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Old 05-21-2012, 09:28 PM   #1
BRISSBRASS
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Theory about Home Game play vs. Casino Play

I've had this theory about home games and how they play compared to that of the style of play in casino's for a while. This may have been discussed in other forums but I couldn't find anything (but I didn't look very hard either). I'm sure their has been stuff written about home games specifically 1/2's being played with larger pre-flop bets etc. compared to that of the bet sizing in Casinos.
The unique take I would like to add to this point that may not have been brought up by others is that of the finite time most home games run.
Whether people realize it consciously or subconsciously I believe home games have more action and larger pots then that of a casino because people only have a compressed period of time to get their money in.
A casino runs 24/7 people come and go and the tables always full. At a home game the opposite is true, while a good game may last till the wee hours of the morning it will eventually break (generalizing here). Some may have to wait to till the following week or a couple of days before they have a chance to win their money back.
Because of this finite period of time to gamble I feel the action is compressed and people are less likely to wait for a better spot knowing the game might break in an hour or two. Therefore they push marginal spots harder getting more money in on backdoor, gut shot, crazy draws, are less willing to give up middle/bottom pairs and are more willing to play any hand.
This is just a theory and i'm sure there are other reasons to why home games play "crazier" (people know each other etc.) then more proper play in casino's but from my experience this is what I have found. Some may argue Casino play can be just as bad which i don't disagree with but i know at my 1/2 home game standard opens can be as much as 25 dollars which at my local casino is blasphemy.
Let me know your thoughts. Most people I try to explain this theory to seem to just brush it aside like "yeah that's cool man" but I want to get some honest opinions on if anyone thinks it might be partial to explaining the unique dynamics of a home game.
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Old 05-22-2012, 07:28 AM   #2
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Re: Theory about Home Game play vs. Casino Play

I agree with much of what you said. I would add that [my] play generally becomes crazier the closer we get to breaking the game. When players realize they're only getting a few more hands in, the stuck players often are willing to gamble it up and get all in with any type of draw, and the players who are up are more willing to call them down with weaker hands because of this. The last hand of the night (at my game, anyway) almost always has at least one all in, and often 2 or 3!
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Old 05-22-2012, 07:53 AM   #3
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Re: Theory about Home Game play vs. Casino Play

The main difference IMHO is the familiarity between most home game players and the usual 9 or 10 strangers at a casino table ( I know there are exceptions at casino tables sometimes)! Where I play in Indiana/Cinn, in a 6 hour session it is not out of the question to see 20 folks come and go at 1-2 1-3 tables some days more! My every friday nite game is generally the same 8 or 10 guys with some part timers and a newbie from time to time. I think this dynamic just about detirmines all the major differences, and the timeframe theory is valid to a point but not the main difference! Nice OP
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Old 05-22-2012, 09:29 AM   #4
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Re: Theory about Home Game play vs. Casino Play

I actually have a milstone post planned which touches on this [/shameless teaser derailment] but I do agree it's a factor.

Another is that home games tend to accomodate deeper sack play later in the session. First, home games tend to spread lower stakes vs. what you find in a casino so people buy-in deeper (less of the 50bb buy-ins in cash games), and second, all the money stays on the table since the winners don't quit before quitting time and there is no rake/BBJ/tips to boot. All this translates into deep stack play which usually lends itself to looser play and more action.
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Old 05-22-2012, 12:04 PM   #5
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Re: Theory about Home Game play vs. Casino Play

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Originally Posted by lanyi View Post
Another is that home games tend to accomodate deeper sack play later in the session. First, home games tend to spread lower stakes vs. what you find in a casino so people buy-in deeper (less of the 50bb buy-ins in cash games), and second, all the money stays on the table since the winners don't quit before quitting time and there is no rake/BBJ/tips to boot. All this translates into deep stack play which usually lends itself to looser play and more action.
I was going to say something along the same lines. I don't think most of the guys in my game think about how deep stacks affect play but I think a few of them intuitively adjust their games. In addition to the stacks getting deeper the game will also become shorthanded as the night progresses. Both of those changes add up to the appearance of a "crazy" game.
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Old 05-22-2012, 01:06 PM   #6
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Re: Theory about Home Game play vs. Casino Play

Here's my take, though I am repeating a few things that have already been said. IMO, all of these factors are contributors to the "crazier" play of home games:
  • Smaller stakes: Often home games are played for relatively insignificant stakes, so players are more willing to make super-thin bets/calls and splash chips around.
  • History: Home game players often have hundreds or thousands of hours playing with each other. Even the worst home game reg will have some understanding of how the other regs play, and that has a significant effect on the action at a home game.
  • Event vs. Always Available: You can, in theory, play casino poker anytime and for as long as you want. But home games are events. Players schedule them and look forward to them. Casual players don't come to "poker night" to fold; the clock is always ticking, and if they don't play plenty of hands tonight, they'll have to wait until next week or next month. Even guys who are tight, patient, winning casino players will sometimes get caught up in the event mindset and go nuts.
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Old 05-22-2012, 02:17 PM   #7
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Re: Theory about Home Game play vs. Casino Play

Event vs Always Available

Very astute, since the demise of FTP my weekly homegame is my poker. Local charity Tourneys and Bar donkaments are of no value. My casino is nearly 100 miles so my trips are not common (besides economics lol) very good points!
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Old 05-24-2012, 05:29 AM   #8
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Re: Theory about Home Game play vs. Casino Play

I think you guys must not live and play in LA because here at the local casinos the action is fast and furious. The main reason why the casinos cap the goes at ridiculously low blind/buy-ins is so the players won't go broke as fast and the house can continue to collect their drop. We also play many home games where the buy ins are equal to or greater than the casinos but the blind/buy-in ratio is much higher so that we can easily start off at 100-200BB (you can start at 100BB at the Bike's $100-$300 buy in with 2/3 blinds). The main reason I feel that these types of home games are tighter than local rooms here is that many of the regulars have a great deal of familiarity with each other.
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Old 05-24-2012, 11:19 AM   #9
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Re: Theory about Home Game play vs. Casino Play

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I think you guys must not live and play in LA because here at the local casinos the action is fast and furious. The main reason why the casinos cap the goes at ridiculously low blind/buy-ins is so the players won't go broke as fast and the house can continue to collect their drop. We also play many home games where the buy ins are equal to or greater than the casinos but the blind/buy-in ratio is much higher so that we can easily start off at 100-200BB (you can start at 100BB at the Bike's $100-$300 buy in with 2/3 blinds). The main reason I feel that these types of home games are tighter than local rooms here is that many of the regulars have a great deal of familiarity with each other.
Yeah I live in Kentucky, where the politicians call casinos Satans gameroom, unless of course they can get their filthy hands on a big enough cut, then it's cool
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Old 05-24-2012, 01:45 PM   #10
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Re: Theory about Home Game play vs. Casino Play

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Yeah I live in Kentucky, where the politicians call casinos Satans gameroom, unless of course they can get their filthy hands on a big enough cut, then it's cool
Over in Israel gambling is immoral and hence illegal unless it's run by the government for "the public benefit" (lotory, scratch cards, sports betting, all offering terrible odds as they are a monopoly)
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Old 05-25-2012, 06:00 PM   #11
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Re: Theory about Home Game play vs. Casino Play

Casinos sessions are like movies; you're in, you're out, and it's over when you leave.

Home games have a tendency to be like a TV Series where there's one long season broken into many episodes. Sometimes the characters are the same, while sometimes you have a new face.

Both have their own objectives and priorities differ. Casino trips are for making money, while Home Games are for being social and having fun. If you make money, it's an added bonus. Right now, I play every 2 or 3 weeks at home games only. Man it sucks.
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Old 05-26-2012, 11:17 AM   #12
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Re: Theory about Home Game play vs. Casino Play

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Originally Posted by Precept2 View Post
Casinos sessions are like movies; you're in, you're out, and it's over when you leave.

Home games have a tendency to be like a TV Series where there's one long season broken into many episodes. Sometimes the characters are the same, while sometimes you have a new face.

Both have their own objectives and priorities differ. Casino trips are for making money, while Home Games are for being social and having fun. If you make money, it's an added bonus. Right now, I play every 2 or 3 weeks at home games only. Man it sucks.
Very good description Mind if I steal your comparison for my own purposes to appear wise to my crowd??
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Old 05-26-2012, 02:11 PM   #13
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Re: Theory about Home Game play vs. Casino Play

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Very good description Mind if I steal your comparison for my own purposes to appear wise to my crowd??
Thank you sir. Give it a try and let me know how it works out for you.
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Old 07-29-2012, 08:51 PM   #14
LiveD0nk
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Re: Theory about Home Game play vs. Casino Play

What about the fact that people tend to get DRUNKER at home games!!!
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Old 07-29-2012, 09:28 PM   #15
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Re: Theory about Home Game play vs. Casino Play

more table talk at home games, doesn't bother me but it def makes everything slightly more relaxed
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Old 07-31-2012, 10:52 PM   #16
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Re: Theory about Home Game play vs. Casino Play

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Right now, I play every 2 or 3 weeks at home games only. Man it sucks.
BLASPHEEEMERRRRRR!!!! Cut out your LYING TONGUE!
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