September 21, 2022

Home Game Heroes: five ingredients for organizing and hosting a poker game

Home Game Heroes: five ingredients for organizing and hosting a poker game

You like casino poker. And you like to play online. But you’ve decided to try your hand at hosting a game at home. It’s more convenient, you won’t have to pay rake, and you hope to have a good time playing with people you know rather than strangers.

Here is a list of five ingredients for organizing a successful home game:

1. Players

You can’t play poker without poker players. With a few exceptions, however, you often don’t start with enough to guarantee a game. So how do you build a player base? Network!

Start by talking to your family, friends and other poker players. Build up your contacts by visiting as many games as you can, making sure to ask for and save the contact details of people you meet and want to invite to your game.

2. Food and drink

I have found that a fine selection of alcoholic beverages, along with a full supply of soft drinks (including caffeinated diet drinks) and bottled water (environmental issues notwithstanding), allows many my players to play. So I have a full assortment of everything in stock.

I find it makes my game popular to also have a good supply of decent food on hand. I serve lots of casseroles, as well as dishes that are easy to make and keep warm for many hours for a large group like stew, chili, soup, lasagna, meatballs, and pasta dishes. I also have a few different cold cuts and cheeses for those who prefer to make sandwiches.

I end with a bunch of dessert type things that are easy to eat – cookies, chocolates, fresh fruit and candies. I find food keeps players playing, encouraging them to stick around longer, feel better about the game, and be more likely to want to come back. I pay for all food and drink by charging a reasonable overnight fee – the convenience is worth it for players.

3. Game planning and notification

Ideally, you’ll have a weekly match with a designated night and a full table of reliable regulars. But don’t be discouraged if you can only muster a full table once every few weeks. Unless you have a regular game, a reliable way to notify your entire roster in advance of the game is needed. Email is usually the most convenient method.

Ask people to lock in a seat before a deadline – ideally three days before the game – explaining that you will cancel the game if not enough people register. The initial advisory is expected to come out six or seven days before the game, with an update every other day. This helps players who have indicated they want to play know that the game is going to happen while encouraging players who have not committed to do so.

4. Equipment: cards, table and tokens

I suggest investing in a nice deck or two of plastic cards, like Ke M, Gemaco, davinciWhere copag. Even though they cost around $20 for a set of two games, since they can last for hundreds of sessions without needing to be replaced, they are actually more economical than spending $4 on every game or two. for two sets of plastic covered games. cardboard cards like Bee Where Bike.

Home poker tables, like poker games themselves, can suit any budget. You can use your dining room or kitchen table for free. You can spend $30 to $100 on a poker cover for your table. Or you can build a nice table yourself, buying the supplies yourself, for around $150.

If you want a new table, there are inexpensive octagonal tables designed for dealer’s choice games that cost around $200. A nine-foot oblong hold’em table with folding legs can cost between $800 and $1,000, or you can spend up to around $2,000 for a decent table with a permanent wooden base. And much more expensive fancy tables are also available.

I discovered that chips are actually the least important piece of equipment. Although it might seem really cool to have a set of Paulson top hat and cane chips like the ones they have at the casino (which cost around $1 per chip), I’ve found that players hardly care at all about the chips they use. Many are just as happy playing with six hundred Super Diamond solid color tokens as they are with the most expensive set.

5. Issues

Finally, what stakes should you play for? It is entirely up to you and those you have invited. I know a group of doctors, lawyers and other professionals who get together enthusiastically every two weeks to play poker for quarters. And then there are the home games which can sometimes have $20,000 or more on the table.

Just be clear and consistent about the issues and you’ll be fine.

Photo: “poker night», Russell James Smith. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic.

Ashley Adams has been playing poker for 50 years and writing about it since 2000. He is the author of hundreds of articles and two books, 7 card stud winner (Kensington 2003) and Win at No-Limit Hold’em (Lighthouse 2012). He is also the host of a radio show about poker. Card castle. See www.houseofcardsradio.com for broadcast times, stations and podcasts.

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Ashley Adams