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How Much to Wager

As part of setting up a home poker game you need to establish the chip worth.

You want to set up your chip value so that each player has enough money to make change, but not so much that you use up all your chips. If you give out all your chips and another player shows up or someone needs to re-buy in then you need to cash someone else partially out.

You also want to set it up so it is easy to make change using plastic racks. The plastic rack holds 20 chips per sleeve, with 5 sleeves per rack for a total of 100 chips.

Below are some examples of chip value and how to effectively fill racks
Game Limit White Red Blue Black Total
Low Limit 20 x 5¢ ($1) 20 x 10¢ ($2) 20 x 25¢ ($5) 2 x $1 ($2) $10
Mid Limit 20 x 25¢ ($5) 20 x 50¢ ($10) - 5 x $1 ($5) $20
High Limit 20 x $1 ($20) 20 x $2 ($40) - 2 x $5 ($10) $50

The rules for playing at any of these levels is generally the same. The ante, which is the initial bet each player pays to play the game is paid by all players. At the low limit, the ante is 5¢ the mid limit is 25¢ and at the high limit is $1.

There are 3 raise maximum (this means per round of betting you can only raise 3 times), and high chip max raise. In a nutshell, at low limits it's $1 max raise, $1 at the medium level, and $5 at the high limit.

So, if you have a crazy hand you are limiting the amount a player can get hurt.

In a typical texas holdem hand at the medium level, if you max out each time the most you can lose is $16.25.

25¢ ante
$4 pre flop
$4 post flop
$4 on the turn
$4 on the river

This seems like a lot -- and it is considering you started with $20 total. But this is rare.

A more normal scenario for a total of $2.75 is as follows:

25¢ ante
50¢ post flop
$1 on the turn
$1 on the river

This is only true if you stay in for the turn card and river too. Otherwise you're in for only 75¢.

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