Attempting to host first home game!

Ainton

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no one bought in again... turn up was kind of small.

i did feel the gameplay was tight and would have preferred a looser feel. im thinking ill try 1/1 blinds instead of 1/2 next time.
stay with 1/2, fold to their bad bluffs, invest some money in the game, let them win, buy in again and show them that its possible to win some money back!
 

StevieG

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no one bought in again... turn up was kind of small.

i did feel the gameplay was tight and would have preferred a looser feel. im thinking ill try 1/1 blinds instead of 1/2 next time.

Getting a regular game started is not easy. But you have a lot of options available to change the nature of the game and keep those players happy and coming back so for sure experiment.

If the small blind was folding often that is certainly a good way to keep more players in each hand and build more play in.

What were typical raises like?
 

LeLe

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game lasted about 2 hours. we had about 5 players... was hoping for about 8
5 player is not bad for 1st session, my group like to play 6 handed as there is more action compare to Full ring where u have to fold too many hands

Keep it going eventually you will have a good pool of players
 

StevieG

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5 player is not bad for 1st session, my group like to play 6 handed as there is more action compare to Full ring where u have to fold too many hands

Keep it going eventually you will have a good pool of players
Seconded. I really should have commented on that. Five at your first game is a fine start.

Talk up your game, always look to recruit. We have had our game going for well over a decade now, but that first game was also five players (and I scheduled it on a night when my father was visiting otherwise we would have only had four). But I am still in recruitment mode all the time. Players don't make it every week, and you will have folks drift out of playing entirely, so always nice to have a stable of players.
 

snerpy

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game lasted about 2 hours. we had about 5 players... was hoping for about 8

That's not bad for a first home game! I hosted my first home game about a week ago and I think everyone had a blast.

It's really important to invite a great group of people who make the table fun. I provided tons of alcohol and people also brought their own drinks. This made the game extremely loose but provided for tons of entertainment. As a host, the long term goal is to make the game exciting so that people want to come back and play rather than actually trying to win money every night (especially if these players are your friends/family).

Best of luck on continuing your home game!
 

Taghkanic

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Building a solid roster of players who will attend regularly is indeed going to take time. If you play in other games, keep a lookout for people who might be a good fit to invite, while avoding stepping on other hosts’ toes. (Some hosts are happy to help expand the action in an area; others guard their “regs” carefully.)

Also, encouraging your core group to think of 1-2 people to try out is another route. Not everyone is going to be a good fit, and not everyone will come back after 1-2 sessions. But there is always attrition over time even in a tight-knit and dedicated group—people move away, or have kids, fall on hard times, or even die—so as a host one has to almost always be thinking about good new prospects.

OTOH I’d rather have a small game with people I like than a big game with players I don’t really want in my home.

gl!
 

whalers

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StevieG is right about changing the nature of the game. The best home game that I’ve attended was one that that had side bets, straddles, bomb pots, and the right mix of big bluffs that got shown.

In my experience attempting to host home games, you sometimes need to be the one leading by example with this stuff.
 

StevieG

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Side bets are a wonderful thing. Whether it is betting on a third 7 showing up on the board after two come on the flop, or something completely unrelated to the game, it adds to the atmosphere of action.

Very common in our game is a bet on how old some celebrity is that comes up in conversation. Someone sets a line, and either books the action or lets opposing sides line up. You'd be surprised how many people bite if, for example, you say Emma Thompson is in her 60s, and then someone sets a line of 60 1/2.

By the way, you'll also find out soon enough if you have the right people in your game. If they're never interested in side action, they're not the right people.
 

Darson

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no one bought in again... turn up was kind of small.

i did feel the gameplay was tight and would have preferred a looser feel. im thinking ill try 1/1 blinds instead of 1/2 next time.

I wonder if people thought $1 was $1 in their minds when playing even though it's really 10c. If so, that may have made the game more nitty.

There are people who play poker regularly and are happy with knowing their exposure and limits and then there are casual players who don't really know what they're doing and are not willing to risk much money as they see it as throwing it away. I would take some time to talk to your players to understand where they sit and then structure the game around that.

A cash game is not what I would use for casual players as it's all a bit too real; instead I would do a small buy-in tournament where each player puts in say $5 and winner takes all. Then you get to play poker and everyone has fun but the stakes are low.

Everyone is different and you really want to get a bunch of people together who are happy playing at similar stakes. It sounds like $20 may be too much at this stage.
 

Taghkanic

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The best home game that I’ve attended was one that that had side bets, straddles, bomb pots, and the right mix of big bluffs that got shown.

Disagree, but to each his own.

I avoid poker games which eliminate much of the skill edge of the game by introducing oceans, wildcards, and some of the other stuff mentioned.

These are games for people who want to gamble, not work on their poker skills. I find a tough, serious game much more interesting and “fun” than a roller-coaster ride of extreme variance. (Serious doesn’t mean no joking around or razzing or banter. It just means people are trying seriously to use their brains to win.)

If I want to have fun with friends we’ll just go out and do something else. I don’t play poker to blow off steam.

That said, if my game goes really late and is getting close to breaking up, we will absolutely play a single round of one ridiculous circus game just to end on a looser, more friendly note.

So I do get it. I just wouldn’t want to play an entire night of multi-board, high-low, buy-and-trade on every street “poker.”
 

whalers

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Disagree, but to each his own.

I avoid poker games which eliminate much of the skill edge of the game by introducing oceans, wildcards, and some of the other stuff mentioned.

These are games for people who want to gamble, not work on their poker skills. I find a tough, serious game much more interesting and “fun” than a roller-coaster ride of extreme variance. (Serious doesn’t mean no joking around or razzing or banter. It just means people are trying seriously to use their brains to win.)

If I want to have fun with friends we’ll just go out and do something else. I don’t play poker to blow off steam.

That said, if my game goes really late and is getting close to breaking up, we will absolutely play a single round of one ridiculous circus game just to end on a looser, more friendly note.

So I do get it. I just wouldn’t want to play an entire night of multi-board, high-low, buy-and-trade on every street “poker.”

I actually agree with you in a general sense. But it’s not fun for me if nobody else is having fun.

You seem like you have an exaggerated view of what’s going on. Not every hand has multi-board bomb pots and side bets, that stuff is the exception rather than the rule. Most of it is exactly what you’re describing.

And honestly, my friends do play to blow off steam. And I think that most people feel that way. If I just want to work on my game I’ll go to the casino where things will be a little bit more serious and higher stakes. At the home game, I want to have some drinks, relax and play a game with friendly people. It doesn’t mean I don’t care about the outcome, it’s just that I’m trying to enjoy myself more than I’m trying to grind a profit.
 

Taghkanic

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It doesn’t mean I don’t care about the outcome, it’s just that I’m trying to enjoy myself more than I’m trying to grind a profit.

And I partially agree, except that “working on one’s game” and “grinding a profit” are not the same thing at all to me.

Generally I find my home game is tougher than similarly-staked casino games. So I’m not so much expecting to make a lot of money in my own game.

At home, I’m enjoying the challenge of matching wits with smart players and finding new ways to outfox them… in a more comfortable environment. (We all know each other’s habits pretty well, so you’ve got to play even more against image.) There are some fish in our mix, so in the long run I’m ahead, but our game isn’t much like grinding at all.

If I just want to try to use my existing skills to grind, the casino is perfect for that.
 

wcsmik

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Hosting my 2nd game coming Saturday… got 5 players so far hoping for 8. $50 buy in with $100 rebuy, .25/.50 blinds. doing a starting stack of 20x.25, 20x$1, and 5x$5. Should allow for a better/longer cash game than my first!!

bought 200 .25 and 50 more $1 chips. now the proud owner of 750 majestic poker chips!!! I’m planning on buying a 600 piece dia de los muertos ceramics in the future.
 

wcsmik

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Hosting my 2nd game coming Saturday… got 5 players so far hoping for 8. $50 buy in with $100 rebuy, .25/.50 blinds. doing a starting stack of 20x.25, 20x$1, and 5x$5. Should allow for a better/longer cash game than my first!!

bought 200 .25 and 50 more $1 chips. now the proud owner of 750 majestic poker chips!!! I’m planning on buying a 600 piece dia de los muertos ceramics in the future.
I also have a 70x35 oval table which happens to be a perfect size/shape for a poker table top… so I bought one on Amazon!!!! Can’t wait to get a bi-weekly/monthly poker club going!!

E2019098-8B67-4DE1-BDCB-194A2FC9BB75.jpeg

My set up!!!
 

Coyote

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Chips, cards, card shufflers and tables can be bought; a steady crew of players is a never-ending effort (always recruit and always try to keep the weak, either in skill or wallet, reasonably happy).
I 'd suggest to keep using your chips' denominations as dimes, so 1/2 - or 1/3 dimes games (IMHO the latter being a LOT better than .25/.25), or 2/5 dimes games maximum (but DO NOT rush to the latter).
100BBs at each stakes' level is the correct amount of buy-in. Multiply by 3 (so, 300BBs on the average) to see if that's the comfort loosing zone of your players.
 
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LeLe

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What @Coyote say is basically every host experience, what i like to add on is that, for lower stake people are more prepare to lose more Buy-in in one night, whereas higher stake people may actually leave after losing 2 or even 1 buy-in.

So there will be cases of short-handed halfway through the night, As i generally played 6 handed it not uncommon to end the game with only 4 handed as 1-2 players are busted out halfway
 
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If you're playing a cash game you generally want to have at least 100 times the big blind. I like that as a starring point. As others have mentioned if you're doing a flat buy-in a tournament setting might fit you better
 

wcsmik

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If you're playing a cash game you generally want to have at least 100 times the big blind. I like that as a starring point. As others have mentioned if you're doing a flat buy-in a tournament setting might fit you better

doing $50 buy in .25/.50 today. if i'm understanding correctly that would make todays game 100 times the big blind correct?
 

Coyote

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doing $50 buy in .25/.50 today. if i'm understanding correctly that would make todays game 100 times the big blind correct?
Sure. You could have it variable from $30 (60 BBs) to $50 (100 BBs) or half the big stack, eventually.
 

wcsmik

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2nd game went great. Had 7 players turn up this time. Started at 7pm and game didn’t end until 3am. Lot of drinking involved. It seemed the crowd favored the drinking/socializing more so than the poker game itself. Majority of people knew Texas holdem, but really didn’t have any strategies (playing pocket 3’s till the end even though every other card was higher on the table).

Hoping to educate the crowd or at least encourage them to watch videos on YouTube. I love drinking and socializing but felt the strategic element to the game was missing playing with newbies. Everyone did however play slow and majority of the 7 players lasted throughout 75% of the night.

No one bought in again; $50 buy was a good amount but maybe might be too steep for some in my group (we all work in different levels at a car dealership).

Anyways I took home the most. Bought in for 50 and ended with 190. Feel a little guilty but everyone had a great time so I guess in the end it’s ok.

also here is a pic of our game prior to all players showing up. Excited for the next turn up…

8332BF67-B9A0-47C9-9ECD-42936EC3516D.jpeg


and thanks to everyone on this forum. I’ve learned a lot and look forward to being part of this community
 
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2nd game went great. Had 7 players turn up this time. Started at 7pm and game didn’t end until 3am. Lot of drinking involved. It seemed the crowd favored the drinking/socializing more so than the poker game itself. Majority of people knew Texas holdem, but really didn’t have any strategies (playing pocket 3’s till the end even though every other card was higher on the table).

Hoping to educate the crowd or at least encourage them to watch videos on YouTube. I love drinking and socializing but felt the strategic element to the game was missing playing with newbies. Everyone did however play slow and majority of the 7 players lasted throughout 75% of the night.

No one bought in again; $50 buy was a good amount but maybe might be too steep for some in my group (we all work in different levels at a car dealership).

Anyways I took home the most. Bought in for 50 and ended with 190. Feel a little guilty but everyone had a great time so I guess in the end it’s ok.

also here is a pic of our game prior to all players showing up. Excited for the next turn up…

View attachment 738545

and thanks to everyone on this forum. I’ve learned a lot and look forward to being part of this community
Don't feel guilty. Also it is hard to keep a regular group. I don't know why but it is. I have tons of different chipsets ranging from $1 $2 dollar blinds or we can go up to 5-10 or even 10-20

I also have tournament sets. Ultimately I ended up getting a set for $0.25 $0.50 blinds to make it a little more tolerable for some
 
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