Cash Game First time hosting cash game

cgpilot

Straight
Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2020
Messages
907
Reaction score
1,780
Location
Mobile AL
Will be hosting my first NLHE cash game in a couple of weeks and looking for a little advice. To be honest I didn't fully understand the difference between cash vs tournament games until joining PCF last February, and after learning more I'd like to give it a shot. Took some convincing but my group is also ready to try it out - I'd like for it to be successful! :)

The group I play with:
- Playing tournament games together for the last 6 years
- One time buy in for $25
- Target a 3-4 hour game
- Between 5-8 players on average
- Unless I host, dice chips are used :bag:

My chips:
200 x .25
100 x .50
200 x $1
300 x $5
and so on with higher denoms

What I'm thinking for a NLHE cash game:
- Buy in between $25-$50
- Still 3-4 hr game, but maybe longer
- Unsure about .25/.25 or .25/.50

The group ok'd a $50 buy in. I think a .25/.50 game would be more interesting but welcome recommendations.

Questions:
- Would allowing a min buy of $25, max $50, work with both .25/.25 and .25/.50?
- Is cutting off at a set time somewhat normal?

Thoughts on extra rules:
- Not allowing people to cash out until 3 hr mark (thoughts?)
- Not a real gambly group but $50 initial buy in, allow everyone to unlimited rebuy up to a max of $50 at any point
- Any other rules you can think of that I may need to figure out for the group

I get a feeling that I'm missing something, but probably because I haven't given it a shot yet.

Thanks!

- Brian
 

JRald07

Two Pair
Supporting Member
Joined
May 27, 2020
Messages
472
Reaction score
687
Location
Northern VA
What I'm thinking for a NLHE cash game:
- Buy in between $25-$50
- Still 3-4 hr game, but maybe longer
- Unsure about .25/.25 or .25/.50
For your buy ins .25/.25 is great. Gives you 100BB-200BB. May want to do buyins of $50-$100 for .25/.50 or it may be a shovefest with everyone starting at a minimum of 50BB and a maximum of 100BB.
 

Rhodeman77

4 of a Kind
Supporting Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2014
Messages
7,298
Reaction score
16,616
Location
Cleveland
I’d go with 25/25c blinds. $20 -$50 buy-in.

I wouldn’t worry about stipulating a min playing time. They are getting out of house to have fun. If someone really wants to leave after the first orbit because he got lucky to bust 2 people and is up $100 then you know who to cut from your invite list.

as mentioned, don’t use the 50c chips. Just the 25c, $1, & $5.
 

wolfpack

Flush
Joined
Aug 4, 2020
Messages
1,495
Reaction score
1,811
Location
Ohio
at $50 keep it to .25/.25 if you want .25/.50 make it $100. You don't want less than 80 BB minimum starting.

Agree don't use the .50, they aren't needed unless you do .50/1
 

JustinInMN

Full House
Joined
May 23, 2017
Messages
3,757
Reaction score
4,207
Location
Burnsville, MN
What I'm thinking for a NLHE cash game:
- Buy in between $25-$50
- Still 3-4 hr game, but maybe longer
- Unsure about .25/.25 or .25/.50

Are they thinking $50 is okay for a one time buy in or are players willing to buy in 2-3 times at this amount?

I really think you should set the buy in where you think players will go 2-3 times so perhaps a 20 or 30 max is in order. And in that case 0.25-0.25 blinds are the choice. If you play 0.25-0.50 50 max what might happen is players will get in three shells for 150 bucks, that's pretty jarring I'd the usual game is 25 tournament.

As for chips no need for 0.50 chips, put out 100 quarters and your 200 singles and you should be fine. Plenty of fives to use too after the singles run out.
 

Eloe2000

4 of a Kind
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2019
Messages
6,080
Reaction score
14,414
Location
Casa Mango, FL
- Would allowing a min buy of $25, max $50, work with both .25/.25 and .25/.50?

IMO 100-200BB stacks is best for a casual game. Most cash nights we play .25/.25 $40 buy-in, unlimited rebuys, top off any time to $40. $40 is easy because everyone has $20 bills and don’t have to worry about having 5s and $10s. We do 12/22/3 starting stacks.

- Is cutting off at a set time somewhat normal?

We play until everyone is tired and as host I will generally say “let’s call it in an hour”.

- Not allowing people to cash out until 3 hr mark (thoughts?)

I think it’s better to require something like a 30min, 1hr, etc. heads up on leaving. And absolutely let people know it’s not ok to win and leave.

- Not a real gambly group but $50 initial buy in, allow everyone to unlimited rebuy up to a max of $50 at any point

Start off at the lower end of what you think everyone is comfortable with and see how it plays for a couple events. Expect 1 rebuy per person on average but more for some. If the stakes get to high people won’t complain, they just will stop showing up.

- Any other rules you can think of that I may need to figure out for the group.

Look up Roberts Rules Of Poker
 
Last edited:

cgpilot

Straight
Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2020
Messages
907
Reaction score
1,780
Location
Mobile AL
.
Are they thinking $50 is okay for a one time buy in or are players willing to buy in 2-3 times at this amount?

I really think you should set the buy in where you think players will go 2-3 times so perhaps a 20 or 30 max is in order. And in that case 0.25-0.25 blinds are the choice. If you play 0.25-0.50 50 max what might happen is players will get in three shells for 150 bucks, that's pretty jarring I'd the usual game is 25 tournament.

As for chips no need for 0.50 chips, put out 100 quarters and your 200 singles and you should be fine. Plenty of fives to use too after the singles run out.

Honestly not sure what direction it will go. I think the majority of the group is willing to commit $100+ for the night. On a given night we have 5-8 people, but our pool of people that play is around 15. Of the 15, probably 8-10 are competitive while the remaining like to show up, drink beer, and get out of the house. I wanted to keep the bottom at $25 for them. I didn't want them to feel compelled to spend more money since they are there more for social reasons.
 

Eloe2000

4 of a Kind
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2019
Messages
6,080
Reaction score
14,414
Location
Casa Mango, FL
.


Honestly not sure what direction it will go. I think the majority of the group is willing to commit $100+ for the night. On a given night we have 5-8 people, but our pool of people that play is around 15. Of the 15, probably 8-10 are competitive while the remaining like to show up, drink beer, and get out of the house. I wanted to keep the bottom at $25 for them. I didn't want them to feel compelled to spend more money since they are there more for social reasons.

IMHO a bottom buy in is pointless for a casual game. The game won’t play well. Everyone who buys in for less will be at an immediate disadvantage (and may also be the less experienced ones already). Those people will quickly be looking for push spots at best. At worst (and more likely) they will get discouraged and just stop showing up. I would set a reasonable expected buy in for everyone and stick to it. Start off on the conservative lower end of expectations and adjust from there.
 
Last edited:

tabletalker7

Full House
Joined
Aug 8, 2019
Messages
2,569
Reaction score
3,638
Location
Buffalo NY
.


Honestly not sure what direction it will go. I think the majority of the group is willing to commit $100+ for the night. On a given night we have 5-8 people, but our pool of people that play is around 15. Of the 15, probably 8-10 are competitive while the remaining like to show up, drink beer, and get out of the house. I wanted to keep the bottom at $25 for them. I didn't want them to feel compelled to spend more money since they are there more for social reasons.
Before the virus my player group was about 20 deep, but was about like yours with half being more serious poker players and the other half being serious beer drinkers. My recommendation is to get nickel chips and split the group. My serious players played .25/.50 on Fridays and my beer drinkers played .05/.10 on Saturday nights. That let me keep the table deep enough for my serious players on Friday and friendly enough for my beer drinkers Saturday.
 

wolfpack

Flush
Joined
Aug 4, 2020
Messages
1,495
Reaction score
1,811
Location
Ohio
IMHO a bottom buy in is pointless for a casual game. The game won’t play well. Everyone who buys in for less will be at an immediate disadvantage (and may also be the less experienced ones already). Those people will quickly be looking for push spots at best. At worst (and more likely) they will get discouraged and just stop showing up. I would set a reasonable expected buy in for everyone and stick to it. Start off on the conservative lower end of expectations and adjust from there.


Agree with this 100%. Don't set a min max buyin, just set a buy in and allow players to rebuy/top off up to that buy in.
 

Chawks45

3 of a Kind
Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2020
Messages
571
Reaction score
2,038
Location
Kansas City metro
I agree with everyone on cutting out the .50 chip. I stopped using that denom for my .25/.50 game long ago.

- Is cutting off at a set time somewhat normal?

Depends on the group dynamics. For my game, which is on pause for now, a lot of the regs prefer to stay out of trouble with their spousal units, so they like to let their better half know in advance what time to expect them home.

Other than that if we don't establish an end time well in advance of the gathering, the time is essentially left up to how the game is going. If the game is dying out, we'll all agree to do one or two more orbits before shutting down.

- Not allowing people to cash out until 3 hr mark (thoughts?)

Agreed with @Rhodeman77's and @Hornet's and @Eloe2000's respective stances on the cashing out aspect. I also feel a group discussion on expected standards in advance of the game will go a long way. The more the players know before arriving, the better.

- Not a real gambly group but $50 initial buy in, allow everyone to unlimited rebuy up to a max of $50 at any point

This is a good test run for a first cash game, especially since you know your players and their tendencies. I think what you're leaning to is a good course of action if you're anticipating limp-heavy preflop action.

That said, as the cash game grows following a few gatherings, it wouldn't surprise if the action eventually plays bigger than a .25/.50 game. Prepare for MOAR chips!

Oh, and have fun!
 

Italianjoe157

Two Pair
Joined
Mar 4, 2020
Messages
257
Reaction score
325
Location
Massachusetts
Just my two cents,

Do not worry about all the rules to begin with. Each home game evolves as time goes on. There will be initial growing pains of hosting.

Read up on most common errors that come up If you haven’t already so you can address them in game quickly and efficiently. The most important thing is to keep things light and friendly or else you won’t have player retention. Second to that is to keep the game moving. Think of yourself as your own floor supervisor.

As you continue to play, your players will get better at dealing and addressing errors on their own. Sounds like the group is knowledgeable but something to think about.

Don’t forget snacks and beverages :)
 

Italianjoe157

Two Pair
Joined
Mar 4, 2020
Messages
257
Reaction score
325
Location
Massachusetts
To add, nothing is perfect on Day 1 of ANYTHING. It sounds like the players are regulars and know each other which means they will be more vocal with their likes/dislikes regarding buyins and stakes. At the end of the night ask for player feedback and see what the general consensus is about the game.

Also don’t be disappointed if they just don’t like playing cash games. Some groups gravitate only to tournaments for low buy-in/high reward. Cash games are a grind and are much more boring than tournaments. if possible have a TV or radio is on in the background to kill dead air.

Finally, DO NOT TAKE A RAKE!

:)
 

Italianjoe157

Two Pair
Joined
Mar 4, 2020
Messages
257
Reaction score
325
Location
Massachusetts
As I said every group is different but with the increase in blinds and high payouts it’s more of a thrill. Establishing massive chip stack or being on your third bullet and battle short handed for the W. Table dynamics and hand ranges change constantly. But, they are not fun if your observing from the rail ;)

A static .25/.25 cash game can be fun if the group makes it fun. Hand ranges are more defined based on position. So for me, less fun. Huge generality...
 

Kid_Eastwood

Full House
Joined
Jan 28, 2016
Messages
3,394
Reaction score
4,696
Location
BE
Personnally I prefer min. 50BB - max. 100BB as buyin.
So basicall NL25 as 0.25 - 0.25 and NL50 as 0.25 - 0.50.
 

TheWhat

3 of a Kind
Joined
Apr 23, 2020
Messages
568
Reaction score
438
Location
MB, Canada
They are? I find myself having more fun in cash games than playing in tourneys.

Might have something to do with I often find myself getting knocked out on the bubble. It's a gift I have.

Cash 》Tourney

Every Tourney basically comes down to did AK win the flip? Or did the under pair hold.

All they have going for them is the Payout vs Buyin, which of course is notable. But "poker" isn't Tourney play, at least to me.
 
Last edited:

boltonguy

Flush
Joined
Sep 5, 2017
Messages
1,196
Reaction score
1,072
Location
Boston, MA USA
Agree. IMHO cash = more skill. Tournament = more luck. On Thursday I played a tournament online. Made it past the first break and was 226 of 450 with over 2000 entering. I am in +1 with AA and UTG jams for 2300. I over jam for 6200 and get two callers. UTG shows Q3s, and immediately to my left +2 shows QsJs. I forget what BN had. It goes runner runner flush and QsJs wins. I had As. Just luck ...
 

JustinInMN

Full House
Joined
May 23, 2017
Messages
3,757
Reaction score
4,207
Location
Burnsville, MN
Agree. IMHO cash = more skill. Tournament = more luck. On Thursday I played a tournament online. Made it past the first break and was 226 of 450 with over 2000 entering. I am in +1 with AA and UTG jams for 2300. I over jam for 6200 and get two callers. UTG shows Q3s, and immediately to my left +2 shows QsJs. I forget what BN had. It goes runner runner flush and QsJs wins. I had As. Just luck ...

I mean those sorts of beats can happen in cash too.

But yes, tournaments among similarly skilled players often come down to who wins coin flips or who draws out on pair v pair confrontations. Because of this factor, and the nature of pay ladders, tournaments actually reward tight passive play. In cash, there are several possible ways to push value, gain edges, adjust to different opposition. In tournaments, those avenues are limited.
 

pokercrypt

High Hand
Joined
Sep 29, 2020
Messages
82
Reaction score
57
Location
Singapore
Mind if I ask a question? Very much a newbie here but my group usually plays for example 0.5/1 (not US$) by halving chip vaIf the sb is 0.25 then what does 0.25/0.25 mean in this thread? Just that for bb you use 2x0.25?
I’m buying a set at the moment and was thinking to use 1/2 then half the value for real cash value. Or is it best to get 0.5 chips? And use 0.5/1

I’m not even sure if I made sense lol
 

TheWhat

3 of a Kind
Joined
Apr 23, 2020
Messages
568
Reaction score
438
Location
MB, Canada
In a nutshell there is no Small Blind, just 2 Big Blinds; position still plays though.
 

LotsOfChips

Flush
Joined
Jul 10, 2019
Messages
1,352
Reaction score
1,546
Location
UTG +1
Mind if I ask a question? Very much a newbie here but my group usually plays for example 0.5/1 (not US$) by halving chip vaIf the sb is 0.25 then what does 0.25/0.25 mean in this thread? Just that for bb you use 2x0.25?
I’m buying a set at the moment and was thinking to use 1/2 then half the value for real cash value. Or is it best to get 0.5 chips? And use 0.5/1

I’m not even sure if I made sense lol
By the sounds of it you may be playing Limit, where the Small Bet is .50 and the Big Bet is 1. so the game is called .50/1. In those cases the blinds are normally Small Blind .25 Big Blind .50.

In NLHE the bets aren't mentioned in the description, only the blinds. so .25/.50 refers to the same blinds as your .50/1 Limit game. In order to keep the game smaller (lower buyins therefore presumably lower risk) some hosts spread .25/.25, rather than something like .10/20 or .15/.25 (keeps the smallest chip at .25)
 

pokercrypt

High Hand
Joined
Sep 29, 2020
Messages
82
Reaction score
57
Location
Singapore
By the sounds of it you may be playing Limit, where the Small Bet is .50 and the Big Bet is 1. so the game is called .50/1. In those cases the blinds are normally Small Blind .25 Big Blind .50.

In NLHE the bets aren't mentioned in the description, only the blinds. so .25/.50 refers to the same blinds as your .50/1 Limit game. In order to keep the game smaller (lower buyins therefore presumably lower risk) some hosts spread .25/.25, rather than something like .10/20 or .15/.25 (keeps the smallest chip at .25)
We play sb0.5 bb1 with buy in's of 100 (in cash terms). So if it is .25/.25 means the sb&bb are the same? So when pre flop betting gets back to sb it could just be check rather than have to match up to bb?
 

toynoob

Full House
Joined
Nov 27, 2018
Messages
3,321
Reaction score
3,188
Location
Ohio
25/25 for $50 buy ins. Expect your players to surprise you later down the road. Tournaments will become a thing of the past and the cash game will slowly creep up in stakes as people get comfortable
 

LotsOfChips

Flush
Joined
Jul 10, 2019
Messages
1,352
Reaction score
1,546
Location
UTG +1
We play sb0.5 bb1 with buy in's of 100 (in cash terms). So if it is .25/.25 means the sb&bb are the same? So when pre flop betting gets back to sb it could just be check rather than have to match up to bb?
Yes, if it is limped or folded around to the SB, then he could check if he chooses to.
 

Justin Olson

Flush
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2017
Messages
1,075
Reaction score
2,153
Location
Minot
$.25/$.25 blinds.
I like min buy in and max buy ins (in this situation i would do min $25 max $50 or half the big stack)
I would allow unlimited rebuys/reloads. That is the best part of cash game.
I run a game that has hard stop @ midnight. We all work the following am. Make sure you hold solid because if you fall for the “one more orbit” that one or 2 players beg all the time it will become the norm.
I agree with everyone else that you can keep the $.50 away. Save them for when you play $.50/$$1

In my experience if you can give all your players 40+ chips to begin it will be more fun and they will play a hair looser.
16 x .$25’s
21 x $1’s
5 x $5’s
Seams like a lot of quarters but if you are permanently dealing you should be getting tips.....

Most important on cash game.
Only one banker. You keep the cash in a bank bag or lock box and only you get chips. Only you touch the chips that are exchanged for cash. Only you cash out a player.
Lots of other stuff you can do on cash games
Bomb Pots
7-2 game
Straddles
 
Top Bottom