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Upping the Ante (so to speak)

Discussion in 'Cash Game / Ring Game Advice' started by QuiQuog, Feb 19, 2015.

  1. QuiQuog

    QuiQuog Well-Known Member

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    I’m getting ready to host a cash game for the first time and I’m not sure what level the players will be comfortable at. I don’t think that most players will know what level they are comfortable at themselves, as most are not serious player and only have played in neighborhood or bar tourneys. I don’t want to put anybody off with a game that sounds too expensive, but I don’t want to have stakes so low that it’s boring.

    I’d like to be at 25¢/50¢ with $20/50 min/max buy in, but I’m afraid that too many people will buy in for the minimum, thinking that $50 is more than they want to risk for a night of fun. So I was thinking of starting out at 10¢/25¢ and a $10/$25 min/max buy in so that a relatively small buy in of $25, which I think more players will be willing to start at, would still give them 100 blinds for a stronger starting stack and they could potentially play longer.

    My questions are, apart from just staying at the limits set for the night and setting new limits for the next game, if it’s decided that the blinds are too low, can we up the stakes to 25¢/50¢ by simply coloring up and buying in for more cash? Do we need to cash out and re-cash in at the new stakes? Are there any pitfalls to be aware of? How would you handle a situation like this?
     
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  2. catalyzeme

    catalyzeme Well-Known Member

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    I personally host a $0.25/$0.25 holdem game. We do $20 buyins typically, but it saves you from needing a nickel on the table. If you want to add-on and up the stakes, it wouldn't require taking any chips off the table either.
     
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  3. liftapint

    liftapint Lifetime Supporter
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    We actually have a pre-specified time when we double the blinds. At the start, we play $0.25/$0.50 (or $0.50/$0.50, so I don't have to use quarters). Then after a couple hours, we go to $0.50/$1. It hasn't presented any problems.
     
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  4. Bloody Marvellous

    Bloody Marvellous Well-Known Member

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    Start at a suitably low blind level. It's easier to raise the blinds than lower them.

    Check what stakes they play at the local bar. If they run $50 tourneys, then $25 buy-in cashgames are likely the best choice. That allows them to rebuy when they're felted.

    As a general rule I will allow changing the blinds if at least 80% of the players at the table agree (2-4 players: everybody has to agree, 5-9 players: if two or more players disagree the blinds stay the same, 10 players: if 3 or more players disagree the blinds stay the same).

    I usually host microstakes (€ 0.05/€ 0.10) for my friends with buy-ins up to 200BB. They want to have a good time, but not risk too much money. Buy-ins can range from € 4 to € 20, but most will buy-in for € 10. Play is still pretty serious, even at those low stakes.
     
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  5. abby99

    abby99 Admin / Chip Magpie
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    I don't think this is fair to the players who don't agree to increase the blinds. They made the effort to come to your game with a specific structure, which IMO should remain in place for the entire session. Raising the stakes for the next session is fine -- players can decide in advance whether they want to play at the higher level. On the other hand, if everybody wants a mid-game increase, then raise them and make everybody happy. Happy players ---> thriving home game.
     
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  6. QuiQuog

    QuiQuog Well-Known Member

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    I think that we'll be able to come to an agreement on whether to raise the stakes or not without any problem. I was just wondering if there were any hidden snafus that might arise, or if there were any situations where I may inadvertently give somebody an unfair advantage, or disadvantage, causing somebody to lose money or feel cheated.
     
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  7. abby99

    abby99 Admin / Chip Magpie
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    If you increase the blinds, you should increase the min/max buyins proportionally. In other words, if the max buyin is 100 bbs at the lower stakes, the max buyin at the higher stakes should also be 100 bbs.

    Assuming that everybody is equally comfortable with higher stakes, you should be fine. My concern would be for the player who doesn't feel comfortable at higher stakes, is reluctant to admit this, and finds himself playing with scared money. If that's not an issue, then go for it!
     
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  8. Mojo1312

    Mojo1312 Well-Known Member

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    Personally, my focus would be on the group of players, and whether you envision them having fun playing cards together. As you may know from reading other threads on this forum, blinds aren't always relevant to the action.

    I like the idea of a spread. IMO, that is the best way for findig your groups comfort zone. I would probably start with .25/.25 blinds and set the buy-in at $20 to $40 or $25 to $50.
     
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  9. Bloody Marvellous

    Bloody Marvellous Well-Known Member

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    I don't want to be too rigid when hosting a game. It's a delicate balancing act. If some players want to raise the stakes and others don't I run the risk of either alienating the players who don't want to raise the blinds, or denying the other players the opportunity to play at the level they want to. I've chosen 80% because that's an overwhelming majority. Below 80% the players will understand that we've organized a game at certain stakes, and that's what we're playing. Over 80% the other players understand that they are in the minority, and the general consensus is that the stakes are too low.

    Since it's a cash game, and I have two tables, players can decided to leave the table and start a new game at the second table.

    I also use this percentage if players want to change the game being played (for instance when they want to switch from NLHE to Dealer's Choice).

    This also helps prevent players from playing a $0.25/$0.50 game like it was a $0.50/$1 game, making the standard raise before the flop to $3 (something that happens a lot at the local casino because they won't open a 2/4 table).
     
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