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Hosting Your Very Own Poker Night

There isn’t a more impressive way to celebrate than with a poker game at home! A poker night is an excellent excuse to have guests visit, enjoy friendly competition, and share snacks with good conversation. It may be a little while until we see a full return to the local pubs and the casinos, so invest in your home equipment now and stay one step ahead!

Hosting your very own poker night isn’t as straightforward as setting up a poker table and dealing out the chips. You’ve got to consider refreshments, the length of your event, and the lighting and ambiance of your room. The more thought that you put into your night, the smoother that it’ll unfold! With that in mind, here is our guide to help you with hosting your very own poker night.

Choose Your Room

One of the first steps you need to consider for your poker night is the setting. Your room needs to be big enough for the number of guests you’re inviting, and it needs to be the right shape to fit a poker table and lots of surrounding chairs. A dining room can prove a wise choice when you’re serving your refreshments!

Try and also contemplate the lighting situation in each room and the potential for background noise. It’s no good trying to make serious deals with a grumbling fridge disrupting the atmosphere! Dim lighting will also suit your activities more, so note your lamps’ placement around the table and adjust where necessary.

Pick a Poker Table

Your room of choice still isn’t suitable for a poker game without a table! Should you choose your dining room, you may find a removable poker table top suitable. It’s much more straightforward to use your dining suite than try to store a standalone table! If you’re definitely set on choosing a new poker table, though, then you need to know how to start looking.

Make a quick note of the spare space that you’ve got for your table. You can’t exceed that space with your table measurements, and this should help you to narrow down your selection. Ideally, you want around one meter of space around the table for movement, so keep this in mind when you’re picking. Other than size, you’ve got total free rein to choose a table where you appreciate the design and the build!

Plan Your Date

Plan a date for your poker night as soon as you possibly can. Let your guests know a proposed date and time as early as you’ve got one! After all, it’s not smart to shell out on an automatic shuffler and other sophisticated poker gear if nobody plans to be there to use it. Guests are always an essential part of your event!

Once you’ve received the RSVPs for your poker night, you’ll also know how many guests you need to prepare for. If you’re planning on playing your games with real stakes, you may ask for buy-in deposits in advance. Requesting early buy-ins gives you an added guarantee that your guests will attend or risk losing their cash.

Collect Your Equipment

Now you know where you’re going to host your poker night and, guests will attend, you’ve got to gather up some poker gear to play the game. 

A typical Texas Hold ’em setup includes:

  • At least one deck of cards
  • One set of poker chips
  • A poker table
  • A dealer button
  • Established house rules
  • A card shuffler 

Don’t settle with the bare minimum, either! Buying three different sets of plastic cards for your poker night is a golden tip. While one is in play, another is shuffled and ready to go, and the last is ready for you to replace lost or damaged cards in your playing set. 

Selecting Poker Chips

Poker Chips

While the function of poker chips never changes, the style and material they’re made from can differ. Most poker chips are made from plastic, ceramic or clay, with plastic being the most common. Plastic chips feel cheaper than their ceramic and clay counterparts, while ceramic and clay chips sit heavier. Clay chips are usually handmade, so they add up to be the most expensive set.

When you’re a newbie to poker, it might feel a bit much to splash out on a set of clay chips! But if you’re planning on setting up an elite poker society in your man cave, you may as well splash out on the clay chips early, so your guests take you seriously! 

Ceramic is the best split between the middle since those chips feel sturdy and prove durable over multiple games. Yet if you really don’t plan on playing poker more than once, plastic may do. It really is down to you.

Buy Your Refreshments

No thoughtful host can send guests away with thirst and empty bellies! Poker games can run for hours, so you need to be well-stocked with refreshments before your night begins. Serving snacks is essential if you’re enjoying alcohol during your game, too, because you don’t want the beers to hit hard! Good poker needs concentration and a serious attitude, which is hard to maintain while drunk.

Explore Food Ideas

pizza

If you’re feeling generous, you could call for pizza delivery during the evening so that food is hot and fresh without effort on your part! Should pizza not suit, you can bust out your popcorn machine for an added entertainment factor. Guests can pop their own corn and add toppings like Maltesers to their fresh batch, breaking up the gameplay and keeping the atmosphere friendly.

If you’re still unsure, here are some simple crowd-pleasers you don’t want to miss out on!

  • Salted nuts (a must when washing down beer!)
  • Bowls of pretzels (for the same reason)
  • Pizza (duh)
  • Various canapes (when you’re feeling classy, but dinner is too much!)
  • Chips and dip (we don’t feel like this one needs an explanation)

Set Everything Up

card shuffling in hands

You’ve made it to the day of your poker game! Since you’ve already put a lot of effort into preparing for your event, setting everything up for your guests should be easy. Consider what your guests may need when they attend, and add little touches to make the night as smooth as possible.

Maybe you can position a coat stand near the entrance, so guests don’t need to worry about their jackets. Maneuvering around the chairs for your game is much more difficult when they’re weighed down with coats! Write your Wi-Fi password down on a sign in your poker room, so you needn’t leave your guests to check your router. Being a successful host means making an effort to be present!

Preparing the Table

You’ve got to prepare your poker table, making sure you’ve got your chips and decks of cards raring to go. If you’ve got a poker table top, now is the time to position it on the dining suite! Shuffle up every pack of cards that you have, and count all your poker chips to make sure that none are missing. 

While completing these steps is possible with guests present, you can jump straight into the game if they’re sorted beforehand! All you have to do to begin is deal the cards and sort the chips. 

Enjoy Your Evening

The only thing left is for your players to arrive and for the poker gaming to commence! Whether you’re hosting your guests in your man cave or you’ve set up your dining room to suit the evening, you’re perfectly prepared for an impressive poker night. Be open to different topics of conversation and game styles with your guests, and see where the evening takes you! Remember, Google will be your best friend if you need quick answers to questions regarding rules.

At The Man Cave Project, we wish you every success with hosting your first poker night, and we hope this guide proves helpful to your planning! If you thoroughly enjoy your evening and you plan on holding regular poker games for your family and friends, we are here to help. Here at The Man Cave Project, we have endless gadgets to elevate your home entertainment. Whether you’re searching for an electronic dartboard, or you’re finally ready to invest in a proper poker table, contact us to up your game.