Shorthanded suggestions with new players (1 Viewer)

jiiim

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Hello, new forum member coming back to poker. Really appreciate all the knowledge on here.

I used to play NLH tournaments many years ago haven't played much other than a very occasional online tournament. A few friends with little to no experience expressed interest in playing and it got me down the poker chip rabbit hole and trying to figure out how many chips I might need along with the best way to make it fun for a small group.

It would be 4 players to start with but maybe I'd occasionally be able to rope another couple of people in. Most have either never played or just dabbled a few times years ago but we already play cards together a lot. I'm mostly wanting this for a social thing so thinking NLH tournament style with a low buy-in, no rebuys to keep it simple. Does anyone have recommendations for starting stacks/chip structures for shorthanded games and any tips in general for playing shorthanded and/or with new players? Also how many chips would I need to buy to support 4 - 6 players in a game?
 

Nanook

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You can do what you want, but my experience is that cash is better most of the time in the home game setting. The reason and that is that in tournament style play once a player loses their chips they have nothing to do. Think about it like this: say you plan a night out. The wife gives you the hall pass & you arrive right on time 6pm have a little something to eat, shoot the shit a little and start the tourney @7. 1st orbit you wake up with AA and someone has put in a raise and someone else 3 bets in front of you. What are you going to do? Of course, shove and double + up, right? Fast forward to the river and someone else is stacking chips somehow. It's like 7:30 and you are done with poker for the night. That really sucks. Not only did you get unlucky and end your tourney early, but now you have nothing to do for the rest of the evening.

With cash, you just rebuy and at least you don't ruin your whole night.
 

JScott

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Cash is better for the reasons above (although the story works the same if AA holds and you kick out the newbie who shoved with QJ because it looked pretty ;) ), however a decently run tournament is good for newbs too. Just not short handed.

Shorthanded I’d stick to cash. Just make the blinds 25¢/25¢, or even a single 25¢ blind if you’re 4-5 handed. It’s super low stakes and allows for good social poker.
 

Nanook

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Cash is better for the reasons above (although the story works the same if AA holds and you kick out the newbie who shoved with QJ because it looked pretty ;) ),
For sure

however a decently run tournament is good for newbs too.
Being serious... why do you think this? Or maybe a better question is why is it that noobies like a tournament style vs cash?

Just not short handed.
Definitely not short handed

Shorthanded I’d stick to cash. Just make the blinds 25¢/25¢, or even a single 25¢ blind if you’re 4-5 handed. It’s super low stakes and allows for good social poker.
Better yet is cash limit hold-em for a super social setting where no one is going to get hurt much and the noobies have a better chance. More gamble, more luck and more fun for the weaker players.

Of course, that is my opinion and a lot don't agree
 

jiiim

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With cash, you just rebuy and at least you don't ruin your whole night.
This is an excellent point, I guess I don't have any experience with cash at home games and I guess in my head it was always higher stakes than a tournament but there's no reason it has to be that way. I think your suggestion limit hold-em might be the best option for this small group. Going to use those helpful calculators linked earlier to figure out which chips/distributions will work for me. I'm glad I asked before buying anything!

Shorthanded I’d stick to cash. Just make the blinds 25¢/25¢, or even a single 25¢ blind if you’re 4-5 handed. It’s super low stakes and allows for good social poker.
I guess this would make an ideal buy-in around $25? If I wanted to keep that a bit closer to $10 I suppose a 5¢/10¢ game might be better? I like the idea of not needing 5¢ chips but want to keep the stakes a little lower, I'll do some reading to see what's best for that.
 

JScott

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Oh the only reason I think tournament players is simpler for a lot of newbies is it’s an easier concept to grasp for most as it’s what they’re usually used to playing/watching. And it’s a fixed amount they’re “gambling”. But I much prefer cash for the reasons we’ve all mentioned. Limit is a good way to mitigate risk as well with newbs.
Being serious... why do you think this? Or maybe a better question is why is it that noobies like a tournament style vs cash?
 

JScott

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I guess this would make an ideal buy-in around $25? If I wanted to keep that a bit closer to $10 I suppose a 5¢/10¢ game might be better? I like the idea of not needing 5¢ chips but want to keep the stakes a little lower, I'll do some reading to see what's best for that.
With a single blind of 25c shorthanded a $20 buyin will be fine if you want to keep it simple. Just be prepared for more all ins. A $50 buy in will lead to better poker as you're deep stacked and people will think before making big moves and going all in.

A rack (100) of 25c chips, 2 racks of $1 and maybe a rack or two of $5's for when things get wild, that's all you need.

give each player a barrel (20) of 25c chips and distribute the rest in $1's. Once you run out of the two racks you can do buy ins in $5's. You'll probably never use the entire bank, but it's good to have some $20/$25 chips to always have a solid bank, or let $20's play.

My 25c/25c game ran for ages with this breakdown:
160 25c
200 $1's
100 $5's
12 x $20 plaques

I've added some $100's for value store to that set, but I have better sets now if we're playing 25s/50c or deeper stacked 25c/25c.
 
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