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7 Mistakes to Avoid When Starting a New Poker Club
Starting your own Poker Club can be an exciting experience, as well as a profitable endeavor. However, the success of this project can falter if you don’t plan properly. Furthermore, you can end up spending more money than necessary if you simply buy resources without proper consideration.
The kind of chip denominations you’ll need, how many you have to order, and the dealers you’ll use are some of the questions you want to answer before you open your club.
There are many seemingly small mistakes that new club owners make when looking to answer these questions. With that in mind, we have compiled a list of these mistakes to help you avoid them. Here are the 7 common mistakes to avoid when starting a poker club.
1. Avoid Purchasing Useless Chip Denominations
Every great Poker Club needs chips. They should be one of the first things you order. However, be careful with ordering chips in sizes and denominations that you won’t really need. You need to consider the ante pool, and how the blinds will be handled. When you put an order for your chips, try to avoid small chip denominations that are no longer useful.
For example, tournament chips with a value of 25 that were used in the classic ante system are not particularly practical anymore. The reason for this is that poker tournaments have moved away from the classic system and into the big blind ante format, which makes the 25 chips more confusing than helpful.
You’ll want to have no more than three to four color chip denominations, and distributed in a 4/3/2/1 ratio for every 10 chips. Like this:
- 4/10 chips of your lowest denomination
- 3/10 chips of your next denomination
- 2/10 chips of your next denomination
- 1/10 chip of your highest denomination
So if you have 1000 chips, you would have 400 of your lowest denomination, 300 of the one above, 200 of the second-highest, and 100 of the highest one.
You also want your denominations to be in increments of four or five. There’s only an exception to this for $1000. For example, if your lowest denomination is $100, then the next one should be $500, then $1000, and finally $5000, just as an example.
2. Try to Order Chips with Slightly Different Physical Sizes for Higher Denominations
When ordering your chip denominations, you might think that different colors will be enough to differentiate them. While this is mostly true, depending on how many denomination sizes you have and the color range between the chips it can be difficult to differentiate between certain denominations when the chips are all stacked up.
Looking at the chips of a player should give you a good idea of the amount they have to bet with, but if everything is the same size even the colors might not be enough for that.
A simple solution for this is ordering larger sizes for the chip denominations that are intended for bigger values. You can use smaller sizes for the smaller values, and then have increasingly larger chips to easily indicate they are worth more. This will give you, and players, a better idea of where everyone stands.
If you want to add some dramatic effect, you can even change your top denomination from a chip to something like a plaque.
3. Don’t Buy More Chips (or Fewer) than Necessary
When it comes to the number of chips you need to buy, you want to make sure that you aren’t getting more than you need to. Or even worse, less than necessary.
Each player should start with a stack of about 30 to 50 chips. The reason for this is two-fold. First, you want them to feel like they have a big stack of chips to work with. And second, you don’t want them to have to constantly get change from other players or from the dealer. A big stack of chips to start lets the players use them as props to keep the game interesting. They can spin them, restack them, shuffle them, or do whatever they want. It makes things more fun.
Now, if each player will have 30 to 50 chips that means you’ll need to multiply that amount by the number of entries for your tournaments. If you have a tournament with 100 entries, you’ll need a minimum of 3000 to 5000 chips.
We recommended the following:
- 100 (usually black)
- 500 (usually pink)
- 1000 (either yellow or orange)
- 5000 (usually grey)
For larger poker clubs and circuits, you could also add:
- 25,000 (slightly larger in size than before)
- 5,000,000 - for added effect, you can use plaques instead of chips here
4. If Possible, Train New Dealers and Create your Own Team
New club owners and tournament runners might be considering hiring experienced dealers for their club. After all, you usually want experienced professionals whenever you are running a new business.
However, you’d be surprised to learn that it is actually far better to hire and train a team of new dealers instead. The reasons for this are simple. For instance, with new dealers, you get the opportunity to mold them to more easily fit your brand. Also, a new team will become much more united and remain loyal to the club for longer. Another advantage of building your own dealer team is that they will be more adaptable to changes. You will also have an easier time preventing the formation of bad habits.
Experienced dealers are more set in their old ways, and as such can be less pliable if you are looking to try things that are different from what they are used to. They are less likely to form a strong connection with the club, as they might just see it as another job. You will also have a hard time breaking them out of bad habits that they might have picked up from dealing in other clubs.
Finally, experienced dealers know all the tricks to Poker Clubs and some bad actors could abuse that knowledge to harm your club. You will have a harder time noticing a dealer doing something wrong or harmful if they know how to hide their actions.
5. Use a Good Graphic Designer for the Club Logo and Graphics on the Cards
You have probably heard this before but first impressions are really important. Your logo and professional cards are how you present yourself to players and potential partners, and as such you need them to be appealing and draw in their attention. Truly the importance of your logo can’t be understated.
This is why you should hire a professional graphic designer with a good portfolio and plenty of experience in terms of designing logos and graphics for your cards. It could be a hefty investment, but it is one you only need to make once.
A good logo pays off for itself in the long run. Not only does it increase the likelihood of grabbing the attention of potential players and partners, but also leaves a memorable impression, and it also helps to separate you from the competition. Your logo and cards are the faces of your brand.
6. Do Not Invest in Special Networks if Not Necessary
When running a Poker club, you will need displays that let players see the information about the tournaments or games you are running. Tournament clocks, standings, live statistics, and more are useful information that can be displayed with different setups around your club.
However, actually setting up these displays can be very cumbersome due to the amount of wiring and connections required, like HDMI splitters. A simple solution for these is to do away with the wiring and networking altogether by using a software option that allows for direct streaming to a television or monitor through Wi-Fi.
A great example of this is the LetsPoker platform and app. With LetsPoker, you can use tournament clocks and digital displays and project them directly to a smart TV through Wi-Fi, without needing any kind of physical connection. The only network you’ll need is one for the Wi-Fi itself, which can be set up far more easily than connecting several displays through HDMI cables and splitters.
7. You Can Save on the Number of Chips Required for Multi-Day Tournaments
For multi-day tournaments, you would normally need far more chips than for a single-day tournament. The reason for this is that you need each player entry to have their own chip stack, and since the games will be played across several days the player chips will have to be sealed in plastic bags at the end of each day and stored until the next time the player is assigned to play.
However, with digital platforms that keep track of how many chips the player has you don’t need to seal and store the player chips and can instead reuse them for another entry. You only need as many chips as the maximum amount of entries for the first days.
LetsPoker allows you to securely store that information so you can reuse the chips as much as you need to without affecting the player’s chip pools. With LetsPoker you can have a transparent display of the number of qualified players and the number of chips they have at the end and start of each day directly in the application.
Ordering the right chip denominations in the right amount, training your own team of dealers, and getting a professional designer for your club’s logo are just some of the things you can do to ensure the success of your poker club.
The last thing to do is use a feature-rich platform that allows you to run your club from anywhere and at any time. LetsPoker has all the tools you need to take your poker club to the next level. Working with us you’ll skyrocket your attendance, while also making the games far more enjoyable for your players. Reach out to us today.