Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Let's Compare $1-$2 vs. $1-$3 No-limit Hold'em

My latest column for Ante Up Magazine is online and you can read it here. 

Should be appearing in a poker room near you soon.  Or now, even.


  1. Good article.

    Couple of things:
    1) Is $1/3 more profitable for the casino than $1/2?
    I always wanted to know that.

    2) I think you only slightly touched on the huge difference between $/2 and $1/3. Money on the table. At most $1/2 the average stack is $200. In $1/3 the average stack is usually closer to $300. This difference is significant....it puts 50% more money on the table.
    The more money on the table and the deeper the stacks, the bigger advantage to those players that play well post flop.

    You are correct that both games can play very similar or very different depending on those sitting around the table with you.

    1. Thanks, WGHG.

      1) In theory, yes. They get to the rake, and to each level of the rake, quicker. In a 1/2 game, if you have four limpers preflop, that's only $8 and there's no rake. If you have four limpers in a 1/3 game, that's $12 and they can take a buck out of that for the rake.

      The caveat tho is that 1/3 may get you less players overall, as players might prefer to seek out the 1/2 instead of playing slightly higher. Also, they may run out of money faster so the games might not last as long. It's hard to say, I assume the casinos do some kind of research on this. Or maybe they just pull it out of their butts? :)

      2) Well I did mention the money difference but I didn't emphasize because I really think that too is table-dependent. The min/max buy ins for both games are usually the same, more and less. And I've seen plenty of 1/3 games where the players buy in for the minimum or close to it. Or 1/2 games where they buy in for the max.

      For example, the max for both the Aria 1/3 and the MGM 1/2 is $300. Plenty of players buy in to the MGM game for $300, which is the most they could be into at the Aria too.

      I've seen huge stacks in play at both games.