Question In a poker tournament, what is the formula used to define how many of each chip does a person receive?

I'm currently trying to do my research to make my game as accurate as possible. If I chose to start a tournament with 10,000 chips for everyone. How many denominations would the players receive?


What would be the most accurate chip denomination values and what percentage of each would the start with?

Then if I increase the starting chips to say 100,000 would the players then receive? As a rule of thumb

I'm looking for a relationship so that I can create a function regardless of the starting value.

Expected Answer

Players receive 80% of 10% starting value chips, 10% of 1% starting value and so on..

  • In a home game, I would err on the side of having more of the smaller-denomination chips. The less time inexperienced players and dealers spend making change, the better. People will try to give themselves change from someone else's bet in the middle of a hand and then someone will accidentally take too much and then there will be a minor argument over who shorted the pot... Avoid this by making it more likely that everyone has enough smaller chips! Besides, it's more fun to have a big stack of chips in front of you than to have just a couple larger value chips! Jun 19, 2015 at 18:22

1 Answer 1


In the end it doesn't realy matter what chips they get as long as they get the same starting chip value.

If blinds are 25/50 You should at least give each person 4 chips of 25 If people don't have enough 25 chips later, normally what happens is that the dealer will change the chips in the table with the person who has too many of them.

Depending on the tournament structure(how long the tournament will be) You might not want to give every player 20 chips of 25 because blinds will go up pretty fast if it's a few hours long tournament.

Normally with a +-6 hour long tournament the chips get changed every 2 hours(home games). (removing small value chips (lets say you remove 25 and 50) and round up the values for people who lets say have 75 in chips they would get a 100 chip instead) At that stage the 25 chip value are not important anymore since blinds will already be around 800.

So with 10k you could do something like:

4x  25 =  100
4x  50 =  200
7x 100 =  700
4x 500 = 2000
2x1000 = 2000
1x5000 = 5000

By using less chips for every value it's also easier to make more people play without having to buy to many boxes of chips. And i think also it makes up for some good conversation some times at least when they change up chips.

You should explain to the people before the tournament start the rules. If it's a home game and people don't like the fact that you round up the value, you would have to discuss with them than a better rule. Since you are organizing the tournament you can have your own set of rules as long as you don't modify texas holdem rules(because thats what they came to play for).

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