Setting up a Poker Night at Home

Inviting your friends for a night of poker can be great fun, but you need to be aware of a few things to ensure it will be great fun. Here’s a guide how to be a prepared host and to avoid a flop first time around.

The Gear

A deck of cards, clay chips (incl. Dealer button), a dinner table with a soft surface to make dealing easier, chairs for 6-10 people, and a watch.
The denomination of the chips is not always printed on them, so here is what the colour usually depicts:

Red = 5
Green = 25
Black = 100
Blue/other colour = 500

The Guest List

Invite only people you know well and get a good mixture of boys and girls. Ladies make the whole game even more exciting!

The GameThere are loads of variations of poker but the most popular form is No-Limit Texas Hold’em. Of course, it’s best if you have played before whether online or live, so you have some routine in terms of flow of the game.
Also, it’s good to print out a few copies of the Hand Rankings as an aid for the ones who have never played before.
We strongly suggest to play it like a tournament: everybody pays a small buy-in, nobody gets rich and it won’t be an endless night.
Once everybody has a drink and is comfortably seated, it’s time to explain the rules.

The Rules

Start by asking who has played poker before and who of those is familiar with the Texas Hold’em rules. This is an exercise to establish that they can trust you, because you know what you’re talking about should a dispute arise. To minimise the risk of a dispute make it clear that a player has to declare his/her action before he/she carries it out. Now explain the game’s rules – slowly and clearly - and hand out the printed copies with the hand rankings. Play a fun round.
Be very sensible when deciding what the buy-in is going to be; everyone at the table has to be comfortable with the amount and not being pushed into reaching too deep into his/her pocket. £5 - £10 seems a good amount if the majority are poker novices. Put the Prize Pot somewhere everyone can see it.

Once this is done decide how many will get paid: Winner takes it all or Winner + Runner-up. Now distribute the chips evenly whilst clarifying how much each colour is worth. Finally introduce them to the Dealer button and the function of the Blinds and that will gradually rise every 30mins (here comes your watch into play).

Booze & Food

Have some light snacks ready – the drinks bring your guests.
Take a 5min break every hour to grab a bite, topping up the drinks and other human necessities.
Having drinks during the home game is the best part of it, yet keep it within reason. With too much alcohol in their bloodstream, people may not hear a declaration, expose their cards too early, misdeal and simply tend to get angry quicker over petty things.
Therefore, heavy boozing will kill the party – don’t let that happen!

Finally, if you would like to make a little extra money, why don't you ask your friends whether they play online a lot, and introduce them to the benefits of poker rakeback? There is an excellent way to get a percentage of your friends rake generated when they play online.