Hosting a poker night is a great way to bring the friends together. Whether you are seasoned professionals or lowly beginners, this information will help fill in the blanks if you don’t know where to start or what to do.

How Many People Are Coming?

Knowing the amount of people you are inviting is important because poker usually only holds a maximum of 8 players per table. Of course, you could play poker with more than that, but the ideal number of poker players is between 6 and 8 players for popular games like Texas hold’em (The cards get thin when you play with more than 8 players.) Consider having two separate games simultaneously for your poker night if more than 8 players show up.

Items you will need for an 8-player poker game:

  • 1 Poker table
  • 2 Decks of playing cards (To prevent mixing cards, use different colored decks)
  • 1 Poker chip set (500 assorted clay chips)
  • 8 Chairs

Will You Provide Food and Beverages?

With so many choices in the craft beer world, you should allow your players to bring their own drinks while you provide the snacks. This will make the drink purchases less complicated and save you money.

When it comes to snacks, you want to provide handheld foods that don’t require utensils or plates. You should also consider separating the snack table from the poker table to prevent your cards from getting sticky and someone accidentally spilling on the poker table.  

Snack ideas:

  • Chips and dips
  • Nuts
  • Candy
  • Pre-cut sub sandwiches
  • Veggie tray
  • Deli tray
  • Assorted cheese
Actual Eventricate Poker Table at an Event

How Experienced are Your Players?

This is important information to know because some serious players will lose their patience quickly when it comes to poker table etiquette. For example, players not understanding blinds or hand orders can affect how experienced players control their bets. If this is a cash game, tensions are guaranteed to run high if an inexperienced player folds out of turn or discusses their hand openly among other players. Be sure to mention to your potential players beforehand that there will be beginners joining.

What Type of Poker Game Will You be Playing?

There are multiple types of poker games you can play. The most popular style is Texas hold’em in which all players are dealt 2 cards each and use the shared cards (that are periodically placed face up in the center of the table) as their hand. If players can’t agree on what game type to play, then consider “dealer’s choice” as an option. During the game, the dealer will switch from player to player after each hand is finished. Dealer’s choice allows each player to choose which game type to play for that hand.

Types of Poker games:

  • Texas hold’em
  • Omaha
  • 7-card stud
  • 5-card draw
  • High low Chicago

What Time Do You Want Poker to End?

Poker games can last quite a while if people are hoarding their chips. For this reason, you need to establish a system that raises the blinds incrementally. Usually, a maximum of 15 minutes per blinds will do the trick to speed up the rate of play. It is also a good idea to set a cutoff time for the game to end regardless of how many players are left. For example, at 1:00AM, the chip leader wins outright. If you are playing a cash game, then the players simply count their chips and get payouts based on the remainder.

Extra Amenities That Create a Poker Atmosphere

We may be biased with this choice, but it’s always a good idea to rent a poker table from Eventricate. Playing on a real poker table feels like you are in a professional tournament during the World Series of Poker.

Other Ideas:

  • Cigars for your patrons
  • Jazz/classical music during the game
  • Vegas props
  • Bourbon tasting
  • Scotch tasting
  • Rent a dealer