Speeding up the home game

legonick

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Player skill/experience can also be a factor. Last home game I had a lot of players were newer, and the hands were slllooooowwww. So 2 decks in that situation would at least minimize downtime between slow hands.
 

TexRex

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Here are things we do to speed things up for tournaments.
  • 2 dedicated dealers per table. They are not professional dealers, but they are willing and get the job done way better than the average player.
  • Button shuffles, passes it to the dealer not dealing (see next) and the dealer cuts. I've tried everything -- SB, BB, shuffle behind, but with dedicated dealers, the button seems to work well.
  • We've tried the dealers every other hand. It's pretty fast. The next hand is being dealt as soon as pot is sent to winner and the cards cleared -- literally no time between hands.
  • We just tried having a dealer for a blind level and then switching. Dealers fall into [1] don't care which way, [2] prefer every other hand, and [3] every other blind level.
  • We charge $5 to play and it strictly goes for dealers and a card replacement fund. If dealers deal the first 6 rounds, they get $1 per round, or $2 per blind level if it's every other level. Effectively they get their money back for dealing plus a little more.
  • 2 decks, different colors.
  • Different backs (OK, I guess that makes me a savage). Here's why. I have 60 decks, with 4 backs. I set this up so with red and blue of A, B, C, and D. I have combinations of blue/red AB, AC, AD, BC, BD, BA, CD, CA, CB, DA, DB, and DC. That's 12 unique setups. I rotate the cards every game, and back up set ups will be unique even if we have to replace set ups at both tables twice. No cards will get mixed into another deck. All the same brand (Fourniers; and since all the same brand, maybe only partly savage?).
  • All of our decks are bridge size.
We average just under 2 minutes a hand.

I don't know how much these really help, but I suspect they help a little:
  • Clocking average hand time at least makes you aware of how long it takes per hand. Awareness alone will help you identify places where time is being used inefficiently.
  • We also take a short break every hour. At our 2 hour mark, we take a 15-20 minute break, so players can visit then, and get snacks. The shorter breaks are usually for color ups.
  • Start promptly. If it does nothing else, it shows respect for everyone's time, and that may help set the pace for doing that all night (or day).
 
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Highli99

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I've sped up my game by decreasing the clock setting in pokerrrr from 30 seconds to 20 seconds. Players have a time bank if they need it. Works great and reduced delays from players who wait until the last second to act.

In live games I fortunately play mostly with people who know what they are doing. There is a special joy playing at a table with 4 or 5 PCFers all of whom know how to shuffle, deal, manage pot, etc. 5 people Managing one clown is easy managing a whole table of them by myself I need to be in the right mindset aka hammered and playing low REALLY low stakes or REALLY high stakes where the wait is worth it.
 

Poker Zombie

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In live games I fortunately play mostly with people who know what they are doing. There is a special joy playing at a table with 4 or 5 PCFers all of whom know how to shuffle, deal, manage pot, etc. 5 people Managing one clown is easy managing a whole table of them by myself I need to be in the right mindset aka hammered and playing low REALLY low stakes or REALLY high stakes where the wait is worth it.
I cannot understate how spot-on this is.

If you have a self-dealt game, teach your players how to shuffle and deal. Many people do it wrong because they were never taught how to do it correctly. When I first started, most my players could only shuffle if they dumped the cards in a bucket and mixed them up with a stick. Now many play in other games and are complimented on their dealing skills.

Teach everyone how to deal. You may never get credit, but you will have made the home-poker world a little bit better.
 

BukNaked36

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I like 2 decks. I don't see it as rushing the game in any way. Players get used to doing it, so there's no real thought to it. It's just efficient and makes sense to have the second deck ready to go.
 
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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
OK, this thread went into a whole lot of stuff that wasn't important to me. I want to know more about your space! Love the pub look, the brick wall with peeling plaster, the brewery sign... But that light in the camera puts everything else into the shadows. I want to see more pics and hear about how you built out the room. Maybe that's in another thread?
 
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OK, this thread went into a whole lot of stuff that wasn't important to me. I want to know more about your space! Love the pub look, the brick wall with peeling plaster, the brewery sign... But that light in the camera puts everything else into the shadows. I want to see more pics and hear about how you built out the room. Maybe that's in another thread?

Thanks. It has a pub look because it's actually a pub. My friend (not a player) owns the pub and allows us to use the entire upstairs exclusively for my crew. He (or his staff) brings food and drinks up to serve him. In return we tip big to help him with his business. We also have an escape route (no joke) if necessary , lol. This location is one of many location we play at (we like to rotate to change up the atmosphere). I have another friend (player) who owns a cocktail lounge and we play there as well after hours.

Location 1:
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Location 2 (we play upstairs from the photo on the main page)
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Location 3 (our base/main location)
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Thanks. It has a pub look because it's actually a pub. My friend (not a player) owns the pub and allows us to use the entire upstairs exclusively for my crew. He (or his staff) brings food and drinks up to serve him. In return we tip big to help him with his business. We also have an escape route (no joke) if necessary , lol. This location is one of many location we play at (we like to rotate to change up the atmosphere). I have another friend (player) who owns a cocktail lounge and we play there as well after hours.

Location 1:
View attachment 619064



Location 2 (we play upstairs from the photo on the main page)
View attachment 619066



Location 3 (our base/main location)
View attachment 619069
View attachment 619071
OK, gotcha. So not technically a "home" game. LOL. But still a private one. Those are some cool spaces to play in!
 

upNdown

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I cannot understate how spot-on this is.

If you have a self-dealt game, teach your players how to shuffle and deal. Many people do it wrong because they were never taught how to do it correctly. When I first started, most my players could only shuffle if they dumped the cards in a bucket and mixed them up with a stick. Now many play in other games and are complimented on their dealing skills.

Teach everyone how to deal. You may never get credit, but you will have made the home-poker world a little bit better.
I don’t know why people don’t teach themselves. I knew my shuffle was a joke. I didn’t want to show up to a PCF meetup (where I knew nobody) as the guy who couldn’t shuffle. So I got on YouTube, watched some videos, and practiced. As long as you’re not working on a kitchen table, it’s not a difficult thing to learn.
 

Poker Zombie

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I don’t know why people don’t teach themselves. I knew my shuffle was a joke. I didn’t want to show up to a PCF meetup (where I knew nobody) as the guy who couldn’t shuffle. So I got on YouTube, watched some videos, and practiced. As long as you’re not working on a kitchen table, it’s not a difficult thing to learn.
That's how I learned as well.

The problem is, most people learn the overhand shuffle. It's a board and card game standard. So when they are asked to shuffle, they do what they have done since they were seven - the overhand shuffle. It's not secure, and it's a little slow. "Game speed" was never a concern when playing Candyland, so there was never a reason to learn otherwise. They don't go to YouTube to learn how to shuffle, because they are unaware they don't know how to shuffle.

New players to our group get "Poker School", a 15 minute class that teaches the basics of NLHE, how to shuffle, and the shuffle-behind procedure. If someone says they don't need Poker School, but they overhand shuffle - we will do a Poker School "refresher" the next game they attend. Players that only play once or twice a year will appreciate it, it gives us a chance to check any bad habits that may have slipped into our shuffle/deal and nobody feels singled out.
 
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Poker Zombie

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Thanks. It has a pub look because it's actually a pub. My friend (not a player) owns the pub and allows us to use the entire upstairs exclusively for my crew. He (or his staff) brings food and drinks up to serve him. In return we tip big to help him with his business. We also have an escape route (no joke) if necessary , lol. This location is one of many location we play at (we like to rotate to change up the atmosphere). I have another friend (player) who owns a cocktail lounge and we play there as well after hours.

Location 1:
View attachment 619064



Location 2 (we play upstairs from the photo on the main page)
View attachment 619066



Location 3 (our base/main location)
View attachment 619069
View attachment 619071
Base/Main location is beautiful. Awesome space, a beautiful view (not often someone says Detroit looks beautiful) - but that table? :wtf:

We need 25cc's of @Chanman... Stat!
 
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OK, gotcha. So not technically a "home" game. LOL. But still a private one. Those are some cool spaces to play in!

With the exception of the third location you are correct. It should technically be called a ‘private game’.

We are currently in the works for another location. This one is a true prohibition stash room underneath an old (yet beautiful) Victorian home. It will be awhile before it’s completed though

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Base/Main location is beautiful. Awesome space, a beautiful view (not often someone says Detroit looks beautiful) - but that table? :wtf:

We need 25cc's of @Chanman... Stat!

Hey man. The tabletop is shabby no doubt but really turned out to be very handy. My crew likes to rotate venues and the other locations do not have a poker table so it actually works pretty well. Still, debating on pulling the trigger for my next CPC set or a custom table like this from Chan’s

EE775900-F33D-499D-B594-B067AB437040.jpeg
 
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I had to look this up, because a I wasn't sure. What do you know! You can see Detroit from Canada!!!

I think you guys will be in for a BIG Surprise if you visit Detroit downtown now. I grew up in Windsor in the 80s and Detroit was the biggest sh@those ever. It looks like a scene in the walking dead. I went over there last Christmas and everything has changed. It’s really crowded. Shops are all open and the clientele seems to be all young professionals. It was ver hip. Couldn’t believe they could ever turn things around like that.
 

Poker Zombie

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It was starting to turn in the 90s when I left. People buying cheap real estate with an honest desire to save the city. Combine that with Mike Illich's investment to revitalize downtown, and I'm not surprised it bounced back. It was unfortunate that on my last trip, family monopolized all my time so I didn't get to visit friends or the city.

But yeah, in the 80s... It was so bad that I was downtown on a couple occasions (I did photoshoots of big fires) and I had to pee. I crossed the Ambassador bridge to hit the McDonalds on the other side to use a restroom so I wouldn't get rolled for my camera equipment.

Talk about some odd discussions with the customs agents...
 

Old State

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I cannot understate how spot-on this is.

If you have a self-dealt game, teach your players how to shuffle and deal. Many people do it wrong because they were never taught how to do it correctly. When I first started, most my players could only shuffle if they dumped the cards in a bucket and mixed them up with a stick. Now many play in other games and are complimented on their dealing skills.

Teach everyone how to deal. You may never get credit, but you will have made the home-poker world a little bit better.
The absolute #1 way to speed up a game it to play with people that KNOW HOW TO SHUFFLE!!!! Unfortunately that seems to be 2% of the poker crowd ....most likely because no one cares to learn. Send your friends this video and tell them not to show up until they can do this. :) Great way to spend COVID time away from a live game. A full table of people who can shuffle will torch a full table of typical poker players using the two deck method.
Bonus time savers....LEARN TO DEAL!!

 
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Poker Zombie

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The absolute #1 way to speed up a game it to play with people that KNOW HOW TO SHUFFLE!!!! Unfortunately that seems to be 2% of the poker crowd ....most likely because no one cares to learn. Send your friends this video and tell them not to show up until they can do this. :) Great way to spend COVID time away from a live game. A full table of people who can shuffle will torch a full table of typical poker players using the two deck method.
Bonus time savers....LEARN TO DEAL!!


That's my favorite "dealers school" video series. Very professional - both on the dealing side and on the video production side. It almost feels like you are attending classes in a strip mall somewhere in Vegas getting your dealers card or certificate or whatever.
 

grebe

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Ive been watching this guy! Plan is to get the table out and practice a bit, but I have not as of yet.
 

Old State

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I had thought I posted this video too but accidentally double posted the shuffle one. Learning to deal or pitch the cards is also a MAJOR time saver. It’s easier to do from the traditional dealer spot but can be done well from most positions...the ends being the hardest. That said I’ve played with a few guys who pitch well from the end of the table...but just couldn’t shuffle. Lots of time is wasted with painful slow deals. “Pass this one to him...no no no...him...”. Then the perpetual cards flipped up and explaining to the table the proper procedure for the tenth time.
Also...stop with the TV poker shtick like slowly dealing the turn and river in all in situations...or the worst “what would the next two card have been”...all time wasters.
Most game I’ve played with people using two decks can’t either shuffle or deal correctly. And usually make a mess of shifting the pile of card around the table. These aren’t hard skills to learn....just a little practice.

 

ekricket

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I had thought I posted this video too but accidentally double posted the shuffle one. Learning to deal or pitch the cards is also a MAJOR time saver. It’s easier to do from the traditional dealer spot but can be done well from most positions...the ends being the hardest. That said I’ve played with a few guys who pitch well from the end of the table...but just couldn’t shuffle. Lots of time is wasted with painful slow deals. “Pass this one to him...no no no...him...”. Then the perpetual cards flipped up and explaining to the table the proper procedure for the tenth time.
Also...stop with the TV poker shtick like slowly dealing the turn and river in all in situations...or the worst “what would the next two card have been”...all time wasters.
Most game I’ve played with people using two decks can’t either shuffle or deal correctly. And usually make a mess of shifting the pile of card around the table. These aren’t hard skills to learn....just a little practice.

Motivate them. Our group has a bad habit of just ignoring the table duties. Last time we played there were a couple of incidents where the dealer started chatting and just ignored the cards they had just dealt instead of collecting them and shuffling. I just dealt the next hand over them and started the betting. The first time I managed to get the flop on top of the mess before they realized that they were playing a game with other people and that there were expectations. Lots of cluster fuck with all the cards in the table, but what you going to do? The second time they realized it just before I was fixing to throw the flop on top of the previous deck that was spread all over the table. They finally realized that the rest of the table was waiting on them while they chatted and ignored everything.
 

JustinInMN

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It’s easier to do from the traditional dealer spot but can be done well from most positions...the ends being the hardest.
I find that even if you can get people in the end spots able to deal to the center of the table and have competent people in those seats that can slide the rest of the way, it helps.

I just dealt the next hand over them and started the betting. The first time I managed to get the flop on top of the mess before they realized that they were playing a game with other people and that there were expectations. Lots of cluster fuck with all the cards in the table, but what you going to do? The second time they realized it just before I was fixing to throw the flop on top of the previous deck that was spread all over the table. They finally realized that the rest of the table was waiting on them while they chatted and ignored everything.

Well played.
 

Old State

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Motivate them. Our group has a bad habit of just ignoring the table duties. Last time we played there were a couple of incidents where the dealer started chatting and just ignored the cards they had just dealt instead of collecting them and shuffling. I just dealt the next hand over them and started the betting. The first time I managed to get the flop on top of the mess before they realized that they were playing a game with other people and that there were expectations. Lots of cluster fuck with all the cards in the table, but what you going to do? The second time they realized it just before I was fixing to throw the flop on top of the previous deck that was spread all over the table. They finally realized that the rest of the table was waiting on them while they chatted and ignored everything.
Have you tried belittling and insulting the amateurish play? ;)
 

scaredmoney

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Thanks. It has a pub look because it's actually a pub. My friend (not a player) owns the pub and allows us to use the entire upstairs exclusively for my crew. He (or his staff) brings food and drinks up to serve him. In return we tip big to help him with his business. We also have an escape route (no joke) if necessary , lol. This location is one of many location we play at (we like to rotate to change up the atmosphere). I have another friend (player) who owns a cocktail lounge and we play there as well after hours.

Location 1:
View attachment 619064



Location 2 (we play upstairs from the photo on the main page)
View attachment 619066



Location 3 (our base/main location)
View attachment 619069
View attachment 619071

Thank goodness. I was going to suggest more LIGHT for people to see the cards and chips. I got some players that love to complain and they would bring up how dark it is in there.

Do people complain about the temperature? At my home game I have a smart thermostat so I can turn it on and off instead of getting up and doing that. You probably cannot in the bar locations you have but, really cool.

I'm not sure how your game runs. I try to limit rabbit hunting and other things that drag the game on.

Do you allow the dealer to cut the cards or you give it to the person to the right to do that? Normally I get the cut done by the time the hand gets to the river so we're ready. I trained them though and set up the cut card towards me to make it more efficient and also you should cut towards the dealer. Still training new people on the etiquette for that.

If you have the TV on or not if you're showing a movie or sports that kind of distracts some people and slows it down. I do it to distract some of my better players and have my back to the TV them in front of me. Sometimes I put on techno or more up tempo music and that subconsciously gets people to move faster.
 
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