6 Tips for Hosting a Poker Night With Friends


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6 Tips for Hosting a Poker Night With Friends

It can be fun to go out on the town with friends, but there are also times — especially during the winter season — when you’d rather stay at home. But does that mean that you can’t spend time with your nearest and dearest? No way! You can ensure you can see your friends by inviting them around to your home for an evening of games. And when it comes to social gaming activities, there’s arguably none better than poker, the all-time classic card game. 

The magic of poker nights is that they’re relatively straightforward to organize. With a few supplies and a bit of organization, you’ll be well on your way towards hosting successful poker nights at home. Let’s take a look at some key steps.

Keep the Invitation List Small

You might be lucky enough to have dozens of friends, but when it comes to poker evenings, it’s best to keep the invite list relatively small. You can play poker with up to ten players, but it’s generally best to keep it to around 4/5/6 players when you’re hosting at home. It’ll help to keep the game flowing. 

What You’ll Need

Do you have a large table and enough chairs for your guests? Then you’re halfway there towards having everything you need to host a poker night. Beyond that, you’ll need to have a deck of cards (ideally a good deck that isn’t falling apart) and poker chips, both of which are easy to find. It can also be handy to have a poker cloth for your table. It’s not essential, but it can help set the scene. 

Understanding the Game

Hosting a poker night can sound like a good idea, but remember that there is a higher-than-average level of complexity to this game. Uno, this is not. As such, it’s important to have a thorough understanding of the poker rules, not just for your sake, but to avoid any confusion among your guests. If you’re relatively new to the game, then it’s advisable to play a few rounds online before your planned game tonight to ensure you’re ready for action when people arrive. If you know that your friends are all beginners — or haven’t played in a while — then recommend that they do the same. You may also print out the rules so you can easily refer to them during gameplay; it’s much better than having everyone looking at their smartphones. 

Create House Rules

Understanding the rules of the game is one thing. Establishing house rules is another. Every casino has its own list of rules, and your home should too. It’s especially important to do this if you’re playing with friends who are newcomers to the game. 

Some rules that can lead to a successful poker night include:

  • Players must play for a set period of time (at least a couple of hours).
  • Don’t comment on the game if it’s not your turn.
  • Play as quickly as possible. No one likes an overly slow player!
  • Have a good attitude.

The rules you choose will depend on your needs, but in general, it’s best to try to retain some sense of control and order. 

Create House Rules

Provide Snacks and Drinks

A friendly night of poker should last a few hours, so it’s best to provide a few snacks and drinks to ensure that everyone feels comfortable. Plus, it’ll just make it more of an occasion. You can also consider ordering pizza or other takeout food or asking players to bring a dish to share. If people’s basic needs have been taken care of, they’ll be more likely to settle in for a few hours of game time. 

Make it a Weekly Thing

It takes time for people to get into the rhythm of poker. You and your friends will find that your poker evenings are much more successful if you play regularly, so why not consider making it a weekly event? It’s a great excuse to get together, and they’re also easy to organize, as we’ve seen. 

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