How to run a home poker tour

A poker tour typically is a series of home poker tournaments, how often you have your tournaments (monthly, weekly or bi-monthly) is up to you. Exactly how you run each home poker tournament will depend on the chips you have, the number of players, the time you all have available and personal preference. Below are some general guidelines and our experiences on structures, players per table, chip counts and payouts. For more detailed information on structures and rules www.homepokertourney.com is a great resource.

TOURNEY STRUCTURE
There are many ways to run your home game and it's up to you on what structure you ultimately choose to go with. Here are a couple examples of how we run our weekly home poker tournaments and we've found them to work quite well.

PLAYERS PER TABLE
We typically like to play with 8 or 9 players per table but no more that 10 max. We keep the tables balanced; as players are eliminated another player may be moved to the short table. This continues until we are able to merge tables to tables of 8-10 each or a final table of 10.

STARTING WITH $10,000
If we are playing with chips with higher denominations, which we typically do, we'll start with $10,000 in chips. If your chips have denominations on them then go with that otherwise just assign the chip colors you have to each value.

Chip breakdown with $10000

  • 10 x $100 chips
  • 10 x $500 chips
  • 4 x $1000 chips

This breakdown seems to work the best for us and there in less color-up later in the game. We start with $100/200 blinds and raise them every 15 minutes.

BLINDS STRUCTURE ($10,000 CHIPS)
This is a sample blind structure that raises are every15 minutes. We typically don't use an ante at any point but you may choose to if there is not enough action.

  • Level 1 $100/200
  • Level 2 $200/400
  • Level 3 $300/600
  • Level 4 $400/800
  • Level 5 $500/1000
  • Level 6 $600/1200
  • Level 7 $1000/2000
  • Level 8 $1500/3000
  • Level 9 $2000/4000
  • Level 10 $2500/5000
  • Level 11 $3000/6000
  • Level 12 $3500/7000
  • Level 13 $4000/8000
  • Level 14 $4500/9000
  • Level 15 $5000/10000
  • Level 16 $6000/12000
  • Level 17 $8000/16000
  • Level 18 $10000/20000

STARTING WITH $1000
If you have chips with smaller or no denominations you might run your tourney with $1000 of starting chips and start with $5/10 starting blinds. Raising the blinds every 15 minutes works nicely with this structure.

Chip breakdown with $1000

  • 10 x $5 chips
  • 10 x $10 chips
  • 6 x $25 chips
  • 6 x$50 chips
  • 4 x $100 chips

BLINDS STRUCTURE ($1000 CHIPS)

  • Level 1 $5/10
  • Level 2 $10/20
  • Level 3 $15/30
  • Level 4 $25/50
  • Level 5 $50/100
  • Level 6 $75/150
  • Level 7 $100/200
  • Level 8 $150/300
  • Level 9 $200/400
  • Level 10 $300/600
  • Level 11 $400/800
  • Level 12 $500/1000
  • Level 13 $600/1200
  • Level 14 $800/1600
  • Level 15 $1000/2000
  • Level 16 $1500/3000
  • Level 17 $2000/4000
  • Level 18 $3000/6000

BUY-IN
Buy-in obviously should be whatever your group is most interested in spending in each game. Our tournaments are weekly for the entire year so we tend to go with a lower buy-in of $10-$20 with an occasional $50. For people who are interested in more than a $10 buy-in on a night where we have a $10 buy-in we offer a "survivor pot" for whoever chooses to, can put in another $10 into a side pot which is winner-take-all to whoever survives the longest in the home poker tourney.

PAYOUT AND POINTS

Payout structure can be whatever you like. To make life easy you can use our Point and Payout Calculator or if you prefer to do the math yourself below is a percentage general payout structure. For points we normally give last place 1 point, and then an additional point for every additional spot, with bonus points for finishing in the money.

1-10 players

  • 1st 50%
  • 2nd 30%
  • 3rd 20%

11-20 players

  • 1st 50%
  • 2nd 25%
  • 3rd 15%
  • 4th 10%

21-30 players

  • 1st 50%
  • 2nd 20%
  • 3rd 15%
  • 4th 10%
  • 5th 5%

On a low buy-in game we like to get at least 50% of the pot to the winner. We basically start with these % guidelines but will adjust a little here and there depending on game size and buy-in amount.

Track your results on our printable result sheet.

END OF SEASON CHAMPIONSHIP
At the end of the season have a home poker championship game for the top X players. If you have 50 players in your league let the top 15 or so in to the championship and then have a play-in game for everyone else to keep it interesting. The winner of they play-in game gets to play in the championship game too. This is a great way to round out a season.



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