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Q: Poker - how to combine tables ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: Poker - how to combine tables
Category: Sports and Recreation > Games
Asked by: rich2005-ga
List Price: $7.50
Posted: 08 Aug 2006 20:33 PDT
Expires: 07 Sep 2006 20:33 PDT
Question ID: 754084
Assume a game of Texas Hold 'Em that had two tables of five each (10
people total.)  Each player put $40 into the pot and started with the
same amount of chips.  Each table played for about an hour.  During
this time, anyone who lost all of their chips could put another $40
into the pot and buy more chips.  Then, after the hour or so, players
were not allowed to buy back in.  Rather, when they lost all of their
chips, they had to go home.

Each table continued to play until two players from each table were
eliminated...and there were only three people left at each table.
 Then, the two tables were to be combined so that the six remaining
players could play against each other.  The winner at this final table
would take home most of the pot.

The question - what number of chips should each player start with at
the final table?  Should they each start with an equal amount? Should
they start with the stack of chips that they had accumulated when the
second person was eliminated from the table?  Or, is there another way
to do it?

This is particularly important when considering that one of the two
starting tables could have had substantially more buy-ins.  This would
result in the three people moving on from that table having more
chips, on average, than the three winners from the other table.
Subject: Re: Poker - how to combine tables
Answered By: tisme-ga on 09 Aug 2006 06:56 PDT
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Hello rich2005-ga,

I agree with the comment below that the final table should not start
with equal footing, even with the buy-ins taken into consideration.
With buy-ins available, people tend to play more risky early on, and
this will either be rewarded with early success or give others an

One idea for you is to restructure the tables at preset intervals, for
example: half an hour into play, re-sort everyone to different tables,
making sure that the highest chip count and the second highest chip
counts are at different tables etc. This would make it a more dynamic
environment and would solve the perceived problem. This can also be
done when people are eliminated from the game (say every 2 people
eliminated, there is a re-sorting).

Whatever you decide to do, as the host, it is your responsibility to
ensure that everyone understands the rules well in advance because it
will impact the strategy that plays have. Good players will be able to
adjust to any environment

I hope this answer help! Please let me know if you require any
clarification. Good luck!!!


Search Strategy: none used
rich2005-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars

Subject: Re: Poker - how to combine tables
From: jack_of_few_trades-ga on 09 Aug 2006 06:18 PDT
I haven't seen any basis for giving an answer, so this is just my oppinion.

If 1 table has more buy ins then the winners at that table either put
more money in or played well enough to not lose through more odds
against them.  They deserve a slight lead once the tables merge.

I would definately say that the second table should not start everyone
on the same footing... that would mean that someone who played
extremely well on the first table gained nothing for it except that
they got to advance.

If you do want to even things out a bit, you can do some math...
Figure out what percentage of the total pot was put in to each table
and then divide all the stacks at the bigger table by the amount
required to even out the totals coming from each table to the final
table... This would even out the tables without evening out the
individual players.  Just an idea (that happens to go against my
oppinion that you should not take any of the chips away).
Subject: Re: Poker - how to combine tables
From: myoarin-ga on 09 Aug 2006 10:50 PDT
I started this before Tisme's answer and Jack's comment were posted,
but had to leave it incompleted, but here is my opinion, now
reflecting thoughts already expressed.

Isn't it really just your choice to define the "house rule" on this?

Either you consider the play-off at the combined table to be a
continuation of the competition at the two tables, letting the players
hold their chips;
OR you define the play-off as a new match, starting them all with the
same number of chips.  [added: but they should be able to cash in
their winnings from the first round.]

If you expect that it will take about two hours before two players are
eliminated from the starting tables, I would expect that there would
be enough hands played at each table to average out any significant
differences in the course of play.
On this basis, it would seem fair to let the players use their chips
to continue in the final round, allowing the more successful players
the advantage they have earned.

Now added:  Of course, if it is clearly understood that the last table
is separate final match, after the elimination rounds, that is a
different concept, but also valid.  As inserted above, I don't think
the players should be deprived of the winnings.

Tisme's idea of reseating the players during the first round is
attractive.  Certainly in that case, the players at the last table
should be allowed to keep their chips, since they won them in play
against all the participants, making the last table just a
consolidation and continuation of the competition, rather than a
two-stage event.
Subject: Re: Poker - how to combine tables
From: pokerguide-ga on 15 Sep 2006 06:09 PDT
Have the 10 players all start at one table. The problem then solves
itself because everyone has equal exposure.

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