Poker is a historical game; people have been picking up the cards to go all-in for over 1,000 years, and the game is as still as much of a part of popular culture as it’s ever been.
Over the last year and a half, it’s seen a boom online; as casinos around the world were temporarily closed, more of us took to playing online. Poker has recently been back in our homes on the screen, too, as the World Series of Poker was played out on TV with the world’s best players all upping the ante to become the number 1. Poker.org report that millions of people play around the globe, making it a popular pastime in many different countries. But players don’t just turn to the game to win big. Poker has always been a fantastic social activity that brings people together. That was never more evident than during the recent pandemic, with Esquire.com discussing how it helped keep people in touch with each other.
It shows there’s nothing better than getting a bunch of friends around to enjoy the game, and now winter is on the horizon; with the nights closing in, there’s no better time to host your poker night. So, we’ve compiled a short list to help you raise your game and give your visitors a night to remember.
To get people around, you need to deal out the invites. You need to ensure you know how many people are attending the poker night, but you need to set out the expectations. A good idea would be to organize things via WhatsApp, we’ve all got mobile devices, and it’s the perfect place to drop in the details. Set out the rules, the time the game starts, maybe even mention a dress code to add a new atmosphere. Order in some beverages and perhaps, some food too, as most games last at least an hour, you could be at the table for a while.
So, are you holding a cash game or a tournament-style competition? What is the buy-in? You have to have some house rules. Remember, these are your friends coming around to play. Considering the experience of the people coming to play is essential, rigid rules may put off the first-time player even attending or coming back for a second game night.
First and foremost, you need the table to play on. Think of how many people will be playing to allow enough room to sit comfortably sit around, and the surface needs to be flat. Ideally, with a felt surface that allows the cards to slide across the table, the surface would also give the impression of a more serious and competitive environment for play to occur.
Once you’ve got the above sorted, then the final pieces are the equipment. It’s not just about having the cards; you need the chips too. A good 300-piece chipset would be a great start with 100-point chips, 500-point chips, 1,000 and 5,000-point chips too. There needs to be a button for the dealer, and an excellent extra item is an all-in button, so there’s no confusion if someone decides they’re in it to win it. Ideally, plastic playing cards are better; they’re more robust and are, of course, reusable. But if you choose to use paper cards, then we’d suggest putting your hands on two decks, just in case one becomes a little worse for wear.