Having some friends over for a night of poker in the house can be a very pleasant and rewarding adventure when going out is not a good option. Being the host for such an event doesn’t require much, but there are a number of aspects that can greatly improve the whole experience for everybody.
The most crucial part of the setup is the kit, which should contain poker chips and, of course, at least two decks of cards, along with maybe a simple rule sheet for a popular game, like Texas Hold’em, to refer to. Some would also consider the classic green felt for the table to be a requirement — but while it adds to the atmosphere, it’s not nearly as important as the cards and the chips. Although there might be dozens of general rules about what the best choices would be for such a night, you should also take personal preferences into account when organizing an unforgettable poker night at home.
Whether it’s because of the unfortunate weather outside or simply because you want to have a chill night with your friends, poker nights can be a great way to strengthen your friendships while enjoying a night of competition.
Casino games have always been represented by a scene in which the social part has been just as important as the game. Also, because of the competitive aspect, some games can be quite unpredictable and players are influenced to adapt throughout the game, making it an increasingly hard battle against your adversaries.
Furthermore, the fact that some poker strategies also rely on bluffing can result in getting to know your peers on a different level. Given the popularity and accessibility of the game, it’s safe to say that finding partners to play against will not be that hard.
Recreating the casino atmosphere
Although creating an atmosphere at home that would match the classic scenes from the golden age of casinos can be hard, given the right setting, your friends will feel as close to the genuine experience as possible. When it comes to the lights, the main room shouldn’t be too well lit; a dim setting generally works better, as it helps build a more authentic atmosphere.
Music shouldn’t be that much of problem, as nowadays most of us have some type of sound system in the house that can be set to our favorite playlists. When choosing the genre, keep your friends’ music preferences in mind, but if you really want your setup’s details to match the real deal, some low-fi, jazzy tunes would be the best pick.
Snacks shouldn’t be the main focus either, but your poker friends are sure to appreciate some bite-sized foods. Having some potato chips with a tasty dip, some peanuts and other snacks can be a good idea when calling friends over, regardless of the occasion. When it comes to beverages, your guests should be the ones to express their desires before the start of the night. Just in case, make sure to have at least some alcoholic and non-alcoholic options ready.
Technology to the rescue!
Nowadays, technology has made it possible to turn your home into a smart house, meaning that every digital system inside is connected, which gives you the ability to control everything from lights to music with just your smartphone. We are living in a world where technology is all around us, and it’s no surprise that these house gadgets are gaining a lot of popularity, despite the fact that they have been around for less than two years. One gadget that seems to be getting a lot of hype lately is the smart speaker, or what some might call the home assistant.
This wireless device is equipped with artificial intelligence and can be activated by voice commands or smartphones, and some of them can be programmed so that you can control other gadgets through it.
Not only can smart speakers play music, but the voice command option can make it into a great party trick for you and your friends, as the devices can provide information on almost any subject and even tell jokes. Given the commercial success it’s been going through lately, it wouldn’t come as a surprise if you already owned one. Nowadays, this smart home technology can be integrated into almost every gadget in the house, such as the TV, the lights, doors and even the thermostat.
Choosing the perfect game structure and payout
Depending on your guests, you should choose in advance what type of game structure you are going for. A Sit and Go poker tournament can be a great choice, as it can keep players in the game for a few hours and is not too complicated. Another good idea would be to allow players to buy their re-entry in case they deplete their stacks too early. This will assure that nobody gets left out and that the night can go on for longer.
As far as payouts go, try to plan it with your friends before starting the game; a good recommendation is to have at least three players walking away with a portion of the pot at the end of the night. A simple rule to follow for splitting the pot is to hand out 50 percent to the winner and second and third places split 30 to 20 percent. Of course, this all depends on the crowd you’re gathering; sometimes a “winner-takes-all” structure can be more entertaining for more experienced poker players.
Overall, regardless of the type of structure you choose, it should never be about the prizes as the journey is just as important as the destination. As long as you focus on having an enjoyable experience, even with an easygoing plan you can have a great time that you and your friends can look back upon with joy.