Poker Face How To Host A PokerNight-01

Introduction

1Introduction How to Start a Regular Poker Night

A poker night is more than just a table and a pack of playing cards. If you’re here, you’re interested in starting a poker night and we’re here to help. 

We’re going to go through everything that goes into a poker night, not just any old poker night, but a good one that you can host regularly and impress your friends every single time.

Like with any social event, you’ll want to plan ahead and have an idea of how the night is going to go beforehand. 

In fact, since money is involved, you’ll want to strategize for a poker night even more than you would with a casual social gathering. 

Also, keep in mind that poker is a psychological game that demands a controlled environment so that everyone can be at their best.

With that in mind, we’ve covered what you need to know and do before the night, as well as what equipment you’ll need. 

We’ve described the most popular poker types that everyone can play after a little time spent learning, and how to pick which of your friends you invite to the big night too. 

There’s also some advice on beverages and other amenities you’ll want to include to make the night more enjoyable for everybody.

Plan Well

1Plan WellSo, let’s get into your poker plan. 

This whole guide will help you plan out the perfect poker night step by step, but for now, we’ll start with a brief overview of what you want to cover. 

You want to have some kind of plan for each of these points:

  • Knowledge of how to play
  • Which type of poker you’ll be playing
  • A poker table, cards, and chips
  • Your guests and the tone of the game
  • Food and drink
  • Other amenities
  • Music choice

The first points should be self-evident. You need to have some knowledge of poker when you start playing, as should your friends. 

We’re not asking you all to become card sharks before ever gathering in a room, there’s fun in going through the learning process together during more casual gatherings, but you all must be dedicated to learning. 

Nothing kills a game more than when nobody knows what they’re doing.

You’ll all need to agree on which type of poker you’re playing, obviously, and you as the host will need to have all the cards and chips that’ll be needed. A suitably-sized table will also be needed. 

Maybe you have one that’s large enough already but if not, you’ll want one that can accommodate you, your guests, and all the clutter that’s expected to build up over the night, chip stacks included.

You’ll want to have a lot of communication with your guests so that everyone knows what the score is. Where money may be involved, you don’t want anyone in the dark as to what’s expected on the night. 

Try to organize things pretty far in advance too, to avoid last-minute cancellations or other unpredictable plan changes that we’re all too familiar with when organizing any social gathering.

It’s a poker night, so you’ll want to have food and drink for people to pick at as the evening rolls along. You don’t need much, and we’ve gone into what you can do in more detail later, you just need to keep them hydrated and not hungry. 

Also consider any other amenities or consumables, like alcohol or cigars if you or anyone else in your group partake of those. 

You know your friend group more than we do, so ask yourself if there are other things you can add to the night that’ll keep them happy.

Finally, some music can go well with the evening. Again, if you and your friend group share some musical tastes then you can cater to that, but there is a reason that jazz and other background music styles are popular for poker nights. 

You don’t want some hectic drum and bass or soppy ballad distracting you all from the game and the conversation you’re having, so keep any music low and in the background for smooth listening.

A great way to plan your night is to simply imagine how it’s going to go. Ask yourself questions at every step. For example, you meet them at the door. Okay, what’s next? What if people are late? 

When do you start without them? When are snacks and drinks available? Do you have backups if you run out? These are the things you’ll be expected to have covered as a host. Just think through the night and prepare for any hiccups accordingly.

Know the Game

2Know the GameIt’s your responsibility as the host to know more about the game if you’re playing with a bunch of newbies. If one of the boys knows poker too then that’s great, you have a co-pilot, but you should still learn too. 

It’d be rude to invite someone over for a poker night and hoodwink them into teaching you all how to play, after all. 

If you’re all totally new, you’re fortunate in that you all have smartphones to consult should things go off the rails, but this doesn’t change the fact that you should know most and be able to confidently guide them through the game.

So, what do you need to know? If you have four main things covered then everything else should fall into place – game terminology, hand rankings, game rules, and betting flow. Let’s go through some of the key phrases in alphabetical order.

  • All-In – You’ve seen this already in movies. It’s where a player puts all their chips into the pot, so they either win it all back or go bust.
  • Ante – This is the small bet that everybody needs to contribute to before any hands get dealt.
  • Bad Beat – Bad beats are where you’re unlucky. By the numbers, the probability of you winning was high yet, despite the odds, the community cards went against you. 
  • Blind – Blinds are the chips that get put down so that there’s money in the pot before each hand starts, along with the ante. There are two, the big and the small blind, that rotates around the table so that everyone puts money down for them.
  • Board – The board is used to refer to the community cards that are laid out on the table. You’ll use these in combination with the cards you hold to create the best hand.
  • Burn – The burn is where you discard the top card on the deck before each round of betting. This is used to add unpredictability to the game and it’s just to ensure there are no identifying marks on the card or the card beneath it that’ll get dealt.
  • Call – Calling is where you give the minimum amount of money to stay in the hand.
  • Check – If there’s no action for you to take, you can’t call. In this case, you’d check, though you’ll need to take action if there’s action from the other players during the same betting round.
  • Community Cards – These are the cards that face up on your table, where everyone can use them to construct the best hand.
  • Dealer – This is the player who’s going to be shuffling the deck and dealing the cards, hence the name.
  • Flop – These are the first three community cards that get dealt after the first betting round.
  • Flush – This is where a poker hand has five cards belonging to the same suit.
  • Fold – When you don’t want to call, check, or raise, you have to fold by placing your cards face down on the table. This is admitting defeat, so you lose any bets you put into your pot, but it’s better than carrying on with a bad hand and losing more money.
  • Hand – These are the five cards you use to win. A hand is the pocket cards that you hold combined with community cards.
  • Limit – Exactly what it means in any other context, a limit caps bets and raises at an amount that the group decides on.
  • Pot-Limit – This is simply a limit on the raises themselves that can take place, meaning that the maximum allowable bet is equivalent to the size of the current pot.
  • Raise – A raise is where you wager more than the call. By raising, subsequent players need to match your raise, they can’t stick to the call.
  • River – Where the flop is the first three community cards, the river is the final fifth one.
  • Tell – A tell is a behavior pattern that can give insight into the player’s hand. Stereotypical examples include a scratch of the nose when they have good pocket cards but learning someone’s tell can be a great way to detect whether they have a strong or a weak hand. You can train yourself to hide your tells and become a better player, too.
  • Tilt – When someone’s on tilt, they start to play recklessly. This is usually after repeated losses or a bad beat and can be an indication that the mind games of the poker night have got to them.
  • Turn – Where the flop is the first three community cards and the river is the fifth, the turn is the fourth community card that gets added.

Once you’re familiar with these terms, you’ll also want to learn hand rankings and the general rules of the game. Familiarizing yourself with hand rankings is easy thanks to resources that can be found online. 

The rules can include etiquette too. Some etiquette is purely traditional, or they make more sense in a professional setting, but others serve a more practical purpose, like keeping your cards in full view of everyone at the table at all times to avoid suspicion. 

The rules will change depending on which specific type of poker you’re playing too, but we’ve talked about those further in this guide.

Betting flow is just the order that people place bets as a hand progresses. 

This can change with styles and any limits placed on your game but, after the ante and the blinds are down, the progression of a betting round usually stays the same. 

You can bet if you’re the first player taking action in the round while subsequent players have the choice of calling, checking, or folding.

Newbs vs. Card Sharks

3Newbs vs. Card SharksChances are that your friend group aren’t already poker pros, which can make a poker night an intimidation proposition for them. 

This is only doubled if it’s known that you or another member of the group knows poker since they’ll feel outgunned. 

Below you can find a whole section dedicated to choosing the right guests but for now, we’ll add that there are ways to accommodate newbies so that everyone feels comfortable.

We’d advise you to try four strategies:

  1. This one’s simple enough, just remind the troubled guest that most, if not all of you, are amateurs. Tell them you’ll walk them through it and that the night is about fun, not taking the game too seriously.
  2. If you do promise to walk them through the rules of poker, you need to actually deliver on that promise. A great way to do this is to have inexperienced players do a dry run an hour before the real fun starts.
  3. If they’re worried about the finance side of things, setting limits beforehand can be a great way to manage expectations. You can set limits on bets, raises, and the total pot. You can also limit buy-ins if you’re planning on having buy-ins at all.
  4. Lastly, don’t put pressure on anybody. A skeptical friend can still swing by and see how the game is played without joining, just make sure that they have something to drink. If they end up joining later in the night, great. If not, they’ll be more confident and might join at a future poker night.

These can be great ways to equalize the playing field when some of your group know how to play poker and the others don’t. 

The general intensity of the poker game will depend on the collective skill of your playing group. When you’re all beginners, you can be more relaxed with the rules and slip-ups will be more tolerated, you are learning after all. 

If you’re a bunch of skilled players, however, you can expect the rules to be closely followed and the general tone of the game to be more intense. 

This won’t usually be as intense as a professional tournament, you’re all still friends and the goal is to have fun, but it’s common courtesy to warn any newcomers that your games can get a little intense.

What You Need to Get Started​

2What You Need to Get Started

Now that we’ve covered some of the information you’ll need to know, let’s go through what you’ll need to get started. 

You can get started with poker by having two things, a poker set, and a timer. A pack of cards is simple enough, so let’s get into the other two in more detail.

Poker Set

4Poker setpoker set is exactly what it sounds like, a convenient kit that holds all of the items you need to get an actual poker game running.

A poker set needs to have:

  • A deck or two of French-suited playing cards
  • A number of poker chips in several colors
  • Buttons for the dealer, small blinds, and big blinds

The cards are simple enough, French-suited cards are just the playing cards that everyone uses, the ones that are separated into clubs, diamonds, hearts, and spades. 

We all know what a pack of playing cards looks like, all you should really look for is that the cards are one-sided and thick enough that they won’t become transparent when held up against a light.

The number of poker chips in your poker set can vary depending on a few things. It’ll usually be the size of your group and the general quality of the set. 

A set can have as few as 100 and as many as 1000 chips, with 300 and 500 being nice mid-range stops along the way. We’d recommend that you get 300 if you have six players, 500 for ten players, and 1000 for as many as thirty players.

You need to consider more than just how many poker chips you’re stocking, however. 

The material quality of the chips will dictate how much the poker set sets you back, so you need to decide how much you can afford and whether your friends will make fun of you for having little plastic ones.

Plastic chips are cheap, lightweight, and probably many poker players’ first contact with poker chips when they were younger. 

If you’re just trying poker and there’s every chance that you and your friends will abandon regular poker nights, buying cheaper chips can be a great way to future proof against a loss of interest.

Otherwise, we’d recommend you get either ceramic, clay composite, or imitation clay chips. These feel more like chips and have more weight to them, which is what you want to remind yourself that you’re playing with real money and not checkers. 

You’ll also want them to be in three or four solid colors so that they can have different values when betting. 

Chip customization is an option too, though it only makes sense to build up to customized chips after already establishing your poker night and having great success with it since chips with art and other designs on them are always more expensive.

Timer

5TimerA poker timer does more than just keep time. 

We’ve discussed the importance of keeping time later in this guide, but a timer essentially manages how long a game can be by allowing you to set an ante and blind ratio. 

Some advanced timers can work in reverse, so you put in the ante and small/big blind amounts and it’ll calculate how long the game can take. 

It’ll also include break times if you want them to.

If you want a timer that just keeps the game moving at a brisk pace, you’ll want something like a shot clock, though this is best implemented by an experienced player group to keep the game more interesting. 

Otherwise, it’s possible to find decent poker timers online. Just get your laptop and make sure it has room to breathe on your table, and you can set up a poker timer on there.

Playing the Game: A Table and Chips​

3Playing the GameA Table and Chips-04

So, you’ve got the background knowledge, a set, and maybe even a timer set up. Now it’s time to work out the logistics of your poker game. Any old table can work for poker though some purists swear by having a bona fide poker table

If one of the gang has one lying around, or maybe a relative has one that hasn’t seen some use for a while, we’d say to use that. Otherwise, there’s no need to spend cash on a poker table just yet, use your dining table and you can always upgrade later.

A good compromise between a domestic table and a poker table is a table topper. 

This is a mat that fixes to the surface of your table to give it the poker table aesthetic, and many come with markings on them that help you to strategize your poker game layout. 

If cost is an issue, you can always split the cost between your friend group, though table toppers are by far the more budget-friendly option when compared to a dedicated table.

Provided that you’ve got a chip set that has multiple colors, you’ll need to all decide on which colors mean which amounts. You don’t want one of your friends throwing a $50 chip into the pot when he thought he was throwing a $5. 

There’s no real standard here, it doesn’t matter as long as you all agree on and understand the values. Since most chip sets have four colors, you’ll want to have four values that you agree on. Here’s an example:

  • White = $5
  • Blue = $10
  • Green = $25
  • Red = $50

These values are on the higher side for most home poker games, so you’ll want to adjust accordingly depending on how much the group is capable of betting. 

For example, your upper limit could be $25, so the two middle chips will explore values between $5 and $25. It’s entirely up to you. If you’re the analytical type, some have devised formulae for deciding chip value.

Establish House Rules Beforehand

6Establish House Rules BeforehandTo avoid misunderstanding, you should have house rules.

There are a lot of rules depending on game type or level of professionality, so the established house rules are the ones that you’re enforcing. 

Like we said before, a gang of newbies won’t be as stringent about certain points of etiquette so the house rules will be more chill, but this should be communicated clearly to your group.

It’s not so much about which rules you can pick, it’s more important that everybody understands the rules that have been picked and agree to operate by them. 

Do you want a penalty for betting when it’s not your turn? Can players buy back into a game? When do the blinds get raised? You need to hammer out the answers to these questions before the game starts.

Do the same for etiquette. Are sunglasses allowed? Are phones allowed on the table? You can find suggestions for your home game house rules online, so you’re not alone in this planning stage. 

Include the house rules as part of your invitations and/or explain them to the group before you begin playing.

Make It Regular and Consistent

7Make It Regular and ConsistentConsistency is key to establishing a successful poker night. 

Not only does this allow you all to learn the game as you continue playing it, but any social event lives or dies on how frequently it takes place. 

If you’re playing with your lifelong friends then keeping a consistent schedule isn’t so important but we’d still advise that you do it to get the most out of your poker nights. 

If you’re playing with more formal associates and acquaintances, however, you need to make it a regular occurrence to keep the momentum rolling.

Setting a date and sticking to it can work for monthly poker games. If people cancel, that’s fine, it happens with all social gatherings and is a fact of life. 

Press on and keep the door open next time so any missing people can incorporate the night into their schedule. Having others that you can rely on to bring a poker night’s numbers back up is a great strategy too.

If you’re all interested in hosting and learning more about the game, you can arrange to have the venue change between nights. That way everyone gets to experience being a host and it takes the pressure off of one person in the group.

Choose A Dealer

8Choose A Dealer-04-16Choosing your dealer can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. 

It’s best to do it randomly, and methods like dealing to the first ace have become part of this process for many people. 

In the first game, it may be worth the person who knows the most about the game dealing so that they can talk others through the process and coach them on dealing for the future. 

Games that have explanations and tutorials are best when they’re not played for money so that everyone can learn before the real stakes are introduced.

Set an End Time

9Set an End TimeEnding the evening is as important as arranging it. 

If you’ve ever played a game of Monopoly, you know how some people can hoard all their money and make the game drag on for literal days. 

The same applies to poker, one of your careful friends will keep a white-knuckled grip on every chip that crosses their path.

That’s why it’s best to have an ending time in mind before the game even starts. As always, communicate this time clearly. 

Having an end time is also more considerate for the busy schedules of your friends and whoever else might want to use the space that you’re taking up.

Getting a timer is a great way to keep everyone on track and iron out other logistics like when blinds get raised. 

It’s also more fun since everyone’s on a deadline, leading to more competitive decision-making and ultimately more enjoyment of the game.

Types Of Games: What Types Of Poker Can You Play?​

4Types OF GamesWhat Types OfPoker Can YouPlay

There are many types of poker that you can play. For a chill poker night at home, we’d advise you to stick to the most popular and accessible ones that everybody can learn. These would be:

  1. Texas Hold ‘Em
  2. Omaha
  3. 7-Card Stud
  4. 5-Card Draw

Texas Hold ‘Em

10Texas Hold Em.Texas Hold ‘Em is the most popular type of poker you’ll come across, especially in the States. 

It’s deceptively simple to learn yet keeps all of the complexity that we like to see in a poker game. 

Texas Hold ‘Em’s popularity is also owed to the fact that it’s been so widely televised and was central to the online poker boom, inspiring many new generations of Texas Hold ‘Em players since the early 2000s.

Its popularity has only led to a wide array of informational material that you and your friends can use to learn more about this poker type. Here’s a quick rundown of how a typical game of Texas Hold ‘Em will work.

  • The small blind and the big blind are placed by the two players left of the dealer/button.
  • Every player is handed two cards to hold.
  • The action starts with the player left of whoever posted the big blind, to keep the game moving across the table in a clockwise direction.
  • After the first round of betting is over, the three-card flop is placed on the table.
  • After the next round, the turn is added. This is a fourth community card.
  • After the next round, the river is added. This is the fifth and last community card that’s intended to change players’ fortunes in the game.
  • The last round of betting takes place, after which the remaining players show their cards. The best 5-card poker hand wins.

If there is a con to playing Texas Hold ‘Em, it’s that its popularity means there’s a lot of experienced individuals out there. This shouldn’t be a concern for your friend group but it is something to keep in mind when bringing new people in.

Omaha

11OmahaOmaha, better known as Omaha Hold ‘Em or Omaha Hi, is another poker style that makes use of community cards. 

Unlike Texas Hold ‘Em, you get four cards to hold and the five community cards get revealed at once, and you have to construct the best hand using just two of the hole cards and three of the community cards. 

This more restrictive winning condition means players need to be more clued in with card values so that they choose the best cards in their hand to play.

It’s one of the more popular poker types to play and you should be able to find Omaha tables in larger casinos, though not as many as have been reserved for Texas Hold ‘Em. 

Part of the popularity of this game is exactly how similar it is to Texas Hold ‘Em, however. If you can learn Texas, you can learn Omaha since it just involves expanding some of the features of Texas while limiting what constitutes a winning hand.

Omaha can be more competitive too since you have the freedom to construct a better hand. Since you have more cards, you can also think more strategically about blocking cards so that someone else can’t construct the hand they want.

7-Card Stud

12 7Card StudBefore the meteoric rise of Texas Hold ‘Em, stud poker used to be the more common poker type with 7-Card Stud leading the charge. 

This is where you see a huge difference between how stud poker is played compared to Texas or Omaha, with each player having their own hand in 7-Card Stud instead of sharing cards. 

Some of your cards will be concealed, others will be face-up so that everyone can see.

Since it’s not so popular anymore, you’re likely to find stud poker played in specific tournaments. You can still adopt it as your own poker night style though if that’s what you want. 

It’s easy enough to learn once you forget the way that Texas or Omaha are played. It’s easy to learn the mechanics but hard to master the strategy of gauging competitor strength from their visible cards.

We’re dealing with a different gameplay style here, so let’s run through the process:

  • Players put forward an ante when they get dealt a hand.
  • Each one receives two cards that stay face-down and one that goes face-up.
  • The player with the lowest face-up card takes the first action, usually an established bring-in bet. Betting continues clockwise after this.
  • After the first round, another face-up card is dealt. The player with the highest cumulative face-up card value takes the first action.
  • The next two rounds, which are often called Fifth Street and Sixth Street, each see another face-up card dealt. Once again, the player with the highest exposed card value acts first once both streets have concluded.
  • Seventh Street is where each player gets their last card, which is kept facing down. Now everybody has seven cards and they must make the best 5-card hand they can after the last betting round.

5-Card Draw

13 5-Card Draw5-Card Draw, sometimes called Cantrell Draw, is a popular form of draw poker. 

Many call it the simplest variant of poker which sees many newcomers learning this style. 

In 5-Card Draw players again work with their own separate hands, though they’re all hidden from the other players. 

As you build the strength of your own hand, you have no idea how or if it’ll perform against everybody else’s hand.

Alongside Texas Hold ‘Em, 5-Card Draw is a popular movie poker style that makes it onto the big screen frequently, probably because it’s easy to see what card values each person has. 

5-Card Draw is very easy to learn because of how short the average game is and the total absence of community or supporting cards.

The average game starts with the blinds getting put down and each player gets dealt five cards. The game moves clockwise as with all the other poker types. 

There’s one round of betting where actions are taken and, if more than one player is left, the players draw new cards to replace the ones in their hand. 

An after-draw betting round takes place before the showdown, where the player with the best hand wins the pot.

We meant it when we said it’s simple. Think of it as the poker equivalent of a game of chicken. 

You get your cards, you get one opportunity to change those cards, but you’re either in the game till the showdown or you’re not, there’s no fancy turns or rivers that can change your fortunes at the last possible moment.

How To Get Your Friends Involved​

5. How To Get Your Friends Involved

When setting up your poker group, try to get around eight people. You can have less but you want a lively game with many players to fully understand and learn the dynamics of a poker game while using up your chips. 

If you only have 100 or 300 chips, you’ll want fewer people, about four to six.

Poker nights can be a great way to network with people, so don’t rule out playing poker with people at work or business clients you may have regular interactions with. 

Be discreet if you’re in a larger office space so that nobody feels left out and pick people with the intention of everybody getting along.

If you have purely friendly intentions for your poker night, pick good friends and family that know how to have fun and will gel with the entire group. 

Choosing that friend who always drinks too much might not be the best fit for a chill poker night. 

They need to be fine with losing money too, so if a friend is known for their penny-pinching or being a sore loser, you’ll need to decide if you want to risk them coming to the night or not.

Facebook/Instagram/TwitterMessenger Invites

14Facebook Instagram Twitter Messenger InvitesNowadays inviting people to a poker night is as easy as pulling out your phone. 

Social media allows us to connect with our friends in an instant and send messages to invite people. 

You can even set up group chats so that you can alert everyone at once and the entire group can talk to each other in the same place and answer any questions. 

E-Invites (Email)

15E-Invites (Email)If you want an air of professionalism to your night, sending out an email invite is an option. 

Typing out many words in a messenger app isn’t quite the same as receiving an invite that’s properly laid out and has all of the information your friends will need. We’d advise your invitation to cover all of the following:

  • The time the poker night will begin and end
  • The dress code, if there is one
  • Whether they can bring a friend
  • Whether they need to bring anything else
  • What the dinner plans are
  • How much buy-in and re-buy will be
  • An RSVP request, so you know who’s in and who’s out.

Put any other pertinent details that might be useful for your friend group too. You want an invite to answer any questions someone might have. 

After your invite has been out there for a while, maybe a week depending on how soon the night is, follow up with the unresponsive people you’ve invited so that you can get definitive answers on who is coming.

Zoom Call – For Remote Poker Nights

16Zoom Call - For Remote Poker NightsHere’s an option that’s become more relevant recently. If meeting in person isn’t an option, you can schedule remote poker by booting up a Zoom call and using a private online game lobby. 

You’ll want everybody to be familiar with whichever platform you choose, so try to decide on one early and give your guests time to learn them.

The Devil Is In The Detail – How to Host Like A Boss!​

6The Devil Is In The Detail - How to Host Like A Boss

Most of the poker talk is out of the way, what we’re going to talk about now are general hosting concerns that you need to take into account during your poker night. 

Think food, drink, music, and other treats that your friend group is likely to appreciate.

Get A Table Extension

17Get A Table Extension-25We mentioned table-toppers earlier, but some of them can function as extensions for your table too. 

If you haven’t got much surface to work with, reaching for a table extension can be a great means of accommodating more players or more clutter on the table. After all, there’s no use in having snacks available if there isn’t any space on the table for them.

Good Food and Drinks

18Good food and drinks-26Catering for a poker night is easy. 

If you want the professionality of actual dinner, you can have that arranged and start cooking about an hour before the night starts, but otherwise, it’s best to stick to the trusty snacks that everyone can enjoy. 

This would be finger food like chips and the dips for them, nuts and similar snacks, or maybe wings. If you have more time and money, hors d’oeuvres might be an option.

If your table has green felt, it’s probably best to keep food and beverages away so that no spills occur. Making a mess on the wood surface of your dining table is one thing but green felt will absorb whatever’s spilled across it.

Don’t overthink drinks either, just decide if you’re going to have alcoholic, non-alcoholic, or a mix of beverages available. If you don’t know what everyone likes, you can just ask that they bring their own drinks.

Cigars and Whiskey

19Cigars and WhiskeyIf you and your group belong to a more discerning crowd, you can include whiskey and cigars as part of the night

If everyone’s okay with smoking inside, you can have the cigars at the table if you’d like, just like you see in the old movies. 

Otherwise, having a cigar before or after the game in an outside lounging area will suffice. 

The same can be said for whiskey, if you or another member of the group has a reputation for being clumsy then maybe having tumblers of whiskey on the table isn’t an option.

If you’re on a budget, it’s possible to get fine cigars from the New World that don’t have the same price tags that Cuban cigars have attached to them, which mainly comes from historical scarcity through political embargoes.

Non-Alcoholic Beverages

20Non Alcoholic BeveragesIf you’re going for a professional setting to your poker night, keeping things non-alcoholic is a good idea. 

It’s also just a good idea to avoid inebriation when money is involved since alcohol rarely leads to good decision-making and calm tempers.

 

This means you’ll want water, orange juice, and any soft drinks that you all like to be stocked. Cola is always a crowd-pleaser, and if you’d all like to be more alert you can opt for coffee instead. 

If you have a group chat with your poker pals, you can solicit suggestions for beverages to keep in stock and split the costs between you all.

Halftime (Order Delivery)

21Halftime (Order a Takeaway)When you have a break in the night, it could be the perfect time to get a food delivery. 

There should usually be somewhere nearby that all of you like, so order some food and sit back as it comes to your door. 

Then you can have a filling and, hopefully, a good meal instead of a bunch of snacks to tide you over the evening.

Good Music

22Good MusicFor music, you want a music style that’s preferably lyric-less and can stay in the background for your night. 

That’s why jazz and swing music tends to be a favorite of old-timey poker players who want some ambiance. 

In reality, you can play any music that you want. 

As the host, it’s gracious of you to make sure everyone agrees with or is at least apathetic to your choice of music, so it doesn’t distract anyone over the course of the night.

Conclusion: Show Your Cards

7Conclusion Show Your Cards

With that, we’ve touched on just about everything you need to consider when establishing your poker night. 

Where we could, we’ve included links to more comprehensive information about specific parts of this guide, but all that’s left for you to do now is hit send on your invites.

The first night will undoubtedly be the rockiest but part of choosing the right guests is laughing about any potential mistakes you or the guests might make. 

If you stick with it, it’s guaranteed that you’ll all get better and your poker nights will become more and more enjoyable each time they happen.