Running the Perfect Home Game – Part 4 – Rules and Structure

Hi and welcome to our final part of this 4 part series “Running the Perfect Home Game”. In the past 3 sections we covered playing cards, chipsets and lastly the different poker tables available on the market. If you have missed any of this articles or want to recap them head over to our “Home Games” section

Update: Check out our PokerDIY Tourney Manager to manage your poker blinds and time your games!

In this last part we are going to look at the type of structures that can make a home game run smoothly as possible. I have been to many a home game where the buy-in has not been defined or even the type of game we were playing has not been set. The best thing for home games is communication to all players. There needs to be a clear understanding of the rules whilst in the game and also external rules such as smoking, drinking and the like.

It may sound a little extreme to set so many rules but without a defined structure it will change the way people play at the table. Take for example if its a no-limit Hold’em game with 3,000 starting stack no rebuys. With the right clock setup this would be a great tight game with good poker being played. Change it to a rebuy event after one of your mates has been knocked out will annoy the other players and you will have nothing but moaners the rest of the night.

So if you plan to play no-limit with no rebuys stick to it. If you want a rebuy event set the rules before and if need be set a cap to the amount of rebuys to stop it turning into a crap shoot.

One structure that I have used at many a home game is a 30 min clock, 5000 starting stack, blinds starting at 100/200 and it’s a freezeout. The blinds then increase as follows:

Level 1 – 100/ 200

Level 2 – 200/ 400

Level 3 – 300/ 600

Level 4 – 400/ 800

Level 5 – 500/ 1,000

Level 6 – 600/ 1,200

Level 7 – 800/ 1,600

Level 8 – 1,000/ 2,000

Level 9 – 2,000/ 4,000

Level 10 – 3,000/ 6,000

Level 11 – 4,000/ 8,000

Level 12 – 5,000/ 10,000

This structure allows for some great poker as the blinds are not increasing too quick, meaning if you have a few slow dealers you won’t be blinded out before you get a chance to play A your game and pick your spot.

Another addition to the home game that will help no end is a clear blind timer (see PokerDIY Tourney Manager). Missed “blinds up” shouts will be a thing of the past and it will keep your game running on time.

So remember you have taken the time to get the best playing cards, poker chipset and poker table to make your home game look professional. All that is left to do is perfect a structure that everyone understands and will know the rules of every time they sit down to play.

We hope you have enjoyed this section of “Running The Perfect Home Games” , look out for more articles coming soon.


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    [email protected]
    October 25, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    Ok, too much to mention in the comments. I will write a new Blog: Running the Perfect Home Game – Part 4.1 – Rules and Structure

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