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Old 10-18-2017, 09:12 AM   #1
CrazyJoe113
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Do you cap your cash home game buy-ins?

Does anyone here have a maximum buyin for their no rake home games and if so, what is the reasoning?
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Old 10-18-2017, 09:20 AM   #2
darthEez
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Re: Do you cap your cash home game buy-ins?

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Originally Posted by CrazyJoe113 View Post
Does anyone here have a maximum buyin for their no rake home games and if so, what is the reasoning?


I do. I have a wide variety of players - some very experienced with a lot of cash, some novice, some casual etc. Having a cap or range for buyin helps keep things comfortable. For example, one guy could easily drop 10x the “standard” buy in and ruin the game with huge bets. I don’t think he would but having a defined number makes it clear and adds a sense of security. You can refill to the buy in amount anytime or add on if you are under a certain number to make it easier to manage.

I don’t really see any negatives. Feel out what most people want to be able play at one time and adjust as necessary.

If you mean maximum rebuy (amount one person can spend in a night) I don’t have a hard rule but would likely cut someone off if it was approaching an amount that could be uncomfortable. Pretty low stake, casual game for me though so hasn’t been an issue.

eez


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Old 10-18-2017, 11:12 AM   #3
DrStrange
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Re: Do you cap your cash home game buy-ins?

all of my games are capped. Some games the cap is very low, others cap at 100bb and one caps at "match the big stack".

Capping the buy-in greatly affects how the game runs and how much risk a weaker player is exposed to. Low caps protect the weaker players, not only by keeping them from losing as much per buy-in but also gives them a better shot for keeping their winning on nights things run well ( because the better players can't buy in deep and get the whole lucky night's winnings in one hand)

Protecting the weaker player(s) helps keep the game healthy. Having one game a month where the "big boys" can play deeper stacked poker is enough to keep them happy.
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Old 10-18-2017, 11:17 AM   #4
BHDonkey
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Re: Do you cap your cash home game buy-ins?

Depends on game:

One game, we played 5/10 with 500 buyin, 500 add on (if under 500). If you were stuck 5000, we would let people buy in for 1000, or even 2000.

Another game, we play 1/2, 100 buy in. We're pretty relaxed, and let people buy in for up to 300. I think it's a mistake, because the only players who do that are the LAGs/maniacs who go on tilt...they can go from being down 300 to down 1500 within 15 minutes.
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Old 10-18-2017, 12:56 PM   #5
Bene Gesserit
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Re: Do you cap your cash home game buy-ins?

Caps are very good for most home games. We are a low stakes .25-.50 "friendly" weekly mixed game. Our max buy in is $50 or 100bb. You can reload your depeleted stack at any time up to $50 of course. Most folks buy in for $40 to $50. Some do less. Some folks limit themselves to one BI , most will do two. Nobody loses the rent money and nobody wins the lottery, AND they usually keep coming back to the game. It has worked well for many years for us. I highly reccomend something similar. Now if your game is a raked undergroud "home" game with higher stakes, then you might proceed differently.

PS we certainly don't limit how many times a person can re buy , however, that's not good either. So on rare occasions a player might be in for $150 or $200 , but not really that often.

Last edited by Bene Gesserit; 10-18-2017 at 01:13 PM.
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Old 10-18-2017, 02:10 PM   #6
Jimulacrum
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Re: Do you cap your cash home game buy-ins?

I haven't hosted in a while, but when I did, it was $0.25/$0.50 NLHE with a $50 cap. The game played pretty small, but it kept everyone happy, and no one felt like he was losing his shirt on any given night.

I play in a regular weekly game that's $0.50/$1 NLHE with a $20 cap that increases to $40 when someone has $100, and then to $60 when someone has $200. The game plays small for $0.50/$1 for most of the night, but some nights, it gets to a medium-ish size for $0.50/$1 (like $300+ stacks). Every once in a while when the stars are aligned right, someone will kick ass and walk away with a win approaching $1K, but usually no one is up or down more than $200 or $300 on the extreme end.

These two structures are in stark contrast to a $0.25/$0.50 game that I play, where it's dealer's choice with a wide variety of mostly pot-limit Omaha variants (and the rare orbit of NLHE). Initial max buy-in is $125, and it increases to half the biggest stack as soon as someone cracks $250. The game plays big and wild within a few hours, and not only that, but we usually play long sessions (8–12 hours depending on start time, occasionally longer). Lots of straddles, lots of action.

The longer we play, the bigger it gets. I've seen wins and losses in the thousands on a big night. It's an incredible game, but the downside is that it's super-intimidating to your typical home game player. Not only are we playing non-NLHE games, but the $0.25/$0.50 blinds are deceptive. The game plays more like a big $1/$2 or a modest $2/$5 game because of the stack sizes. The blinds are almost irrelevant.

I've played a no-cap game once or twice, and it played similarly to the "half the biggest stack" structure.
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Old 10-18-2017, 02:26 PM   #7
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Re: Do you cap your cash home game buy-ins?

Basically same here. .25/.50, we cap at $100 (200 BB) to give some deep stack flavor without going nuts. About 2/3 of players buy in for max. One night, we were playing .50/1, initial BI $200 but match the stack, the whale busts, rebuys, doubles up, the host matches, well hell then I'm gonna too, and before anyone had even finished their first beer our generally friendly game had more money on the table than the 1/2 at the casino. We've never gone back to match the stack.

One evening I had a couple new players at my house, one busts and is getting pissy he can't match the big stack. I didn't really like him anyway, wrong vibe, so I simply raised my eyebrows and said something along the lines of, "200BB buy in is deeper than the casino. If this game is too small for you, we're not the game you're looking for." But I really wanted to say something like, "If you want more chips, don't make such a stupid bluff," but for once I held my tongue. Not really cuz I'm a nice guy, mostly cuz I like people to make stupid bluffs.

Another time, I had a guy who hosts bigger games come to my wee game, and he shoved blind very first hand, and it was clear within a few minutes he was going to use his relative wealth to bully the table. I politely let him know that's not the vibe we're going for, and he backed off and played a very LAGgy but still within reason level of poker. It really all depends on what you want to get out of your game, and then taking friendly steps to get there.
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Old 10-19-2017, 04:59 PM   #8
Grima21
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Re: Do you cap your cash home game buy-ins?

We play $1-$2 HE/Omaha or Dealer's $1 blind mixed games. No limit on the buy-in, high or low. Most people buy-in for $100-$200. One night, there was about $2,000 on the table and a newer player pulled out $1,500 and asked if he could buy-in for that. I said, "Sure, why not". About 2 hours later, he was down to nothing, got up, and left.
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Old 10-20-2017, 06:10 PM   #9
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Re: Do you cap your cash home game buy-ins?

Our dealers choice game is spread limit. In the biggest pot games, I suppose you could blow $100 on a hand, but that's rare. Lots of split pots and big swings of $200+ are rare.
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Old 10-23-2017, 04:58 AM   #10
Rakrul
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Re: Do you cap your cash home game buy-ins?

I host a crazy game, so I cap at 100 bb or they would blow right through their bankroll before midnight.
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Old 10-25-2017, 05:37 PM   #11
ArcadianSky
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Re: Do you cap your cash home game buy-ins?

I don't.
I used to have it be 150BB cap, but you can buy in for whatever you want if no one objects.
Nobody ever objected, so it just became no cap.

Also, if you're trying to have your game grow limits, uncapping the buy-in allows you to see how the game is growing and what stakes your players are comfortable playing.
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Old 11-20-2017, 04:00 PM   #12
dmccoy87
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Re: Do you cap your cash home game buy-ins?

I cap it at 200BB, the only exception is if everyone at the table is above 200BB then players can buy in up to the shortest stack. This has only happened a few times, usually later in the night.
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Old 11-21-2017, 03:18 PM   #13
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Club Re: Do you cap your cash home game buy-ins?

There have been some legit replies in this thread.

I have hosted/ran/dealt a solid $1/$2 NLHE cash game for years. We allow "starters" to buy in for $200 max. After the game is going, we cap the rebuys/add-ons to 75% of the big stack.

As has been said, your "grinders" keep the seats filled and help sustain the game. I have seen local games fizzle out because they allow the "big boys" to run all over the $200-$300 guys with uncapped buy-ins, rebuys, and add-ons. In my area, there are not enough players to sustain a deep-stacked game, so we have to cater to the "small guys." It's worked very well for us.
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Old 11-21-2017, 07:13 PM   #14
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Re: Do you cap your cash home game buy-ins?

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There have been some legit replies in this thread.

I have hosted/ran/dealt a solid $1/$2 NLHE cash game for years. We allow "starters" to buy in for $200 max. After the game is going, we cap the rebuys/add-ons to 75% of the big stack.

As has been said, your "grinders" keep the seats filled and help sustain the game. I have seen local games fizzle out because they allow the "big boys" to run all over the $200-$300 guys with uncapped buy-ins, rebuys, and add-ons. In my area, there are not enough players to sustain a deep-stacked game, so we have to cater to the "small guys." It's worked very well for us.
I find the "75% of the big stack" structure to do the opposite of what you're saying. Sure, everyone starts with $200 max, but being able to almost-match the big stack is a recipe for things to get really deep really fast.

I play in a home game that starts at 250 BB stacks and has a "50% of big stack" rule, and it frequently gets absurdly deep, to the point that it can scare off less experienced/gambley players. I'm talking average stack depths of 1,000 BB or more and people rebuying for crazy amounts relative to the nominal stakes.
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Old 11-27-2017, 02:29 PM   #15
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Club Re: Do you cap your cash home game buy-ins?

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I find the "75% of the big stack" structure to do the opposite of what you're saying. Sure, everyone starts with $200 max, but being able to almost-match the big stack is a recipe for things to get really deep really fast.

I play in a home game that starts at 250 BB stacks and has a "50% of big stack" rule, and it frequently gets absurdly deep, to the point that it can scare off less experienced/gambley players. I'm talking average stack depths of 1,000 BB or more and people rebuying for crazy amounts relative to the nominal stakes.
I don't disagree with you. It is rare that we have anyone wanting to rebuy for the full 75%. Even so, I have been thinking about lowering the max amount to 50% of the big stack. Most of our players will reload for $100 or $200 at a time, even if the big stack is over $1k.
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Old 11-27-2017, 07:41 PM   #16
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Re: Do you cap your cash home game buy-ins?

The game I host on occasion is usually a 25¢/25¢ round-by-round NLHE/PLO game; for this game the minimum buy in is $5 and the maximum is $25, and live straddles are prohibited. I also use a dead button rule.
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Old 12-04-2017, 12:56 PM   #17
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Re: Do you cap your cash home game buy-ins?

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Capping the buy-in greatly affects how the game runs and how much risk a weaker player is exposed to. Low caps protect the weaker players, not only by keeping them from losing as much per buy-in but also gives them a better shot for keeping their winning on nights things run well ( because the better players can't buy in deep and get the whole lucky night's winnings in one hand)
How does this work, mathematically? If everyone has 100BB one person can't get the whole lucky night's winnings because they are capped?
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Old 12-04-2017, 04:59 PM   #18
DrStrange
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Re: Do you cap your cash home game buy-ins?

Let's say one of the weaker players hits an hour long hot streak and builds a 750BB stack by busting out several players, some of them more than once. Keep in mind that such a lucky weak player likely has little or no experience playing so deep and will be extraordinarily vulnerable to being exploited by better players. Should the weak player also be aggressive, the risk of being broke by the end of the night is higher.

In a "match the big stack" game, the stronger players can rebuy for 750BB and go "bum hunting" for the big stack. This is common in my experience. The weak, lucky player is going to be tested for the rest of his/her session and often ends up getting beaten up. It only takes one bad decision for this to occur.

In a game with a 100BB cap, the stronger players only get a shot at 100BB. The weaker player is still at risk, but it will take more than one bad choice to felt the lucky player. Plus the weaker player is starting out playing 100BB effective no matter that he holds 750BB so the skill differential is not as severe.

The specific math is difficult, but the holistic math is simple. The weaker player loses everything on one bad decision in a deep buy-in game where as he/she gets to make several mistakes playing in a 100BB game and still ends the night with a reasonable pile of chips.
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Old 12-04-2017, 10:23 PM   #19
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Re: Do you cap your cash home game buy-ins?

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… where as he/she gets to make several mistakes playing in a 100BB game and still ends the night with a reasonable pile of chips.
And I almost can't overstate the importance of letting this happen from time to time for the health of the game.

A regular donator almost having a big night and then losing it all to some shark in one big hand is horribly discouraging for most recreational players. Even if the repeated losses before that didn't drive him from the game, that very disappointing "almost" night will tend to make him want to take a break.
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Old 12-05-2017, 02:25 AM   #20
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Re: Do you cap your cash home game buy-ins?

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And I almost can't overstate the importance of letting this happen from time to time for the health of the game.

A regular donator almost having a big night and then losing it all to some shark in one big hand is horribly discouraging for most recreational players. Even if the repeated losses before that didn't drive him from the game, that very disappointing "almost" night will tend to make him want to take a break.
Anyone who doubts the truth of this, I introduce to you the concept (that I know you all know emotionally if not by name): "upstuck". When you were up 1K, now it's just 200, and you feel like crap cuz you feel like you lost 800, when you're really still up 200. But god feeling upstuck is sometimes the worst even for those of us supposedly used to the variance.

Capping BI so fish on a heater leave slightly warm is a long-term investment. Remember, this isn't LCP forum, we are about creating and sustaining fun (and yes, profitable) home games.

Done now. Back to your (at least my) regularly scheduled drink.
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Old 12-05-2017, 03:59 PM   #21
Irunsobad
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Re: Do you cap your cash home game buy-ins?

My game has an initial cap of 200 BBs for the start, then the cap is the big stack at the table afterwards.
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Old 12-11-2017, 07:22 PM   #22
2pairsof2s
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Re: Do you cap your cash home game buy-ins?

In my usual game we play dealer's choice mixed games. we cap the no-limit games at 50 bb's. we don't cap buy-ins.

It's not a big game. It's rare that anyone loses more than $200-$300 in a night.
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Old 12-12-2017, 06:23 PM   #23
answer20
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Re: Do you cap your cash home game buy-ins?

Heard about games where they start with a cap and then the cap increases at a certain time later in the night so stuck players can have a shot at a 2x BI.

Other games may not have a cap but the player pool is smaller so they don't run as often.

For a home game it's all about sustainability. If you have some 'starters' that don't want to play very deep then you explain to the sharks that they need to wait until later to play deeper, but perhaps short-handed.

If too many players run bad while too deep then the game may fall off .. GL
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Old 02-03-2018, 07:36 PM   #24
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Re: Do you cap your cash home game buy-ins?

I cap it at 100X BB, keeps it civilized.
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Old 02-04-2018, 09:13 AM   #25
Bene Gesserit
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Re: Do you cap your cash home game buy-ins?

A 100x BB buy in max cap with a 100x BB rebuy max cap should be totally sufficient for most friendly lower stakes games with steady recurring players. It can help overmatched players stay interested and coming back session after session. Viable poker crews need donators who can still win enough times to stay at the table.
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