Cash Game Cash game idea...limiting losses (1 Viewer)

Hiway1977

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I am wanting to start hosting tourney and cash games in small town Nebraska. Mainly family and friends from bowling, work, etc. I have intentions of following Christopher M. tourney set-up he talks about on youtube.

He also discusses a cash game in a different video, however he talks about the average big loss being a California bar tab (couple hundred bucks.) I am not interested in any of my friends losing that much money in one sitting. So I came up with this instead.

.25/.25 no limit. $25 buy in, with up to three re-buys if you have less than $5 in your stack. This limits the total loss for a play at $100.00. I don't know how long the average cash game should last, but I do not want people busting out for max in a short amount of time. Maybe as our group grows, we can discuss what limits everyone is comfortable playing at.

I have a 500 chip cash game set in mind, but have a question or two regarding it.

Breakdown

0.25 - 200
1.00 - 200
5.00 - 50
10.00 - 50

This totals $1000. Starting stack would be a barrel each of .25 and 1.00. The 5.00 and 10.00 would be for rebuying. Max of 10 players, but I think I may only want to max out at 8.

As it sits right now, I have enough chips to allow everyone to buy-in and re-buy up to $100. My first question, is it really necessary to have that many chips available? While I guess it is possible that each player may have to re-buy all three times, is it probable?

If I decided to max out at 8 players, I would probably eliminate the 10.00 for 50 more 5.00, putting me at $750. This does not cover all players to their max, but again do I need to have that option? I could mix and match the .25 and 1.00 with 5.00 if really wanted to get to $800.

When you host a cash game, what restrictions do you use to help limit losses? How many chips do you have available to effectively host a cash game?

I want to eventually host some limit games as well, I want to make sure everyone understands how the betting works, first.

Thanks in advance for your answers.
 

Moxie Mike

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Breakdown

0.25 - 200
1.00 - 200
5.00 - 50
10.00 - 50
Are these marked with specific denominations? Or just colors you've assigned a specific value to?

If it's possible, changing the 10s to $25 would greatly reduce the pressure on your bank.

If you run out of chips, cash on the table is always fine too.
As it sits right now, I have enough chips to allow everyone to buy-in and re-buy up to $100. My first question, is it really necessary to have that many chips available? While I guess it is possible that each player may have to re-buy all three times, is it probable?

When you host a cash game, what restrictions do you use to help limit losses? How many chips do you have available to effectively host a cash game?

I want to eventually host some limit games as well, I want to make sure everyone understands how the betting works, first.

Thanks in advance for your answers.

What exactly is your motivation for wanting to limit losses? Are these not grown adults you're playing with?

To answer your question I don't restrict losses unless I've loaned a player money to gamble with... in which case I simply express a loss limit I'm comfortable with.

My advice is to let people set their own limits. The game will play bigger as stacks grow and people rebuy... so limiting people to a $25 rebuy when there are $100+ stacks on the table isn't good for the game. A good rule many here advocate is rebuys are capped at 1/2 of the big stack's high water mark. This allows rebuying players to come into the game at less of a disadvantage - while preserving the chip lead the big stack has earned.
 

Colquhoun

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In a cash game, you don’t do rebuys like in a tournament. You can buy in for any amount up to a max (usually 100bb, 200bb, etc.)
In this way, if someone wants to sit down with $10 and play, they can...and if they bust out and want to do it in $10 increments, they can.

Also, if a player gets low on chips, can always top up anytime between hands.

If you’re worried about someone losing too much, the discussion about comfortable amounts should be had among all players, and before you begin.

A player should also be able to load up as many times as they want, it’s a cash game after all.

I prefer a $25 chip in this setup over a $10. If someone tops up or buys in again for $25, give them a $25 chip and they make change at the table with other players.
 
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DrStrange

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Smaller rebuys are good for limiting losses. Especially good for social games where people play poorly and the goal is to keep the game "safe" and "fun". Do not get me wrong, deep stack poker is its own sort of fun. But deeper stacks favor the more skilled players, the deeper the bigger the skill advantage.

Smaller rebuys protect the weaker players vs the sharks. The shorter stacks are not disadvantaged by big stacks at the table. This isn't a tournament, it is a cash game. The big stack(s) can't bully the short stacks in a cash game.

Except . . . . . when you limit rebuys, then it means someone might go home when they would rather rebuy. That person can be pushed around. I think I'd let each player set his / her own loss limit vs the house keeping track of who has rebought how many times.

The goal is to have fun. Do what is "fun" for the bulk of the table and you can't go too far wrong -=- DrStrange
 

inca911

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I recommend trying a max loss per hand if you want to keep things more friendly. We sometimes do a $60-100 per player cap per hand when playing big bet games as part of a normal limit session. It adds an additional dimension while maintaining a smaller game feel (i.e., not playing for stacks). Adjust the cap to whatever works for your group!
 

FDLmold

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I recommend trying a max loss per hand if you want to keep things more friendly. We sometimes do a $60-100 per player cap per hand when playing big bet games as part of a normal limit session. It adds an additional dimension while maintaining a smaller game feel (i.e., not playing for stacks). Adjust the cap to whatever works for your group!
This is what I do. Playing 10c/20c, the cap on each hand is $25, minimum buyin is $10. (We also play mixed, including 50c/$1 limit poker - also a $25 cap, but limit never hits that). I leave it up to people how much they want to lose.
 

CrazyEddie

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Rather than cap the number of buy-ins / rebuys, cap the amount that can be bought in at once. Many people play "when you buy back in, you can buy up to the max stack / half of the max stack" but that encourages the game to get deeper as the night goes on. You can protect your losing players by limiting the amount you can buy back in for (or top off to) to something closer to the initial buy-ins and not increasing it in proportion to the big stacks. This helps keep the total amount of money on the table growing slowly rather than quickly, but doesn't prevent your players from ultimately spending as much money as they want to.

Also, play for lower stakes.

There are several threads on PCF discussing this. Search for "rebuy half big stack" and you'll probably find some useful advice.
 

JMC9389

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My group of regulars and I have been playing against each other since we were in high school (over 15 years). Even dating back to when we first started playing, the stakes haven't really changed. We've always played 0.10/0.20. Back then, we all bought in for $10, and we were a bunch of nits, so that $10 went very far most nights. As we got older and most of us got to be better players, I've bumped up the maximum initial buy in to $20. I did this in interest of fairness to make it considerate for everyone. Some of us are doing ok and can handle losing $100 in a night, but a couple of the guys still are not. I allow top offs at any time to half the biggest stack. What I've found is that mostly everyone buys in for the $20 and don't buy more chips until they go busto. It's ironic because they're so used to a cash game playing like a tournament that when I introduced tournaments to the group with increasing blinds every 20 minutes, I got some looks like I had three heads.

The next big experiment is that I'm going to try with my game is that I'm going poll the group and see if anyone would object to bumping things up to 0.25/0.25 and making the max buy in $25. What I will probably do is start it with dealer's choice limit games so losses are not as dramatic as they can be with no limit, and then make the jump to playing NLHE and pot limit/no limit dealer's choice circus games at those stakes. Another point I have for OP is this: if you're concerned about losses, why not try limit? It's still a lot of fun (even though I personally haven't played limit in years) and it's better built for a social atmosphere, as it's almost literally impossible to be playing for stacks on a single hand. Plus, seeing lots of the same chip on the table in a huge pile and in stacks looks cool!





Anyway, at the risk of rambling even more, I think what you'll find is that the game by nature will get more competitive as the regular players play more and get better at the game. We play a nice, clean social game in which no one to date has left down more than 3 full buys ins (about $60) without any feelings getting hurt or anyone not coming back because they got upset or couldn't take the loss. That being said, you need to consider your clientele, and keep your pulse on how your players feel. If they're overwhelmed by the losses, consider going down in stakes or playing limit.

As for your chips, having 200 each of fracs and $1's is fine for starting stacks for a full 10 player table, but I would at least have the same about of $5's in case your game ever grows. As has been mentioned, if the game ever gets big enough if you're in a position that run out of $5 chips, cash on the table can play.

Good luck and have fun!
 

JMC9389

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Rather than cap the number of buy-ins / rebuys, cap the amount that can be bought in at once. Many people play "when you buy back in, you can buy up to the max stack / half of the max stack" but that encourages the game to get deeper as the night goes on. You can protect your losing players by limiting the amount you can buy back in for (or top off to) to something closer to the initial buy-ins and not increasing it in proportion to the big stacks. This helps keep the total amount of money on the table growing slowly rather than quickly, but doesn't prevent your players from ultimately spending as much money as they want to.

Also, play for lower stakes.

There are several threads on PCF discussing this. Search for "rebuy half big stack" and you'll probably find some useful advice.
This is the exact psychology that I use for my game. Well said.
 

Hiway1977

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Thanks everyone for your responses, I appreciate the input. I am going to host a tourney first, at which time I will poll my players and ask what they are interested in doing in a cash game (stakes, games, limit/no limit etc.) I want to try to build up a friendly consistent game while trying to avoid too many hard feeling when people don't win.
 

Schmendr1ck

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I play .25/.50 NLHE with a group of players who range from very casual (they mainly come to drink and have a good time with cards in hand) to winning casino 2/5 players. As @DrStrange said earlier, I think the best method to control losses for the weaker players is to cap the buy-in. To an extent this minimizes the damage strong players can do against weak players who are having a good night.

I don't restrict the number of buy-ins, though. My players are adults and pretty good at self-regulation, and I've never found it necessary to cut anyone off. Some guys are perfectly comfortable dumping $300-400 in an evening, while others will bring $80-100 and buy in for the $20 minimum multiple times. Setting a dollar or rebuy limit simply wouldn't work for both of these kinds of players.
 

JustinInMN

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First off, "Christopher M" is one of us :).(@Chris Manzoni )

Second, I am with the others, let people decide for themselves how many times they are willing to buy in.

However, it is in your interest as host, especially in a no limit game to set the stakes at a level where most players are comfortable buying in 2-3 times for a night, even if that means setting the stakes lower than your players think.

You may find that the problem isn't players rebuying too much, but instead not rebuying enough to keep the game going for more than a couple of hours, so just be cautious about setting stakes so high that most players are "one and done."
 

JScott

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So much has already been said, but the key points to take away:
1.) limit buy in amount, not amount of buy ins. 100bb max works for you game
2.) reduce the amount of fracs, you only need 100 on the table if you’re playing 25¢/25¢
3.) change your $10 to a $20 (or $25). You don’t want to be stressed about your bank, trust me. I like $20’s because people buy in with $20’s so fewer $5’s needed in my cash out bank.

new breakdown suggestion.

100 x 25¢
200 x $1
180 x $5’s
20 x $20’s (or $25’s)

$1500-1600 bank
 

joseywales

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We play $.25/$.50, $17 buy-in ($8 of $25 goes to food).

Players are allowed two additional rebuys, once the player is down to $2: $15, then $20. So $52 total loss. that said, we frequently allow more buy ins, but the spirit of a social game carries. One player bought in a 4th time and cleaned our clocks. Good for him.
 

LeLe

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i know it a bit late but dont limit buy in if you playing no limit NLH, either play with lower stake at 10c/20c so even at the worst night losing 500bb is just $100 or just play limited but you will need a lot of different demo compared to NLH, 90% 1 demo and 10% 20x the demo value
 

davethesave

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This is a great thread and I do like reading through everyones posts!

When we play, I do know WHICH players to keep an eye on. There are a few players who can tilt and literally empty their wallets- but as it was already said, these are adults and they have the ability to make their own grown up decisions. The red flag that pops up in my mind when we are playing is when someone goes tilty and has been felted a few times pretty quickly and keeps dipping in their wallet... once they have done this a few times - I ask them sincerely if they are sure they want to buy more chips... IF they are out of cold hard ca$h and need to go on a sheet... well this is the red zone for me... but this does not happen often.

I think someone who borrows regularly but always pays up is not an issue, but the practice CAN become an issue if someone else sees that this is common practice. For example... reliable fish goes on sheet all the time and pays next day... unreliable player goes on sheet and doesn't pay up right away.... this will cause huge issues as the players will be getting paid from the hosts pocket... you can see this unravelling...

The point is... even amongst friends, we must keep sincere tabs on one another. Id like to think that the guys coming to play will show up with cash in their pocket and that is likely all they are willing to "lose" or "play with" on that night.

Greedy sidenote… lots of money in the pot from loose fish means it will make for a spicy enjoyable game where you will have a good amount of people winning or breaking even... this also is what keeps some players coming back to play. I am happy to break even and enjoy the carnage ;)
 

JustinInMN

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I think someone who borrows regularly but always pays up is not an issue, but the practice CAN become an issue if someone else sees that this is common practice. For example... reliable fish goes on sheet all the time and pays next day... unreliable player goes on sheet and doesn't pay up right away.... this will cause huge issues as the players will be getting paid from the hosts pocket... you can see this unravelling...

Excellent, and underrated point. I don't lend at my games.
 

AceFour

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Many years ago we did 0.25/0.50 NLH. $40 buy . . . Most anyone lost was $120

The game progressed and we do $60 buy. Bets are now more in line with the pot where folks will isolate, 3/4 pot and pot bets. We don't have anyone in the game that cannot afford to lose what they play.

During COVID-19 we setup Poker Mavens and play multiple times a week and added PLO Mixed. People like the action and have seen pots as big as $400.

Did a live game of just 0.25/0.50 NLH with the same crew. Usually there is a table with the action players and a table with the casual players.

The issue with a small stakes game with my crew is basically everyone plays any two cards, everyone chases and it is like playing a $1 scratch off from the gas station every hand. Not exactly a exciting game except for comradely.
 

joseywales

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….The issue with a small stakes game with my crew is basically everyone plays any two cards, everyone chases and it is like playing a $1 scratch off from the gas station every hand. Not exactly a exciting game except for comradely.
This is where game resides at this point. We have a small group and nearly half will chase and because it’s a social game, the others just gamble for fun.

After the long COVID break, I’m adding a couple more poker players to this social group. I know the chasers are all very capable of playing poker, and don’t want to lose them. Rather, bring them up a notch as players. If we keep stakes low, but increase the talent at the table, I think this will work. If I raise stakes first, I’ll lose a couple social players.

could be, the two will never mesh and at that point I’ll think about running two different games.
 

davethesave

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Many years ago we did 0.25/0.50 NLH. $40 buy . . . Most anyone lost was $120

The game progressed and we do $60 buy. Bets are now more in line with the pot where folks will isolate, 3/4 pot and pot bets. We don't have anyone in the game that cannot afford to lose what they play.

During COVID-19 we setup Poker Mavens and play multiple times a week and added PLO Mixed. People like the action and have seen pots as big as $400.

Did a live game of just 0.25/0.50 NLH with the same crew. Usually there is a table with the action players and a table with the casual players.

The issue with a small stakes game with my crew is basically everyone plays any two cards, everyone chases and it is like playing a $1 scratch off from the gas station every hand. Not exactly a exciting game except for comradely.
I’ve noticed this as well and we get the “we’re just here to screw around” kinda attitude. I mean I get it... some guys are ok with calling a pre flop raise and re-raise with garbage, and catching... but I guess it’s different styles and everyone has their “price point”. I mean we all know these fish and I really don’t know if they will ever smarten up even if you were to raise the blinds.

think about it... these types of players... reckless... throw their money in the middle to chase would likely do the same over and over until they realize at some point “wow this really isn’t working/doesn’t work most of the time” and I guess you just need to use it to your advantage.

raising the blinds might tighten up these reckless players eventually... but you’ll likely lose the guys who just can’t afford to put half their stack in the middle preflop even if they have a pretty decent starting hand.

last thing anyone wants is to raise stakes and find that guys don’t come back because they got hurt.

low stakes once a week may become once a month higher stakes... I guess it all depends on what type of game you are hoping for.
Frustrating debate for sure- we have all been out drawn by chaser-villain with no business calling that huge raise on the turn only to catch the inside straight or that guy that was “going for the flush” but needed runner runner to make it.
 

CrazyEddie

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Raise the stakes and play fixed-limit mixed games. You'll get better poker even with the whales calling every hand. And the good players can win a bunch of money without having to risk their entire paycheck.

And it's fun! If it's a social game then the players will enjoy mixing things up, although cantankerous nits might grumble, and the maniacs won't believe that limit is "real poker" if they can't shove all-in. Give the maniacs a few circus games though and they'll come to like it.

In increasing order of wackiness, try:

Crazy Pineapple
Omaha
SOHE
SHESHE
Scrotum

Everything you need is in abby99's Mixed-Game Cards
 

Taghkanic

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A freezeout or single-rebuy tourney appeals to some players who want to cap session losses (and don’t have the discipline not to keep going into their pocket). I have a few players in my game who only play the tourney and never stay for cash because they are (irrationally) afraid of it.

But I don’t think limits on buy-ins make sense for a cash game, because topping off and/or having the chance to recover from bad beats is a big part of cash.

If they can’t afford it, those who lose the theoretical max should have them sense / self-control to quit for the night on their own, without a house rule.

If someone in your cash game is losing money they can’t afford, that is a time to have a private conversation with that person before the next game about slowing down or taking a few games off.

Also, as others have said, this concern suggests that the stakes are too high. Bump them down and there should be fewer instances of people playing above their means.

However, it seems a little baffling if one has a simultaneous concern that people are overspending *yet* also choosing to play like maniacs, chasing and gambling on speculative hands... Sounds kind of like they are prepared to lose this money.
 
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Eriks

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I don’t like limiting my game in any way. We have found a level of stakes that most are comfortable losing a few buy-ins at. And we’re all adults. If I had to change anything because players were uncomfortable I would just lower the stakes and not cap buy-ins
 

inca911

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In increasing order of wackiness, try:
Crazy Pineapple
Omaha
SOHE
SHESHE
Scrotum
Here’s a mixed game evolution that might be useful. Adding a per hand cap allows you to play some pot limit games instead of all fixed limit (e.g., $100 cap max). It’s a great format that balances the spectrum of player styles.

3116AC8B-B464-4E6D-9F97-E0A1C1F3C5DD.jpeg
 

wask

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When I started hosting 0.25/0.50 I was worried some would be turned off by the losses so I tried to implement a « run it twice if all players involved agree on it » policy.

Everyone refused haha.
 

sleepyBama

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When I started hosting 0.25/0.50 I was worried some would be turned off by the losses so I tried to implement a « run it twice if all players involved agree on it » policy.

Everyone refused haha.
ha..not surprised...who wants just half the pot.
 
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