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Tips on hosting a poker party at home

And it's Friday again! You have worked hard all week and you’re trying to figure out a way to kill the boredom. You start to think. Movie nights, World Cup, board games… doesn’t entice you anymore. So what do you do?


Hosting a poker game at your house can be a perfect way to spend a dull Friday night. However, hosting a memorable session is no simple task. For the perfect game, the number of players should be between five and seven. Having playing cards and poker chips of decent quality are not the only necessities. as this article will explain.


The set-up

The trick is to create a casino vibe in the comforts of home. A round table works best, although your ordinary dining table would do the job too. A poker felt, green or maroon in colour, really creates the perfect aesthetic for a poker game. Any ordinary deck of cards will do, although bicycle decks are recommended. A set with 500-750 poker chips should be enough for five to seven players Just ensure that the chips have at least four denominations, depending on the stakes. A 100/200 (rupees) game should have chips worth 100, 200, 500 and 1000. A 10/20 blind game should have chips worth 10, 50, 100 and 500.


Food and drink

Winner winner, chicken dinner? House games are not really a serious affair, and it is always a good idea to keep some snacks and beverages ready. A lot of home games have something known as a ‘pregame meal’, in which all the players have dinner together before they dive into the poker game.

Dry food is recommended. Chips, tacos and pizzas work beautifully. You might want to put a hold on the chicken curry and chapatis. Consumption of light liquor is optional and maybe even recommended. Being slightly tipsy during the game helps in relaxing those nerves in your brain. After all, it’s all about having fun. 


Play variations

Texas hold’em can get a little boring after an hour or two. Try to include as many variations as possible. The perfect solution to cut the boredom would be to play H.O.R.S.E. It is a multi-game variation of poker, in which there are five variations played in a cycle, and the cycle keeps repeating. The five variations are Hold’em, Omaha, Razz, Seven-card Stud, and High-low stud ‘Eight or better.’

Music and Lighting

Music is optional, depending on what the players want. Most often, since people want to catch up with each other, they tend to avoid music. Lighting, however, is crucial. Players should be able to read their cards and the board, but it must not be too bright or harsh. An overhead fixture right above the table would be a perfect fix.


Concluding the game


A buy-out time must be fixed before the game begins. This ensures that nobody leaves the game immediately after winning a huge pot. After the game concludes, and the players cash out their winnings, it is recommended that plans for the next home game be made then and there, just to provide the host adequate time to prepare. As you can see, an attractive house game is not an easy job!

Author

Saptarshi 'Pixie' Basak

pixie@9stacks.com

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