Poker night is a rite of passage for many individuals. Not only is it a fun and class activity that can be partaken by both men and women, but it is also a great way to catch up with friends as you engage in some friendly competition.
Though hosting a poker night has numerous benefits, it can be a bit hard to pull off the perfect night especially when you are doing it for the first time. Having a little savoir-faire can go a long way in ensuring that you have a successful night. If your poker night becomes a smash hit, you can even make it a regular thing.
To ensure that execute the perfect poker night, here are some things that you have to think through:
Though you may be an undeniably first-rate poker player, you may be a little shorthanded when it comes to hosting the perfect poker night. This is why the planning phase is one of the most important stages of hosting the perfect event. As the host, you need to hit the jackpot on all levels; which means getting the ambiance, snacks and food, drinks, the entertainment, the poker essentials and even the poker players right.
Take your time during this phase to go through everything that is required for a successful night. Create a checklist so that you can be well organized- the last thing you want to do is wing it. It is the attention to detail that makes all the difference between creating an amazing bonding experience with your friends and throwing a crappy event.
Before you invite every Tom, Dick, and Harry, first determine how many people your space can accommodate. If you are strictly playing poker, it may be a good idea to invite between 8 and 10 players as that is the number a normal casino poker table accommodates. Choose the people that you want to invite wisely as you still want it to be a fun and relaxed atmosphere at the end of it all.
One of the best parts about hosting a poker night is the friends or colleagues that you invite. During that night, you will probably spend most of the time catching up and exchanging stories. As such, only invite individuals that will get along.
Don’t forget to include a mix of personalities and financial capabilities. You will definitely need some players with deep pockets. You know; those that aren’t afraid to keep going for a few hands even if they lose.
Determine the intensity of the poker night
Since you will be inviting a mix of individuals to partake, it is essential to set expectations for the intensity of the game. You might invite some action players that will have a conservative and serious approach to the game, which will make it harder for those attending on a ‘purely fun’ basis’ to enjoy themselves.
You might also invite a complete novice that might be iffy on the rules, which is bound to be a problem, especially when playing high stakes poker. Therefore, try and invite a mix of players to balance things out. If you do invite a complete beginner, be sure to warn them about the intensity of the night so that they can try and learn a few rules beforehand.
Get the essentials of the game
While any dining table will do the trick when playing poker at home, having a poker table and a set of chips will help you to recreate the casino atmosphere for the best experience possible. If you are not able to afford a table straight away, you can opt for a poker table top instead. Most poker table tops are 8-player and come complete with individual trays to hold poker chips, as well as drink holders so that you can be well hydrated throughout.
You will also need a quality set of poker chips to set the ball rolling. A chipset of 500 should be sufficient but it may be a good idea to have another set on standby. The majority of poker chip sets come with 4 differently colored chips, and you will need to determine what the value of each color is.
You will also need at least two or three decks of cards. While only one deck will be used at a time, the other decks will be on reserve so that you can keep the pace of the game moving.
Create the perfect atmosphere
Although recreating a casino atmosphere can be tasking, the right setting can help to make your night as close to the real thing as possible. Your room should be dim to create a more authentic casino ambiance. You will also need music to set the mood. The genre that you pick is really up to you. However, low jazzy tunes are a great pick as they will keep you entertained without being too distracting.
Snacks should also be included at a designated table, away from the poker action. You will want to go for simple snacks that can be eaten at a go such as chips, wings, nuts, pizza and so on. When it comes to drinks, it is important to keep your guests’ preferences in mind.
If you are not sure about what drinks to include, you can even ask your guests to show up with their favorite wine or growler of craft beer. Remember to include some non-alcohol options as well for the teetotalers and designated drivers.
Poker night can be a pleasant and super rewarding experience for all involved. Rather than pull off a haphazardly planned event, you should take your time figuring out the specifics. This will not only ensure that you have fun, but it will also allow for some healthy rivalry that works to make the entire experience great for everyone.
If you do it and do it well, your poker night might just end up becoming a monthly or bi-monthly event. But no pressure; whatever you put together, you will still end up having great fun.