Our guide on how to host a poker night outlines everything you need to consider, even how to social distance while playing poker.
The current pandemic has forced people to slow down and enjoy being at home more than ever before. Also, with so many events, parties and travel plans canceled or postponed, we’ve all had to get creative in planning fun activities with our friends.
What better way to have fun with your group of friends than to host a poker night at your house? If you’ve never hosted your own game night and don’t know what to expect, we’ve outlined a few tips and tricks below to host a poker night successfully.
4 key factors to host a poker night
Strategy and Rules
Since you are the host, you’ll get to decide the strategy of what type of game will you play. Will it be a cash game or a tournament? What is the buy-in, and will there be rebuys? You’ll also need to think about how to handle disputes. If you set the rules from the beginning, it will help avoid confusion.
The experts at Global Poker explain, “Unfortunately, if money is involved, arguments can and will happen, no matter how friendly everyone is at the start. Outlining rules such as if there are rebuys, what happens in the event of a draw and what happens to someone’s power hand if they are out on smoke break or in the bathroom when the cards are dealt, will ensure it doesn’t fall on you as the host to play referee and settle disputes.” Also, if there are disagreements throughout the night, it’s best to take a vote and rule that majority wins.
With being in the middle of a pandemic, social distancing will be important at your poker game night. Plan to have at least two good tables with your players evenly spaced apart – more tables depending on the number of people you invite. Depending on the weather and where you live, you could host the poker night entirely outside. It’s important to check with your attendees on what they would feel comfortable doing.
It’s also important to remind your attendees if they feel ill or have been around anyone who is sick to kindly not attend. This could affect your numbers and the overall game, but it is important to keep your other guests safe. Plan on being flexible the day of – just like you would with any party you’re hosting.
Provide Food and Drink
What’s a game night without food and drink for your guests? If you don’t want to spend hours cooking, consider ordering take out or pizza to arrive as the party starts. It’s a perfect way to minimize a mess in your kitchen or stress over if the food will taste good. Also, if you are inviting a large group, it’s easy to feed a crowd with takeout.
You could even go with a theme of a “Mexican Poker Night” or “Italian Poker Night” and order accordingly. Also ensure you have enough drinks for you guests. Whether alcoholic or not, you’ll need to provide beverages over the course of your game night! You could also ask your guests to bring their favorite beverage with them.
The most important part of hosting a successful poker night is to have fun. Things will likely stray from what you planned, but just roll with it! If you have any questions or are stuck with the rules of the game, work together to figure it out. Get creative with the prize for the winner (besides the cash they win) – you could even look at getting a trophy made or some other fun keepsake. If you a host a fun party the first go around, your friends will be begging you to host again!