Hosting a home poker game is one of the best ways to learn how to play poker and you’ll have a great time too. It’s not that difficult and it’s a fun way to spend time with your friends and family. You never know you might even win some money.
Here’s 8 rules that every successful home poker game should follow.
Find out who wants to play
The first thing is find out who and how many people want to play. You might find yourself with too many friends. This is great for your ego but not so great for the poker night. too many people reduce the speed of the game and the enjoyment level, plus they all have to fit into your house. We would suggest no more than 8 people for our first poker night. Remember it’s not like playing online poker, you are the one who has to shuffle, deal and keep the game flowing. Some people may not have played before and be unclear on the rules of playing poker or unclear about which card hands rank the best.
Organise a time and place
Give all your players plenty of time and notice of when and where the home poker tournament or cash game is going to be and then a couple of days beforehand, give them a call / email / text to make sure everyone can come. This will give you time to find replacements if need be.
Get your equipment ready
You don’t need much, just a table, cards and poker chips. Any old table at home will do as long as it’s big enough to fit everyone round. You will need more than one pack of cards though as it saves on shuffling time. One person can shuffle one pack while another deals the second pack. An automatic shuffler is great but they tend to be a bit noisy. Make sure you have enough poker chips to go round. You’ll need more if you are going to allow re-buys (a good idea so that players who luck out early on can get back in the game). If you’re looking for an all-in-one poker set for your home game, you really should look at this Trademark Poker Table Top & Chip Travel Set. It includes the poker table top, 300 chips, two decks of high quality cards, dealer’s button, and blind buttons.
Establish your poker rules
One of the most important things about hosting your own home poker game is setting the rules. Set the values of the chips, the blinds, how much the buy ins are and how many buy ins each player can have. Other rules can be setting pot limit or no limit and how quickly the blinds will go up. Once your poker rules have been set, stick to them. Print out a rules sheet that everyone can see and no one can accuse you of making it up as you go along.
Start and finish on time
The best home poker games have a specified time frame; most people won’t want to play all night. It looks glamorous on TV but all night poker games aren’t a great deal of fun. Setting a time limit also means you can fit your poker night in during the week rather than weekends and it limits the amount you can lose in one night. If the game stretches on and people are happy then go with the flow.
Drinks and snacks
Home poker games are as much about the food and drink as the poker game itself. Make sure that there’s enough to go around but don’t overdo it. If you are playing for a couple of hours with friends during the week then get them to bring round their own drinks and snacks. That way its an easy night for the host and is more likely to be repeated.
Put some music on but keep it low, you don’t want it to interfere with players chat.
Last but definitely not least you shouldn’t take the game too seriously. No one will want to play with you again if you are being over competitive. The evenings about having fun not screwing over your friends.