So you want to throw your very own Texas hold em tournament eh? Of course you do, it’s a great way to spend a Saturday night with friends and family. Texas hold em is a game that can be learned in a matter of minutes, but never really mastered. Playing Texas hold em in a tournament format is not only a lot of fun, but also great practice for anyone who dreams of playing in a real casino Texas hold em tournament.
My friends and I play Texas hold em each Saturday night at one of three locations, my house being one of them. Each host is allowed to change the payout structure and decide if we will have a bounty during that weeks Texas hold em tournament. Most weeks we have between seven and nine players which fit nicely at one table. Sometimes however, our Texas hold em tournaments attract as many as 18 – 20 people. These tournaments require us to use three tables and the payouts can get rather high.
In most cases, I keep the buy in amount of the Texas hold em tournament at $10 per person, with $10 re-buy’s. I also offer a $5 add-on option that is given at the first break (an add-on gives the player 1/2 the starting chips for 1/2 the buy in amount). Once or twice a year, we get a much larger game going where the buy in amount is $50 or more. The add-on is available to anyone regardless of their chip count, but it is offered just one time right before the forth level begins. The re-buys however are offered throughout the first three levels of the Texas hold em tournament. During this time, players who go down to a point which is less than half of their starting stack may re-buy an unlimited number of times for an amount equal to the original buy in price. The re-buys and the add-on option help make the pot rather large, and gives the players a good amount of money to play for.
Like I stated earlier in this article, we hold the Texas hold em tournaments at a few locations. The following charts will show how I organize the Texas hold em tournament when it is held in my home (this is the format that most people prefer).
Blind Level, Time Allotment, Break Schedule and Blind Amount
Level 1 – 30 minutes .05 -.10
Level 2 – 20 minutes .10 – .20
Level 3 – 20 minutes .20 – .30
Break time : 10 minutes
Last Chance for Re-buys and Add-on
Color Up .05 Chips
Level 4 – 20 minutes .30 – .60
Level 5 – 20 minutes .40 – .80
Level 6 – 20 minutes .50 – 1.00
Break time : 10 minutes
Level 7 – 20 minutes 1.00 – 2.00
Level 8 – 20 minutes 2.00 – 4.00
Level 9 – 20 minutes 3.00 – 6.00
Number of Players ,Number of Places Paid and Percent of Pot to Each Winner
1-4 . . . . . . . . . . 1 . . . . . . 1st – 100%
5-7 . . . . . . . . . . 2 . . . . . . 1st-70%, 2nd-30%
8-9 . . . . . . . . . . 3 . . . . . . 1st-65%, 2nd-25%, 3rd 10%
10-12 . . . . . . . . 4 . . . . . . 1st-60%, 2nd-25%, 3rd-10%, 4th-5%
13+ . . . . . . . . . 5 . . . . . . .1st-55%, 2nd-25%, 3rd-10%, 4th-5%, 5th-5%
Regardless of the buy-in amount, the tournament is ran on a $10 stack of chips. At my Texas hold em tournaments, I start each player with the following number of chips : 4 X $1.00, 4 X $.50, 10 X $.25, 10 X $.10, 10X$.05
Texas hold em is a great game of skill and of luck where the anyone’s cards can come on any given night. My friends and I really enjoy the game, the conversation, and the fun that a night of cards offers. Sometimes you are victorious, and other times you feel defeat; this is what makes poker such a great game. Skill and luck go hand in hand in Texas hold em, if you are fortunate enough to get a little of each than you will surely grab a prize at the end.
Good luck, and enjoy throwing your very own Texas hold em tournament.