Today, many people play poker online, but for decades, family and friends have sat around a table, enjoyed a few drinks, and played a couple of hands. If you’re thinking about hosting an in-person poker game, the first thing you’re going to need is a deck of cards. Which you probably already have. The next thing is a set of proper poker chips, which you may or may not have.
But how many of these do you need to host a game at home?
Learn about the different colors and denominations of poker chips, how many you would need for different sizes of home games, and read through the guidelines on what you’ll need or want to have a great poker night without going out.
Standard Poker Chips Values and Colors
The two most important things to play a game of poker are a deck of cards and some poker chips. Poker chips are made using a variety of methods, but regardless of how they’re manufactured, you’ll most commonly find the following denominations and colors in a set of poker starting chips:
- White: $1.
- Red: $5.
- Blue: $10.
- Green: $25.
- Black: $100.
But these colors may vary depending on which state you play in. Also, there are other poker chips with different denominations and colors, like:
- Yellow: $2.
- Gray: $20.
- Orange: $50.
- Pink: $250.
- Purple: $500.
- Maroon/Orange/Yellow: $1,000.
These denominations and colors are not set in stone. Different manufacturers may place different values on these less common poker chips.
Players are also free to decide on the value of chips as needed, depending on the stakes of their game.
How Many Poker Chips Do You Start With?
Now that you know what poker chips are available, you’re probably wondering how many poker chips you need. At a minimum, poker chip distribution should be 50 chips per person. However, this can also be as high as 100, depending on the value of the chips you want to use and how many you have.
Here’s how many chips you’ll need for games with a specific number of players.
How Many Poker Chips for Two Players?
For two-player poker, you’ll need between 100 and 200 chips.
How Many Poker Chips for Four Players?
For a game with four poker players, you’ll need between 200 and 400 chips.
How Many Poker Chips for Six Players?
For a game with six poker players, you’ll need between 300 and 600 chips.
How Many of Each Individual Poker Chip Does a Player Need?
In most games, each person receives a different number of chips, depending on the buy-in and player’s preferences. A standard 300-piece poker set comes with 50 red, blue, green, and black poker chips, as well as 100 white chips.
Here’s an example of how you could distribute the chips in a four-player game with low-value small and big blinds:
- 20 $1 White.
- 15 $5 Red.
- 10 $10 Blue.
- 4 $25 Green.
- 1 $100 Black.
This gives each player a total of 50 chips worth $400. However, there are still plenty of spare chips available should you need to break the larger value chips into smaller amounts.
Ultimately, you can increase the number of chips of each color as long as you have enough spare, depending on what format is being played and the size of the blinds.
How To Set up a Home Poker Game for Different Size Groups
Some things are a must for a home poker game, while others are simply nice to have.
Here’s a breakdown of some of the things you need or might want when setting up a poker game at home.
Buy a Poker Set
The simplest way to host a poker game at home is by using a poker set. But how many chips are in a poker set? And which set will you need for your group of poker players? Do you need to worry about whether these poker chips are real or not?
There are poker sets that have as few as 200 chips, which can be used for groups of two to four players. The most common starter sets contain 300 pieces — which is recommended for games of up to six players. The largest sets have 500 and 1,000 pieces. These sets are not usually necessary for most home games, but if you plan on hosting games with nine people or more, you’ll want to consider buying one of them. And no, you don’t need to worry about the authenticity of chips. You might want to keep quality in mind though, as cheaper chips may get damaged or fade quicker than more expensive ones.
Decide Whether You’re Hosting a Cash Game or Poker Tournament
In most situations, people will only have the time and number of players to host a cash game. However, if you’re feeling ambitious and have enough time and people, you could consider a home poker tournament setup.
If a tournament sounds appealing, you could follow the standard poker tournament structure, which raises the blinds and denomination of chips as the tournament goes on. If this sounds a bit complicated, you could also go for something simpler. For example, you could try a single elimination format where you divide all your players into smaller groups and have the winners face off at your own Final Table. There are plenty of options, depending on your time constraints and the number of people, so feel free to experiment and have fun.
Consider a Poker Table
If you’re serious about hosting poker for a small group and want to elevate the experience, you should consider getting a dedicated poker table. These come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials, with different options to suit different budgets. Simple metal and felt folding tables are more budget-friendly, while more luxurious fixed wooden poker tables come with a higher price tag.
Set up the Prizes
When deciding on the prizes for your home games, you’ll need to factor in the number of players and the type of game being played.
You could have cash games where the poker chip values match real money. In this case, say you’re hosting a four-person poker game, and each player exchanges $400 for $400 worth of poker chips. At the end of the game, each player will cash in their chips and get however much their poker chips are worth.
Or, you could have a prize pool for cash tournament formats where people buy-in, and then you divide the chips depending on their final placement. For example, say you’re hosting a six-person poker tournament where each person spends $75 and gets $400 worth of chips. When the games are over, you could split the winnings between the first and second-place players, with first place getting $300 and second place taking home $150.
Being a home game, there’s a lot of flexibility on how you decide to do this. You don’t even need to offer cash prizes. You could also offer other prizes that you know your friends and family will appreciate.
Whatever you choose, make sure you decide ahead of time so that every player knows how the prizes will be distributed.
Make Hosting Easier and Play at BetMGM
A game of home poker around a table with real cards and poker chips can be a lot of fun, but there are times when setting up a real poker game requires a lot of effort. Thankfully, you can always make hosting easier with BetMGM.
BetMGM’s online poker site offers excellent cash games and online poker tournaments that cater to a variety of players. These poker games offer a range of buy-ins for different budgets, and there are even different poker variants available for you to play. Choose from Texas Hold’em, Seven-Card Stud, and Omaha games to have fun or put your poker skills to the test.
All of these poker games and more are available at your fingertips when you register at BetMGM.