| Hosting Tips
Don't be afraid to host your first home tournament. Here is everything you
need to know to run a successful home tournament.
- DD Poker has a built in Poker Clock designed specifically to aid you in running your own home tournament.
- Ensure a good turnout by sending invitations out early and getting firm
- Review the rules of poker. We recommend using the "Robert's Rules of Poker"
by Robert Ciaffone as a resource for your poker tournament rules. These rules
can easily be found on the Internet by entering "Robert's Rules of Poker" in
any search engine.
- Have two decks per table, one red and the other blue. This set up allows
a player to shuffle one deck while the other deck is in use.
- Use a location that can fit the number of people you invite. Have tables
big enough for 8 to 10 players.
- Randomly place players at the tables, but try to get at least one player
at each table that understands the rules.
- You may want to set up a side table (a different set of chips is recommended)
for the people that have busted out of the tournament so they can play dealer's
choice on their own.
- You should have about 500 chips for every 10 players in a tournament to
limit the need to make change. We recommend 200 Red, 200 Green and 100 Black.
- In a hold'em tournament, your chips do not have to equal actual dollar amounts
since the prize pool goes to the final finishers. For example, for a buy-in
of $25 you can issue $1,000 worth of tournament chips. Therefore, you do not
have to use lower denomination chips. This gives the players a big tournament
feel. Have your starting chips ready in piles before your guests arrive so
you do not have to count them when everyone is ready to play.
- Review your local, state and federal laws regarding playing poker at home.
There are often restrictions regarding player age and house cuts or rakes. It is possible that poker games are
entirely illegal in your jurisdiction.
It is your responsibility to know the legality of home poker tournaments.
- When using the built in Poker Clock feature in the software, we recommend turning off the energy saver and
screen saver on your computer before your tournament so the view of your clock is not interrupted during your
game. Remember to turn them back on when you are done.
- Your buy-in should be an amount your guests are comfortable losing
in a night of poker. If you are also going to offer rebuys and add-ons, you
may want to lower your buy-in amount.
- Have only one person in control of the chips and cash. Keep any excess chips
in a secure place; you do not want players handling them.
- Create a log sheet that lists your players and cash they have given you
for the buy-in, any rebuys or add-ons.
- Once all the money is collected, enter the totals into the Prize
Pool dialog and announce the prize pool.
You will inevitably have guests arrive late and you should let your guests know how you plan to handle this ahead of
time. In Las Vegas tournaments, you are required to register and pay ahead of time, and if you are late for the
start, your place at the table will be reserved and your chips will dwindle away upon every rotation of the blinds
until you arrive or they are gone. Because you will most likely not be collecting the buy-in ahead of time and may
not be sure which guests will make it, you may wish to handle this differently, expecially with friends. As a host,
you don't want to tell your friend they can't join when they drove an hour to get to your house and are five minutes
late due to traffic. On the other hand, you don't want your other guests to feel that the game started unfairly,
therefore some kind of penalty needs to be made. You may devise your own way to handle this, our use one of the
- Offer a tournament with rebuys the first hour and allow the guest to buy-in, but with 1 less rebuy allowed. So
if a maximum of 2 rebuys are allowed, the late arrival is only allowed 1. Or if only 1 rebuy is allowed in the
tournament, then the late arrival is not allowed a rebuy.
- Offer a tournament with rebuys the first hour, making the rebuy the same dollar amount, but half the amount of
chips. Do not allow the late arrival to purchase the buy-in, instead allow only the purchase of the rebuy.
- If you wish to have a tournament with only the buy-in with no rebuys, penalize the late arrival with fewer chips
based on the level. If your are running 20 minute levels, the late arrival will recieve 25% fewer chips in level
1, 50% fewer chips in level 2, 75% fewer chips in level 3, and are not allowed to buy in after level 4 has
started when the first hour is up.
- If you are hosting a tournament with strangers, you may want the strict policy that guests can not enter the
tournament if they are late.
| DD Poker has provided a pre-defined tournament for
you to use for the tournament you are hosting. Or you can copy it and customize one
for your needs. Don't forget: The amount
of tournament chips you play with does not have to equal the amount of money
you buy-in with, as both these tournaments demonstrate.
This 10-player tournament is a good starting setup up for a home game. For this tournament you should have at least 500 chips. We recommend 200 Red, 200 Green and 100 Black.
- The name of this pre-defined tournament
is Host a Home Game.
- Decide your buy-in amount for each player.
If your buy-in is $40, then give $500 worth of chips to each player for the $40 actual cash buy-in.
- $500 worth of tournament
chips (20 Red, 12 Green and 1 Black)
- Red=$5 Green=$25 Black=$100
- This tournament allows for 1 rebuy before level 4 (within 45 minutes of the tournament start) if the player
It's always disappointing for the host to see one of their guests bust out in the first 5 minutes. The rebuy
allows for them to keep playing, but also adds more money into the prize pool.
- This tournament should last approximately 4+ hours.
Of course, you can use different chip colors and denominations. Red, green
and black are the typical colors for $5, $25 and $100.
| The blinds are already set up in the pre-defined Home Game tournament.
If you want to customize the blinds, the information below is very helpful.
- In general, your tournament will probably end a little before the big blind
equals the starting chip (buy-in) amount. For example, if the initial buy-in
is $500 in chips, your tournament will probably end just before the big blind
equals 500. So if your blind structure takes 15 minutes to increase 1 level,
and it takes 13 levels to reach a 500 big blind, then your tournament will
last just under 4 hours. If you have rebuys and add-ons, add them to the buy-in
amount. Your tournament will end when your big blind reaches your new total.
- The starting big blind should be approximately 1/50th of the initial buy-in
chips. Divide the buy-in by 50 for your first big blind. If you want beginner
players to stay in the game longer, then do not increase the blinds as fast
during the first few hours of the tournament. However, if your starting blinds
are too low, your tournament might take a very long time to complete or you
might be forced to increase your blinds too quickly towards the end.
- After determining what the starting and finishing blinds should be, simply
plug in all the levels in-between. You want the blinds to gradually increase
from your starting blind to your anticipated finishing blind, then continue
for a couple more levels just to be on the safe side. Each big blind should
be 50-100% larger then the previous one.
The small blind is usually one-half to two-thirds of the big blind.
As players are eliminated from the tournament, the remaining players have increasingly larger chip stacks in front of
them. Players find it cumbersome to move these larger stacks around the table and continually recount them when bets
are placed. To eliminate this problem, a chip color-up is done to reduce the number of chips on the table. See Chips & Chip Race for more information on this.
In home tournaments, it is acceptable to postpone color-ups until your next
break. To simply the process, you can skip the chip race and only exchange as
many of each player's lowest denomination chips as possible. Simply leave any
odd chips in each player's chip pile. As more of the chips are accumulated by
one player, you can exchange them for higher denomination chips.
All tournaments have a buy-in, this is the amount of money to enter the tournament. Some tournaments offer rebuys
and/or add-ons. A Rebuy is an optional puchase of additional chips once the tournament has started. An add-on is an
optional purchase of additional chips offered to all players, regardless of chip count.
- If a player busts out early in a tournament, the rebuy period allows the
player to buy more chips to continue playing. Most rebuy periods last for
an hour or two.
- Some players prefer a high buy-in with few or no rebuys to promote conservative,
tight play. Others prefer a low buy-in with many rebuys to promote loose play.
Rebuys and add-ons play a role in the length of your tournament - the longer
the length of the rebuy period, the longer the length of your tournament.
- A simple tournament: One rebuy is allowed per player, but only if that player
has busted out of chips and there are no add-ons or antes. Make the rebuy
amount the same as the initial buy-in.
As players start dropping out of the tournament, you will need to even out
the number of players at the tables and possibly reduce the number of tables.
If you started with 3 tables and 30 people, you may drop down to 2 tables when
you reach 18 people, and 1 table when you reach 9 or 10 people. If the number
of players at each table differs by 2 or more, then move players to even out
the tables. A simple method to move a player is to move the player at the dealer
button from the high table to the seat to the right of the dealer button at
the low table.