Cash Game Best super-micro stakes game setup (1 Viewer)

SpikedHog

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Hi everyone, new here and new to poker.

Does anyone have a good suggestion for breaking down a 5c/10c game in chips? Like for $10-$20 buy ins (people do get stacked and rebuy), what chip denominations should I give everyone? And then I can use that to determine what a 600-1000 chip breakdown for our games would look like, so I can purchase that.

I overpaid for a ton of what I now know to be crap chips. I'm addicted to buying chips though, and want to get a set I'm really proud of for my micro-stakes game here in Indy. My friends and I are mostly 25-30ish and broke, so we like to play 5c/10c games. I currently give everyone all red 25c chips and a then a handful of 5c chips, but this breakdown is not working well. The 5c/10c quickly turns into $10 pots every hand, and some people don't learn and lose $80 every week. Trying to remedy this so they lose less and we still have a good time. I think I need to switch it up to some 5c, 10c, and 25c chips. Do people ever do 20c chips? I see I can order custom chips, I could make my own 20c chips right?
 
You could use 10c and 20c chips, but I don't think you really need in-between chips and they might not even help. Often I see it argued more small chips makes more gamble because it feels like you have more so you don't mind tossing in a few. Like if you have $100 in 5s its easy to throw in 5 of them, but if you have 4 $25s it feels like you're giving up a lot more to put one in because you have so few chips. People may be more willing to part with 25c chips and actually end up betting more than they would if they had mostly dollars. I'll call with just about anything in limit because when I have 300 chips in front of me, what's 4 or 8 of them? More importantly, counting the bets people are making when they have 5c 10c 25c and 50c chips is a pain in the ass, stick to chips that are 4 or 5x the previous value. No reason you can't go 5c 20c $1, although 25c feels much more familiar because of quarters. I don't think 20c vs 25c will change the gamble much.

I'm guessing you're playing single table? You definitely don't need 1000 chips if so.

I think there's 3 best 'standard' starting stacks for 5c/10c depending on your goals

Limp fest big chip stacks (44 chips)
5c x 20
25c x 20
$1 x 4

Efficiency Minded (30 chips)
5c x 10
25c x 14
$1 x 6

Split the difference (39 chips)
5c x 15
25c x 17
$1 x 5

Technically you can go further towards either extreme. Nothing's stopping you from giving everyone 30/30/1 or 5/10/7, but those both sound annoying. You pick where in the spectrum you wanna land, the numbers I suggested above are more in the middle.

To be honest if you want to lessen the gamble I don't think changing denominations is the right strategy. You're better off playing pot or fixed limit, or lowering the buy in cap (this can be less effective if players will just shove whatever the max BI is). Players might groan a little at fixed limit, but you can spice it up by introducing different kinds of games to keep people interested (5 card omaha, pineapple, w/e you want). You could also cap people at $40 total in a night or something, they might think twice about putting all their chips in with trash if they know they can't re-buy again. Tournaments with limited re-buys can also force people to tighten up a little bit because they want to stay in. Is drinking big in your games? If you can cut back on booze that might encourage less outright gambling.

I guess it might also help to know your reasoning. Do you feel there are players who are putting themselves in financial hardship by blowing money, and you want to mitigate that? Or do you just want a more "reasonable" poker game where swings are smaller because that's your or some other players' preference? Have some players complained to you about feeling pressured to gamble more than they're comfortable with? Your course of action might change a little depending on your answer to that question.
 
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Thank you for all the info. My reasoning is a little of both. We have players that gamble their chips away for no reason every time, and we have players to whom $60 in a night is too much. A lot of times those are the same person.

Ive tried helping them learn more about why they made a bad call (i dont know that much but omg u had nothing bro), and even “paid” them to deal just so theyll show up and play with us. (Just to watch them jam and lose my buy in for them!)

We also have the other problem. Where $60 is nothing so why not jam on everyone everytime who cant call bc its too much money for them. Its really hard bc if i make it a 1/3 game, i lose half my player base, and if I dont, im still gonna lose half bc its not fun when people just jam every time.

I tried pot limit and everyone hated it. I tried side games and people like those, but the existing problems remain. I thought if i limited buy ins and give different chips, people will stop using the red 25c so much and keep the bets down
 
If you have $3k to spare, there is a set at classified that have the right breakdown (plus maybe another barrel of $25) for 5/10c stake.

https://www.pokerchipforum.com/threads/micro-stakes-hsi-set-mint.119316/

1715062109654.png
 
Thank you for all the info. My reasoning is a little of both. We have players that gamble their chips away for no reason every time, and we have players to whom $60 in a night is too much. A lot of times those are the same person.

Ive tried helping them learn more about why they made a bad call (i dont know that much but omg u had nothing bro), and even “paid” them to deal just so theyll show up and play with us. (Just to watch them jam and lose my buy in for them!)

We also have the other problem. Where $60 is nothing so why not jam on everyone everytime who cant call bc its too much money for them. Its really hard bc if i make it a 1/3 game, i lose half my player base, and if I dont, im still gonna lose half bc its not fun when people just jam every time.

I tried pot limit and everyone hated it. I tried side games and people like those, but the existing problems remain. I thought if i limited buy ins and give different chips, people will stop using the red 25c so much and keep the bets down

Oooh yeah, this is a problem of its own that is really hard to fix. If you have players who are fine (or used to) playing a 'casino stakes' game like 1/3 unless they're super competitive and strategy first I don't know how you get them to play 5c/10c without inflating things. Even if they are strategy first, if the greener players don't know not to put in a bunch of money with trash hands the 'regulars' will eat them up.

Again, I don't think this is actually solvable with denom breakdowns. The different expectations from players and maybe different skill levels as well are probably too great to be overcome without changing buy in or betting structure substantially. Are you closer with any of the players in particular? Talking people through some of the rationalizations for your changes and getting them on board could go a long way. If 75% of your players favor a change in one direction its probably the right one, you might lost half the remaining 25% but still have a healthier game.

I'm lucky to have the opposite problem, I'm the only one who wants to raise the stakes in my game but I also like playing poker the most so I'm perfectly happy to keep it micro.

Edit: Also that set is a beaut but I don't think it'll fix your problems haha. But hey, it won't make em worse either.
 
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Welcome to the forum! Fort Wayne here. We use 20 - .05, 20 - .25, and 4 or 14 $1's depending on if the player buys in for $10 or $20. Our games start smaller but always seem to work their way bigger by the end of the night. I think that is just normal.
 
I would start by looking at good deals on non-denom chips to call your nickels. That way if things shift in your game, these chips give you flexibility to structure the blinds appropriately.

Avoid any 2x denom bumps. Personally, my brain fries if there is a .25c and a .50c chip in play. Idk why, but it makes it hard to count and/or make change. If you're in between stakes, I suggest to make the small & big blind the same, or if short handed, drop down to a single blind, effectively halving the size of each pot pre-flop. Keeping pre-flop running as smooth & fast as possible makes the game more fun, and increases action / hands per hour).

So, non-denom/.25/$1/$5, ~500 chip breakdown should cover most of your needs. Put out all the smaller denom chips before breaking into the bigger chips for rebuys. Keep as few denominations on the table as possible.

200 x non denom
100 x .25
100 x 1
100 x 5

As others mentioned; if there are new players getting stacked every game, consider a different betting structure like limit or spread limit.

Another idea to play "bigger" and increase action without raising the blinds is to add a button ante of 4-5x the big blind. This allows competitive players to fight over more dead money each hand, but keeps the game small enough for new players to be more selective with starting hands ... (or not).
 
Thank you for all the info. My reasoning is a little of both. We have players that gamble their chips away for no reason every time, and we have players to whom $60 in a night is too much. A lot of times those are the same person.

Ive tried helping them learn more about why they made a bad call (i dont know that much but omg u had nothing bro), and even “paid” them to deal just so theyll show up and play with us. (Just to watch them jam and lose my buy in for them!)

We also have the other problem. Where $60 is nothing so why not jam on everyone everytime who cant call bc its too much money for them. Its really hard bc if i make it a 1/3 game, i lose half my player base, and if I dont, im still gonna lose half bc its not fun when people just jam every time.

I tried pot limit and everyone hated it. I tried side games and people like those, but the existing problems remain. I thought if i limited buy ins and give different chips, people will stop using the red 25c so much and keep the bets down
I would speak private with those that are jamming $60 ; depending on the action , explain to them how it's not cool to just open jam $60 in a 5c/10c game.
 
Ehhhh, I am in the camp that people should be able to play their cards however they want and bet their chips in any way. It's their money and within the rules of the game.

I don't concern myself with someone’s capacity for losses. If they have the cash, it's good with me. Extending credit is what gets most people in over their head, so that's a easy place to draw a line.
 
Ehhhh, I am in the camp that people should be able to play their cards however they want and bet their chips in any way. It's their money and within the rules of the game.

I don't concern myself with someone’s capacity for losses. If they have the cash, it's good with me. Extending credit is what gets most people in over their head, so that's a easy place to draw a line.
Agree, but if he has a short invite list or not much chance to recruit. Someone who is often open shoving often could break the game.

If he has a deep player pool. I don't think it be a problem let the players gamble how they want.

Hell I played a 25c/50c , $40 max buy in game the other night that basically played like a 25c/50c/$3.75 because of an agro player. The difference is that none of the player pool were new.
 
Ehhhh, I am in the camp that people should be able to play their cards however they want and bet their chips in any way. It's their money and within the rules of the game.

I don't concern myself with someone’s capacity for losses. If they have the cash, it's good with me. Extending credit is what gets most people in over their head, so that's a easy place to draw a line.
There's a social aspect to beginner home games that don't exist in a more competitive game. Sure you're still trying to win money, but most home games aren't going for a cutthroat environment. If I just started open raising 100BB every hand I played I think people would stop wanting to play with me, because they're expecting to win lose 1 or 2 buy ins, not 5 or 6. Sure the correct play is to call me off with just about anything decent, but you could still lose five in a row doing that on 40-60 flips. What players can do, and what's healthy for the game aren't necessarily the same.
 
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the best starting stack for a cash game is not to have a standard starting stack.

This ain’t a tournament. Equal starting stacks are dumb, and pointless as anyone can buy in for different amounts.
 
There's a social aspect to beginner home games that don't exist in a more competitive game. Sure you're still trying to win money, but most home games aren't going for a cutthroat environment. If I just started open raising 100BB every hand I played I think people would stop wanting to play with me, because they're expecting to win lose 1 or 2 buy ins, not 5 or 6. Sure the correct play is to call me off with just about anything decent, but you could still lose five in a row doing that on 40-60 flips. What players can do, and what's healthy for the game aren't necessarily the same.
Proper strategy and health of the game are two different things. Health of the game is determined by your stakes, number of players, rebuys, etc. A full game is by definition healthy.

A healthy game could have an overly aggressive degen in it, and other players will adjust to that tendency and learn to snap them off with proper ranges. Just like they will adjust to overly conservative players by getting aggressive and stealing pots.

You can always change the game to limit if you want. Then the nits will complain the degens “always call and get there”. Different games have different strategies. By all means, host a game you enjoy and are good at. I don't host a lot of O8 because I'm not nitty enough to be successful.

These complaints are why I never tell people how to play. Within the rules is within the rules. Playing optimally is up to each player, as is playing within their means.
 
A few responses, some repetitive:

1) 5c, 10c, and 25c together is generally considered "too many denominations." Of course there are some folks who think having more than one denomination on the table is too many. It sounds like your game is pretty aggressive and maybe doesn't need the nickels for anything? Consider 10c - 50c - $1 - $5. You can play a bunch with 10c and 50c and all the numbers are round. Blinds can be either 10c - 10c or 10c - 20c.

2) Consider mixing in some "small bet" nights, or maybe a small bet table, where you play "spread limit." Someone said limit bets to 25c but that's probably too extremely small. I like $2 spread limit. (Bet anywhere from 10c to $2, limit of 3 raises.) Lots of fun can be had that way. You can play multiple different games, have a relaxing time. But the jammers won't like it. So, maybe one spread limit table and one No Limit table, or alternate months or something.

3) A 20c chip would be very rare. $20 are pretty common, but not 20c. You can do anything you really want to do, though. At least 5x 20c makes $1, so it's a reasonable idea. I'd say if it is your base / lowest chip, that could work, for something different. But if you are still using 5c, it will probably confuse people endlessly to have 20c rather than 25c.

4) Be generous with chips. It's no fun to have to make change frequently, and it's fun to stack chips. Say you want to still use nickels and you're doing 5c , 25c, and $1. Give 20x 5c, 24x 25c, 13 x $1 for the first buyin. Then the rebuys can be mostly just $1 chips (and $5). For my spread-limit games I do 25x 10c, 25x 50c, 25x $1, $40 buyin. I guess with No Limit you probably need the fewest chips (which encourages people to jam). With Spread Limit you need more, and with Fixed Limit you need the most of all. (At least for the purists - they say you need a full rack of your base chip for every player in Limit.) You might be surprised in your No Limit game what could happen just giving people more physical chips. It might subtly discourage them from jamming so much.
 
Hi everyone, new here and new to poker.

Does anyone have a good suggestion for breaking down a 5c/10c game in chips? Like for $10-$20 buy ins (people do get stacked and rebuy), what chip denominations should I give everyone? And then I can use that to determine what a 600-1000 chip breakdown for our games would look like, so I can purchase that.

I overpaid for a ton of what I now know to be crap chips. I'm addicted to buying chips though, and want to get a set I'm really proud of for my micro-stakes game here in Indy. My friends and I are mostly 25-30ish and broke, so we like to play 5c/10c games. I currently give everyone all red 25c chips and a then a handful of 5c chips, but this breakdown is not working well. The 5c/10c quickly turns into $10 pots every hand, and some people don't learn and lose $80 every week. Trying to remedy this so they lose less and we still have a good time. I think I need to switch it up to some 5c, 10c, and 25c chips. Do people ever do 20c chips? I see I can order custom chips, I could make my own 20c chips right
Something we've done when you are playing with either super recreational players, or poor players is to just do a chip conversion.
It's basically a multiplier you do at buy in and then you do the reverse at cash out.

So for example you could make the buy in $5.00 but that gets you $200 in chips.

Then play either $0.50/$1 or $1/$2.

That multiplier is 40. So at the end of the night if a player has $500, $500/40 = $12.50 payout. You'll run into some weird change issues but we like to put all the extra/odd chips into a final freeroll hand of the night.

Your players could get felted 5 times and only lose $25 this way.

The multiplier can be anything. X10, x50, I think we even did x100 once for super low steaks.

I will say we did x10 a few weeks ago $20 got you $200 and we played $0.50/$1 (aka $0.05/$0.10 in real $) and the game played bigger than I expected. I think guys forgot or didn't realize $50 bet is $5 in real money.

This is also nice because you can use a more standard chip set. $1, $5, $25, $100. Honestly part of why we came up with it.

Good luck with it! Funny I'm a Hoosier too!
 
Something we've done when you are playing with either super recreational players, or poor players is to just do a chip conversion.
It's basically a multiplier you do at buy in and then you do the reverse at cash out.

So for example you could make the buy in $5.00 but that gets you $200 in chips.

Then play either $0.50/$1 or $1/$2.

That multiplier is 40. So at the end of the night if a player has $500, $500/40 = $12.50 payout. You'll run into some weird change issues but we like to put all the extra/odd chips into a final freeroll hand of the night.

Your players could get felted 5 times and only lose $25 this way.

The multiplier can be anything. X10, x50, I think we even did x100 once for super low steaks.

I will say we did x10 a few weeks ago $20 got you $200 and we played $0.50/$1 (aka $0.05/$0.10 in real $) and the game played bigger than I expected. I think guys forgot or didn't realize $50 bet is $5 in real money.

This is also nice because you can use a more standard chip set. $1, $5, $25, $100. Honestly part of why we came up with it.

Good luck with it! Funny I'm a Hoosier too!
I like that idea very much. Never thought about it. We also include a free role with the odd chance at the end. We deal a full 7 card stud to everyone and open the cards according to who has the worst holding. Lots of fun. We call it the all in of all honours.
 
3) A 20c chip would be very rare. $20 are pretty common, but not 20c. You can do anything you really want to do, though. At least 5x 20c makes $1, so it's a reasonable idea. I'd say if it is your base / lowest chip, that could work, for something different. But if you are still using 5c, it will probably confuse people endlessly to have 20c rather than 25c.

In most of Europe, you will find 20c coins and no quarters. They are used to 5/10/20/50 denoms in their change, so it would make perfect sense to have 5c/20c or 10c/50c frac chips.
 

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