What is the Buy in Limit?
A poker ‘buy in limit’ is an amount of money which the player is required to bring to the table in order to take part in the game. Players ‘buy in’ to the game with a set fee that is usually 100 times higher than the big blind’s value. Casinos may vary their buy-in limits depending on the style of poker being played and the number of players in the game. Buy-in limits are common in one-on-one or ‘heads up’ games.
Buy in Limit explained
The buy-in limit is designed to keep poker play fair and to make sure games play out for a good length of time. It pitches all players at an even level, allows the house to take its own cut, and shows that the players at the table are good for the money during the duration of the match. As a general guide, the buy-in limit tends to be 100 times greater than the mandatory big blind bet, and 200 times larger than the small blind. For example, in a game of £1/£2 poker, the buy-in limit would be £200 (100 x £2). For a £5/£10 game, the limit would be £1000 (100 x £10).
The game may or may not have an upper buy-in limit. In tournament poker, all players buy in at the same rate and have equal funds to play with – the final player in the game must take everything to be crowned the winner. Other games may add an upper limit above the buy-in: for example, in a £1/£2 game there might be a £200 requirement plus a £1000 cap. Many forms of poker have no upper limit, and are referred to as ‘no-limit poker’ games. Players must met the mandatory buy-in limit, but there is no restriction on the extra playing funds they can bring to the table.