What's the ideal breakdown and starting stacks for a 200BB, 1 to 4 table tournament? I know alot has been written on the subject and of course the answer is somewhat subjective. There is no "goldilocks" chip stack. Some people get annoyed by having too many chips on the table while others are annoyed by having to constantly trade for chips when they run out of a denom. The main factor of course isn't the $$ amount of the starting stack, its the step increments in the chip denominations in play. 200BB is 200BB no matter what we choose as our starting BB. To me the issue is choosing denominations based on the criteria : 1) Starting chip counts based on the frequency of use for the denom. (ie more of the workhorse denoms and less of the rest.) 2) "round' number values that are easy to add up. No $37 chips. (I'm talking to you pltrgyst 3) A 4x or 5x increment between denoms. (ie. not 2x or 10x) There certainly isn't much 'wrong' with the common 12/12/7/5 for T10,000 or a 10/10/9/2 (or 15/13/11/1) for T2000. They can work just fine, but I think there is a better alternative. Both breakdowns have the 'problem' of requiring too many of the lowest denoms which don't get quite as much use. But yet its a pain in the first few levels when you run out of them in your stack. And for the T10,000 breakdown, having both a $500 and $1000 chip in play isn't really necessary. (As a work-around for a one table tourney you can skip the $1000 and go straight to $5000, or in a multi-table you can start with far fewer $500s.) I suggest the following T200,000 tourney breakdown using $500, $1000, $5000, $20K and $100K chips. $500 : 4 chips (or 6 ) These should not be needed much at all but still their presence allows for more blind levels to be used than if we started with a $1000 chip. Fewer chips means we can wait to chip them up with the $1000's. $1000 : 13 (or 12) chips. Effectively this will be the lowest denom on the table but they will be in play longer than the lowest denom in other breakdowns. $5000 : 12 or 17 chips based on preference. The workhorse chip for the first half or so of the tourney. (Equivalent to a $250 chip in a T10,000 stack.) $20K or $25K : 4 to 6 chips. The workhorse chip for the second half and may never need to be chipped up. This scales up nicely too. Then next available denom is a 5x (or 4x) $100K chip. Afterthat, for bigger tournaments adding $1 million plaque would be very cool for the final table. The actual blind levels can still be adjusted according to time constraints. Just as many or more possible levels. Comments? I'm sure some of you have run tournaments with similar breakdowns?