Texas Hold’em is a popular game, so next time you consider hosting a social function at your house why not host a Texas Hold’em tournament? If that’s not your thing, the following rules and information will help you better understand the way a Texas Hold’em tournament is run.
Blinds: Every Texas Hold’em tournament has a blinds structure. In a game, there are big blinds and small blinds, which are posted by the players to the left of the dealer button. There can also be another forced bet every player must post called the ante, which adds more action to the game. For instance, if the small blind is $5 and the big blind is $10 and the ante is $3, in a five player game there is already $30 in the pot at the start of a hand.
Limits: In Hold’em tournaments, even the World Series of Poker and the World Poker Tour, the limits increase as the game progresses. There are two things to decide in a tournament: how much the limits will be and how much they will increase. To determine the limits, make a chart that show the limits – the big blind, small blind and ante – at the beginning and at the first increase, second increase, third increase and son. The increments at which the limit increases can be either regulated by time or the number of hands.
Chips: You will also need to decide how many chips each person will receive and what they will represent. No one likes losing early on, so make the amount of chips fairly high in relation to the initial limit. If your first big blind is 15, then a good number of chips to start with is $1000. Even if the buy-in is only $5, the chips can represent a lot more.
Rebuys or Addons: Rebuys are when you can purchase your buy-in again after you have run out of chips. This is usually only an available option near the beginning of a tournament for a limited period of time. A typical rebuy period could be within the first three limits and normally players can only rebuy one time. Addons are the same thing, but you don’t have to be busted to get one.
Multi Tables: If you’re going to have more than ten people, it is a good idea to have more than one table. Normally no limit hold’em is played with nine players and a dealer. This need not be the case at home. The dealer button and dealing responsibilities rotate and you likely won’t have a perfect number of people. Try and even out the number of people at each table, but don’t predetermine where everyone will sit; that is unfair. Use chance.
Prize money: Decide on a payout structure for the player who wins. Usually the more entrants, the lower the payouts go down the ranks so that even if you finish 20th you walk away with something. If you have ten people, it is a good idea just to pay out the top winner or as many as the top three. If you have 20 people playing, pay out to the top five. The top winner should get the most and then the following winners should get less incrementally.
Losing is boring: Don’t let your losing guests get bored. Plan to start up a side game to keep people entertained. The buy-in doesn’t matter and just give them a certain number of chips per dollar amount to play with.