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I'm hosting a poker tournament with 10 people and want it to go on for 3-4 hours. I'm bringing a 500 piece poker set for the event (5 colors). What blind structure should I use for this? In general, is there a formula or software to calculate a good blind structure given a set of chips, number of players and approximate playing time?

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Did you use the search function? There are quite a few related questions (with answers) such as this one or this one that might be useful. Search for "tournament" and "setup" or something similar and you'll most likely find what you're looking for, rather than repeat the process here again. – Toby Booth Apr 22 '12 at 19:24

A quick Google search gave me this article called How to Set Up a Poker Blinds Schedule which is a good start for helping you decide your blind structure. The most important factors in how long your tournament will last are what your starting blinds are as percentage of starting chips, how many levels you will have, and how long each level lasts.

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When I first started hosting my own tournaments I tried rolling my own (they didn't work). I tried a few from Home Poker Tourney, that were closer, but still didn't feel right. In the end I've stuck with Foxwoods' blind structure. This setup has let us have games from 5-10 players that last 3-5 hours using 20 minutes per level. It's long enough you don't feel too pressured, but fast enough that we're not playing too long.

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