Cash Game 8 player 1/2 NL

Tommy

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Looking for some help determining how may chips would make a decent set to cover a $400 max buy-in 1/2 NL game.
Just $1, $5s, and $25s.
 

courage

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I like to have at least 5 racks of $5 chips in my big sets, and more is better. I looked at 600 x $5, but to keep the set to 1000 chips, it would work well with 500 x $5 and do this for starting stacks:

$1 x 20
$5 x 61
$25 x 3

Set:

$1 x 200
$5 x 500
$25 x 300

Your remaining $25s would cover 17 rebuys.
 

Mental Nomad

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My preference goes the other way, but I think I'm the odd man out on a chip forum. Here's my thinking:

I think 160 1s and 160 5s is adequate for an 8-player table.
I think 320 1s and 320 5s is ample for the game, and more than that is overkill (two full stacks per player.)

My cash set has 160 1s, and I have a 10-player table. Even with a full table, we never feel "short" of singles, but I'd rather have 200. More than that is preference, not need.

Poker is a high-variance game. Whoever is swinging down will lose their playing chips, and then they will need change either out of the bank (cash change) or from the winners (check change). Adding more chips does not change the frequency of change; it just makes more stacks accumulate for the people having a winning night.

If that's what you and you players enjoy, winning stacks, that's fine - get more 5s - but in my experience, there are usually about two big winners on a given night, and they end up with a lot of stacks, and managing them usually turns into a hassle. This happens in a poker room because people keep walking up to the table with new chips, and if you want to simulate that, fine, but that's nothing special, to me. When we talk about big winners, we talk dollars, not stacks.

Then again, all my regulars are very comfortable seeing change come out of the pot, so we almost never have someone making change for a stack at the table. It really speeds up the game. In fact, it's pretty much only newbs that go asking for change. Even when someone calls a $2 PF bet with a $25 check, if the pot isn't looking to have enough change in it, one of their neighbors will break the $25 into $5s, usually before the betting gets to the big blind - and their other $3 will come out of the pot.

In my game the mentality is that whites are for blinds, reds are for bets, and greens are for winnings.

If I were you, I'd honestly go this set:
200 1s. ($200)
200 5s. ($1,000)
200 25s. ($5,000)

This covers 15.5 buy-ins at the $400 max. It covers thirty-one buy-ins at $200 (you will probably have more $100 and $200 buy-ins than $400s.)
If you want more head room, I'd add more 25s, not 5s. I'd remind that you get nearly as much headroom from a barrel of hundos as a rack of quarters, but I know you said 1, 5, 25 only. I don't get enough degenerates or marathon sessions to need that big a bank.

Here's how I'd buy them in:

$100 buy-in: 20 singles, $80 in 5s (16).
$200: 20 singles, $80 in 5s (16), $100 in $25s (4.) That's two even stacks of 20. You can prep as many 16/4 stacks as you have barrels of singles.
$400: 20 singles, $80 in 5s (16), $300 in $25s (8.)

Your first ten buy-ins get all of your singles in play, and 160 of your 200 5s. After that, avoid the temptation to buy in full barrels of 5s - instead, buy in with 25s and use the 5s for odd amounts (People buying $80 and $140 and what-not.)

If I were building this today, I'd stop at two racks of quarters, and get hundo plaques. And all of my players would want to be there the night a plaque goes into play because we have too many quarters on the table. I know some would bring extra cash, just to make it happen if we got close!
 

jbutler

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I'm in the big stack camp. I don't know whether it's really about "simulating" the casino experience as much as it is about recognizing that the game runs more smoothly when you have lots of chips so less making change and more cutting out bets.

The average poker player isn't known for his intelligence so I prefer not to put him to the test by making him figure out how many $5s and 25s it takes to bet full pot while his mind is already on overload to count his OESFD outs.

$1/2 and $1/3 are easy calls because there get to be a fair number of $5s on the table but not so many that betting becomes cumbersome. I think the tougher call is $2/5. I used to like handing out as many $5s as possible but when stacks get deep, it does get to be a bit of a pain. Now I like to hand out 20 $5s and the rest in quarters for all rebuys. But with $1/2 and $1/3, I roll with basically all $5s.
 

guinness

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I like to have at least 5 racks of $5 chips in my big sets, and more is better. I looked at 600 x $5, but to keep the set to 1000 chips, it would work well with 500 x $5 and do this for starting stacks:

$1 x 20
$5 x 61
$25 x 3

Set:

$1 x 200
$5 x 500
$25 x 300

Your remaining $25s would cover 17 rebuys.

I would go this route:
$1 x 200 ($200)
$5 x 600 ($3K)
$25 x 200 ($5K).

$8200 should be okay and of course the $5 is your super workhorse chip in 1/2. I have 1500 $5's in my cash set and I STILL feel like I need more.
 

courage

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I would go this route:
$1 x 200 ($200)
$5 x 600 ($3K)
$25 x 200 ($5K).

$8200 should be okay and of course the $5 is your super workhorse chip in 1/2. I have 1500 $5's in my cash set and I STILL feel like I need more.
That's nice for $5s, but only allows 12 rebuys. If you were in the game, 8 of those would go to you. [emoji13]
 

Tommy

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Here is what I got so far. I decided to add a barrel of $100s. Should I add more? Availability is limited.

160 x non-denom
200 x $1
280 x $5
40 x $25
20 x $100
 

Mental Nomad

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If the non-denoms can play as $20s, I think you're set.

If you think they only work as fracs in case you play a lower stakes game, then you're borderline - that's $4600 in denominated checks. Only 23 buy-ins of $200, not quite twelve buy-ins of $400.

I'd rather add a couple barrels of $25s, because they'll actually play on the bigger bets; hundos will rarely play, outside an all-in. But if you can't pull any more $25s, one more barrel of hundos takes you to $6600 in checks, which should be a much safer bank.

All that being said... if you're going to playing this set at your place, you can probably get by with a shy bank, and if the night really does run that deep, I'm sure you could find a couple of other chips somewhere in the house to put into play... or a few plaques to press as extra hundos...

- - - - - - - - - Updated - - - - - - - - -

For a little color - I played last night with a group of buddies in our old $.50/$1 game, but we were "short handed" with only seven players. I brought my Paulson Fun-Nite solids, which is 160 white, 160 red, 160 green, and 40 charcoal hundos. We play the hundos as half-dollars for the small blinds.

Everyone was surprised that we ate up all the reds in rebuys, and I started pulling greens. The two chip leaders competed to make check-change for the rebuys, and one person added on "just to get a green chip." He probably wanted enough to get paid off if he hit a big hand, but the stated reason was "to have a green chip."

In fairness, that group doesn't usually get into the greens, even with a full table. Last night we saw quads three times, never on high cards (quad aces never get paid off), and a fair amount of tilt, besides.
 

Tommy

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I was going to use the non-demon as fracs for a lower stakes game. I hate having racks that aren't filled. Will this work better?

160 x non-denom
200 x $1
320 x $5
100 x $25
20 x $100
 

Mental Nomad

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That's $6,300 in checks. I think you're in good shape, unless your degenerates come in loaded and then you get them really drunk...

Seriously, though, that's almost 16 buy-ins at $400, 31.6 buy-ins at $200. That's a lot for eight players.

With your previous breakdown, it was $2,600 before you at ate all the greens.

With this breakdown, it's $4,300 before you touch a hundo.

People are likely to remember the night that a hundo has to go into play... they're almost there to tease people.

Cash
$4,600.00540
Set ValueDenomCount
$0.00$0.250
$0.00$0.500
$200.00$1.00200
$1,400.00$5.00280
$1,000.00$25.0040
$2,000.00$100.0020
$0.00$500.000
$0.0010000
$0.0050000
$0.00100000
Cash
$6,300.00640
Set ValueDenomCount
$0.00$0.250
$0.00$0.500
$200.00$1.00200
$1,600.00$5.00320
$2,500.00$25.00100
$2,000.00$100.0020
$0.00$500.000
$0.0010000
$0.0050000
$0.00100000
 

courage

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Functional for 8 players but not enough $5's for my taste.
 
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