Speeding up the home game

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Thought I’d share my own experience with my home game to everyone. My crew and I are really keen on speeding up our home game to make sure enough hands get through in one session. Currently we average about 2.5 - 3 minutes / hand which I feel is very good for a home game. Here are some things we do to contribute to the speed.

1. We use two decks and one dealer (me). While the first deck is in play, the second one is being shuffled by one of the other players. When the hand is over the dealer (me) shoves the chips over to the winning player and shoves the used deck over to a random player to shuffle. Dealer then uses the fresh deck to deal right away.

2. We limit the amount of chips in play (yes yes you can hang me later for saying that). For a full table we usually try to use less than 600x chips. For my $200NL the breakdowns are ($1x100; $5x300; $25x100; $100x100 = 600 chips total). This really speeds up the game by limiting the amount of time it takes to restack chips after each hand. Usually the average money pool per night is about $5k and everything works out perfectly.

Just curious to know how everyone else runs their game

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JustinInMN

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Imo, doing two decks getting to two minutes per hand is pretty good. But I agree with @T_Chan seems like your game would be a good candidate for a center deal. Can rotate shuffler as you are doing.

In NL it makes sense to limit the chips, bit it makes more sense to limit the denoms

If I am counting an all in, I would rather count 75 fives than 20 fives, 7 twenty fives and a one hundred
 

T_Chan

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2 decks for sure. A good dealer can shuffle after the cards are pitched and before the flop needs to be dealt if they're fast. Then there's no delay between hands. Otherwise get the button to shuffle, though that can slow down the game a bit since the button player now has to multitask.

If you don't do dedicated dealer, then a huge thing to speed up the game is to teach your players to shuffle simply and efficiently. I've been at so many home games where people don't know how to properly shuffle which slows down the game even in a 2 deck situation. A small thing is even when to stop shuffling, some people will riffle the cards 15 times, sometimes the previous hand is over and they're still shuffling after all those riffles.
 

JScott

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3 minutes per hand? fuck, I’d be happy if we got down to 3 minutes per action.

Depends on the group, but some of my guys spend 5 minutes on a story before min raising on the button.

I’m going to get a timer.
 

Thomacetti

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At 5K a night....I would prefer a dedicated dealer that is not playing....seems a bargain for 300-ish a night + tips.
He will manage the game, count pots, give rulings if needed and deal like no non-pro can deal.
 
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Generally speaking I enjoy being the dealer throughout the night ( with the occasional bathroom break or when I’m in a big hand and really need to stare down my opponent). I suppose one day we will get a dealer when our games reach $1000 NL but that won’t likely happen for awhile
 
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At 5K a night....I would prefer a dedicated dealer that is not playing....seems a bargain for 300-ish a night + tips.

I was actually being generous. I think the average pool is much more than that. Seems ridiculous for a 200 NL game but I’ve learned to never use logic with degenerates, lol
 
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3 minutes per hand? fuck, I’d be happy if we got down to 3 minutes per action.

Depends on the group, but some of my guys spend 5 minutes on a story before min raising on the button.

I’m going to get a timer.

Pretty sure every home game has this problem. Naturally it is a guys get together. There are actually several things that slow down my game. First, some of these guys just can’t stop texting their girl. Second, some of these guys have wagers on sport games so when the television is on they tend to lose focus
 

swana

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Thought I’d share my own experience with my home game to everyone. My crew and I are really keen on speeding up our home game to make sure enough hands get through in one session. Currently we average about 2.5 - 3 minutes / hand which I feel is very good for a home game. Here are some things we do to contribute to the speed.

1. We use two decks and one dealer (me). While the first deck is in play, the second one is being shuffled by one of the other players. When the hand is over the dealer (me) shoves the chips over to the winning player and shoves the used deck over to a random player to shuffle. Dealer then uses the fresh deck to deal right away.

2. We limit the amount of chips in play (yes yes you can hang me later for saying that). For a full table we usually try to use less than 600x chips. For my $200NL the breakdowns are ($1x100; $5x300; $25x100; $100x100 = 600 chips total). This really speeds up the game by limiting the amount of time it takes to restack chips after each hand. Usually the average money pool per night is about $5k and everything works out perfectly.

Just curious to know how everyone else runs their game

View attachment 611129
My home games follows what you've described except the dealer rotates... In the past we had introduced fines for stuff that slowed down play or was counter to good a game. You'd always get a warning, then the fine would escalate to small blind, big blind 2x big blind, etc. (fine goes in next pot)... I will say the fine system worked cause everyone was relatively close friends and worked as more of a dunce cap than an actual monetary penalty. Also we haven't used this system in years as we were a lot younger (and usually drunker) which led to the poorer etiquette/ slow play.
 

Goldfish

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If speed and hands per hour is important, then get a dedicated dealer. You'll go through hands much faster and they'll control the game too.
I agree with this. I have a dedicated dealer who is a machine. He washes the cards as they come in, deals fast, shuffles after the hands are dealt and moves the game along with incredible efficiency. He is there to make tips and he knows the more hands played the more he will make. a good dedicated dealer is key.
 

swana

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I agree with this. I have a dedicated dealer who is a machine. He washes the cards as they come in, deals fast, shuffles after the hands are dealt and moves the game along with incredible efficiency. He is there to make tips and he knows the more hands played the more he will make. a good dedicated dealer is
Getting a good dedicated dealer certainty seems like the best way to speed up a game for sure...

We actually get dedicated auctioneers for our in person fantasy baseball drafts!!!
 

Coyote

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A dedicated, non-playing dealer is ideal, but it's hard to find the right, honest person, where even home poker is not legal.
Particularly if you work for the Government.

A high-end (i.e. among the crappy ones) Chinese auto-shuffler could be of some help (I promise to post results whenever I receive that piece of shit).

Other than that, I would like to underline the OP's approach to starting stacks /breakdowns.
It's a lot more European than American. :tup:
Both schools can be flawed, but, as much as "too many denominations" can be a problem, so "too many chips of a given denomination" can, be a problem too.
 

Josh Kifer

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Dedicated dealer. One deck. Tourneys, we will edit starting stacks and blinds by a minute or two to help always finish the game at the same time
 

CHP TD

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I hear ya. As a tourney director its my job to keep things going. If people are distracted its my job to bring their attention back on the game. the issue is we are here to play poker and socialize not socialist and play poker.

giving gentle "its on you" reminders is a part of the job.
 

pltrgyst

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In NL it makes sense to limit the chips, bit it makes more sense to limit the denoms
If I am counting an all in, I would rather count 75 fives than 20 fives, 7 twenty fives and a one hundred
Hmmm -- I'm guessing a math S.A.T. around 450, and a major in sociology. :cool

My game: dedicated playing dealer (me). Two decks. Button shuffles. No problem.
 

Chawks45

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I agree with the dedicated dealer, two decks and button shuffles suggestions.

Unless there's an all-time dealer who also plays, here's something else to consider if living in a casino city. In so many casino cities across the country, there are a lot of out-of-work poker dealers since the pandemic began. For example in the KC area, Hollywood Casino and Ameristar poker rooms have been shuttered since March 2020 (Harrah's KC reopened in late July and it's currently the only poker room open with six-handed games from last I heard). I reached out in the early summer months to two poker dealers -- one was an assistant pit boss -- I knew from the other casinos to gauge their interest in dealing my home game and now use their services if/whenever I have a game. They eventually told some of their fellow poker dealer friends, and now I have a little list of poker dealers as Plan B if needed.

You never have to worry if the dealer knows the rules and they definitely keep the game going at a nice pace.
 

Pinesol13

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I'm the full time dedicated dealer at my games. I've found that speeds up the game a lot. I hosted one game where I had a dealer, who was not playing, and part of me liked not having the responsibility, just being able to focus on playing. But part of me kinda missed it too.

I've never used multiple decks, takes less than 30 seconds to shuffle so I've never bothered with it.
 

Eriks

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I'm the full time dedicated dealer at my games. I've found that speeds up the game a lot. I hosted one game where I had a dealer, who was not playing, and part of me liked not having the responsibility, just being able to focus on playing. But part of me kinda missed it too.

I've never used multiple decks, takes less than 30 seconds to shuffle so I've never bothered with it.
I’ve done this lately as well. Too tilting to watch my players botch the deals again and again.
 

JustinInMN

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Hmmm -- I'm guessing a math S.A.T. around 450, and a major in sociology. :cool
Management of Information systems, have passed Calculus I, II, and Discrete mathematics, and I was a math prodigy in high school. (College definitely impacted my IQ negatively :p.)

I think you missed the point. I am fully capable of mentally doing both calculations, I am just aware of which is easier.
 
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