Cash Game What's a fair rock size for a .50/1 game?

RudysNYC

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Friend and I who have a small game in non-virulent times are toying the idea of adding a rock, especially since I've started collecting chips (not only would it induce action, but it'd add some color and spice).

What's a fair rock size? I personally think the ideal rock size for our game would be $3, but I have none of those, and $5 seems a bit excessive. Ultimate question, then, is do I go with a $2.50, or do I go with a $5? As a newbie to the forum, I appreciate any advice in advance!
 

AWenger

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How are you planning to use the rock -- under the gun and/or on the button (and not every hand?)
 

RudysNYC

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How are you planning to use the rock -- under the gun and/or on the button (and not every hand?)
When the person in possession of it is UTG they have to use it, or before then they can sell it to whoever's UTG ahead of them should they want to play it. Nothing crazy, just something to add a little oomph. All my friends like the idea of 1/2 until they actually play it for any length of time, then it's back to .50/1--this is a happy compromise I think lol
 

RudysNYC

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When I played in rock games is a forced straddle when the holder is UTG.
Yea exactly, originally was wondering if I could get away with making it 5BB since 3BB is a $3 chip I don't have (plan on having the rock be one cool chip in an Airtite), but doesn't matter in the end since I found a $3 chip I like anyway and picked it up. Now I have options :)
 

JustinInMN

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The rubber band idea was good too. Makes the rock more rock-like.

The only rock games I played were many years ago in 3/6 limit in live casino and we used a single 5 dollar chip. Whoever held the rock was obliged to straddle for 6 when under the gun. (Putting out the rock plus an extra single from their stack. Could have banded the two chips together I suppose, but this worked out fine too.)

I think this as a better medium than "mandatory straddle" which is just a deception in stake. You will probably play 1-2 rock hands per orbit so it adds some juice without completely blowing up the stakes.
 

RudysNYC

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Can someone explain to me what a rock is and how it's used?
Basically just a built-in straddle, if you're UTG and have possession of the rock, you play it and you are now final preflop action. Basically a third blind.


The rubber band idea was good too. Makes the rock more rock-like.

The only rock games I played were many years ago in 3/6 limit in live casino and we used a single 5 dollar chip. Whoever held the rock was obliged to straddle for 6 when under the gun. (Putting out the rock plus an extra single from their stack. Could have banded the two chips together I suppose, but this worked out fine too.)

I think this as a better medium than "mandatory straddle" which is just a deception in stake. You will probably play 1-2 rock hands per orbit so it adds some juice without completely blowing up the stakes.
Yea exactly, not trying to blow up the stakes just add some flavor. Haven't played a rock game at a casino, but almost every game I've played in NYC has been one.
 

inca911

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This is The Rock. From my memory of playing with him at @Payback 's game: he causes any UTG player who currently owns him to place in a mandatory straddle, which is done by putting The Rock into the pot. The winner of that hand takes possession of The Rock, and must straddle when they are next UTG. The Rock is worth $X dollars at cashout, therefore he carries that value into the pot with him when placed into the pot. Typically The Rock is first bought by the house, to drive more action, larger pots, and more rake.

rock.jpg


Only one Rock in this picture is real, don't be fooled by Rock-ette imitators:
rockettes.jpeg
 
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dmoney

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This is The Rock. From my memory of playing with him at @Payback ;s game: he causes any UTG player who currently owns him to place in a mandatory straddle, which is done by putting The Rock into the pot. The winner of that hand takes possession of The Rock, and must straddle when they are next UTG. The Rock is worth $X dollars at cashout, therefore he carries that value into the pot with him when placed into the pot. Typically The Rock is first bought by the house, to drive more action, larger pots, and more rake.

View attachment 445516
Amazing. And how are cashouts handled? Obviously there'd be an incentive to win The Rock, then just cash out.
 

JustinInMN

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Can someone explain to me what a rock is and how it's used?

@inca911 pretty much nailed it. The rock is a way of making a chain of mandatory straddles based on who won the previous "rock pot." So it's a little mellower than a game where everyone straddles every hand, but you still get one or two straddle pots per orbit, and players holding the rock have always benefitted from winning a previous pot.
 
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JustinInMN

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Amazing. And how are cashouts handled? Obviously there'd be an incentive to win The Rock, then just cash out.

Doesn't change the cashout, but I assume if someone cashes out the rock, the host would reintroduce it in the next pot the same way he would in the first pot of the night. Or the player leaving can sell it to a player continuing if they want to play the rock.
 

MrCatPants

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So is the rock the straddle? Or is the player with the rock separately putting in chips to mandatory straddle? (Or does it depend?)
 

markleteenie

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So is the rock the straddle? Or is the player with the rock separately putting in chips to mandatory straddle? (Or does it depend?)
Generally the rock is the actual straddle. And it has actual value by being chips rubber banded together (or that genius ROCK figurine). If you win the rock, the next time you can straddle, you do - by putting the rock out in front of you.
 

AWenger

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I'd probably start out with a $2 or $3 rock for your $0.50 to $1 game.

As for what physical 'thing' can be the rock, I've seen all of the following:
  1. an actual rock -- that game used smooth, somewhat flat, river bed type rock that was bigger than a poker chip, but smaller than a playing card.
  2. several cheap plastic chips superglued together to make a 'thick' poker chip
  3. small figurine or toy of some sort.
  4. A casino chip in an air-tite case
And I found an older post of mine about games that have used a rock.

Yes. The rock is a mandatory straddle, and it represents a dollar value. (it could be $5 in a 1/2 game, or $10 in a $1/2, $1/3, or $2/5) The rules of "the rock" depends on the house rules. I've seen different variations. I've seen both of the scenarios above.
I've played in a couple 1/2 and 1/3 'home' games with a rock where a straddle was allowed either UTG or on the button, and the player who won a pot with the rock can choose to wait until either of those positions to post the rock, but the rule was he had to post it by 1 complete round, or he had to pass the rock to the next player.
The Aria Casino used a rock in a 2/5 PLO game, where the rock was an actual $10 chip in a round air-tite plastic case on the table. It was mandatory straddle each and every hand, and it basically just increased the game stakes to 2/5/10 PLO. The player who won the last pot would put the rock out, then pre-flop betting action started left of that player.
In the first scenario, the game stakes only increase once or twice a round, on average, because the rock is only used in the UTG and/or Button straddle. The rock could end up being used more often, if players in early position win the pot, then they need to post it by their BB. If the UTG+1 player wins the pot 3 hands in a row, you could have the rock being used 3 times in a row UTG, but this is rare.
It does juice up the action and can be fun. Some players even add chips on top of the rock to make the straddle even larger. I recall one player would commonly add any spare $1 chips he had to the rock, which was usually between 1 and 4 chips, but a couple times he had about 15 to 20 $1s chips, and they all went out with the rock as the straddle.
 

Payback

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This is The Rock. From my memory of playing with him at @Payback 's game: he causes any UTG player who currently owns him to place in a mandatory straddle, which is done by putting The Rock into the pot. The winner of that hand takes possession of The Rock, and must straddle when they are next UTG. The Rock is worth $X dollars at cashout, therefore he carries that value into the pot with him when placed into the pot. Typically The Rock is first bought by the house, to drive more action, larger pots, and more rake.

View attachment 445516

Only one Rock in this picture is real, don't be fooled by Rock-ette imitators:
View attachment 445521


20200423_142457.jpg

The Rock hanging out with me today during a Professional Development training.

Thanks for posting the photos. However much it sucks looking at them as I haven't played poker now for almost 7 weeks. That might be the longest stretch of my life since turning 6 or 7. I'm going to need a week long binge to cure these problems.
 

RainmanTrail

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Here I was, thinking I was at least somewhat knowledgable about all things poker. Silly me... WTF is a rock in poker? :banghead:
 

moose

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Ok one thing I'm not quite clear on. Is the Rock the straddle and it has the established value or do you put out the Rock plus the value of the straddle?
 

JustinInMN

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Ok one thing I'm not quite clear on. Is the Rock the straddle and it has the established value or do you put out the Rock plus the value of the straddle?

It could work either way. The rock can be a cashable token for the amount of the straddle, or just regular chips bound together.
 

moose

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It could work either way. The rock can be a cashable token for the amount of the straddle, or just regular chips bound together.

Yeah but if you have the Rock, do you post the Rock only or the Rock and chips?

eg if you have the kill button, you post the button and chips
 

JustinInMN

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Yeah but if you have the Rock, do you post the Rock only or the Rock and chips?

eg if you have the kill button, you post the button and chips

Yes the kill button would be the right analogy if using a token you put both in. And then the token gets scooped into the pot and goes to whoever wins the pot and they post the rock next time they are in position to straddle.
 

AWenger

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Is the Rock the straddle and it has the established value
Yes.

Yeah but if you have the Rock, do you post the Rock only or the Rock and chips?
It would depend on the house rules.
- Say the rock value is $5 - in a 1/2 NL game I played in, the player was only required to put out just the rock (a $5 straddle), but the player had the option of adding chips to it, to make the straddle larger, if the player desired to do so.
- In @JustinInMN example above, the player had to add 1 chip from his stack to the rock.
The only rock games I played were many years ago in 3/6 limit in live casino and we used a single 5 dollar chip. Whoever held the rock was obliged to straddle for 6 when under the gun. (Putting out the rock plus an extra single from their stack.

Here I was, thinking I was at least somewhat knowledgable about all things poker. Silly me... WTF is a rock in poker? :banghead:
Funny, I had the same type of reaction when I first found out what the heck a kill button/kill pot was in poker (limit poker).
 

Solanthos

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If you're playing $0.50/$1, make your rock $3.

You don't want a $5 rock unless you intend upon playing a 2/5-sized game. Even $1/$2 with $5 to come in plays a lot like 2/5.
 
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