How to Stack Poker Chips

Learn how to stack poker chips from poker champion Nick "Nicky Numbers" Brancato in this Howcast video.


Hey, I'm Nicky Numbers, Professional Poker Player, and today I'm going to talk to you about, how to stack chips. Stacking chips is a component of the game that most people completely overlook. And, you can often tell the difference between someone who has a lot of experience playing, and someone who doesn't have a lot of experience playing, just based on how they stack their chips. So, let's say, there's a bunch of chips.

A bunch of chips are out there, and you drag in a pot. So you win a big pot, and now you're going to stack them. How you stack these chips is going to have a lot to do with, how easy it is for you to count them, how easy it is for other players to count them, and also, how easy it is for you to manage them yourself, so that you can bet, and call and raise, with a lot of comfort. So, the first thing you want to do, is whenever you're counting chips, you just want to group them all by color.

Just get the chips off the table, if you've won a pot, or if you've just bought them, or whatever. Get them off and out of the way, towards you, and just get them all in one color. Then, after we do that, what we're going to do, is we're going to put them into logical groupings. So, a lot of people would just stack their chips like this, and that would be end of it. Now let's say, white chips are the lowest denomination, red chips are the medium denomination, and green chips are the largest denomination. It's a good idea to have a system where you go low to high, or high to low. Either can work. So, if we're going low to high, then it's from my perspective. So, I'm going to put the white on this side, and because the red is in the middle, the green on this side. And now, some people just leave their stacks like this. You can see they're all uneven. You don't necessarily know how many you have in any one stack.

So what you want to do, is you want to start by setting out five chips. So, if you're used to dealing with chips, you can get very comfortable with setting out five, and then you're just going to cut them against each other. And what you doing, is creating four stacks of five chips. You have a nice stack of twenty. There, we can break it down again, and see that we have twenty chips in here. Now, we're going to size all other stacks, up to this twenty chip stack. And so, now we have a nice, neat arrangement of chips. Let's say we didn't have as many chips, though. Let's say we were short some. So, we're short some chips. Now when we stack them, we're still going to a logical group of twenty, four stacks of five, if we can, which we can for the white, but we can't for the green.

So, in that case you want to try to make stacks of ten, and this case happened to work out where we had exactly ten. Now, we're going to size up the red, against the white. And then, any excess chips you have here, which in this case are not ten, you want to put on top of your stacks of twenty. So, when you get a lot of chips in front of you, you're going to have many stacks of twenty, and then, until you get a stack of twenty, you can put them on top of each other. Now, what you see a lot of people do, is, do lots of little stacks, the sure sign of an amateur player. Just so many little stacks, all over the place, little stack, little stack, little stack.

When you can have stacks of twenty, you want to have stacks of twenty. It makes it easier to count, and easier to manipulate. So, I know, for example, if I'm going to make a bet and I have stacks of twenty, I know that I have twenty times this denomination, here. So, if these were hundred chip denominations, I know that twenty of them is two thousand. And so then, I can bet two thousand. I would also know that ten of these chips is one thousand. Now, I can bet one thousand. Just by breaking the stack in half, even if I don't get it right the first time, I can then re-size it up. Now, I'm much less likely to make mistakes. And that's how you stack chips, like a Pro.

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