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Poker. A game of number and a game of luck can be a whole lot of fun if you want to plan it right.

It can create an exciting atmosphere, which can bring friends or coworkers closer together. An opportunity to network and to make friends, with the bonus of winning some money. A true gentlemen’s night where you could have something different in your workweek.

The poker night could be once in a week, month, or a year, but it can be a memorable time for you and your group.

But there is a lot of planning to get to that perfect mood and to have an exhilarating game.

So we will present tips on how to be that perfect poker night host and how to make this experience a pleasure for all.

Skill Gap

One of the most significant issues that come up is how do you want to pace your game. Skills between players can vary greatly, especially if you weren’t picky about your group. Some guys will hold their cards for 10 minutes or longer, but some will have no idea what they’re doing. Be open and mindful of the group and as a host, set the right pace. Try to be more comfortable with the newbies and a bit more relaxed with the time. Remind them to unwind and get some air if the game gets too tense.

Rules

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Know the rules of the game. You, as the host, should lead the way.

Invite the group a bit before you play the game. Use that time to explain some rules and to get them acquainted with the game a bit better.

Set up by what style will you play. Texas Hold ‘Em is the most popular one, and that should not surprise your guests.

Set betting standards ahead of time. The poker experts at 13wins suggest that the bet limits can be of fundamental importance as that will allow everybody a chance to win. Never pressure someone to play or to bet more than they could. A solid start of $20, which they may lose, could be a good place. Invite people to have a drink or watch. There is a lot to learn. Be confident as a host and a player, and that will make the night more enjoyable for everybody.

If you want to go all rule master on your guests, you should note the penalties for playing or betting out of turn, when one should raise the blinds, etc. But be sure that everyone knows the rules if you go over them before the game. As we said, be lax if the group is a newbie one, but play the game seriously if the group allows it. Also set up the rules about phone use, can they wear sunglasses, when to leave for the bathroom, etc. Is smoking allowed, can one be removed from the table if the house says so.

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Planning

You need a table, cards, and chips. There is a lot to plan. If you want to set the mood, you need an excellent jazz playlist that can set the tone. Music can make the whole night unforgettable, and setting up a right playlist via Spotify or Apple Music can be perfect. Get some classics on or turn on some electro-swing if you’re going to do something different. Some snacks and some drinks won’t hurt. Some cigars can also be an exciting choice. But if you are not allowing smoking in the room, try to find the best solution for the smokers, and let them know that they can’t smoke before the game night. The ideal number for the game would be 8, but less can also do.

Think of entertainment options for the people who decide to sit out for a bit. A good movie or a TV show in the next room can be a great option. It’s good to think of the plus one, if your guests bring someone, so the TV room can be a need.

Go through everything in your head. Be aware that you need to set it up beforehand. Use emails or messaging apps, but an actual letter invitation can also be considered. Be sure that everyone will attend, but also be careful of who you will invite. Get people who will not cause trouble for you or the other guests. You’re gambling and perhaps drinking, money is on the line. Stupid arguments or people with a short temper should be left in front of the door. Remember, this is a gentlemen’s night.

It can be necessary for the guest to know are the invitations plus one, will there be food, will a break be permitted? What alcohol will be served, do they need to bring something on their own perhaps? We suggest whiskey or brandy for the night. But wine can also be the right choice. Finger food is a must, and everything can go from popcorn, some nachos to more elaborate meals that can heighten up the mood. If you can, go out, get catering, or cook for your guests!

Plan the night and let your guests know when are the start and the end of the game. The games can last for a long time, and sunrise can catch you quickly if you get into the game. You don’t want people dropping out before the game ends. Be very clear on this if you would like to play seriously. Weekends are the best for this as your group is probably free at that time. Take the day off to be restful and energized for the event.

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And be sure that you also will stick to the rules. You can’t change up the rules of the game as you go or leave the poker table and go to sleep, in most cases, anyway. Be sure to decide beforehand what are the cost of the buy-in and re-buy.

A thoroughly planned night with good food, a good game, and some class will leave a fantastic impression on your guests. So, plan and remember to have fun! It’s a social event after all, and a gentleman’s night!

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