Cash Game New players need help on chip set breakdown

QuadFlopper

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Hey everyone, I’m new here and I saw a few posts similar to mine but I really wanted to hear what you guys thought about my specific situation. Me and my group of friends just started playing recently but have been playing pretty much every weekend so I’ve been looking to get us a decent set of chips. We have a very cheap set of chips right now that has 100/100/100 each white, red, and blue chips that we count as 1,5, and 10.

We play 1/2 because that’s the smallest chip we have but people do not buy in for much (usual buy ins are only between 25-80 dollars and we usually play with about 4-6 people regularly but I could see our games maybe getting up to 10 people occasionally at some point in the future). Playing with 6 people we usually run out of whites very quickly and are often making change. It seems like 5s are really supposed to be the workhorse chip for 1/2 from what I’m hearing but we have never even opened 50 of our red chips (or the other 50 blue).

Our main workhorse chip is the 1 and when we use 5s (or 10s) it’s a pretty strong bet. I want to get a chip set that can support growth in the future where hopefully we do use more $5 chips and I would probably replace the 10s with 25s to promote players having more 5s on the table. It seems like for the stakes we do a lot of you will recommend fractional chips but I don’t really understand the purpose of that. Seems silly to have chips out there that are worth so little, no one has ever had an issue with $1 being our minimum bet or with the blinds being priced the way they are. I’m thinking a 600 chip set broken down 250 $1s, 250 $5s, 100 $25s but I would really like to hear everyone’s opinion on this and also if you have any opinions on the way that we play in general or any improvements you can think of for our game would be appreciated, thanks guys.
 

Eriks

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You’re playing with 12,5-40bbs. To me that sounds like it would be a shove fest. Yet $5 and 10 are considered big bets.You should probably play like $0.25/0.25 instead and get a lot more play. This barely sounds like poker, or do you get multiple buy-ins making stacks deeper later on?
 

DarkHelmet55

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You need fracs if your buy in is $25-80. It doesnt sound like a 1/2 game to me. The fracs might not look like much value but should be used for blinds if you are trying to promote good poker play and not just bingo. Evan the most patient player would be shoving a lot if they could only buy in for 40 big blinds.
 

Eloe2000

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If your players want to buy-in for $25-80 you should probably be playing .25/.25 or 25/.50

For now I would keep the 1s and 5s but pretend the 10s are $.25

100x 1
100x 5
100x .25

Total Bank is $625 which sounds like it’s enough.

My standard game is .25/.25 and we buy-in for $40 which is 160 BB which I like for a casual game.

The smallest set for games .25/.25 to 1/1 I would recommend is

125x .25
200x 1
200x 5
50 x 25
25x 100

But ideally to host 10 people at .25/.25-1/2 I would shoot for at least

100x .25
300x 1
300x 5
75x 25
25x 100
 
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QuadFlopper

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You’re playing with 12,5-40bbs. To me that sounds like it would be a shove fest. Yet $5 and 10 are considered big bets.You should probably play like $0.25/0.25 instead and get a lot more play. This barely sounds like poker, or do you get multiple buy-ins making stacks deeper later on?
We do buy back in when out of chips usually for 20-30 more. Maybe I’m just not understanding but can someone tell me how playing with .25 chips and .25/.50 blinds would actually improve the quality of the game. All I can imagine is that there would be more chips on the table but what is the difference of throwing in a bunch of .25 chips or just a couple white 1$ chips. Kinda seems like it would just clutter up the table? People shove occasionally but usually our pots end up around 20 dollars I would say and our singles are constantly moving around, can someone please explain how using .25 chips would work in our games and how that would benefit? Thanks
 

QuadFlopper

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If your players want to buy-in for $25-80 you should probably be playing .25/.25 or 25/.50

For now I would keep the 1s and 5s but pretend the 10s are $.25

100x 1
100x 5
100x .25

Total Bank is $625 which sounds like it’s enough.

My standard game is .25/.25 and we buy-in for $40 which is 160 BB which I like for a casual game.

The smallest set for games .25/.25 to 1/1 I would recommend is

125x .25
200x 1
200x 5
50 x 25
25x 100

But ideally to host 10 people I would shoot for

125x .25
300x 1
300x 5
50 x 25
25x 100
In all the breakdowns I’ve seen people have not that many fracs compared to workhorse chips so are fracs mainly supposed to only be used for the blinds? If so what is the difference if you just play 1/2 blinds and don’t worry about buying frac chips if the main chips you’re going to be betting with are 1s. It’s not like 1/2 is too expensive for the blinds that seems pretty fair to everyone. Just trying to understand why I’m getting a little backlash here for playing 1/2 blinds with low stakes. Who cares what the blinds are, I don’t get how the relation of chip stack to the blinds makes a difference but I would like to hear where I’m wrong if anyone can explain.
 

Eriks

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The difference is you’ll have more big blinds to play with. If you have $80 in a 1/2 game most decisions beyond the flop will be all-in or fold and there won’t be any room to play poker. How do most of your pots end up @ $20? You are playing no limit, right?
 

philhut

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Ah a $10 chip group, I like playing $10's as well. Many players on here would recommend a $20 or $25 chip instead to get greater value out of your set with fewer pieces.
I recommend a set that is more versatile able to play both .25/50 to 1/2 like you are playing....buy in's seem to play in to the .25/50 to .50 to 1 blind range given what players are buying in for. As for a foolproof denominated cash breakdown I'd recommend these set up's for 10 players to have a comfortable game without worry of busting your bank and also being able to play a range of stakes with your one set. Options include sets with $10, $20 and $25 chips, you could probable get by with less chips if you will have less players or are ok with making change on the table more often. The last two sets being minimum with more change being made on the table.

600 chips will get it done, total chip bank included allowing for rebuys.... again this would be my consideration for a 10 player table....decrease by ~1/10th per less player

w'Quartersw-$10w-$20w_$25min-w$10min-w$25
$0.25​
120​
120​
120​
80​
80​
$1​
200​
200​
200​
150​
150​
$5​
200​
200​
200​
150​
150​
$10​
60​
100​
$20​
0​
80​
$25​
0​
60​
50​
$100​
20​
20​
20​
20​
20​
Total Chips
600​
620​
600​
500​
450​
total bank
$3,830.00​
$4,830.00​
$4,730.00​
$3,920.00​
$4,170.00​
No Quartersw-$10w-$20w_$25min-w$10min-w$25
$1​
200​
200​
200​
150​
150​
$5​
200​
200​
200​
150​
150​
$10​
80​
100​
$20​
0​
80​
$25​
0​
80​
50​
$100​
20​
20​
20​
10​
10​
Total Chips
500​
500​
500​
410​
360​
total bank
$4,000.00​
$4,800.00​
$5,200.00​
$2,900.00​
$3,150.00​
 

BGinGA

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For a single-table 1/2 game, you'll want 600 chips:

100 x $1
400 x $5
80 x $20 (or $25
20 x $100

But I agree with the other posts above, your starting buy-ins should be at least 100BB (big blinds), so a solid-poker 1/2 game should feature buy-ins from $100 to $200.

If your buy-ins are only in the $25 to $80 range, you should probably be playing 25c/50c or 50c/$1 blinds instead. A single-table 600 chip set to support those type games would look like this:

140 x 25c
300 x$1
100 x $5
60 x $20 (or $25)
 

QuadFlopper

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The difference is you’ll have more big blinds to play with. If you have $80 in a 1/2 game most decisions beyond the flop will be all-in or fold and there won’t be any room to play poker. How do most of your pots end up @ $20? You are playing no limit, right?
Yes we play no limit. That is just not how we play though, most bets are in the 1-5 range. I don’t really get the assumption that with “only” 80 in a 1/2 game that you’re main options would be to shove or fold. Why can you not just play poker within that range. Nobody wants to shove all the time because we want to keep playing and it’s no fun if everyone is out of chips in an hour. I guess it seems like we play more of a .25/.50 or .50/1.00 style of poker but using 1/2 blinds because that’s what we have. Would it really be advantageous for us to get fractional chips just for blinds and then continuing playing with similar stakes?
 

Eloe2000

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In all the breakdowns I’ve seen people have not that many fracs compared to workhorse chips so are fracs mainly supposed to only be used for the blinds? If so what is the difference if you just play 1/2 blinds and don’t worry about buying frac chips if the main chips you’re going to be betting with are 1s. It’s not like 1/2 is too expensive for the blinds that seems pretty fair to everyone. Just trying to understand why I’m getting a little backlash here for playing 1/2 blinds with low stakes. Who cares what the blinds are, I don’t get how the relation of chip stack to the blinds makes a difference but I would like to hear where I’m wrong if anyone can explain.

If you are playing 1/2 your opening bets are going to be in the $5-$10 range while if you are playing .25/.25 your opening bet might be say $1. It is very easy to see how these pots and betting are going to have completely different trajectories. And if someone only has $40 there is little to no room to “play” as your decisions paths quickly lead to fold or push. Where as you have more room for betting strategy and game play if you were playing .25/.25.

The thing with fracs is that it is just easy to make change between people or with the pot. So while they are used for blinds, preflop, and maybe at the flop you the utility ends there. However you would see if you had 200x quarters they will just end up with one or two persons and don’t get used at all.
 

Eriks

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Yes we play no limit. That is just not how we play though, most bets are in the 1-5 range. I don’t really get the assumption that with “only” 80 in a 1/2 game that you’re main options would be to shove or fold. Why can you not just play poker within that range. Nobody wants to shove all the time because we want to keep playing and it’s no fun if everyone is out of chips in an hour. I guess it seems like we play more of a .25/.50 or .50/1.00 style of poker but using 1/2 blinds because that’s what we have. Would it really be advantageous for us to get fractional chips just for blinds and then continuing playing with similar stakes?
Well, if it ain’t broken don’t try to fix it, I guess. I’m just trying wrap my head around it. To me standard would be:

player 1 $50
Player 2 $70
Player 3 $80
Player 4 $80
Player 5 $25
Player 6 $80

player 5 and 6 post blinds.
player 1 folds
Player 2 makes it 6
Player 3 folds
Player 4 calls 6
Player 5 folds
Player 6 calls 6

Flop (pot is $19)

player 6 checks
Player 2 cbets 11
Player 4 calls 11
Player 6 folds

turn (pot is $41)

Player 2 has $53 left and any reasonable bet would commit him.
 

Alex Lundstrum

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Yes we play no limit. That is just not how we play though, most bets are in the 1-5 range. I don’t really get the assumption that with “only” 80 in a 1/2 game that you’re main options would be to shove or fold. Why can you not just play poker within that range. Nobody wants to shove all the time because we want to keep playing and it’s no fun if everyone is out of chips in an hour. I guess it seems like we play more of a .25/.50 or .50/1.00 style of poker but using 1/2 blinds because that’s what we have. Would it really be advantageous for us to get fractional chips just for blinds and then continuing playing with similar stakes?
The comments on needing deeper buy-ins or smaller blinds (like .25/.50) trace from typical good strategy for no limit holdem, which typically sees bets being in the range of 1/3x to 1x the size of the pot, and raises being 3-5x the previous bet. With these standards in play, bets would quickly become all-in by the third or fourth betting round if you have less than 100 big blinds per person in play.

It sounds like your group tend more towards a spread-limit style of game, in which most bets are $1-5, regardless of pot size. No problem with this, many people like spread-limit and it's a perfectly good game.

Your comments on .25 chips being worth very little is accurate. In a NL game, blinds should not represent a large investment, they are there to build a small pot for later betting or to end a hand that isn't going anywhere, i.e. nobody gets a free ride on junk.
 

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Yes we play no limit. That is just not how we play though, most bets are in the 1-5 range. I don’t really get the assumption that with “only” 80 in a 1/2 game that you’re main options would be to shove or fold. Why can you not just play poker within that range. Nobody wants to shove all the time because we want to keep playing and it’s no fun if everyone is out of chips in an hour. I guess it seems like we play more of a .25/.50 or .50/1.00 style of poker but using 1/2 blinds because that’s what we have. Would it really be advantageous for us to get fractional chips just for blinds and then continuing playing with similar stakes?
I think what you guys are failing to grasp is that there isn't anyone in this game that really knows how to play solid poker strategy.

To the OP:
Once players start to get better they will gravitate towards a different style than what you are used to in your game and once that starts to happen it will only be at that point that you will recognize why everyone here is recommending breakdowns like they are. Don't sweat it. Do what works for your game, but just be aware that over time your current breakdown will go from working pretty well to not working very well
 

Eloe2000

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I think what you guys are failing to grasp is that there isn't anyone in this game that really knows how to play solid poker strategy.

To the OP:
Once players start to get better they will gravitate towards a different style than what you are used to in your game and once that starts to happen it will only be at that point that you will recognize why everyone here is recommending breakdowns like they are. Don't sweat it. Do what works for your game, but just be aware that over time your current breakdown will go from working pretty well to not working very well

Sure, I get it. But I would argue that no one is going to be able to learn good strategy and play without proper stacks relative to blinds. I think we should recommend the best structure given their desired buy ins.
 

DarkHelmet55

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Right. It's your game play it how you want. But if you ever want to expand your game to include other players who know the game, or want to expand your horizons at a casino it will not translate at all. Even if you play lower stakes at .25/.50 if the blinds are relative to the size of the buy in, it will make a lot more sense if you are playing 1/2 in a casino. Most casinos wont even let you buy in for less than 50 bigs.
 

lewan

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@Chris Manzoni did a video on this sort of thing and one of the key things to deduce from the video is that for a home-game you should keep your buy-ins low. no more than a $50 buy-in should be necessary. Personally I would recommend a $20 buy-in, or even lower!

The number 1 thing anyone here would tell you when you are getting chips is to buy samples before you buy a set of something. see how the chips feel before you commit to a full set.

You can learn all about poker chips here, might help you form a view on what chips you would want to buy for your game.
https://www.youtube.com/user/Hobbyphilic

1614108828126.png

im using these 'Majestic' poker chips as an example
these are pretty close to the stakes i play at with my friends, we love playing at this level.
blinds 5c/10c, everyone starts with $10. Or, you could start with $20, give each player 5 more $1 chips and 1 $5 chip.
if you decide to do this, maybe add another 25 $5 chips.

these chips are $0.42/chip on apachepokerchips.com, but if you posted a wanted thread in the classified section, i'm sure you could easily find someone selling these cheaper!

Happy chipping!
 
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CrazyEddie

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Me and my group of friends just started playing recently
We play 1/2 because that’s the smallest chip we have but people do not buy in for much
It seems like 5s are really supposed to be the workhorse chip for 1/2 from what I’m hearing but we have never even opened 50 of our red chips (or the other 50 blue).
Our main workhorse chip is the 1 and when we use 5s (or 10s) it’s a pretty strong bet.
It seems like for the stakes we do a lot of you will recommend fractional chips but I don’t really understand the purpose of that.
It seems like the disconnect between your game and the typical recommendations you've seen here on PCF boil down to this: experienced poker players understand that in a no-limit game, good strategy requires that bet sizes grow larger as the pot grows larger. $5 may be a strong bet preflop but it would be a completely pointless bet on the turn or river. It sounds like your group hasn't played enough to learn that yet.

There's a different type of poker called fixed-limit, where every bet is the same size. And as @Alex Lundstrum alluded to, there's a type called spread-limit, where bets can vary in size but over only a small range. In those games, the correct bet size is not determined by the size of the pot, and the strategies from no-limit poker don't apply. Fixed limit is a great game too, it's just different from no-limit.

If you continue playing no-limit, it's quite likely that before long some of your players will start reading up on better strategy, and will start betting larger when the pot gets bigger. If that happens, you'll want to have larger stacks. Right now with blinds of 1/2 and buy-ins of $25 to $80, you only have twelve to forty big blinds in your stacks. If your players start adjusting their bets to the pot size, you'll want to have closer to a hundred big blinds in your stacks (perhaps as low as fifty, perhaps as many as two hundred). That's going to either mean a) larger buy-ins or b) smaller blinds.

You should consider all of this before you spend much money on a new set of chips. In the meantime, you might consider picking up a large set of cheap chips to alleviate the pain of change-making that you're going through right now without spending a lot of money. Later on, once your game has settled in and you've had a chance to think through how it plays, you'll be in a better position to buy a nice set that works well for you.
 
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QuadFlopper

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I really appreciate all the advice everyone and I guess I was a little ignorant with my original post haha. We all just started playing and none of us really have any clue about poker strategy we’ve just been doing what works for us. I did not realize at all how much went into it and will definitely learn from what you guys said and hopefully improve our games

I’ll keep you updated in the future
 
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