be plenty for color up. Seems like a good breakdown. Tournament hosts let me know if this seems viable and please impart your experience on my inexperienced self :rolleyes:
 

BGinGA

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The most efficient starting stacks (relating to game play) are those that contain between 10 and 16 chips each of the two smallest denominations. This is why recommendations for starting stack chip distribution are often 12/12/x for T25-base sets, and 10/10/x for T1-, T5-, and T100-base sets. Min and max numbers are 8 and 20, but both extremes have drawbacks.

The second-smallest denomination is usually a workhorse chip that sees a lot of use (the T100 chip in a T25-base set).

Fewer chips can waste time and interupt game flow by causing unnecessary change-making, while more chips can waste time and interupt game flow by creating excessive counting/stacking situations and making bet construction more unwieldy.

The T500 chip is a special case, if used with T1000 chips. Since the jump from T500 to T1000 is only 2x instead of the more optimum 4x or 5x increment between denominations, fewer T500 chips are required (since more than one T500 chip will never be required to post a blind or construct a bet amount, of any size). Hence, only 4-6 T500 chips per starting stack are needed, while more T1000 chips will be needed once it replaces the T100 as the workhorse chip.

Color-ups should be done with chips that will be needed later in tbe event (T1000 and T5000), and not be later removed themselves. T100 chips are workhorse chips right out of the gate, so the starting stacks should contain enough to ensure smooth game play. Adding more T100s at color-up is inefficient and pointless, as they would not be needed (with properly-constucted starting stacks), and will also require later removal, taking additional time.

By using T1000 chips to color-up T25s and T100s, extra T1000s are introduced as that chip starts to take on a larger role in game play. Same for replacing the T500 chips with T5000s during that color-up (if the blind schedule even gets that far).

That's why a typical single-table T25-base set supporting T10k stacks (12/12/5/6) contains at least 370 chips:
120 x T25
120 x T100
50 x T500
75 x T1000 (includes 15x for T25/T100 color-ups)
5 x T5000 (for T500 color-ups)
-------------
370 chips, although the addition of 30 more T5000 chips (400 chips total) greatly increases the flexibility of the set -- supporting re-buys, add-ons, and/or larger starting stack sizes up to T25000.

With two or more tables, economies of scale can come into play and make 8/8/4/7 or 8/8/6/6 starting stacks more reasonable. Again only 4-6 T500s are needed, no additional T1000s are required (T5000 being used for all color-ups), so a typical two table set looks like this:
160 x T25
160 x T100
80 x T500
140 x T1000
28 x T5000 (for T25/T100/T500 color-ups)
---------------
568 chips minimum, although adding 32 more T5000s (600 chips total) supports re-buys and T15k starting stacks, in addition to still allowing the preferred 12/12/5/6 starting stacks for up to 16 players.

That's 50 fewer chips than your 650-chip breakdown, but with much enhanced playability and flexibilty.
 
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Mr Winberg

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Apart from all the truths above there's another good reason for 12/12/ vs 8/8/, which is that the former allows you to host larger tournaments than the set was designed for, while the latter is already maxed. When I say that, I'm aware that the nr of T500 and T1000 might be too few when hosting a larger field, but that can be solved by letting some stacks start with a T5000.

My point is: 12 of the lower denoms allows you to reduce to 8 and have a larger field, albeit with some wonky stacks. 8 of the lower denoms does not allow this.
 

BGinGA

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Apart from all the truths above there's another good reason for 12/12/ vs 8/8/, which is that the former allows you to host larger tournaments than the set was designed for, while the latter is already maxed. When I say that, I'm aware that the nr of T500 and T1000 might be too few when hosting a larger field, but that can be solved by letting some stacks start with a T5000.

My point is: 12 of the lower denoms allows you to reduce to 8 and have a larger field, albeit with some wonky stacks. 8 of the lower denoms does not allow this.
Exactly, and is why many multi-table tournament sets are constucted similarly to this:
240 x T25
240 x T100
120 x T500
180 x T1000
100 x T5000
20 x T25000
--------------------
900 chips

Allows for 20 players with 12/12/5/6/x stacks, or 30 players with 8/8/6/6/x and 8/8/4/7/x stacks, with all the bells and whistles.
 

Mr Winberg

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Exactly, and is why many multi-table tournament sets are constucted similarly to this, where of course any self respecting chipper rounds to full racks:
300 x T25
300 x T100
200 x T500
200 x T1000
200 x T5000 (because....rounding up!)
100
x T25000
--------------------
a little over 900 chips
FYP
 

TexRex

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Definitely agree with BG and Mr Winberg! I've purchased sets for 30 players (3 tables of 10) that could be stretched to 5 tables of 9. I compare how many I need for each and make sure I have enough of every denom to do it either way. If I buy another tournament set, I probably will buy for 20, knowing I can stretch to 30 if needed. I've never been asked to do a much larger tournament, and now I don't see myself doing that.

Purely from managing a tournament, smaller number of chips is easier to set up and put up, but it's not the best from a player's viewpoint or an actual tournament table management standpoint.

I personally found that 16 is too many because players tended to use a lot of lower value chips. I almost always use the fewest possible chips I have to make a bet. We have a few players who seem to prefer putting the largest stack of chips possible in the pot. I'm not sure why my game seems to have more of that than others I've played in. When I tried using 16, it usually didn't take long for me to have the largest stack of the smallest chips. But 16 was better than 8 of the smallest chips. When I switched to 12x25, I found what seems to be a happy medium. Less change making that eith either 8 or 16.

Casinos may use only 8 because they are buying chips in the 10s or 100s of thousands. They don't care about the player experience. They care about the overall tournament management and getting players out of a tournament as quickly as possible. The less time with fewer tables, the more money they make on a tournament. So don't use what a casino does as a model for how to manage your own game.
 

Poker Zombie

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TV Host: Welcome to Two Viewpoints. Today, we are discussing starting stacks with Mr. Chip Love and Mr. Game Play.

Chip Love: (Shuffling a stack of Live Bellagio Paulsons) Hello!
Game Play: (Impatiently) Let's get on with this.

TV Host: Let's start at the beginning, and the lowest denomination chip.

Chip Love: The more the merrier! Very few people are eliminated while these are in play, so it doesn't slow the game. I've run games with 16 per player and it works fine. I can do 20 if it's a small table, but for a full table, one person can amass so many T25s they can't see the rest of their chips. If the whole table has 100-150 of the smallest denomination chip, you will not have too many.

Game Play: I prefer 12 in a starting stack. You will make some change, but is isn't frequent, unless you are using traditional antes, which is another subject entirely. I'd avoid 8, as you will be making change constantly if you have any blind of 75, like a 75/150 blind level. Like Mr Love, I find 100-120 of the lowest denomination on the entire table to be well inside acceptable parameters. If you can't manage 4 or 5 barrels, you have issues.

TV Host: What about the workhorse chips?

Chip Love: The first workhorse is the T100, and once again, the more the merrier. Why spend the evening making change? I'm not a cashier. Ballpark of
12-16 per player to start, and after the first color-up averaging 15-20 per player. I like to color-up 12x T25s with 4x T100s if I have the chips. Some people will pull a T100 off and just color them up with a single T500, but that's boring. More chips is better.

Game Play: I agree with my companion here, as well. 12x T100s to start reduces change making in the early-mid levels, and if you use a 400/800 level, you will need a minimum of 7x T100 chips when the blinds go by. You want at least 15 per player when you get to that level. Of course by the time you get to 400/800, you should have already colored up the T25s. You don't need 15 per player to start, but you will need that many at 400/800, or you will be making change. On the plus side, you won't need to worry about massive stacks in front of one player. The T100 is a workhorse, and will constantly move around the table.

TV Host: The T100 is the first workhorse, what about the second workhorse, the T1000?

Chip Love: Lots of them, of course! The difference between a T5000 tournament and a T12,000 tournament is just how many T1000s you have to put in play, and how long you want to play. At the endgame you will have just T500s and above, and maybe not even the T500s. So look at the final 3 players. If one has a 2:1 lead over his 2 opponents, how many T1000s does he have? This will vary of course, depending on how many players you start with and starting stack value, but a good rule of thumb is if that one guy has 1/2 the chips in play, 2 racks (200 chips) in front of him is fine. He has room to spread out, and who doesn't love that WSOP mountain of chips? If you go more than 2 racks (4 racks total in play), then T5000s are necessary.

Game Play: I wouldn't use as many as 4 racks on one table before bringing out the T5000s. 2 racks are fine, and dont get in the way. They are also easier to count up for the frequent all-ins, but will rarely need change made.

TV Host: So let's back up to the T500 then. Five of them? Eight of them?

Chip Love: Lots of them, duh. I love me a purple chip. They're not needed much for betting, but they sure are purdy.

Game Play: Five per player to start is plenty. Have you ever seen anyone trying to count a stack or T500s? It's the slowest thing in poker since TV introduced us to "tanking". Nobody should have more than 10,000 in T500s at any time, and likely less than that. Since the T500 is just a half-step chip, they don't move around the table much. You will rarely be making change for T500s, so 4 barrels is plenty for a whole table. If you are OCD, buy a rack. If you have 2 racks, you have enough to host a 4-5 table event.

TV Host: There you have it. Two differing viewpoints from our experts, each with a distinct perspective. Yet despite the opposing viewpoints, there is a lot of agreement. Build your sets according to whichever point of view you share.
 
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Beaniman

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It's already pinned up at the top right of every page on the site.
20200415_001706.jpg
 

JustinInMN

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My 650 ideal set for two tables max would be as follows:
8 - $25 (160)
8 - $100 (160)
8 - $500 (180)
5 - $1000 (120)
N/a $5000 (30)

Because of the 2:1 jump to 1000 from 500 and the 500 never really serves as a "workhorse" chip in a base T25 setup since T1000 chips are always present, most PCFers see 4-5 per starting stack as sufficient, and would see 8 per stack as too many.

8/8/4/7 and 12/12/5/6 are the most common recommendations to take advantage of this. (I even see advocates for 8/8/2/8 or 12/12/3/7 starting stacks.) You can accommodate the same 20 players with 600 chips doing 8/8/4/7 using a total of 160/160/80/160/40 (extra 1K for color ups.)

You also could search for threads that have been made about the T2000 chip (now this is the most PCF thread ever) in the progression instead of T1000. That setup makes more sense for more T500 chips, but it really seems that isn't as efficient as it looks.
 

Squidge

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Apart from all the truths above there's another good reason for 12/12/ vs 8/8/, which is that the former allows you to host larger tournaments than the set was designed for, while the latter is already maxed. When I say that, I'm aware that the nr of T500 and T1000 might be too few when hosting a larger field, but that can be solved by letting some stacks start with a T5000.

My point is: 12 of the lower denoms allows you to reduce to 8 and have a larger field, albeit with some wonky stacks. 8 of the lower denoms does not allow this.

That's interesting, I had the exact opposite thought. If I plan my max at 8/8/X when I have fewer players then I can play 12/12/X and there would be plenty of chips to accommodate this format. That is if you really want to stretch your chips to host the most players with the least chips. I suppose planning your set around the least likely scenario, maxing out your set, instead of planning to make your average game play smoothly isn't ideal.

In regards to BG,
Thanks for the breakdown from a pro! I will go for your breakdown when I pull the trigger on a set of 650, although I am now tempted to increase to a set of 900.
Not sure I will fit 20+ people at one table lol

Also, it was somehow lost on me the limited usefulness of the T500 chip. I have always regarded the T50 chip as redundant as it only fills a 2x gap on each side, however, adding a zero must have confused me as I only registered the T500 having a 5x gap between the T100 and not a 2x gap to T1000. I can probably explain this oversight as I have only hosted small tournaments where the blinds don't get very high so the T1000 only really becomes the workhorse chip in heads up play and is less relevant. I'm glad to have these problems made known before I expand to bigger and better sets and learn them the hard way! Thanks for taking the time in your detailed responses!
 

JustinInMN

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Also, it was somehow lost on me the limited usefulness of the T500 chip. I have always regarded the T50 chip as redundant as it only fills a 2x gap on each side, however, adding a zero must have confused me as I only registered the T500 having a 5x gap between the T100 and not a 2x gap to T1000. I can probably explain this oversight as I have only hosted small tournaments where the blinds don't get very high so the T1000 only really becomes the workhorse chip in heads up play and is less relevant. I'm glad to have these problems made known before I expand to bigger and better sets and learn them the hard way! Thanks for taking the time in your detailed responses!

Also in base T5 setups for most 2-3 table tournaments, the T500 has more usefulness at the end of the tournament and T1000 are superflous, but there really is no way of getting around needing another chip above the T500 in base T25, and the T1000 & T5000 are suitable to finish most end games.
 

Squidge

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Because of the 2:1 jump to 1000 from 500 and the 500 never really serves as a "workhorse" chip in a base T25 setup since T1000 chips are always present, most PCFers see 4-5 per starting stack as sufficient, and would see 8 per stack as too many.

8/8/4/7 and 12/12/5/6 are the most common recommendations to take advantage of this. (I even see advocates for 8/8/2/8 or 12/12/3/7 starting stacks.) You can accommodate the same 20 players with 600 chips doing 8/8/4/7 using a total of 160/160/80/160/40 (extra 1K for color ups.)

You also could search for threads that have been made about the T2000 chip (now this is the most PCF thread ever) in the progression instead of T1000. That setup makes more sense for more T500 chips, but it really seems that isn't as efficient as it looks.

I kinda missed the 2x jump going up to T1000 as I mentioned in the above post. There is something in me that hates the look of more higher denom chips than lesser. Having equal stacks of 8 was aesthetically appealing to me or having chips descend in quantity as they ascend in value just makes sense. That being said it is a moot point if it doesn't allow for efficient play, the one and only purpose of a poker chip (Besides to look at in adoration :D).

T2000 seems great if you can get over the 8x jump from the T500 and have the capacity and desire to re-label (Not me) as they don't seem to be a common denom.
I think I will stay with the 12/12/X layout. I do love purple chips so I could always increase them on the merits of MOAR!
 

Squidge

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Also in base T5 setups for most 2-3 table tournaments, the T500 has more usefulness at the end of the tournament and T1000 are superflous, but there really is no way of getting around needing another chip above the T500 in base T25, and the T1000 & T5000 are suitable to finish most end games.

Not a huge fan of T5. I would rather keep cash and tournaments denoms separate. As the biggest cash game my crew would play is .25/.50 ATM there is no need for hundos and I intend to get $20 for cash. Also, half the fun hosting a tournament is to use higher denoms and more colors!
 

Poker Zombie

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One of the problems with T2000s is that it requires more T500s, and a lot of people that do not play a lot of poker cannot count out large stacks of T500s without putting them in individual stacks of 2 :banghead: This is essentially the same counting every single chip individually, and wastes a lot of time.

Like you, I like the amount of each chip denomination descending as the value goes up, and I am a lover of purple chips. I bought 2 racks for my games, but have since paired back on putting them all out, because of watching people count them: Stack 2 chips "one thousand", stack 2 chips "two thousand"... etc all the way up to 6 thousand is tedious. I run MTTs, so a lot of T500s are still in play at the final table. If you are running a single table tourney, you can get away with more T500s, but unless you are playing with regular poker players, or people that regularly think in terms of mathematics it will still slow the game when counting large stacks of the purple chips.
 

Mr Winberg

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When I bought my set I made conscious choice of going for quantity rather than quality. I like lots of tall stacks, and I don't know if it's just my group but I haven't felt that it has slowed down the game too much.

For the T25-T1000 I have 500/500/400/400 Milanos.
Up to 25 players I do T20k with 20/20/5/15. More than 25 players and the last players get 4×T5k. 20 players or less and we do T25k of 20/20/5/20.

I mix this up with sometimes having 10k stacks of 20/20/15, and adding relabeled T2k chips when coloring up, and relabeled T10k chips for the endgame.

Once again, I feel the time lost is negligible. On the other hand, setting up the starting stacks is A LOT faster since you can just grab barrels out of the racks. And most important: MOARER chips is COOLER!!

Disclaimer: YMMV

Note that a T15K starting stack (12/12/5/6/1) is three equal stacks of 12 chips per player. Magnificent.
Whereas 20/20/5/15 is 3 real stacks per player :sneaky: MOAR magnificent!

a lot of people that do not play a lot of poker cannot count out large stacks of T500s without putting them in individual stacks of 2 :banghead: [...] Stack 2 chips "one thousand", stack 2 chips "two thousand"...
You mean there's ANOTHER WAY??? o_O
 

BGinGA

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Sometimes a starting stack of 27-28 chips is more practical than a starting stack of 35-36 chips if you're spending an average of $8+ per chip....
Nah -- if you are sacrificing the event just to save money, that merely means you can't really afford the chips in question.

Now, if you're using the smaller stack only because you can't FIND the extra chips needed, that's a different story.... :)
 

allforcharity

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Nah -- if you are sacrificing the event just to save money, that merely means you can't really afford the chips in question.

Now, if you're using the smaller stack only because you can't FIND the extra chips needed, that's a different story.... :)

To-may-to, to-mah-to. Expanding from 1 table to 2 tables (or 2 to 3) with all Jack Detroit can be an expensive proposition.... :(
 

Jake14mw

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How did I miss this thread? This is great stuff in here, thanks guys! I am definitely the Chip Love guy above, because I like a lot of chips, and I hate having to make change.

My 920 piece chipset is:
300 x 5
300 x 25
200 x 100
100 x 500
20 x 1000 (We rarely need to use these)

Our tourneys are usually 7-9 people. We like to get two tourneys in per night. A few special events can have up to 19 players. We start with 10/20 blinds 12 minute rounds - 3000 starting stack. Based on all this info, I have this as the best starting stacks, critiques?

10 x 5
14 x 25
11 x 100
3 x 500
 

RichMahogany

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How did I miss this thread? This is great stuff in here, thanks guys! I am definitely the Chip Love guy above, because I like a lot of chips, and I hate having to make change.

My 920 piece chipset is:
300 x 5
300 x 25
200 x 100
100 x 500
20 x 1000 (We rarely need to use these)

Our tourneys are usually 7-9 people. We like to get two tourneys in per night. A few special events can have up to 19 players. We start with 10/20 blinds 12 minute rounds - 3000 starting stack. Based on all this info, I have this as the best starting stacks, critiques?

10 x 5
14 x 25
11 x 100
3 x 500

10/10/7/2 for T2000 is probably the most common. Can also do something like 15/13/11/1 or 15/13/6/2. I think Home Poker Tourney used to advocate something similar to the latter.
 
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