Poker Night: 10 Essential Steps to Hosting

Poker Night is an Opportunity to Splurge on Decadent Delights!


It’s that time of the week again – you guessed it, Poker Night! Believe it or not, online poker rooms and traditional poker halls are not the primary drivers of poker’s popularity. It’s home-based poker games that really ramp up the game’s appeal. Poker nights are an ideal form of escapism, entertainment and sheer decadence. With the gang coming over for a couple of rounds of poker (and beer and dip), things are going to get exciting. Poker evenings are raucous, in the sense that they are a release from the daily grind. But if you thought it was just a case of inviting your mates over to play some poker, think again. There are at least 10 essential steps that you need to follow when planning a poker evening, including the following:

Make Sure You Invite the Right People


There is no fun in inviting annoying acquaintances, or difficult characters who will ruin the evening for everyone. Make a shortlist of the 10 most colourful friends, relatives, work colleagues or acquaintances and ensure that there is game chemistry between the group. For example, Green Peace activists typically don’t gel well with those involved in the petrochemical industry.

When and Where Are You Hosting the Poker Evening?


Timing is everything. Some people work late, some people have family commitments, some people only play on weekends and some people are just difficult to deal with altogether. Be sure that you’ve set a time and date for the poker night and that everyone is in agreement. There are all sorts of leisure activities that people enjoy participating in, including NFL, NBA, MLB, MMA and other sports. Plus, with spouses or partners it’s always a good idea to coordinate effectively to prevent any tension.

Make Sure You Have the Right Poker Equipment


It may seem silly to stress this point, but do you have the right poker gear? In other words, do you have chips, fresh decks of cards, a table and chairs, the right lighting and the right ambience? Many home-based poker games could be so much better if a little time and effort went into ensuring that the host has the right poker equipment.


But it’s also important to understand what type of poker player you are. In order to understand your place in the pack, it is recommended that you complete a quick 7-point quiz. For example, how many people typically sit at your home-based poker games? How often do you play? What is your typical buy-in? What are your average winnings on a poker night? How would you describe your playing style? How do you deal with intimidation? These types of questions and others like them will determine your poker persona. It’s a good idea to take this quiz to understand what type of poker player you are!

Break out the Guacamole and the Tortilla Chips


One thing gamblers love as much as playing poker is eating. There is no better snack than Tortilla chips and guacamole – this along with beer is the ultimate poker finger food and drink. You don’t want your guests to be too hammered, so keep the hard liquor away and serve cocktails if you have to. Eat well, drink well and play well. That will always serve you well when hosting a poker evening.

Get the Game up and Running


Suffice it to say, the rules should be set out for those who don’t know them and a quick introduction to the stakes, poker pots, rake and game rules should be available to everyone.

Schedule Potty Breaks at Regular Intervals

When the beer is flowing or the cocktails are being downed, bathroom breaks are an absolute necessity. You certainly don’t want your poker evening to be ruined by a handful of players taking off to the bathroom every time nature calls. The schedule should allow for bathroom breaks every couple of hands.

Maintain a No Brawling Policy – Regardless of the Outcome

When it’s time to play, there are certain rules, standards and policies that must be adhered to. First of all, no fistfights, and no verbal altercations allowed at poker rooms – that’s a no-no. Players should be respectful of one another at all times. Courteous behavior is paramount.

How About a Boom Box to Keep Things Exciting?

Music is a necessity when it comes to setting mood and keeping players excited, or relaxed. Find out what sort of music your guests are happy with and get the right soundtrack setup. This will go a long way towards keeping things running smoothly.

Get Some Feedback about the Poker Night

With the poker night done and dusted, it’s time to get some feedback from players. Call everyone the next day and smooth out any incidents that took place the night before, and try and set up a new poker evening. That’s the way to play poker!


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