The basic idea of a poker tournament is that every player starts with the same amount of chips and you play until one person has them all. To make sure the game doesn’t go on forever, tournaments are played with levels -- after a certain amount of time, the price of poker goes up, meaning the blinds go up. You can also start adding in antes after a while.
There are two factors that control how long a tournament goes on: How many chips each player starts with and how long the levels are.
If you want to play a quick tournament (1-2 hours), start each player with 2,000 chips and play with 20-minute levels. Here is the structure for a quick tournament
For a longer tournament (2-4 hours), start each player with 10,000 chips and play with 30-minute levels. Here is the structure for a longer tournament
The advantage of a short tournament is that you can often play two in one poker night, and is best for a group of beginners. A longer tournament is better for experienced players, and allows a game of more strategy.
Once you’ve decided, you need to assign values to whatever chips you are using. You don’t have to use this suggestion, just make sure its clear and that there are enough chips of each value to go around -- you’ll need the most of whatever you denote as the lowest-value chips.
Common chip values:
A good chip distribution for a 2,000-chip tournament might be: 4 greens, 9 whites, 2 reds.
A good chip distribution for a 10,000-chip tournament could be: 8 greens, 8 whites, 6 reds, 2 blacks, 1 blue
Next: Start the game!