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Minimum Buy-In

What is a ‘Minimum Buy-In’?

‘Minimum buy-in’ is a poker term. It refers to the amount which a player must provide upfront in order to enter a game. This buy-in rate will be converted to chips in a casino game (often minus the house’s take). The rate ensures that players have enough money to stay in for a good number of rounds. Many games also have a maximum buy-in rate.

‘Minimum Buy-In’ Explained

In poker, players usually stay in a game for several rounds or even until every player has been knocked out, in the case of tournament or knock-out poker. To ensure that they have enough chips to facilitate a number of rounds and to give everyone at the table a fair game, poker usually has a ‘minimum buy-in’ rate set. This is essentially the amount of money it costs to enter the game. However, most or all of that buy-in is converted to playing chips and used in the game, so it is not an entry fee but an agreement to play several hands or to stay through to the end.

Some poker games will have both a minimum buy-in and a maximum buy-in. For tournaments and contests, there is often just one buy-in value and all competitors have the same amount of chips. This is also often the case in social games. Almost all games will have at least the minimum buy-in. If there is no upper limit, players can buy in for as many chips as they like, and they can also choose to buy more at the table. This might happen if a player has a very strong hand and wants to challenge a raise or an all-in. Casinos will often cap the buy-in rate to ensure that play is fair and that games remain competitive and fun for all players.