Cash Game Limit Buy-in Amounts

jbutler

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as most of us know, the typical buy-in for a limit game is 25 big bets, so when i play $10-20, i buy in for $500. standard and easy. but what about atypical structures such as the longstanding $15-30-45 (flop-turn-river) OE game at the Taj? about half the people buy in for $500 and half for $1000 (mostly as a function of the one rack/two rack convenience), but what would be the actual right number?

i've always followed the 25 big bets rule, but is there another that i'm unaware of that takes into account the average amount of the bets on all streets?
 

DrStrange

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I can't say there is a "right" answer, but if you buy $500 playing 10-20 then $500 is not enough for $15/$30/$45. I'd go with $1,000. It is limit poker, there is no such thing as "too much"

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jbutler

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I can't say there is a "right" answer, but if you buy $500 playing 10-20 then $500 is not enough for $15/$30/$45. I'd go with $1,000. It is limit poker, there is no such thing as "too much"

i'm not really asking how much i should buy in for in that game - i do buy in for $1k when i play - i was trying to use it as an example of a structure that doesn't as easily lend itself to the traditional 25 big bet buy-in as a way of asking for an alternative way to determine how much people "should" buy in for.

the home/underground limit games spread here often use a 3 different bet betting structure and i'm looking at putting together a set to accommodate such games.
 

Mental Nomad

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The idea of a 25 Big Bet buy-in in a limit game - and a buy-in of 100 Big Blinds in a no-limit game - is not actually based on the size of the blinds or the bets. The blinds/bets are serving as a rough proxy of the size of the game - that is, how big the pots run. You really want to scale your buy-in to the average pot size - especially the flop pots, I think.

In no-limit, 100 Big Blinds is the rough starting point for "big stack" poker theory to apply, but if the game is loose and nothing ever gets to the flop without seeing a bet that's ten or more Big Blinds, then you're not really playing that game, you're playing a bigger game, and the 100 Big Blinds is probably not enough. If pots are typically 40 or 50 BB before the flop comes (and we've seen such games, right?) then 100 BB is definitely not a big enough stack for big-stack theory to really apply. You're playing a bigger game, just with reduced blinds.

Which is all a long-winded way of saying that it's not the blinds, it's the pot size - your buy-in is based on the pot size.

But if I had to propose a buy-in based on the limits in a limit game with three bet sizes, I'd use this logic:

In a 15/30 limit game, 25 big bets ($750) is a typical "full" buy-in.
In a 22.50/45 limit game, double the size, $1125 would be the typical 25 big bets.

A 15/30/45 limit game will be bigger than a 15/30 limit game... but not as big as a 22.50/45 game. So somewhere between the two.
Opening bets are still 15, but the closing bets will have a little extra oomph - so I think the game size will be closer to 15/30 than to 22.50/45. If you split the difference between the two, you're allowing a safety margin by buying in for $937.50... which is 31.25 times the $30, or 20.8 times the 45.

That makes intuitive sense to me:
For 15/30, you need 25 x 30.
For 15/30/45, you need more than 25 x30... so 31 x 30 makes a kind of sense.
Alternately, for 15/30/45, you don't need as much as 25 x 45... so 20 x 45 makes a kind of sense.

Either way, that's $900+, and $1000 is convenient.
 
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jbutler

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thanks, nomad. my thinking was similar, though i went the more circuitous route of averaging the total bets on all streets in a $10-20 game and then comparing that to my perceived "correct" buy-in.

ultimately i came away thinking one alternative approach would be to simply multiply all bets on all streets by 8.33 and that would be give an approximate figure for the "correct" buy-in. so in $10-20, that would be $500; in $15-30-45, $875, and in $5-10-15 (the frequent game here), $292 (rounded up to $300 obv).

that makes some sense since most folks buy in for between $200 and $400 in the game here.

mostly i'm doing this to figure out the breakdown for a pink chip game cash set. since we use redbirds now, i thought it would be fun to double the number of chips in play. i'd also want the set to double as a $1/2 big bet game set (usually one table, occasionally two) as well, so i'll probably go with:

400 (1)
1600 (2.50)
1000 (5)
300 (25)
100 (100)
 

abby99

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25 BB in a traditional limit game is enough to play two hands that are capped on each street (12 BB per hand x 2 plus 1 for rounding because who would buy in for 24 BB?).

So, it seems to me that the same approach might be used for a limit game with three different betting amounts: ( (4 x 15) + (4 x 15) + (4 x 30) + (4 x 45)) x 2 = 840. This is fairly close to what MN and JB arrived at, just a different (but not too dissimilar) methodology. Round to $900, re-round to $1K.
 

BGinGA

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as most of us know, the typical buy-in for a limit game is 25 big bets,...

Interesting..... I was taught (many years ago) to buy in for 50 big bets ($200 for a 2/4 game or $500 for 5/10), and top-off when stack size dropped down to 25 big bets -- and always max buy-in for no-limit or 100BB if allowed.
 

Mental Nomad

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Strictly speaking, if you ignore heads-up pots, the biggest a hand can possibly go is 12 big bets, in a typical two-bet limit scheme. So at 2/4, if you have just $50, you can't get all-in even if every street is capped - the biggest it can go is $48. If you want to be ready for max exposure, you just have to top off when you get down to $50.

(There's typically no cap on bets once you're heads-up, but people all but never actually try to stack off, so that becomes irrelevant.)
 

BGinGA

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Yeah, but that's assuming you can get new chips in-hand the moment you ask for them -- not always the case.....
 

jbutler

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Yeah, but that's assuming you can get new chips in-hand the moment you ask for them -- not always the case.....

if you're going to base your buy-in and rebuy rules on the time it takes for a chip runner to reach you, then i'm not sure there's any point in discussing a universal rule. you would just have to make your own assessment of the efficiency of the game/room where you're playing.
 

BGinGA

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if you're going to base your buy-in and rebuy rules on the time it takes for a chip runner to reach you, then i'm not sure there's any point in discussing a universal rule. you would just have to make your own assessment of the efficiency of the game/room where you're playing.

No, I think you missed the point. It just seems like always having enough chips to play two max-bet hands is a better choice overall than a plan for having sufficient chips for just one such hand.

Nothing worse than not having enough chips when you hit that jam-jam-jam-nutz hand.
 

jbutler

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No, I think you missed the point. It just seems like always having enough chips to play two max-bet hands is a better choice overall than a plan for having sufficient chips for just one such hand.

Nothing worse than not having enough chips when you hit that jam-jam-jam-nutz hand.

right, i agree - so 25 BBs like Marsha said:

25 BB in a traditional limit game is enough to play two hands that are capped on each street (12 BB per hand x 2 plus 1 for rounding because who would buy in for 24 BB?).
 

Mental Nomad

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Cash on the table plays while you await the runner.

Odds are, you fold while waiting - but if not, your probably won't burn your 12 big bets in a hand, either.
 

kirchhausen

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A little late to the thread, but here goes...

If you cap the bets on each street in a traditional limit game, you are looking at 12 big bets (like Nomad states earlier). If you are buying in at 25 BB, you basically are buying in for just over two max-capped hands (2.083 to be exact).

In a 15-30-45 format, the max you can bet on a hand is $420 (8*15 + 4*30 +4*45). multiply by 2.083 and you get $875 (which is 19.4 BB).

While I think most people who are going for the 25BB buy-ins at traditional limit would probably round up to $1000, you really only need 20 BB at this structure to cover two max-capped hands.
 

bergs

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I usually ask the cage how many chips they have, and try to buy them all. I can't lose if I have all the chips.

(My standard is at least 2 racks - I love having chip towers in front of me, which is really one of the few reasons I play limit structures).
 

Bloody Marvelous

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A more interesting question is what the minimum buy-in should be.

As I've understood it in Limit the min buy-in is 5x the Big Bet, in No-Limit it's 40x the Big Blind.

Max buy-in for No-Limit is often either 100x or 200x the Big Blind. For Limit there is no max buy-in.

When playing $10/$20 limit games I usually buy in for $300~$500.
 
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