“Way back before the internet poker boom of the late 1990s, which further took off with the 2003 Moneymaker effect, the only way to play the much-loved card game was in a live setting. This would occur at home with friends, at the pub, or in the casino. More recently, younger players who are just getting into the game are finding that playing online in tournaments is the best way to get a seat and start betting on some flops. But those people who are just finding poker in this way and growing to love it may want to experience the thrill of playing with real chips against visible opponents. The best way to do this is to set up your own poker game at home.
Setting up a home poker game is fairly easy, but if you want to make it as enjoyable as possible and entice your friends to come back more often, there are some things you can do to make it extra special. Here we talk you through a few ideas on how to improve your home game.
Get a Card Shuffler
One thing that should be at the top of your to-do list when thinking about setting up a poker game at home is to get a card shuffling machine. Unless you have someone who is willing to deal for you and your friends all night, this piece of kit will make your life a lot easier. The thing is, chances are that some of your friends won’t even know how to deal properly. The shuffler will help them with randomising the order of the cards, but make sure they also know to “burn and turn” when dealing out the flop.
Make it Look Professional
Don’t play on your kitchen table with a haggard old set of cards and your old coin collection. If you want to get serious about playing poker at home, it’s well worth investing in some decent equipment. If you buy a proper poker table with nice felt and markings for where the cards go you’re really going to get into the zone. Also look to buy a poker chip set that comes with a few decks of nice, new cards and then you’ll be in business.
Set Some Tournament Rules
When you’ve got all the stuff you need and your house looks the part, you’re then ready to invite some friends round and get playing. It shouldn’t be too hard to find players, over 41 million people play the card game on a regular basis. Get around six friends to join your tournament and then agree on some guidelines before you get started. You need to decide on a buy-in amount, divide it into prizes for the winner and second-place, and give everyone a certain number of starting chips. You should also have a timer to let you know when to raise the blinds.
It’s probably wise not to play for massive stakes in your home poker game because you don’t want to end up falling out with your mates. Put out some nibbles and provide a few drinks and you’ll have a highly enjoyable evening.