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How to host a no-limit Texas Hold'em poker tournament in your home

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HPT Poker Blinds Schedules

Here are my suggested poker tournament blinds schedules. One schedule is a 1,000 chip buyin tournament and the other schedule is a 10,000 chip buyin tournament. These are good general purpose schedules that have been used thousands of times and are proven to work. These schedules start out fairly slow and then gradually increase as time goes on. They are meant for a tournament that is about 3 to 4 hours in length.

If this is the first poker tournament that you are organizing, please use these blinds schedules . Do not try to "re-invent the wheel" by creating your own blinds schedule that may, or may not, work properly. Have pity on your players who would probably prefer to use a standard blinds schedule.

You will need three different colors of chips to use these blinds schedules. The 1,000 chip schedule is meant to be used with chip values of T5, T25, and T100. The 10,000 chip schedule is meant to be used with chip values of T100, T500, and T1000 chips. Please refer to my Chips Needed page for a breakdown of how many poker chips to distribute to each player.

1,000 Chip Buyin Poker Tournament

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T1000 Blinds
LevelSmallBig
11020
21530
32040
42550
550100
675150
7100200
8150300
9200400
10300600
11400800
125001000
136001200
148001600
1510002000
1000 or 1500 Chips
20 min levels = 3-4 hours
30 min levels = 5-6 hours

Here is my suggested blinds schedule for a 1000 chip buyin tournament. If you've never hosted a tournament before, this is the blinds schedule for you. It is a very simple, middle-of-the-road schedule with low blinds for the first few levels. Each level is 20 or 30 minutes long and there is a rebuy period of 3 or 4 levels (you must bust-out to rebuy). A printable poster of this schedule may be found on the Downloads page.

My 10 player tournaments usually end at the 800 big blind and my 24 player tourneys usually end at the 1000 or 1200 big blind. Our coffee/smoke breaks add another 1/2 hour to the length of the tourney. If you want a longer tourney, make your blinds levels 30, 45, or 60 minutes long instead of 20. You can also try this same blinds schedule with a 1500 chip buyin if you find that your tourneys are ending too quickly.

If you have many inexperienced players, you might consider 'mellowing' the blinds so that they don’t rise quite so quickly during the second hour. For example, you could make the second hour 25-50, 30-60, 40-80 and the third hour 50-100, 75-125, 75-150 and then continue on with the existing 100-200 blinds after that. This will give inexperienced players more time to learn before the blinds force them to start playing more hands.
 

10,000 Chip Buyin Poker Tournament

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T10,000 Blinds
LevelSmallBig
1100200
2200400
3300600
4400800
55001000
66001200
78001600
810002000
915003000
1020004000
1130006000
1240008000
13500010000
14600012000
15800016000
10,000 chips
20 min levels = 3-4 hours
30 min levels = 5-6 hours

Here is my suggested blinds schedule for a 10,000 chip buyin tournament. Starting chips per player should be 20 (100) + 10 (500) + 3 (1000). Unlike the actual WSOP schedule, this schedule does not utilize antes. Each level is 20 or 30 minutes long and there is a rebuy period of 3 or 4 levels (you must bust-out to rebuy). A printable poster of this schedule may be found on the Downloads page.

A 10 player tournament should end about the time when the big blind is 8000. A 24 player tourney should end around the time that the big blind is 10,000 or 12,000. If you want a longer tourney, make your blinds levels 30, 45, or 60 minutes long instead of 20. See my Large Tourneys page for more detailed information about holding large (100 players or more) poker tournaments.

Printable Poker Blinds Schedules

Create-a-Blind image Visit the Create-a-Blind page
I make the above blinds schedules available for printing with customized poker chip colors and denominations. The HPT Create-a-Blind page will help you create a customized poker blinds schedule that you can print on your ink-jet or laser computer printer. You can then hang the poster on the wall near your poker table so that your players always know what the chip colors and blinds schedule are. No need for your players to keep asking what the green chips are worth! Some of these posters also contain a poker hand value chart so that you are not constantly being asked whether a straight beats a flush! The posters are available in 11" and 14" versions.

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