I never know gambling thoughts what will come to mind as I lay in bed waiting to nod off. Occasionally I think of casino games like baccarat and blackjack and perhaps placing a fun wager on my favorite sports team at online betting sites, but most of the time I think about poker. The other night, I found myself solving (yes, that is right) — solving a rather basic poker-playing problem that, I’ll wager, you never thought of as a problem: How can I best keep track of my winnings – or losses – during the course of a limit hold’em session? Has this question ever occurred to you? Sure, it’s not life threatening, but it is real. I just had never thought about it before.

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Of course, we all want to know how well (or poorly) we are doing as the game progresses. But, as the dealer rushes the game along, we don’t usually have the time to figure it out.

Suddenly, the solution to this problem crystallized in my mind – FLASH! It was oh so simple. I wondered why I had not thought of this before. I guess I was too anxious to play and never gave it a thought – never mind a second thought.

The Old Way to Calculate Your Winnings (or Losses)

In the past I would just get a rough count of my chips stacked up on the board, subtract my buy-ins (for which I keep detailed poker notes) and estimate my winnings (or losses) at that moment. Of course, this takes some time, which is oh so valuable. It also takes my attention away from the game and my opponents, who I should be studying carefully at all times.

My New Concept

Now, with the new concept, I can have that desired information with just a glance at my chips. That quick-and-easy information saves time and is bound to make life much easier while immersed in the game. It can only help me to win more often. More fun, too. After all, what is more important when playing poker and always knowing how far you are ahead? And it makes the game all the more enjoyable.

So now, let me share my new concept with you. It’s so simple. All it takes is enough chip racks to hold your poker chips: racks to hold your starting chips (your initial buy-in plus any other chips you may subsequently buy), and other racks to hold your winning chips. When one rack is full, just add another rack alongside. Simple as that.

Place your “Buy-In Chips Racks” on the table, parallel to the padded railing along the edge of the table in front of you; and the “Winning Chips Racks” right next to them, perpendicular to the table edge. (Another plus: That will help prevent those “sneaky” chips and slick, thin hole cards from slipping under the table-top railing.)

When you find yourself over 100 chips ahead, simply place another rack alongside or on top of the first “Winning Chips Rack” and put your new winnings into it. What a great feeling!

poker chip racks

Being able to keep track so easily gives me more time to focus on the game and observe my opponents, more time to gather pertinent information and to make better decisions. As the dealer strives to speed up the hand, saving those extra seconds can help me to think a bit more as I make key decisions along the way. And that is bound to add to my chances of winning still more chips – and to my enjoyment of the game.

Try it out. How does it help you? Let me know what you think.

George Epstein ad

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