Hosting any type of event can be a daunting task. It almost doesn’t matter how formal it is, or is it formal at all, because you want to do everything by the book so that your guests feel comfortable and have fun. If you and your friends enjoy playing poker and you want to host the next gathering at your home, keep reading this article because we have gathered a list of things you have to think about and plan.
The first advice we have for you is to plan everything in advance. We are not only talking about getting cards and chips, but also about snacks and drinks, background music, who to invite, where to set the table, and so on. Try to picture the entire evening in your head because a good organization is everything. Maybe some of your guests have special dietary requirements or enjoy some unique beverage. If this already seems like too much, maybe you shouldn’t even host this evening, because we haven’t even started.
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Okay, let’s discuss some game essentials that you need. This is something that depends on your budget, so if you cannot invest a lot of money, you should go with something cheaper. Yes, having a poker table will improve the ambiance and your guests will want to come back because they will have that authentic experience, but keep in mind that there are quite expensive, so you might want to wait before making that purchase. Instead, you can go with table toppers. First of all, these will not take as much space as a real table would, secondly, they are less costly, and thirdly, you can make an arrangement with your friends and buy one together.
Furthermore, you need playing cards and chips. When it comes to buying the former one, our advice is to go with those that are of high quality. It is just more practical, and even though they can cost more, they are going to last you for a longer period of time. Also, you should have two decks at hand. Although you are only going to use one, it is a good idea to have another one close by, just to ensure that the game runs as smoothly as possible.
Next, let’s talk about poker chips. If you are hosting a game night, you cannot forget about these. Again, when getting these, you should go with those that are sturdy and that cannot easily be damaged. Many people will hold them, turn them around, tap them on the table, and so on.
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A set of 500 chips should be enough, but since these can vary, you can learn more about them on this website. In addition, they usually come in four colors (red, blue, white, and green), and their value can also differ. You can get the set with the numbers you want them to have, or change the value during every game. It all comes down to you and your friends’ preferences.
Moreover, another thing that you should do is to establish house rules before the game starts. This way you will avoid any misunderstandings down the line. Decide how many chips each player will get at the beginning of the game, are there any betting limitations, when to raise blinds, don’t forget about the standard game rules, etc. You should also agree on things such as can players wear sunglasses, when can they go to the bathroom or take a break, can they touch other players’ cards, and so on.
Now that we have gone over some essential things regarding the game, it is time to tell you about different aspects of the evening.
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Firstly, think about where to host the game. If you live in a big house, then you definitely have a few options. Should you set everything in your living room, dining room, or maybe even office? When it comes to making this decision, there are a few things to consider. For starters, you need an area with a large amount of space because you don’t want to be crowded in the room where people have to move their chairs or stand up if someone needs a bathroom break.
Secondly, do you have small children? If your answer is affirmative and unless they are going to be out of the house, you should definitely set everything in your office. If you opt for a common area, not only will you interrupt their nighttime routine, but nothing can kill the game mood like children’s screams can.
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Then, you have to have some food and drinks to offer to your guests. You shouldn’t go with something too fancy, because no one wants to skip the round and miss all the fun in order to eat. Make some mini-burgers or hot dogs, or on the other hand, you can get a finger food tray and include a ton of different cheeses, meats, even fruits, and veggies. Just choose something that is easy to eat while playing, and also, make sure to check if any of your guests have some serious food allergies or any kind of dietary restrictions.
What’s more, people will want something to drink. Again, this is something that you should choose according to your friends’ preferences. You can go with anything from water and sodas to alcoholic beverages such as whiskey, wine, and cocktails. Some people might not be in the mood for alcohol so make sure to have coffee and tea, or something similar.
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Similarly, don’t forget about cigars and cigarettes. Some guests might be heavy smokers and need to have a smoke from time to time. If you are not one of them and don’t allow smoking in your home, make sure to inform the guests about it. If it is possible, you can open the patio door where they can go out to smoke during the break.
To sum up, these are some things that you have to consider when planning a poker night at your home in order to ensure that everything goes perfectly. As you can see the key to the successful evening is a well-thought-out plan. Once you have organized everything it is time to make a list of people you want to invite and call them or send them an email, and inform them about all the details.