One of the themes in my writing concerning the success of poker in the future is that for poker, as a game, to be successful there needs to be a proper balance of luck and skill. What this means is that there needs to be enough skill in the game so that the expert players have done well over a moderately long period of time, perhaps three to six months, but enough luck needs to be in the game so that the weak players can have enough winning nights so that they find poker fun and continue to play.
When poker games, so to speak, “get out of whack,” from either a skill or luck point of reference, the games don’t last or at least become damaged. This can be bad for the overall health of the cardrooms, the players (both good and bad), and for poker itself.
Currently, the most popular form of poker is no-limit hold ’em, which in my opinion is a form of poker that favors the skill factor too much. But how does the amount you can buy-in for affect this?
Well, without getting into the underlying statistical theory and strategy required for no-limit hold ’em, let’s just say that if you’re an expert player, the more chips you have, especially if some of the weak players also have a fair number of chips, the larger the advantage you’ll have. So, those games which have a higher buy-in than other games, should mess up the proper balance of luck and skill even more. As an example, here in Las Vegas the maximum buy-in of the $2-$5 no-limit hold ’em games vary from $500 to $1,000, and I know of a $3-$5 no-limit hold ’em game where the maximum buy-in is $1,500.
Now this is my opinion, but what I see is that the better players want the higher buy-in games and that’s where they go, and this leaves the smaller max buy-in games softer. Thus, if you’re just interested in making money, again in my opinion, the smaller max buy-in game is where you want to be and the games where the max buy-in is too large, may die out in the future.