.25/.50 vs 1/2 at a home game (1 Viewer)

CrazyEddie

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I play poker because I like the skill aspect, but playing with these players is more often straight gambling, which is much less fun for me.

I'm not sure what to do to maintain a healthy game at this point with the players I have. I've been hosting less frequently and going to a game that's a bit of a drive for me but doesn't have any drama. There are likely some more players in my area that would play 25c/50c if it actually played at those stakes but they are inconsistent, whereas the big gamblers come everytime I host but are clearly playing larger than the blinds suggest.
My suspicion is that you won't be able to play the kind of game you'd like to play while keeping these players.

They want to play Any Two Cards. Raising the blinds, changing the buy-in rules, switching to pot-limit, etc won't change that; it'll only frustrate them and make them go broke faster. You could try to teach them how to play skillful poker, but they probably aren't interested.

Consider closing your game, playing at other people's games for a while, and then later starting over with a clean slate. Invite players who play the style that you want to see in your game.
 

CrazyEddie

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This is again just another example of how allowing a rebuy to the biggest stack can provide an advantage in a different way.
Sure, but here it's providing the advantage to the big stack, not the guy who's rebuying, and I don't think that's what you were intending to prevent by disallowing it.
 

trigs

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Sure, but here it's providing the advantage to the big stack, not the guy who's rebuying, and I don't think that's what you were intending to prevent by disallowing it.
I am against allowing any advantage to anyone by allowing them to rebuy to the biggest stack. I don't care who it's benefiting in the specific hand or scenario. It effects the game negatively imho. I did not provide examples for every possible scenario because, like I said, there are multiple. My examples still showed how there is an advantage, and so did yours.
 

LeLe

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I think another main reason why to keep the buyin Low is too minimum potential losses on a cooler night, it help to keep the group intact esp with close friends.
 

Legend5555

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The way I see it: if there were no advantage to being the biggest stack at the table, then why does everybody try so hard to be the biggest stack (and soonest) at the table?
Because people mistakenly think it matters when it doesn't. I think it comes at least in large part from the fact that mostly poker tournaments were (and to some extent still are) the primary form of poker that's broadcast. And in those, having a big stack is an advantage and does matter. But it's just not true in big bet cash games.

I think the primary reason casinos limit buy ins is to cater to the recreational player. They can't lose all their money in one big hand and therefore must rebuy several times, thus playing more pots, thus generating more rake.

Again, the only thing having a big stack does is allow you to play bigger pots against people that also have big stacks. If you are in for 1000bb and everyone else is in for 100bb, what is the advantage you have from having the 1000bb? You could have just bought in for 100bb then constantly topped up to the biggest stack and had the same effect. The only reason to cover people is so you can win bigger pots. That's a form of advantage, but it's the only one I can see from having a big stack. And that's what I've been saying all along. But, In cash games there is no strategic advantage to having a big stack of say 1000bb. It doesn't change what hands you should be playing when everyone else is only on 100bb. And if you think it does, then you are just straight up playing poorly.
 

trigs

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The way I see it: if there were no advantage to being the biggest stack at the table, then why does everybody try so hard to be the biggest stack (and soonest) at the table?
Because apparently everyone, including the best pros, are just wrong obviously.
 

Legend5555

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Because apparently everyone, including the best pros, are just wrong obviously.
We've gone over this. As a good player you want to cover the weaker players so you can win bigger pots. That has never been in contention in this conversation. Can you explain why having a big stack other than that reason matters at all? Because you seem to think there is something else.

I'm starting to think you are just trolling, or that you have literally no concept of what effective stack size is and what it means about how you should approach the play of hands.
 

trigs

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No one in this thread is saying that having a big stack is 100% necessarily the be all and end all of advantages in poker. Obviously, if you suck at poker then having a big stack is not going to make you suddenly crush everyone at the table. In fact, as was mentioned, it's probably a hindrance to you to rebuy to max because you can possibly lose even more. But again, this is just another example of how the good players can use this "rebuy to the biggest stack" to their ADVANTAGE. Hence, there are advantages to be made when allowing players to rebuy to biggest stack (mostly for the good players in the case of those who keep arguing there is no advantage but also keep providing examples of when there is an advantage).
 

trigs

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We've gone over this. As a good player you want to cover the weaker players so you can win bigger pots. That has never been in contention in this conversation. Can you explain why having a big stack other than that reason matters at all? Because you seem to think there is something else.

I'm starting to think you are just trolling, or that you have literally no concept of what effective stack size is and what it means about how you should approach the play of hands.
I have. You just disagree which is fine. Now please explain to me why the bold you stated is not considered an advantage to having a big stack.
 

grebe

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Ok, let's look at it from the other perspective. Is there any real disadvantage to being the largest stack (and soonest) at the table?
Yes, if you are a weaker player it allows you to make bigger mistakes....all things being equal.

The advantage of having a big stack as a strong player: It allows you to extract maximum value from the weaker opponents when they make a mistake

The disadvantage of having a big stack as a weak opponent: It allows others to extract maximum value from you when you make a mistake

FACT: match the stack (or any other deep stack method) gives a very large advantage to the stronger players in the game, skewing the playing field away from the recreational player and towards the more skilled.
Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing is open to interpretation and depends on what you want your game to look like.
 

CrazyEddie

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Probably a better way to conceptualize what some of us are saying is this: Between two players who are equally skilled, there is exactly zero advantage to either one of them having a stack bigger than the other.

The part about good players vs. bad players and about pros wanting to cover the table etc. is a distraction from this key point. I think a lot of people have a misconception about this key point, and I think that misconception is at the root of ideas about "it's not fair to let someone buy in to match the big stack".
 

CrazyEddie

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... we've kind of derailed @natumes original post, though. I'd like to see more thoughts about what he could do to help get more satisfaction from his own game. I feel like this scenario is something that a lot of us could end up having to deal with.
 

Legend5555

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I have. You just disagree which is fine. Now please explain to me why the bold you stated is not considered an advantage to having a big stack.
Did you even read the sentence that follows the bolded sentence?
 

Legend5555

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My last post about this. I want to know what @trigs thinks about this. True or false? If false, please explain.

Between two players who are equally skilled, there is exactly zero advantage to either one of them having a stack bigger than the other.
 

grebe

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Probably a better way to conceptualize what some of us are saying is this: Between two players who are equally skilled, there is exactly zero advantage to either one of them having a stack bigger than the other.

The part about good players vs. bad players and about pros wanting to cover the table etc. is a distraction from this key point. I think a lot of people have a misconception about this key point, and I think that misconception is at the root of ideas about "it's not fair to let someone buy in to match the big stack".
Another point to consider when talking about matching the stack is ROR....risk of ruin. If two players have the same skill levels, but are allowed to go infinitely deep....eventually the player with the greater risk of ruin will lose. Therefore, deeper pockets will prevail. How much this comes in to play in actuality depends on the stakes of the game and how deep it will play.
 

MatthewTreeTree

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What do you fellas think about just having a SET buy-in?

You probably don’t need an example, but 1/1 with Buy-In set @ 100

Literally is the sweet spot for the question. I’m obviously not a genius but it also solves the big stack small stack arguments lol
 

trigs

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What do you fellas think about just having a SET buy-in?

You probably don’t need an example, but 1/1 with Buy-In set @ 100

Literally is the sweet spot for the question. I’m obviously not a genius but it also solves the big stack small stack arguments lol
I'm fine with that, but I would prefer 200BBs. I can deal with 100BBs though but not anything less than that.
 

MatthewTreeTree

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118681FD-C833-4B7B-929D-119A4A6CBEE2.jpeg
 

grebe

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MatthewTreeTree

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This is a great idea for a wild game that will last 6 months.

The example you gave is for an open game in a casino. This does not compute for a home game with a relatively small player pool. You may as well have given their craps table spread.
The scary thing about that is unwanted *rumors of fellas buying-in for a rob(able) amounts lol

edit: “but who am I”
 

grebe

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These are the right questions.

Standard open size is $2-5 depending on the player and what their cards are (higher opens are either low pocket pairs or aces/kings and lower opens tend to be suited connectors or double broadway).

It's usually a call fest. There are only 2 players that 3 bet preflop with any regularity, and even after a 3 bet there are still usually multiple callers unless the sizing jumps into the $20 range. Even then, there will be 3 players in that pot (the same 3 players that fold preflop 10% or less). Rarely will most players be able to isolate because of these 3 players.

There have been a few occasions now where one of these 3 players has cashed out for over $1200 and there was more than casual grumbling about how the game played. The last hand of the last game I hosted was not a fun one. There was a $15 open from the player who originally suggested raising the stakes. He had busted and came back later with a $500 buy in and was only opening for $15 or more (playing like he would 1/3). There were 4 callers. He continued on the K/9/2 rainbow flop, 4 callers. Turn is a 3, checks around. River is a 3, cut off bets $50, button folds, SB folds, BB raises to $125, UTG(preflop raiser) calls, cut off jams, sb snap calls, utg shows a king, tanks, then disgustedly mucks. Sb flips 3/5 off for trips, cut off flips 2/3 off for a full house. Sb angrily shoves her stack across the table and utg says some things I wont repeat.

I will admit it's been very frustrating for me as well, when I raise/3 bet a premium hand, flop top pair, barrel every street with a clean run out and villain flips over 8/2 off for a rivered 2 pair, or similar low unsuited hands for random backdoor straights.

As you said, the variance is wild, and for me makes the game not fun. I play poker because I like the skill aspect, but playing with these players is more often straight gambling, which is much less fun for me.

I'm not sure what to do to maintain a healthy game at this point with the players I have. I've been hosting less frequently and going to a game that's a bit of a drive for me but doesn't have any drama. There are likely some more players in my area that would play 25c/50c if it actually played at those stakes but they are inconsistent, whereas the big gamblers come everytime I host but are clearly playing larger than the blinds suggest.
I just re-read this post. I get the frustration....but it sounds like you have a good game going. Last hand antics will always happen. I would be inclined to not mess with your stakes much.

Also, think about who you want to appease here. Obivously as you have read, a good player with the ability to cover everyone will have an "extended" advantage over weaker players that have won early. If you want to appease the better players, allow this. If you want to allow better players to have a handicapped advantage, cap the buyins. You can probably do whatever you want and keep your game pumping along since you are in Utah and your competition level is low (no close by casinos). But think about what type of game you want to have at your home.

Last thing I will leave with is to say my favorite home game stakes are .50/1 max $100. For me personally, this is the sweet spot.
 

Taghkanic

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These are the right questions.

Standard open size is $2-5 depending on the player and what their cards are (higher opens are either low pocket pairs or aces/kings and lower opens tend to be suited connectors or double broadway).

It's usually a call fest. There are only 2 players that 3 bet preflop with any regularity, and even after a 3 bet there are still usually multiple callers unless the sizing jumps into the $20 range. Even then, there will be 3 players in that pot (the same 3 players that fold preflop 10% or less). Rarely will most players be able to isolate because of these 3 players.

There have been a few occasions now where one of these 3 players has cashed out for over $1200 and there was more than casual grumbling about how the game played. The last hand of the last game I hosted was not a fun one. There was a $15 open from the player who originally suggested raising the stakes. He had busted and came back later with a $500 buy in and was only opening for $15 or more (playing like he would 1/3). There were 4 callers. He continued on the K/9/2 rainbow flop, 4 callers. Turn is a 3, checks around. River is a 3, cut off bets $50, button folds, SB folds, BB raises to $125, UTG(preflop raiser) calls, cut off jams, sb snap calls, utg shows a king, tanks, then disgustedly mucks. Sb flips 3/5 off for trips, cut off flips 2/3 off for a full house. Sb angrily shoves her stack across the table and utg says some things I wont repeat.

I will admit it's been very frustrating for me as well, when I raise/3 bet a premium hand, flop top pair, barrel every street with a clean run out and villain flips over 8/2 off for a rivered 2 pair, or similar low unsuited hands for random backdoor straights.

As you said, the variance is wild, and for me makes the game not fun. I play poker because I like the skill aspect, but playing with these players is more often straight gambling, which is much less fun for me.

I'm not sure what to do to maintain a healthy game at this point with the players I have. I've been hosting less frequently and going to a game that's a bit of a drive for me but doesn't have any drama. There are likely some more players in my area that would play 25c/50c if it actually played at those stakes but they are inconsistent, whereas the big gamblers come everytime I host but are clearly playing larger than the blinds suggest.

Helpful info.

So, the standard opens in this .25/.50 game ($100 buyin) are $2-$5, or 4x-10x.

That’s a little bigger than what I’d expect, but not totally out of line.

If the stakes go up to 1/2 as your friend suggested, do you think opens would balloon proportionally to $8-$20, or would it be more like $5-$15 (2.5x-7.5x)? Would there still be multiple callers even at the highest open sizes?

Assuming the max buyin also went up ($300 would be standard for 1/2), would people buy in for the max or just play a very short stacked game—still buying in for $100?

There is a chance that upping to 1/2 would just make the game even more of a blind gamble, with players getting it all in on the flop constantly (due to stack to pot ratios). This would be even less fun for people who enjoy strategy rather than gambling.

Same questions for .50/1 or 1/1. Would changing the stakes actually change behavior?

The other thing I’m not clear on is how deep the pockets are of your player pool.

Are they playing this way just because they are stations/action junkies? Or because the stakes are so low that they don’t really care to be careful? Would their playing styles and willingness to rebuy change if their potential losses were much higher?

(Specifically with the any-two-to-the-river guy… I assume he is rebuying constantly?)

Another way to assess this might be to ask: How much money is in play over the course of the night?

If it’s say $2K total in a .25/.50 game, that’s 4,000 BB in play, or 20 total buyins. Not a lot for such a loose full-ring game, IMHO. If you go to 1/2 and people start nitting it up, there might not be much more money in play and much less action. Which probably would chase away some players there just to see a ton of hands and gamble.

Depending on the answers to the above, I don’t see a clear solution yet. I’d probably try bumping it up to .50/1 or 1/1, with an optional straddle, just to see what happens. Then re-adjust.

But it may be that the real adjustment at these stakes for the better players is just to play differently to exploit this player pool. For example, I might try playing even fewer hands, betting these much bigger preflop and punishing limpers with huge flop c-bets. I’d bring a big roll and rebuy as much as I could to smooth out variance, because there would be some ridiculous beats. Doing this (especially if there is another good player in the game also making life difficult for the stations) may either change the behaviors you dislike… or drive some players away.
 

MatthewTreeTree

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Helpful info.

So, the standard opens in this .25/.50 game ($100 buyin) are $2-$5, or 4x-10x.

That’s a little bigger than what I’d expect, but not totally out of line.

If the stakes go up to 1/2 as your friend suggested, do you think opens would balloon proportionally to $8-$20, or would it be more like $5-$15 (2.5x-7.5x)? Would there still be multiple callers even at the highest open sizes?

Assuming the max buyin also went up ($300 would be standard for 1/2), would people buy in for the max or just play a very short stacked game—still buying in for $100?

There is a chance that upping to 1/2 would just make the game even more of a blind gamble, with players getting it all in on the flop constantly (due to stack to pot ratios). This would be even less fun for people who enjoy strategy rather than gambling.

Same questions for .50/1 or 1/1. Would changing the stakes actually change behavior?

The other thing I’m not clear on is how deep the pockets are of your player pool.

Are they playing this way just because they are stations/action junkies? Or because the stakes are so low that they don’t really care to be careful? Would their playing styles and willingness to rebuy change if their potential losses were much higher?

(Specifically with the any-two-to-the-river guy… I assume he is rebuying constantly?)

Another way to assess this might be to ask: How much money is in play over the course of the night?

If it’s say $2K total in a .25/.50 game, that’s 4,000 BB in play, or 20 total buyins. Not a lot for such a loose full-ring game, IMHO. If you go to 1/2 and people start nitting it up, there might not be much more money in play and much less action. Which probably would chase away some players there just to see a ton of hands and gamble.

Depending on the answers to the above, I don’t see a clear solution yet. I’d probably try bumping it up to .50/1 or 1/1, with an optional straddle, just to see what happens. Then re-adjust.

But it may be that the real adjustment at these stakes for the better players is just to play differently to exploit this player pool. For example, I might try playing even fewer hands, betting these much bigger preflop and punishing limpers with huge flop c-bets. I’d bring a big roll and rebuy as much as I could to smooth out variance, because there would be some ridiculous beats. Doing this (especially if there is another good player in the game also making life difficult for the stations) may either change the behaviors you dislike… or drive some players away.
Bro, if I see a 25/50c game where people are buying in for 300 you bet you’re ass, your yacht, and your most beloved NFTs plus crypto portfolio that I’m gonna buy in for 60 every fucking time

Edit: worse comes to worst, it’s a half stack all in pre and you win or lose
 

Taghkanic

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Huh? I never suggested a $300 buyin at .25/.50.

I was saying if the OP went to 1/2, $300 would be a standard max buyin. And wondering if the stations/gamblers would still go to the river with 90% of the deck with much more at risk. Or if they would just keep buying in for the $100 stake from before, and play only 50BB deep instead of 200BB.
 

MatthewTreeTree

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Huh? I never suggested a $300 buyin at .25/.50.

I was saying if the OP went to 1/2, $300 would be a standard max buyin. And wondering if the stations/gamblers would still go to the river with 90% of the deck.
I’m just saying, anyone raising 15x/7.5x for the ol’ standard would be dead game. In any home game with “fish” involved.

idk about your game, you might have refined players - but others not so much

(shit post)
 
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