Explanation of Colouring Up

Colouring up means to exchange a quantity of smaller denomination chips for larger denomination chips. For example, a hundred $1 chips could be exchanged for one $100 chip.This swap happens both in tournaments and cash games to prevent unmanageably large stacks. It’s also safer to carry a smaller amount of chips to the cashier when leaving a live venue. 

Example of Colour Up used in a sentence -> After winning a huge cash game pot, the casino requested that he colour up. 

Colouring Up Poker Strategy

Colouring up does not affect poker strategy directly. Instead, players and casinos use this method to keep the poker action as smooth as possible. Say a player has a big winning streak in a cash game. Possiblytheir chip stack can become uncomfortably large to the point where it’s unmanageable. At this point he, the floor, or any of the other players might request a colour up. Smaller casinos could potentially need to request a colour up if there is a shortage of small denomination chips in circulation.

Large tournaments usually require all players to colour up at set intervals. The size of blinds in the later tournament rounds is often significantly larger than in the earlier rounds. Players would have to use a handful of chips simply to pay the antes/blinds. It’s common for the smallest denomination of chip available to be the same size as the ante. Anything smaller is removed during the colour up request. 

See Also

Cash Game, Tournament, Ante, Blind
 

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