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How to host a no-limit Texas Hold'em poker tournament in your home

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Poker Tournament Samples

Here are various poker tournament formats that have been provided by the members of the HPT Forum. Each poker tournament structure that is shown on this page also has a discussion thread associated with it in the HPT Forums. In that thread, you can ask questions about the tournament format, chip breakdown, time estimates, rebuys, etc.. You can quickly scan this page for a poker tournament format that most closely matches what you seek and then click on the HPT Forums link to view a discussion thread that relates to that format.

You might be able to have your poker tournament structure shown here by submitting a post in the Poker Tournament Samples forum. Your post must contain all the required information about your tournament, and you must also be willing to occasionally answer questions from other members about your format. In exchange, your format will be shown on this page along with your logo and a link back to your poker website. I will eventually split this page up into numerous pages, each devoted to a different type of poker - hold'em, Omaha, limit, HORSE, cash games, etc..

HPT Poker Tournament Structures

Forums imageT1000 NLHE
15x$5, 13x$25, 6x$100

This is the suggested T1000 tournament format on HomePokerTourney.com. The blinds start at 1/50 of the buyin but progress slowly for the first four levels. The tournament usually ends at the 1000 big blind, or a little before. I usually have two tables of 8 players. The first 3 levels are 30 minutes long. The rebuy period ends and we take a meal break. The levels are 20 minutes long after the break. I cash in all the $5 chips during the meal break. I cash in the $25 chips during a later break.

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HomePokerTourney.com is your one-stop source for all the advice and information you'll ever need to host a No-limit Texas Hold'em poker tournament in your home. Blinds, timers, poker rule books, reviews and more! Visit the HPT forums to discuss this, and other, poker tournament formats.

10-20
15-30
20-40
25-50
50-100
75-150
100-200
150-300
200-400
300-600
400-800
500-1000
600-1200
800-1600
1000-2000

 

Forums imageT10,000 NLHE

15x$100, 11x$500, 3x$1000

This is the suggested T10,000 tournament format on HomePokerTourney.com. The blinds start at 1/50 of the buyin but progress slowly for the first four levels. The tournament usually ends at the 10,000 big blind, or a little before. I usually have two tables of 8 players. The first 3 levels are 30 minutes long. The rebuy period ends and we take a meal break. The levels are 20 minutes long after the break.

nutN2Lewz logo HomePokerTourney.com

www.homepokertourney.com
HomePokerTourney.com is your one-stop source for all the advice and information you'll ever need to host a No-limit Texas Hold'em poker tournament in your home. Blinds, timers, poker rule books, reviews and more! Visit the HPT forums to discuss this, and other, poker tournament formats.

100-200
200-400
300-600
400-800
500-1000
600-1200
800-1600
1000-2000
1500-3000
2000-4000
3000-6000
4000-8000
5000-10000
6000-12000
8000-16000

divider
 

Forums imageT1500 HORSE

20x$5, 20x$25, 9x$100 or 15x$5, 17x$25, 5x$100, 1x$500

Level Game                Small     Big         Ante     Bring In    Sm Bet    Bg Bet
1Hold'em510   1025
2Omaha High515   1530
3Razz  10 52040
47 Stud  15 102550
5Omaha H/L81530   3060
6Hold'em2550   50100
7Omaha High50100   100200
8Razz  125 50150300
 color up $5's
97 Stud  150 75200400
10Omaha H/L8125250   250500
11Hold'em150300   300600
12Omaha High175350   350700
13Razz  300 100400800
147 Stud  375 1505001000
15Omaha H/L8300600   6001200
16Hold'em350700   7001400
17Omaha High400800   8001600
18Razz  650 2009001800
197 Stud  800 30010002000
20Omaha H/L86001200   12002400
 color up $25's
21Hold'em7001400   14002800
22Omaha High8001600   16003200
23Razz  1300 50018003600
247 Stud  1500 50020004000
25Omaha H/L815002500   25005000
26Hold'em15002500   25005000
27Omaha High15002500   16005000
28Razz  2000 100025005000
297 Stud  2000 100025005000

 

Forums imageT5,000 NLHE
8x$25, 8x$100, 4x$500, 2x$1000

My friends use the same blinds sched they use at the Taj.  Took it from their site. It goes on for 20 levels total, but we've never gone beyond level 15 (10000/20000, 3000.)  We start with T5000 in chips (2-$1000 chips, 4-$500 chips, 8-$100 chips, and 8-$25 chips.)  We set the blinds timer for 10 min, and games usually last 2 hrs, so we get 2-3 games in a night. We usually have enough players for only 2 tables, so we do not need to color-up. Works well for us.

25/50
50/100
100/200, 25
150/300, 50
200/400, 75
300/600, 100
500/1000, 100
800/1600, 200
1000/2000, 300
1500/3000, 500
2000/4000, 500
3000/6000, 1000
5000/10000, 1000
8000/16000, 2000
10000/20000, 3000
15000/30000, 5000
20000/40000, 5000

Forums imageT3,000 NLHE

Name: The Jeffy Lewis All-in-a-thon
Game: No-Limit Hold'em
Buy-in: $40 for T3,000
Add-on: $10 for T1,000, valid until first break, limit 1
Rebuy: $40 for T3,000, valid after elimination, limit 1
Bounty: $5 on everyone

LevelAnteSmallLargeDuration
1051020
20102020
30153020
40204020
50306020
Break 1 Remove T5 (Red) Chips10
605010020
707515020
82510020020
92515030020
105020040020
Break 2   10
115030060020
121005001,00020
131507501,50020
142001,0002,00020
153001,5003,00020
Break 3Remove T25 (Green) Chips10
164002,0004,00015
176003,0006,00015
181,0005,00010,00015
191,5007,50015,00015
202,00010,00020,00015
Level3,00015,00030,00015
Level4,00020,00040,00015
Level6,00030,00060,00015
Level10,00050,000100,00015

Payout Schedule (for 24 players)
1. 47.34% + bracelet
2. 23.67%
3. 13.02%
4. 7.75%
5. 4.92%
6. 3.31%

 

Forums imageT3,000 NLHE

20x$25, 25x$100

This gives you an initial chip count that is 120x the first big blind. The schedule is also not a revelation of any sort and is very similar to those used by many people.

While this may seem like a generous initial amount when compared with the starting blinds, it is CRITICAL to a good home game to pay attention to ensuring that hands are dealt in an efficient manner. This means having two decks so that one deck is shuffled and ready to deal once the pot is awarded to the player from the previous hand. I'm not saying you have to be a tyrant about dealing speed, but you must try to minimize delays between dealing hands.

I've played in several home games other than my own and this is now my number one pet peeve.  In a 20 minute round, you are pressed to get one full round of the table in, even with efficient dealing.  Once people start too much talking and delaying, some home games only get about 7-8 deals per blind round, which in my opinion is not fun or fair.

The reason this is so important (and using my blinds round structure as an example) is that by the third round most players are approaching being in trouble without even knowing it.  Assuming you did not have to post a blind and assuming you played no hands, you are already down to only 10x the blinds by round three (100/200 blinds = $300 total.  T3000 initial chip count/$300=10).  While this may seem irrelevant, you could be in deep trouble if you consistently wait to get in this position.

Good players recognize this, but with only 20 minute rounds the situation is still very much a crapshoot. So, while the focus is on fun and our games are very much so and a lot of strategy is involved, there are still a lot of reasons and room for luck to play a much larger roll than is probably fair in many home games. Lengthening the round lengths and/or making the blinds more gradual would help, but who has time for an 8+ hour game all the time?

My home game uses a T3000 initial chip count with 20 minute blinds levels as follows:

25-25
25-50
100-200
150-300
200-400
Race off $25
color Up $500
300-600
400-800
500-1000
600-1200
800-1600
color Up $1000
1000-2000
1200-2400
color-up $100
1500-3000
2000-4000
2500-5000

 

Forums imageT2,500 NLHE

16x$25, 14x$50, 4x$100, 2x$500

We use a $2500 starting chip stack, using 16 red ($25), 14 green ($50), 4 black ($100), and 2 blue ($500) per player. We color-up the red chips after the first hour, and most of the green chips after the second. Our tournaments last 3-4 hours depending on the number of players who buy in and the speed of play.  The game will likely end during blinds levels 13-15. Moving up to 20 minutes per level would result in a 4-5 hour game.  Using this system you can play up to 13 players from a 500 chip set. This works great for your typical single-table friendly home game.

STEBBINS HOME POKER TOUR
$2500 BLINDS SCHEDULE
15 MINUTE LEVELS

1  $25  $25
2   25    50
3   50   100
4   75   150
BREAK & color-UP $25
5   100  200
6   150  300
7   200  400
8   250  500
BREAK & color-UP $50
9   300  600
10  400  800 
11  500 1000
12  600 1200
BREAK
13  800 1600
14 1000 2000
15 1200 2400
16 1500 3000

 

Forums imageT10,000 No-limit Heads-up

20x$100, 8x$1000

We had 9 people and did double elim and if you don't make sure everyone is increasing the blinds, it will take FOREVER

Do double elimination if you have from 0 to around 8, 9, 10. Everything else do single.

12 MINUTE BLINDS

100-200
200-400
400-800
600-1200
1000-2000
2000-4000
Blinds double
from then on

 

Forums imageT7,500 NLHE

Blinds for a 22--26 person 3 table tourney (League)

We have not yet reached the 14th rnd. and it takes about 5 hrs. but that o.k with me.  Any input on this structure? would like info

25/50-0--15
50/100-0--15
100/200-0--15
150/300-0--15
Break
200/400-25--20
300/600-50-25
400/800-75-25
Break + Chip-up 25
500/1000-100--25
 700/1400-100--20
1000/ 2000-200--20
Break
1300/2600-300--20
1500/3000-400--20
2000/4000-500--20
2500/5000-500--20
Break
3000/6000-1000--20
4000/8000-1000-20

 

Forums imageT100 NLHE

4x.25, 4x1.00, 4x5.00, 3x25.00

20 player 5 hour T100 blind structure and chip Distribution?

T100 is tight unless your using $.25 chips. if you only use $1 chips, you are looking at the first round being 1-2 which is only 50 times BB and a bit tight but can be done. If you use $.25 chips I would start with the following. I have used it and it works well. It is about a 5.5 hour tourney with 20 minute blinds, but you can adjust as needed by removing a level or two.

As far as starting chips go It depends on how many you have of each denom as it seems like your colors are preset to the denom. Check out nutN's poker chip calculator on the left. A lot of people on this site like to have a lot of chips to play with, but I have played with the following because of my chip restrictions and it was not too bad there is plenty of change at the table or in the pot in all cases. I already know I'm gonna get bashed for this but it worked out fine when I was first starting out and I did not have the luxury of having a larger set.

.50 - 1.00
1.00 - 2.00
1.50 - 3.00
color up
2.00 - 4.00
3.00 - 6.00
4.00 - 8.00
2 hr
5.00 - 10.00
6.00 - 12.00
8.00 - 16.00
3 hr
10.00 - 20.00
12.00 - 24.00
15.00 - 30.00
4 hr
20.00 - 40.00
25.00 - 50.00
30.00 - 60.00
5 hr
40.00 - 80.00
50.00 - 100.00
should end about here
60.00 - 120.00
6 hr
75.00 - 150.00
90.00 - 180.00

 

 

Forums imageT5,000 NLHE

The Game:  No-Limit Texas Hold 'Em Freezeout Tournament
Buyin:   $25
Add-ons:  None
Rebuys:  None
Bounty:  Occasional $25 bounty on previous winner
Players:  10-20 (average 16)
The Payouts:  1st-50%  2nd-25%  3rd-15%  4th-10%
The Chips: Each player receives 8x25, 8x100, 4x500, 2x1,000
The Chipset:  ASM customs with 200 green, 200 black, 120 purple, and 80 yellow.

The tournaments typically run about four hours (4:00), and typically end at about the 1,500-3,000 level, or the 2,000-4,000 level.

The Blinds Schedule:
All blinds levels are 20 minutes long
Small     Large
 25         50
  50       100
100      200
 150      300*
200      400
300      600
400      800
  600     1,200
    800     1,600**
1,000   2,000
1,500   3,000
2,000   4,000
2,500   5,000
3,000   6,000
4,000   8,000
* break and remove green chips
** break and remove black chips

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