Newbie thread - looking for a solid set for weekend poker nights

pipdenny

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Hi all,

I am sure these types of posts get made all the time by newbies who stumble upon this forum, so i apologize if this has been asked a million times.

My buddies and I have been playing poker for about ten years now and a couple of them have 500pc "starter sets". We usually have about 10 people playing in our tournies with unlimited rebuys within the hour and an addon period.
Needless to say, we often have to dip into both 500pc sets, and the chip structure we use (5 "blacks", 10 "reds", 20 "whites") leads us to get creative with the chips and colors.

I recently bought a home and wanted to start hosting as soon as this pandemic is over. I want to purchase a nice solid set of chips that can accommodate some our more deep-stack games.

I am totally new to the poker chip world and was wondering if I could get steered in the right direction by some of you vets.

I'm wondering if buying 1000 chips would be overkill, and if only getting 3-4 colors is a smart move.

I would say my budget is 300-500 dollars, and I'm looking for some decent quality ceramic chips as close as possible to casino feel (and, if possible, blank/non-denominated).

Is this a good starting point? is my budget laughable for what i'm looking for? Again, total newbie here looking for some insight before I go on some website and make a purchase I may regret.

Thank you all so much!
 

pipdenny

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more to add:

I was always under the impression that the higher the gram weight, the better. But I've noticed that the chips we use are significantly bulkier and heavier than casino chips, and upon breaking one in half they have a metal weight inside.
How heavy are casino chips, and what are they made of usually? I really want to go for a casino feel if I can.

I know I asked a bunch of questions here, but any help would be hugely appreciated.

Thanks again so much!
 

BSteck

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more to add:

I was always under the impression that the higher the gram weight, the better. But I've noticed that the chips we use are significantly bulkier and heavier than casino chips, and upon breaking one in half they have a metal weight inside.
How heavy are casino chips, and what are they made of usually? I really want to go for a casino feel if I can.

I know I asked a bunch of questions here, but any help would be hugely appreciated.

Thanks again so much!
Here’s a good place to start...
https://www.pokerchipforum.com/resources/poker-chips-available-stock-designs-by-chip-type.49/
 

allforcharity

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You probably don't need 1000 chips. Chip efficiency is key in order to get enough chips that you can play the stakes you need, and your dollar will go further.

I highly suggest you get denominated chips rather than blanks. Getting used to standard tournament denominations will improve your play.

The average high quality 39mm diameter casino chip, whether true clay, ceramic, or plastic, tends to be in the 8.5-10g range.

For the sake of argument, a 10-person tournament set with T10K starting stacks can be done with 120/120/50/60 of T25/T100/T500/T1000 denominations (350 base chips). Rebuys can be done with 2x T5000 chips each (add-ons with 1x T5000 chip each). Adding 50x T5000 will give you 25 full rebuys to bring you to 400 chips.
Your budget range allows for an average of $1.00 per chip, which is probably sufficient to get fully custom ceramics, and maybe even the lower end of true clay chips such as used Paulsons (although getting the breakdown you need *might* be tough). Certainly, it is more than enough to get stock ceramic and China Clays, and will even be more than enough to get in on the upcoming ceramic hybrid group buy.

Samples are your friend, and will allow you to evaluate what you like before buying. Information is also your friend, so do spend the time to get familiar with the different types of chips being collected, traded, and sold right on this forum, and their price points. Good luck in your journey!
 

pipdenny

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Are you open to a different chip structure? ie 5/25/100/500.

It would be a more efficient use of chips and allow you to get some nicer chips for your budget.

Thank you!

Come to think of it, using those denominations would be much nicer and more sophisticated than what we have been doing.

What sort of buy-in chip structure could you recommend for this? We like to have long-ish sessions, so maybe starting stack at 5k-10k chips would be nice.

You probably don't need 1000 chips. Chip efficiency is key in order to get enough chips that you can play the stakes you need, and your dollar will go further.

I highly suggest you get denominated chips rather than blanks. Getting used to standard tournament denominations will improve your play.

The average high quality 39mm diameter casino chip, whether true clay, ceramic, or plastic, tends to be in the 8.5-10g range.

For the sake of argument, a 10-person tournament set with T10K starting stacks can be done with 120/120/50/60 of T25/T100/T500/T1000 denominations (350 base chips). Rebuys can be done with 2x T5000 chips each (add-ons with 1x T5000 chip each). Adding 50x T5000 will give you 25 full rebuys to bring you to 400 chips.
Your budget range allows for an average of $1.00 per chip, which is probably sufficient to get fully custom ceramics, and maybe even the lower end of true clay chips such as used Paulsons (although getting the breakdown you need *might* be tough). Certainly, it is more than enough to get stock ceramic and China Clays, and will even be more than enough to get in on the upcoming ceramic hybrid group buy.

Samples are your friend, and will allow you to evaluate what you like before buying. Information is also your friend, so do spend the time to get familiar with the different types of chips being collected, traded, and sold right on this forum, and their price points. Good luck in your journey!

Awesome structure breakdown! I love this.

My only concern is that re rebuys and addons are in 5000 denom chips. Say some players are eliminated pretty early on and rebuy for 2x5000 chips. This would force them to change out with other players for smaller denoms to play the blinds, etc..
Would there be an issue with too many 5000 denom chips floating around early in the game?

Thanks so much for your help!

These replies have been extremely helpful, and I am learning a lot!
 

tabletalker7

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Awesome structure breakdown! I love this.

My only concern is that re rebuys and addons are in 5000 denom chips. Say some players are eliminated pretty early on and rebuy for 2x5000 chips. This would force them to change out with other players for smaller denoms to play the blinds, etc..
Would there be an issue with too many 5000 denom chips floating around early in the game?

Thanks so much for your help!

These replies have been extremely helpful, and I am learning a lot!
150 x T25
150 x T100
100 x T500
100 x T1000
100 x T5000

This 600 piece set lets you follow @allforcharity structure, and have a few extra re-buys in the same starting structure before the T5000's have to come out. By the time you need to pull those out, someone will be able to break them down for you if that is a problem. And 600 piece sets from @BR Pro Poker still fall in the budget.
 

pipdenny

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150 x T25
150 x T100
100 x T500
100 x T1000
100 x T5000

This 600 piece set lets you follow @allforcharity structure, and have a few extra re-buys in the same starting structure before the T5000's have to come out. By the time you need to pull those out, someone will be able to break them down for you if that is a problem. And 600 piece sets from @BR Pro Poker still fall in the budget.

Is there a place I can find the structure of that tourney? i.e. the starting stack, blinds, etc?
I think my best bet is to emulate a tried and true structure if I want to start changing things up with our home games.

Thank you!
 

TX_Golf_N_Poker

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Good luck! You have come to the right place! I was in your shoes three weeks ago when I joined PCF. I wanted a set of chips but wasn't sure what I wanted. I had ideas of what I thought I wanted in denominations, stack sizes, and blind levels, which all turned out to be awful. These guys set me straight. After lots of reading, lots of posting, lots of questions and answers, earlier tonight I did buy a set of chips from another member here on PCF. I bought china clays, which may not be what you want, as my budget was a lot smaller than yours, but for a little over $200 I bought a cash set of over 800 chips. Casino weight, although not casino quality. But absolutely good enough for me, and nicer than anything any of my friends have.

Listen to these guys, do your research, and take you time. There are a LOT of choices, and a wide range of prices. Check them all out to be sure you find what's right for you. And order samples. Nothing beats putting your hands on various types of chips. And if you want the n00bie perspective on anything, feel free to reach out to me. This forum is an amazing resource. Take full advantage of it.
 

RichMahogany

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1000 chips is way, way more than you need.

Even though I prefer tournament sets that start with the T25 chip, for you I’d recommend a set that starts with the T5 chip. That way you can buy/build a 400 chip set that would work for your needs unless you play with maniacs that rebuy a bajillion times.

Starting stacks of 10/10/7/2,T2000 per player beginning at the 10/20 level, 100 BB with this breakdown:

T5-100
T25–100
T100-100
T500-100

400 total chips. Enough for color ups and 80 extra T500 chips which allows for up to 20 rebuys. I’d imagine that would be enough for your group, but only you really know.

Using T25/100 for rebuys is inefficient and not recommended, but hey, it’s your set.
 
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BSteck

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1000 chips is way, way more than you need.

Even though I prefer tournament sets that start with the T25 chip, for you I’d recommend a set that starts with the T5 chip. That way you can buy/build a 400 chip set that would work for your needs unless you play with maniacs that rebuy a bajillion times.

Starting stacks of 10/10/7/2,T2000 per player beginning at the 10/20 level, 100 BB with this breakdown:

T5-100
T25–100
T100-100
T500-100

400 total chips. Enough for color ups and 80 extra T500 chips which allows for up to 20 rebuys. I’d imagine that would be enough for your group, but only you really know.

Using T25/100 for rebuys is inefficient and not recommended, but hey, it’s your set.
Yep Yep Yep. Exactly what I was going to recommend too (except I’d prob start at a 5/10 level to begin w 200 BB).

So I guess your first decision is whether to go with a T5 base which is similar'ish to what your currently doing or a T25 base which is a little more 'standard'.
 
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TX_Golf_N_Poker

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Is there a place I can find the structure of that tourney? i.e. the starting stack, blinds, etc?
I think my best bet is to emulate a tried and true structure if I want to start changing things up with our home games.

Thank you!
HERE is a thread that I was involved in a couple of weeks ago where blind structures were discussed in detail between a couple of us n00bs and the more experienced guys from here.

You will see where I inserted some tables in yellow in some of the posts. I set up a spreadsheet to play around with various structures and chip stacks as I was tweaking my own needs. If you're an Excel spreadsheet kind of guy (nerds rock! :ROFL: :ROFLMAO:) I'd be happy to share this with you. There's a lot more than what you see in those yellow boxes. :D Shoot me a PM with your email address and I'll send you a copy of the file.
 

LotsOfChips

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As mentioned above, the number one rule here is Get Samples. The number two rule is Get Samples. The number three rule is ...

There are a ton of options in your budget. Many people dipping their toes in the water come here thinking that <slugged plastic/cheap china clay/cheap ceramic/higher end china clay/higher end ceramic/casino used Paulson> chips are exactly what they want, and then find out after they purchase and then experience different chips that they aren't happy with what they bought. Save yourself the grief and expense, take your time, and experience the feel, sound and appearance of a bunch of different types. Be prepared to revise your perception of what is "too expensive".

There are a few "loaner" sample sets floating around the site, or there are frequently sample sets for sale in the classifieds.

Another option is to connect with members in your area and get invited to their home games. That way you can look at/play with/experience a variety of different chips that you might otherwise never be able to get your hands on otherwise. I did that, and have been fortunate enough to experience everything from Milanos, CPS, Dunes tribute, Pharaohs tribute (China clays), Rounders (CPC compression clay), Sunset Beach, Aurora Star, Pacific Star, Jacks (Paulson compression clay), and a bunch of others that have shaped my opinion of what I wanted in a chip set. Many of those sets are beyond my budget (and yours, I expect), but knowing what good chips feel/look/sound like will influence what you will settle for in a less expensive set.

Happy chipping!
 
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TX_Golf_N_Poker

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https://www.pokerchipforum.com/threads/cps-tourney-set.56748/

If you are good with China Clays, this will cover way more then 1 table.... And it's under your price range.
That is an AWESOME tournament set. If I hadn't just bought a cash set I'd be all over that. Josh, are there any samples of these chips around? I just started reading some about this particular set a couple of days ago. Didn't know it existed as a china clay option before then. I would love to purchase a sample set if they exist. I suppose I could post a wanted ad.
 

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Josh Kifer

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That is an AWESOME tournament set. If I hadn't just bought a cash set I'd be all over that. Josh, are there any samples of these chips around? I just started reading some about this particular set a couple of days ago. Didn't know it existed as a china clay option before then. I would love to purchase a sample set if they exist. I suppose I could post a wanted ad.
No clue, but I'd assume there are some samples around. There always are a few!
 

BGinGA

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You probably don't need 1000 chips. Chip efficiency is key in order to get enough chips that you can play the stakes you need, and your dollar will go further.

I highly suggest you get denominated chips rather than blanks. Getting used to standard tournament denominations will improve your play.

The average high quality 39mm diameter casino chip, whether true clay, ceramic, or plastic, tends to be in the 8.5-10g range.
^^ This is solid advice.

We usually have about 10 people playing in our tournies with unlimited rebuys within the hour and an addon period.

I want to purchase a nice solid set of chips that can accommodate some our more deep-stack games.

my budget is 300-500 dollars, and I'm looking for some decent quality ceramic chips
For a 10-player tournament set, you don't need anything near 1000 chips -- depending on the base chip you choose, you can easily get by with as few as 400 chips, which with your budget, allows you to get a pretty decent set of either stock or custom ceramics (or ceramic hybrids), or even an entry-level real clay set from CPC.

I typically do not recommend T5-base sets, mostly because the bet amounts using a T5 tournament structure are not easily configured by most people. A T25- or T100-base set typically plays much better, especially for casual players -- it's much easier to count in multiples of 25 or 100 than 5's.

Below are three options for a robust 10-player set, each with sufficient chips for color-ups, re-buys, and add-ons.

T25-base set -- T10000 starting stacks (12/12/5/6, 200BB) with 25/50 opening blinds
120 x T25
120 x T100
50 x T500
75 x T1000
35 x T5000
---------
400 chips

T100-base set -- T25000 stacks (10/8/10/2, 250BB) with 100/100 opening blinds
100 x T100
80 x T500
100 x T1000
80 x T5000
40 x T25000
---------
400 chips

T500-base set -- T200K starting stacks (10/10/7/6, 200BB) with 500/1000 opening blinds
100 x T500
100 x T1000
100 x T5000
100 x T25000
---------
400 chips
 

pipdenny

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Yep Yep Yep. Exactly what I was going to recommend too (except I’d prob start at a 5/10 level to begin w 200 BB).



So I guess your first decision is whether to go with a T5 base which is similar'ish to what your currently doing or a T25 base which is a little more 'standard'.



The way we have been playing basically gives us 30BB buyins (unlimited rebuys until the addon period) and those games usually last 3-5 hours, as many of us do indeed rebuy and addon.



I am wondering how long a 100BB would last! Am I looking at this the wrong way?


https://www.pokerchipforum.com/threads/cps-tourney-set.56748/

If you are good with China Clays, this will cover way more then 1 table.... And it's under your price range.

I just ordered a bunch of samples of china clays and some ceramics.
They hopefully will arrive soon so that I can snag up one of these listings on the classifieds.


Thanks everyone for all your help! I have been learning a TON in just the past couple days.

Looking forward to making a sound decision and joining the ranks!
 
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TX_Golf_N_Poker

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The way we have been playing basically gives us 30BB buyins (unlimited rebuys until the addon period) and those games usually last 3-5 hours, as many of us do indeed rebuy and addon.

I am wondering how long a 100BB would last! Am I looking at this the wrong way?
How long your game lasts depends entirely on your blind structure. And the number of chips on the table. I have been taught by others here that the magic formula is to divide total chips by 20, and that is the blind level where your game is likely to end. You talked about having lots of rebuys. Suppose you have 10 players with starting stacks of 2000 chips. Then you have 20 additional rebuys. 30 x 2000 =60,000 /20 =3000. Schedule the length of each level so your big blind gets to 3000 at about the time you want the game to end. It's that simple.

As the blinds go up, the chips will make it into the pots and players will be eliminated. It's basic math.
 

BGinGA

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A 30bb structure -- especially combined with multiple low-cost re-buys -- is basically a luckfest, with very little skill coming into play.

To really open up post-flop play strategy, you need to start with at least 100bb, and more is better (to a point -- 300bb is plenty, and more than that is just overkill).

You can easily structure a 100bb or 200bb single-table event to finish in 3.5 to 5 hours.
 

pipdenny

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Yep Yep Yep. Exactly what I was going to recommend too (except I’d prob start at a 5/10 level to begin w 200 BB).

So I guess your first decision is whether to go with a T5 base which is similar'ish to what your currently doing or a T25 base which is a little more 'standard'.

I am a bit confused about the differences between using T5 base and T25 base in terms of tournament structure. We do definitely have some people that are not afraid to rebuy a bunch of times.
 

pipdenny

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A 30bb structure -- especially combined with multiple low-cost re-buys -- is basically a luckfest, with very little skill coming into play.

To really open up post-flop play strategy, you need to start with at least 100bb, and more is better (to a point -- 300bb is plenty, and more than that is just overkill).

You can easily structure a 100bb or 200bb single-table event to finish in 3.5 to 5 hours.

This is what I have been thinking now that I've been on this forum. The 30BB leads many to play very aggressive early and either double/triple their stack off the bat, or bust out and just rebuy to repeat the process until the players with the deepest pockets (more rebuys) are on top with 100BBs.

I want to set up a tourney with just one rebuy (if any) and 1 addon, max. 100BB.

After I settle on some chips, we can try this out and tweak as needed to suit our game.

Thanks for your insight everyone!
 

naked_eskimo

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more to add:

I was always under the impression that the higher the gram weight, the better. But I've noticed that the chips we use are significantly bulkier and heavier than casino chips, and upon breaking one in half they have a metal weight inside.
How heavy are casino chips, and what are they made of usually? I really want to go for a casino feel if I can.

I don't think I saw this answered yet, so I'll take a stab. I believe most casino chips will be 9 - 10g. I think casino chips are mostly either clay (Paulson for example), or ceramic (Chipco, for example).

That is a pretty basic understanding. There is probably lots of room for exceptions or nuances, but that is my high level understanding.
 

BGinGA

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I want to set up a tourney with just one rebuy (if any) and 1 addon, max. 100BB.
I recommend a single-rebuy (when busted), with an optional 1/2-stack (for half-price) add-on after the re-buy period ends.

And if you implement re-buy chips, players can redeem an unused re-buy chip for a free add-on (typically 15-20% of starting stack size), which gives some intrinsic and strategic value to the re-buy option, rather than making it merely a function of aggression and deep pockets.
 
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