Cash Game .25/.5 | Minimum Chip Count (1 Viewer)


Full House
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May 11, 2021
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I'm hesitant to add 'break down' in this conversation, I'm looking for the fewest amount of chips to have a .25/.5 game where the lack of chips doesn't have a negative impact on the game play. I think its fine to make 'some' change, but not excessive change, and this is where the argument will likely be, as excessive change will be subjective.

I've found by experience, that 60 fracs fit in the range of change needed but doesn't have a negative impact on the game. The exception is when I have chippers in the game that want to horde the fracs, then I have to add additional fracs. :cautious: @ParrotheadMZ

@upNdown suggested 180 $1's and I find that I really like that as well, it lets me get the 5's in slightly faster, and it feels better, like its just the right amount.

What I'm focused on for this discussion is the amount of 5's - I typically use 300, BUT I don't really have any 20/25s in the game until late night. Also if a particular player is up, he stacks his 5s in stacks of 10, which drives me nuts! lol

So I'm looking at a new set and the 5s are the most $$$, so if I were to reduce the order to 200 instead of 300, it would reduce the order by about 17%, and I can order more year over year which lets me 1) go easier on upfront costs, and 2) lets me still buy custom chips, but not at a rate that has a negative impact :ROFL: :ROFLMAO: on life. Addons instead of new sets.

disclaimer for newer members
For those that would read this before they are ready, I will still be purchasing additional chips incase of damage or shrinkage. I really wouldn't suggest buying less than a rack of any 1 denom, and re-sell, I think you'll generally be better off to have a standard amount of chips which can be found as an aggregate of other threads, but to be more specific, 300 x 5s.

What is the minimum amount of chips you would felt for a .25/.5 PLO game? This question has a pre-requisite that you are interested in efficiency and are able to camp outside of 'MOaR cHiPS!'

I find we typically have about 2.5k +/- 600

I think for my minimum it would look like this:

.25 - 60
1 - 180
5 - 200
20 - 40 / 60
100 - 10

This covers a bank of 2,995 - 3,395, obviously I have a significant amount of chips to supplement if needed. The game within the game, where is the golden ratio of chips for a .25/.5 at? I've started seeing how this plays, one issue is the player base, when I get two crazies in the game this breaks down. I'm looking for a 'run of the mill' game. I also think if you have too few of needed chips it makes the game 'feel' nitty, as there is an aspect of not as many chips 'splashing' around.

While I know most are 'MOaR cHiPS!' I'm finding it fun to see this game over game and play around with the chips in play. I never put in 20s at the start its all 5s and below for the buy-ins. When I'm at other games and get larger denoms for a buy in, I find my emotion appeal was to get more of the lower denoms and I'm not sure if that is a symptom of playing with a $5 bring in or if its based on a ratio of the buy in.

Again, I'm looking more of a why than a specific chip count, chip count theory would have maybe been a better working title. Are there players that have an impact on chip count for your game, can you label them?
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I also think if you have too few of needed chips it makes the game 'feel' nitty, as there is an aspect of not as many chips 'splashing' around.

Are there players that have an impact on chip count for your game, can you label them?
I agree with the first statement, I always talk about how I center my game around beginners and their experience and this is a big symptom, they're nervous making change or asking others for it so they'll see their chips as the bet increments, not as just representatives of money.

I don't have many crazies and host tiny stakes, but I'll label brand new people as such and give them a full barrel of nickels. Gives them more to play with; I'd label a competent regular as someone I can just give $1s to and he'll make his own change.

Appreciate the thread, following. Im team more fracs but only because I stress inclusiveness not efficiency, definitely dont need them all.
he stacks his 5s in stacks of 10
That’s the worst!

My first thought is that if you’re looking for maximum efficiency, you should ditch the $20s for $25s. It’s not a big deal, and I guess it mostly depends on what you and your players prefer.

I don’t have enough experience with PLO at these stakes to share anything useful, but I’m pretty sure you’re doing the right thing with the minimum amount of fracs and $1s.
For a full table of 10, without excessively changing.

Minimum 25/50c stake breakdown should be

25c x 80
$1 x 180
$5 x 200
$25 x 60
$100 x 20

You can further reduce the chips needed if you change the stake to 50c/50c which will suits PLO more with SB = BB too

50c x 40
$1 x 180
$5 x 200
$25 x 60
$100 x 40
I think you can get away with a maximum of 16 per player of any given denomination. You never need more than 4 of a given chip to construct a bet assuming you have the next size up. Over 4 streets, that means 16 chips, but it's still unlikely. Take $5s for example. How often is the betting going to go $20 -> $45 -> $95 -> $145 for example? Add in a dealer and players that know how to make change and oversize chip calls and you need even less. If someone bets $20 you can call with your $25, and instead of using 8 $5s for the pot it's 3 $5s and a $25.

Imagine the above bet spread heads up, using oversize calls vs not (and no change making from the pot).

$20 (8x$5) -> $45 (2x$25,8x$5) - > $95 (3x$25,8x$5) -> $145 (2x$100,2x$25,8x$5)

$20 (1x$25,3x$5) -> (3x$25,4x$5) -> $95 (1x$100,3x$25,3x$5) -> $145 (2x$100,3x$25,3x$5)

By refusing to make big chip calls, we need 39 chips to construct this pot. With oversize chip call we only need 26 chips, and this is still a worst case scenario kind of betting sequence. Cut the $100s which probably won't be in play, and it's 47 chips vs 38 chips. If you allow change making from the pot it can be even less. In a MOAR 5s game with a 6:1 ratio of $5 to $25 we're using 67x$5 and and 11x$25 to make this pot. If no one has rebought and our buy-ins were entirely in $1 and $5s we're using 122x$5 for the pot.

It also depends on how you set your blinds, and how deep you need your stacks to be. If you play at 100bb you can get away with far fewer chips than 200bb. If you're playing 200bb .25/.50 you can save on fracs by playing .50/.50 If we're playing 8-max:

40 - .50
140 - 1
140 - 5
60 - 25
20 - 100

4,360 or 43.6 buy ins at 200bb

Half the players get 6/17/16, half get 4/18/16. First rebuy is 10x$5, 2x$25, the rest are 4x$25. Now, would I want to play like that? Probably not, but it seems feasible and if people know how to bet and make change you should be able to play this way without slowing the game down. If anything, I think a stack of 40 $5s slows the game down compared to 20 $5s and 8 $25s.

More reasonable set-up for 9 or 10-max (fuck 10-max though)

40 - .5
180 - 1
180 - 5
80 - 25
20 - 100

Enough chips for each player to have a barrel of 1s and 5s at 9-max. First ten buy-ins are 4/18/16, 11th is 0/0/20, the rest are all $25s.

Anyways, this is a poker chip collecting forum, and not the efficient stack size forum, play with how many chips you want. You want 20 fracs per player, 20 fracs per player it is. You want a rack of $5s per player? Go ahead.
So PLO can only be played with 9 max, okay so you can have 10 at the table and typically the button sits out, you could do 11 and have two players sit out which would move with the orbit of the button. I enjoy the game 8 or 9 handed, after about 7 hours when we get down to 6 or 7 players we start introducing circus games.

How often is the betting going to go $20 -> $45 -> $95 -> $145 for example?

Imagine the above bet spread heads up, using oversize calls vs not (and no change making from the pot).

$20 (8x$5) -> $45 (2x$25,8x$5) - > $95 (3x$25,8x$5) -> $145 (2x$100,2x$25,8x$5)

$20 (1x$25,3x$5) -> (3x$25,4x$5) -> $95 (1x$100,3x$25,3x$5) -> $145 (2x$100,3x$25,3x$5)
I understand what you are saying, but betting in PLO doesn't typically play like that, to keep it simple bets are in pot size increments, so it would typically be something more like

Pot 5 > Repot 20 > Repot 70 > Repot! 240 (aka, stacks!)

I'm not looking for a calculation of the minimum chips it would take for a game, I think that would be too restrictive and would have a negative impact on the game. I'm really looking for something more crafty, something honed to fit a home and the variance of hosts. I follow that you could map out max per round betting / raises and go based off that.

For my next set I do plan to do a X Frac, and 50c/50c is interesting to me, there are like 2 players that can fold a small blind. The ideology of being a free limp to me seems foreign, I think I prefer an action other than check from the SB. I also really like .25/.5 as a marketing tool, it declares its a low stakes game. While 'low stakes' is subjective, it is still the lowest I think you'll really see a PLO game. If you can learn to fold the SB in a .25 / .5 game of PLO, you are ready to play higher stakes.

Does this qty change in NL vs Limit?
Of course! Indiana has an odd evolution of poker imo. Pre ought 5' it was always limit, you couldn't run a game without 1000 of the chips and larger games would run 3000 sometimes more. Today it seems all of our games have more 5s than anywhere else, even for NL or PL games.

I bought my first set for a 5/10 limit game, I still have the Nexgens, circa 99'. I can't find a limit game (outside of a 7 stud 8'O) so they go unused.

for maximum efficiency, you should ditch the $20s for $25s
I like this call out, but I still prefer 20s in the game.

@NotRealNameNoSir - I think there is room in the conversation for too many fracs, sure you'll have hosts that say you can't have too many, but then they don't have 1000 fracs on the table in play. To find the sweet spot, even if its yours I think you first have to have an idea on what is too many, what is the right amount for you, have you ever put 300 in play? I think Fracs are the easiest to find too many, when you have hand after hand taking excessive time because people are having to split, restack and rake in 300 fracs you'll know its disruptive, and slowing down the game.

The tl;dr efficiencies so far - use .50c and 25s over 20s if you are trying to go min chip count.
The tl;dr efficiencies so far - use .50c and 25s over 20s if you are trying to go min chip count.
Very fair, sure. In my mind/game, I believe 300 is too many, 200 is luxurious but affords me the ability to just give out a full barrel representing either $1 or $5, easy game. Even for my 5cent/10cent super beginner game, I don't want more than 200 quarters or nickels. When I have stacks of nickels you're right, its in the way, I wouldn't have 200 fracs if I'm playing a regular game with competent players.

I'm making a flamingo set and I'll admit I've got 300 $1s, but that's only because they'll be my workhorses and I LOVE THAT BLUE, RATIONAL THINKING BE DAMNED.
Fair enough, PLOs not my game so I probably shouldn't be commenting at all haha. I'm just of the opinion you shouldn't be constructing bets with >10 of a single denomination unless you have no higher chips available.

I agree, I like 1-chip 2-chip blinds better. But, the difference is pretty marginal and it can let you stretch the chipping budget farther. Even if they're not always the most fun, I like thinking about how small you can get a chipset without actually slowing the game down, regardless of feel. And yes, $25s > $20s if you're trying to minimize needed chips.
Way back when... So that I could afford nice chips. I would purchase the QTY below. This was for 25c/50c NLHE with 9ish players. The game wasn't too limpy... usually a pfr was ~$2.5-$3.5

25c - 100x
$1 - 130x
$5 -120x
$25 - 40x
$100 - 10x

400 total chips

Typical $100 buy-in would consist of:
12x - 25c
12x - $1
12x - $5
1x - $25

This worked just fine. Rebuys would get the remaining small chips on the table and then be exclusively $25 and $100.

Now my sets include two full racks of $1 and $5. But the above worked for many years.
Fair enough, PLOs not my game so I probably shouldn't be commenting at all haha. I'm just of the opinion you shouldn't be constructing bets with >10 of a single denomination unless you have no higher chips available.
Well, while no one respects NLH players :ROFL: :ROFLMAO::LOL: :laugh: I still find your point view valid, you still see how a game plays with chips as a function. I think really the biggest difference is the frequency in which stacks go in.

I also agree, someone counting out 13 .25s instead of using $1s is obnoxious, with few exceptions.
Goodness, is my 180 (1s) at the top of the band? Maybe I'll try 160 this week?

When I use quarters, I put out 100 of them, and I stop putting ones out at ~150. It's fine. Mix of NLHE/PLO, 9 max. If we're going to be mixing in fixed limit games (2/4) I'll up the ones to 200.

I actually built my set to stretch to two tables in which case I'd be putting ~80/130 quarters/ones on each table.
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Minimum chips needed I think is
500 GIF by ZedgeOfficial
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What is discussed above is still really close to the 100-200-200-80-20 "standard" denom spread for a 0 25/0.50 cash game. PLO can get a little crazy so I'd switch a barrel of fracs for $20/25, easy.
Good reason that's the standard. Barrel of workhorse chips for each player, enough fracs for everyone to have 10, 80 value chips for rebuys, 20 value+ chips in case of a deep game. 80 fracs is good for quarters because you can give 8x per player. For 5c games I like 100 so everyone gets 10, for 50c games you can get away with as little as 4 or 6 per player because it's so close to $1.
More chips in play/stacks promotes more action; especially more workhorse chips. That in itself should suffice to avoid planning a 'bare minimum numbers' set, especially for a cash set. Excessive change making is a secondary (although annoying) consideration, compared to maximizing game play.

Three denominations in play is plenty for almost all cash games. A fourth value-holder chip is sometimes valuable, but rarely actually required. Simultaneously using five denoms actually hurts the game.
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maybe I missed somewhere. Do you limit number of buyins? I've seen people have 2000bbs which basically made it a 1/3 game.
I limit the max buy-in, 80 for the first few hours and then open it up to 100.
So, I'll make some assumptions, I've actually had this argument with a friend of mine. He argues that the blinds should set the pace for the game, and that there shouldn't be a cap on the game. We've read similar books that talks about this component and we've both played for a significant amount of time throughout our lives, one notable difference is he has never had a job, and has played more than I have.

I invite people that don't have a lot of experience playing poker, and often that haven't played PLO. I also like to be able to invite more seasoned players, while protecting newer players, that will likely have different reasons for playing the game. What I'm trying to do is prevent a seasoned player from getting it all in, building a 500 USD pot, losing turning around and putting another 500 in to bust the player that they just lost to. If a newer player gets trapped up in that they would feel like they don't have a 500 buy in and would leave. I also feel this would move the game to being more money focused than the vibe I think we currently have.
I think you could do it with 400 chips. 80/200/120 of 25¢/1/5. Everyone can start with 20 in quarters and singles (8/18) and the rest in fives. Bank is $820, or 16 buy-ins of $50. $20 notes play after that.

If it doesn't HAVE to be 25¢-50¢ and can be 50¢-50¢ then you can cheat with a 50¢ frac and free up 40 more chips. 40/200/160, that bank is $1020.

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