Poker news | Jan 06, 2023
How to Host the Perfect Poker Night
By RTR Sarah
If you’re thinking about hosting a poker night, there are a few things you need to consider before inviting your group of friends around. Regardless of if you’re playing Texa’s Hold’Em, Omaha, or Seven-card stud, these guidelines will guarantee a successful poker night.
Choosing who to invite
At the casino, a typical poker table seats between 8-10 people. When hosting a poker night, it is recommended to invite 8 people maximum.
You will want to invite people who get along well with each other and aren’t afraid to gamble. After all, hosting the perfect poker night is about far more than the game. It is a way for friends to gather, socialise, and let off steam from the hard working week!
Know the game
It may seem obvious, but make sure you know how to play poker before the start of the night. There is nothing worse than your guests arriving and you’re still trying to figure out the hand rankings, betting rules, and poker etiquette.
If you have invited guests who are new to poker, set aside an hour before the main game for open play. This way new players can learn the rules without risk and everybody can get to know each other.
Have a good table set-up
The poker table is where all the action happens. The players sit in a circle around the table, and all of the chips and cards are placed on top of it.
You don’t necessarily need a professional poker table set for playing poker, but you do need to make sure there are designated spots for the chips, cards, and players, and that there is a large, flat surface to play on. A dining table works well as an alternative, cheaper option to a poker table, and you can buy a felt layout to place over the top.
Remember to buy some comfy chairs too as you and your guests will be sitting on them all evening!
Establish house rules
When money is involved, it is easy for things to get heated. By establishing some house rules that everybody agrees with, the night is likely to go much smoother.
These house rules can include deciding on stakes, poker etiquette, penalties, buy-ins, if mobile phones are permitted, and whether players are allowed to wear sunglasses. Make sure these house rules are decided before the game begins to ensure fairness.
Chips and cards
Although it seems obvious, don’t forget the playing cards and poker chips.
The deck of cards and chips should be clean, in good condition, and high quality. Make sure you have at least a 500-chip set, ideally a spare one just in case the house rules allow for buy-ins after poker players have been eliminated. You can choose whether you want ceramic, plastic, or clay chips depending on your budget. We've reviewed some of the best playing cards and poker chips on the market.
If you really want your poker night to be one to remember, you could also hire a professional dealer to ensure the game flows smoothly and quickly!
Beverages and snacks
A poker game night can last all evening, so you will want to have plenty of beverages and snacks on hand. To ease the burden of costs, ask each person to bring a beverage or snack to share with the group.
It is good to have a large variety so that there is something everybody can enjoy. Make sure there is a choice between non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages, and there is at least one vegetarian option available. The best snacks are ones that are pre-prepared, like takeaways or finger food.
Make sure there is a designated table away from the poker table, so that nothing gets spilled and disrupts the game.