Odd suggestion

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My son and I started something, and I really like the way it works out.  It seems simple, and unremarkable, but for me it has changed my play experience.  The something is:

Use poker chips to keep track of life total.


Now, you are probably saying to yourself, "okay, so?"  It has helped me reinforce a maxim of good playing that I sometimes forget, and that is that life is simply another resource to be used in the game.  For some reason having that those physical objects on the table works really well to make life feel like just another thing you pay or gain in order to give you time to win the game.  They don't take up too much space, are easy to get, and you really don't need many for most games (even most EDH games) if you use different colors as different increments.  We may be entirely alone in this, but it has really kept us thinking about the game resources in a slightly more competitive way without the distraction of a dwindling life.  It also sort of feels like you are really gambling (meaning taking a chance) with your game outcome at times.

Incidentally we use:
Green=1
Red=5
Black=10
Blue=20
I'm more a fan of the d20 but how exactly has using poker chips changed the way you play?
141434757 wrote:
Thread is so legit it's unbelievable, lol. Though I'm interested in knowing what gain there is to fish here. No, foreign prince, I will not invest in your grand profitable banking corporation.
My son and I started something, and I really like the way it works out.  It seems simple, and unremarkable, but for me it has changed my play experience.  The something is:

Use poker chips to keep track of life total.


Now, you are probably saying to yourself, "okay, so?"  It has helped me reinforce a maxim of good playing that I sometimes forget, and that is that life is simply another resource to be used in the game.  For some reason having that those physical objects on the table works really well to make life feel like just another thing you pay or gain in order to give you time to win the game.  They don't take up too much space, are easy to get, and you really don't need many for most games (even most EDH games) if you use different colors as different increments.  We may be entirely alone in this, but it has really kept us thinking about the game resources in a slightly more competitive way without the distraction of a dwindling life.  It also sort of feels like you are really gambling (meaning taking a chance) with your game outcome at times.

Incidentally we use:
Green=1
Red=5
Black=10
Blue=20



I AM DOING THIS FROM NOW ON. YOU, SIR, ARE A GENIUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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I'm more a fan of the d20 but how exactly has using poker chips changed the way you play?

I think he means that instead of viewing the game as "I'm losing life, I need to kill him faster before he kills me, or I need to get more life!" the poker chips help him see the game as "I've got this much of this resource, how can I best use it to help me win the game," much in the same way a poker player uses their chips. In poker, yes the ultimate winner is the one with all the chips, but the chips are also a resource you use in making plays, as your bets can be used to goad or deter other players from playing.
It's much more visual then a die, and easy to follow for a kid.  I'll try that when time comes.
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I'm more a fan of the d20 but how exactly has using poker chips changed the way you play?

I think he means that instead of viewing the game as "I'm losing life, I need to kill him faster before he kills me, or I need to get more life!" the poker chips help him see the game as "I've got this much of this resource, how can I best use it to help me win the game," much in the same way a poker player uses their chips.


Well explained. 

Both my son and I have been playing for a number of years now, so this view of life is not a new one for us, but over time our play style slips occasionally.  The result is too much concern about the loss of life- especialy when it is self inflicted.
We use pokemon damage counters to mark life total. That worked about the same way as with poker chips. For tournaments though I use paper, it's less cumbersome.
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We use pokemon damage counters to mark life total. That worked about the same way as with poker chips. For tournaments though I use paper, it's less cumbersome.


I rarely need very many of them, though I have yet to use this in a tournament setting.

At the moment I am trying to find an Avery (or another brand) label that is 1" in diameter so that I can print out stickers for the center of them.  I am thinking I will put stickers on one side to use for life, and the other side as +/- counters for creatures.  This will allow them to be marked well enough for a tournament (though I rarely attend them), and give them verstility.

If that works out I may print out stickers for custom creature tokens as well, with one side being untapped, the other side being tapped.
I'm more a fan of the d20 but how exactly has using poker chips changed the way you play?

I think he means that instead of viewing the game as "I'm losing life, I need to kill him faster before he kills me, or I need to get more life!" the poker chips help him see the game as "I've got this much of this resource, how can I best use it to help me win the game," much in the same way a poker player uses their chips.


Well explained. 

Both my son and I have been playing for a number of years now, so this view of life is not a new one for us, but over time our play style slips occasionally.  The result is too much concern about the loss of life- especialy when it is self inflicted.





Interesting. I would probably find the chips too cumbersome to bother with them, but I can see how a visual representation of your life might help. I don't feel this would help me personally ir change my style of play as I don't feel I need the visual, but I could see how some would appreciate it. I could also see some benefit for decks with a lot of manipulation of your life total (up or down) it could be quicker to manage with chips than fumbling with d20's.
141434757 wrote:
Thread is so legit it's unbelievable, lol. Though I'm interested in knowing what gain there is to fish here. No, foreign prince, I will not invest in your grand profitable banking corporation.
I can't use the d20's I'm too accident prone. That and it takes me a minute sometimes to find the right number (yes even on spindowns...). 
True post count: 9,900 Thanks Wotc for not counting archived posts. If I post without capital letters than means I'm posting from my phone. For some reason it hates typing capital letters. Go_Texans on MTGO. Texans 12-4 Wildcard: W Texans 19 Bengals 13 Divisional: L Texans 28 Patriots 41 Another awesome season!

Use poker chips to keep track of life total.



My older brother, several friends, and I used to use actual money.  1 cent per life.

Also, if you want help getting into the habit of treating your life total like a resource to be used in order to win, play some Vampire: The Eternal Struggle.....though you'll have to ebay some cards to play with.  But then come back to MtG.  Phyrexian mana is a thing I was incredibly stoked about thanks to having played Vampire back in the day.

Somnia, the Evanescent Plane -- A 3-set Block
Set 1 — Somnia
Set 2 — TBD
Set 3 — TBD
Planeswalker's Guide to Somnia

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