Starting Stacks for Small Stakes Home Hold'em Cash Game?

OnlyForHoldem

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Given a chosen buy-in amount, say $20 or $25, for a home cash hold-em game, how many big blinds should I make stacks? And what value of blinds is good? $0.10/$0.20 or $0.25/$0.25 or something else?
Also, I have chips with no denominations. Does it matter if the values I assign are proportional to common casino values of: White = 1, Red = 5, Blue = 10, Green = 25?
 

rjbf65

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My old college buddies will get together and play about 3 times a year we still use the dice chips. We played .10/.20 blinds for a while and then made the move to .25/.25. We like it much better.

For stacks I’d give a barrel (20) of quarters and a barrel of ones. That equals a starting stack of $25. It works really well IMO.
 

Sunshine

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If your chip set -- because of the colors it has or which colors are most plentiful -- demands that you do non-traditional colors for values, it's not the end of the world. But, there's a bit of a preference for using traditional colors where possible. Might slightly reduce the incidence of "What are the reds worth, again?".

Both .10/.20 and .25/.25 have worked fine for me. Try and make it so that at least the bulk of players buy in for at least 100BB. So, whatever the majority buy in for, divide it by 100 for the BB, then decide if your chip set is compatible with a SB of half that, or if two identical blinds is easier.
 

pltrgyst

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For a cash game with a fixed buy-in, you can choose either the number of big blinds in each player's stack, or the size of the blinds, but not both.
 

BGinGA

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Having the starting stacks = 100 to 200 big blinds is a good range to start, allowing meaningful post-flop play and decisions beyond just shove/fold.

A $20 buy-in is:
  • 200 big blinds at 5c/10c blinds, or
  • 100 big blinds at 10c/20c blinds, or
  • 80 big blinds at 10c/25c or 25c/25c blinds
and a $25 buy-in is:
  • 250 big blinds at 5c/10c blinds, or
  • 125 big blinds at 10c/20c, or
  • 100 big blinds at 10c/25c or 25c/25c.
There are no 'standard' colors for 5c and 25c chips. Common colors for higher denominations are:
  • $1 = white or blue
  • $5 = red
  • $25 = green (or $20 = yellow)
Having chips worth $10 isn't very efficient use of the chip set, since it is only 2x larger than the $5 chip. Best practices dictates a 4x or 5x jump between denominations.

Having a set with 10/20/20/10 chips per denomination per player is a good place to start.

For example, a 10-player set for a 5c/10c game would contain:

100 x 5c
200 x 25c
200 x $1
100 x $5
--------------
600 chips
 
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OnlyForHoldem

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Having the starting stacks = 100 to 200 big blinds is a good range to start, allowing meaningful post-flop play and decisions beyond just shove/fold.

A $20 buy-in is:
  • 200 big blinds at 5c/10c blinds, or
  • 100 big blinds at 10c/20c blinds, or
  • 80 big blinds at 10c/25c or 25c/25c blinds
and a $25 buy-in is:
  • 250 big blinds at 5c/10c blinds, or
  • 125 big blinds at 10c/20c, or
  • 100 big blinds at 10c/25c or 25c/25c.
There are no 'standard' colors for 5c and 25c chips. Common colors for higher denominations are:
  • $1 = white or blue
  • $5 = red
  • $25 = green (or $20 = yellow)
Having chips worth $10 isn't very efficient use of the chip set, since it is only 2x larger than the $5 chip. Best practices dictates a 4x or 5x jump between denominations.

Having a set with 10/20/20/10 chips per denomination per player is a good place to start.

For example, a 10-player set for a 5c/10c game would contain:

100 x 5c
200 x 25c
200 x $1
100 x $5
--------------
600 chips

This is a ton of useful info! Thanks!
 

DMI

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Having the starting stacks = 100 to 200 big blinds is a good range to start, allowing meaningful post-flop play and decisions beyond just shove/fold.

A $20 buy-in is:
  • 200 big blinds at 5c/10c blinds, or
  • 100 big blinds at 10c/20c blinds, or
  • 80 big blinds at 10c/25c or 25c/25c blinds
and a $25 buy-in is:
  • 250 big blinds at 5c/10c blinds, or
  • 125 big blinds at 10c/20c, or
  • 100 big blinds at 10c/25c or 25c/25c.
There are no 'standard' colors for 5c and 25c chips. Common colors for higher denominations are:
  • $1 = white or blue
  • $5 = red
  • $25 = green (or $20 = yellow)
Having chips worth $10 isn't very efficient use of the chip set, since it is only 2x larger than the $5 chip. Best practices dictates a 4x or 5x jump between denominations.

Having a set with 10/20/20/10 chips per denomination per player is a good place to start.

For example, a 10-player set for a 5c/10c game would contain:

100 x 5c
200 x 25c
200 x $1
100 x $5
--------------
600 chips
Incredibly useful, thanks for posting this. I’ll be using the general template as I buy chips for my home game of .25/.25
 

Jake14mw

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My group plays tournaments almost exclusively. Our tourneys start with 10/20 blind levels. We have a bigger tournament coming up, so there will need to be a cash game for those who bust out. I would think 10/20 blind levels would be easiest, I imagine most people would want to buy in at $20. How does the decision between going with 10/20 or 25/25 affect play?
 

allforcharity

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My group plays tournaments almost exclusively. Our tourneys start with 10/20 blind levels. We have a bigger tournament coming up, so there will need to be a cash game for those who bust out. I would think 10/20 blind levels would be easiest, I imagine most people would want to buy in at $20. How does the decision between going with 10/20 or 25/25 affect play?

I doubt it makes much play difference at all, because it all depends on the players and their betting aggressiveness. For hosting, 0.25/0.25 would be easier because you have less denoms in play, so cheaper to get a playable set.
 

juankay20

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We tend to play a little faster game and aim for <100 BB starting stack for cash games. There's a good amount of us that get together to play, so the rounds don't come back around too quick, but the blinds are set 1/2 to push some more action.
 

Magnusbob

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My home game is cash. We play .50/$1 blinds. For years we’ve played with $40 starting chips and unlimited rebuys. For the most part it works decently. However, It has always bothered me that we don’t either start with more money or we don’t at least lower it to .25/.50 to manage the swings.

I’d love to hear feedback or recommendations.
 

allforcharity

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My home game is cash. We play .50/$1 blinds. For years we’ve played with $40 starting chips and unlimited rebuys. For the most part it works decently. However, It has always bothered me that we don’t either start with more money or we don’t at least lower it to .25/.50 to manage the swings.

I’d love to hear feedback or recommendations.

I think 0.25/0.25 or 0.25/0.50 is fine for $40 buy-in.
 
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