Buy-ins and Table Stakes
Definition of a buy-in
The buy-in is the amount money required by a player to sit down in a particular poker game. All real money games at EmpirePoker.com have a minimum buy-in required before a player may join a table.
Minimum and maximum buy-ins
In limit games, the minimum buy-in is equal to 10 times the big blind. There is no maximum buy-in.
Example: In a $5/10 limit game, the big blind value is $5, so the minimum buy-in is equivalent to 10x5, or $50.
Pot and No-Limit poker
Pot-limit (PL) and no-limit (NL) games as played at EmpirePoker.com both have a minimum and a maximum buy-in.
The maximum amount a player may bring to the table in an NL/PL game corresponds to the name of the game. For example, in a $100 NL game, the maximum buy-in would be $100.
The minimum amount a player can bring to the table is 20% of the maximum. For example, in a $100 NL game, the minimum buy-in would be $20.
At EmpirePoker.com, all games and tournaments comply with the following table stakes protocols:
No chips may be added to a player's stack during a hand.
In a real money game, players can only add to their stack between hands. While some tournaments offer rebuys and add-ons, these may only be executed after a hand is over and before the next hand starts. Players may, however, add chips or rebuy and add-on during the play of a hand if they are not involved in that hand.
Players may not remove chips from the table.
In a real money game, a player cannot remove any chips from the table during play until he or she leaves the game. This rule applies regardless of how many chips a player has brought to the table.
Note: The table stakes protocols are designed to protect the game. Otherwise, if a player is allowed to put a few chips into his pocket every time he or she is ahead, then the number of chips available for play will be reduced and the action at the table will suffer.