Cash Game Question about leveling the playing field in a cash game (1 Viewer)

4SUMERZ

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I have a home game once a month with friends. Buy in is $20.00 for 200 chips. Blinds 2-2 so 100 big blinds.
We play cash games, mostly Texas Hold em' but also the dealer can opt to play 3 card Pinneaple, discarding one card after the flop.
Occasionally we will play Omaha, but for that game we have 200 chips with 1-2 blinds, and max initial bet preflop of 10.
None of us like limit poker after the flop.

We normally have 3-5 buys ins in a 4 hour session.
 

ekricket

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Since this popped up again, you may as well just make this the rule, because it’s what the situation is and it might make them feel better having a “rule” wink, wink.

You might as well not have a stack bigger than the next biggest involved in any hand.

Rule #16: No one with a larger stack can risk more than the next largest stack in the hand with them.

I know it’s stupid, but it may help them get over the stack size thing.

Also reading through this I was struck by @JustinInMN post and it’s application to recent events:

Now here's a truth. NLHE players are mostly super system wannabes that read about the power of aggression one time and want to bluff their way out of every spot and get mad when other players won't do "what they're supposed to do."
 

stefalopod

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You can also set a limit on the largest bet to be equal to the buy in. So in your case you would be paying no limit up to $25.

When I played in home games before 2000 ish, there would almost always be a "big bet" for the game. So the game would be $40 buy in, five bucks is the "big bet." Meaning you could size bets anywhere between the ante (five card draw and 7 card stud were popular around here) and five dollars. I personally don't like this but it can make it a more friendly game.

As someone trying to get a game up and running (the effort is proving quite difficult, ha!), I wonder if more people think this is a reasonable strategy to keep less experienced players in the game. I think it could be a good rule, at least for the first few sessions. Or maybe for the first couple hours of the session. Does anyone have experience with this? Has it caused any problems? Been a benefit?

I know it'd make the math on implied odds change but I'm fairly confident that 95% of the players in the game wouldn't be thinking about implied odds.

The dream is to get a solid, established game going that could eventually account for some mixed games, but most of the people I've talked to are more familiar with NLHE so that's where we're going to start.
 

SteveEH

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As someone trying to get a game up and running (the effort is proving quite difficult, ha!), I wonder if more people think this is a reasonable strategy to keep less experienced players in the game. I think it could be a good rule, at least for the first few sessions. Or maybe for the first couple hours of the session. Does anyone have experience with this? Has it caused any problems? Been a benefit?

I know it'd make the math on implied odds change but I'm fairly confident that 95% of the players in the game wouldn't be thinking about implied odds.

The dream is to get a solid, established game going that could eventually account for some mixed games, but most of the people I've talked to are more familiar with NLHE so that's where we're going to start.

Looks like you quoted 2 betting structures:

- No limit with a cap (e.g. $25)
- Spread Limit (e.g .25-$5).

I've been doing the latter lately which is working out OK so far.

Check out this thread I put together on what'sworked for my game:

https://www.pokerchipforum.com/thre...-that-arent-poker-players.94681/#post-1955384
 

stefalopod

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trever

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Buyin limits protect bad players and tilt-monkeys from their own worst impulses. The lower the cap on buyins, the less trouble they can get themselves into.

Playing limit poker guarantees that bad players will lose 100% of the time. With no limit, the fish will occasionally eat the shark and go home a winner.

Ultimately, there is no one system that will please everyone. Pick what you think is best for you and recruit players accordingly
 

umbkcshah

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Either way bad players lose money. It's just whether they bleed out or get decapitated. No limit at least gives degenerates more of a rush.

I like spread limit for casual groups.
 

TX_Golf_N_Poker

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Most players will not support big stacks cashing out any of their chips while still playing (me included). This takes money out of the game and makes it impossible to win it back. In fact, most games have a rule that if you cash out mid-game and then decide to come back in, you have to buy in for at least the amount you cashed out for. This prevents winners from taking their profits before the game is over.

Allowing for a larger buy-in (for instance, up to the biggest stack at the table) may mean that players have to put more at risk, but they may want to so they have a chance to win back lost money. As Legend555 said, there is no real advantage that a big stack has in a cash game because smaller stacks can play tight all night long if they want to and not have to worry about busting because blinds aren't increasing like they would in a tournament.

I know you said that you and your players do not want to decrease the stakes to $0.05/$0.10, but you might want to consider smaller stakes if the style of play means people will be in for 3x or more bullets and they have a cap on how much they're willing to play for. Playing lower stakes generally means the game will be a bit looser, which some people think is more fun. It is easier to get everyone on board with straddles and/or bomb pots, for instance, which are a nice addition to a cash game IMO. You could also try $0.10/$0.25 blinds, which are a happy medium between $0.05/$0.10 and your $0.25/$0.25 blinds.

Another consideration still might be to try fixed limit stakes, which our group has found to be a really fun alternative to no limit. @ChristopherM has a great video on YouTube about it.
Apologies if this thread has left the station, but the title caught my attention, and then this post pretty well summed up my initial thoughts.

@Toaster Lot's of people who play poker (some in this forum) seem to have the goal of stacking other players and generating an income stream from playing the game. Nothing wrong with that when that's your mindset and everyone is in agreement to play that way, or tolerate that type of play. That's what we see when we watch the WSOP and the cash games pros play on live streams and vlogs. But that may not be your group, so be cautious as you read suggestions from players who may like to play more serious games.

But I think you and your friends sound closer to my way of thinking which is that poker can also be a fun, recreational pastime among friends, with a money element that is used to keep score. With that in mind, I think you should seriously consider the suggestion to drop your stakes to nickel / dime. I get together with those more serious types once in a while, but most of my home games are with family and close friends, and recreation is the primary goal. We say, "Let's spend a few hours having fun, chatting, drinking, and playing poker." And at the end of the night, somebody might go home with an extra $50, and somebody else may have lost $50. With most everyone else in the + or - $20 camp.

My bigger games (bigger meaning close to a full table of 7-9 players) use a $20-$30 min-max buyin with rebuys and top-ups "up to" 50% of the biggest stack. Key being "up-to" That is always optional, and you can always rebuy for the minimum. Some players will prefer to have more behind with a goal of getting back their losses with a quick double up. Others like play short stacked to control and minimize losses. We have a lot of fun in our games. Some play loose and like to chase outs and push all-in, while others prefer to play tight. Both can have fun in a game like this, and not have to worry about making next week's car payment.

It's been over a year since you posted this, and hopefully later in the thread I'll find out what you decided to do to make your game work for you and your friends. An important point though is that you have to fit your game to your group. There's no one right way to host a night of poker. I will say, there are certainly some wrong ways though. If you see your game expanding and bringing in new players that might be more experienced, then I strongly suggest you drop the idea of allowing ratholing. (taking money off the table) As others stated, this is highly frowned upon. Players who have lost money typically want the opportunity to get that money back, which is much harder if you allow chips to be cashed in before a player leaves the game. If you're having issues with the big stacks bullying the small stacks, there are strategies to combat that style of play. You and your players may want to read up on that.
 

Toaster

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Apologies if this thread has left the station, but the title caught my attention, and then this post pretty well summed up my initial thoughts.

@Toaster Lot's of people who play poker (some in this forum) seem to have the goal of stacking other players and generating an income stream from playing the game. Nothing wrong with that when that's your mindset and everyone is in agreement to play that way, or tolerate that type of play. That's what we see when we watch the WSOP and the cash games pros play on live streams and vlogs. But that may not be your group, so be cautious as you read suggestions from players who may like to play more serious games.

But I think you and your friends sound closer to my way of thinking which is that poker can also be a fun, recreational pastime among friends, with a money element that is used to keep score. With that in mind, I think you should seriously consider the suggestion to drop your stakes to nickel / dime. I get together with those more serious types once in a while, but most of my home games are with family and close friends, and recreation is the primary goal. We say, "Let's spend a few hours having fun, chatting, drinking, and playing poker." And at the end of the night, somebody might go home with an extra $50, and somebody else may have lost $50. With most everyone else in the + or - $20 camp.

My bigger games (bigger meaning close to a full table of 7-9 players) use a $20-$30 min-max buyin with rebuys and top-ups "up to" 50% of the biggest stack. Key being "up-to" That is always optional, and you can always rebuy for the minimum. Some players will prefer to have more behind with a goal of getting back their losses with a quick double up. Others like play short stacked to control and minimize losses. We have a lot of fun in our games. Some play loose and like to chase outs and push all-in, while others prefer to play tight. Both can have fun in a game like this, and not have to worry about making next week's car payment.

It's been over a year since you posted this, and hopefully later in the thread I'll find out what you decided to do to make your game work for you and your friends. An important point though is that you have to fit your game to your group. There's no one right way to host a night of poker. I will say, there are certainly some wrong ways though. If you see your game expanding and bringing in new players that might be more experienced, then I strongly suggest you drop the idea of allowing ratholing. (taking money off the table) As others stated, this is highly frowned upon. Players who have lost money typically want the opportunity to get that money back, which is much harder if you allow chips to be cashed in before a player leaves the game. If you're having issues with the big stacks bullying the small stacks, there are strategies to combat that style of play. You and your players may want to read up on that.
Thanks for your response! I've hosted a few games now and believe I found a format that works for everyone. Here it is:

We play 25c/25c with a minimum buy in of $10 and maximum buy in of $25. Nearly everyone buys in for $20 or $25. Players can top up their stack any time between hands, up to the max buy in of $25 (i.e., not to exceed $25), in increments of $5. The $5 rule is mostly because I am the host (also playing), the banker, and the dealer, so limiting it to increments of $5 allows me to top people up quickly without slowing the game down. I haven't tried a rule to match the stack, but it doesn't seem to be needed at this point. It took a long conversation to help everyone understand that in a cash game there is no real advantage to being the large stack; this is helped by the fact that they can always top up their stack.

The most anyone has lost, if I remember correctly, is two buy ins. This happened to me once and another guy once. I think the most anyone has ever won was 2.5 buy ins. These blinds seem to work well. It's enough to feel like something is at risk (for me this is important, and why I don't want to play 5c/10c), but small enough that no one is leaving having lost critically important money. It took a while to get used to having the small and big blind the same quantity. It's still a bit weird to me.

We normally do a bomb pot every two orbits, which seems to be a good rotation for the group. One of the players likes keeping track of when the next one is coming up, which works out perfectly for me since I am often managing a lot of things (playing, dealing, drinking, serving food, etc.). We tried the 7-2 rule for a night and it got nixed quickly since it was unanimously disliked. I think this is in large part because the players are mostly beginners and it is a variable they either cannot or forget to account for.

Overall, this format has worked well. The hardest part now is actually getting people to show up. Many of my friends have busy lives and/or have children, which makes it hard to get everyone together!

Toaster
 

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