poker night

5 Great Tips for Hosting an Awesome Poker Night

by Brandi Marcene

Card games are simply a great source of entertainment, and everyone familiar with these games loves to play them with friends and family. The rise in card games’ popularity is mainly because these are easy to learn and fun as well. It doesn't matter how old you are and where you're from; you can always enjoy a game of cards with your friends and family at home, a picnic spot, or even casinos.

Besides, you don't necessarily need a great set up to play cards. However, if you're hosting a poker night, you definitely have to come with something that will make your guests comfortable and enhance the gaming experience. Of course, many players find this to be a difficult and worrisome task when it comes to hosting a poker night.

However, there is truly nothing to worry about, as today we are going to share with you five essential and great tips that will help you in hosting an awesome poker night. Continue reading and step up your game!

poker night

Make a Plan and Follow It

If you're planning on doing anything in life, planning is a great tool that will help you everywhere. Hosting a great poker night is no different. You need to plan everything out when hosting a poker night. First, you need to get a pen and paper, and write down what you need to make this night memorable and fun for not only you but also everyone involved.

What do you think would make a poker night great? You could start off by mentioning the people you would invite. Of course, the guest list is probably the most important task for hosting an event. You don't want to miss out on anyone, and by sending personal invitations, you can inform each guest where they have to come and whether there is a theme they have to follow.

Don't stress yourself out; we've got five great ideas that will help you when hosting a great poker night.

1.     Prepare All the Essentials

Hosting an event can be quite a hassle and tiring, but when you get everything you need, you know the event is going to be a hit! Therefore, make sure to have all the essentials listed to make your poker night great. You must be wondering what essentials must be there on your checklist for poker night? Well, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Playing Cards

You plan everything out, set up everything, and everyone loves it. But, you forget the playing cards. Wouldn't this just be embarrassing? We are not exaggerating when we say this, but many hosts drop the ball at this basic step and find them rushing to the nearest store to buy a deck for poker night at the eleventh hour.

Not only do you have to remember to buy a deck of playing cards, but you also have to buy a durable one. You can't simply purchase a deck that could tear or wears off by playing a few hands. Make sure to get the best quality playing cards you can get your hands on. Not only will this enhance your experience of playing poker but will also attract your guests.

Poker Table

Okay, this is very important. You cannot use a regular table at your home for poker night; this is a big no. You need to create a vibe when it comes to poker night, and the best way to do that would be to set up a poker table.

The better-looking the table, the more comfortable your guest will be and will surely enjoy their time. You can watch a few tutorials to turn it into a DIY project if you have ample time, or rent one for the night.



In order to play poker, you need chips; don’t confuse them with snacks, we are talking about the chips used in the game of poker. You can purchase a good set of chips online or from a nearby store that sells them. Keep in mind that you should get chips that are also of high quality and not that flimsy kind.


By food, we don't mean you should prepare a steak for your guests. They are here to enjoy a game of poker, not dinner. Well, you could prepare a good dish for them after the game, but all you need is snacks during the game.


What is a game night without snacks? The fun and gaming hit a different level when you have chips, crackers, hot creamy pizza, and other snacks to munch on during the game. If you’re wondering what the best dish for poker night would be, you can get an idea from here.

It also depends on who you have invited. If you know them well, you'll know exactly what your friends would prefer. Go ahead and get some packet of chips and, of course, something sweet too.


What would poker night be without drinks? It would be dull and boring. A day before the “event,” go to the nearby store, buy drinks that would last the night, and keep everyone fresh and active throughout the game. This doesn't necessarily mean buying alcohol or beer; there a lot of soft drinks and juices, which would be enough for a good game of poker.

2.     Invite Smartly and Decide the Game

This is very important, just think about it, you invite eight guests but have arrangements for seven. This means one person will have nothing to do than to sit and watch you play. Sure they can get their share of snacks and drinks, but they’ll miss the game. Therefore, if you're inviting guests, make sure to come up with a list and request the invited guests for a response so that you could make arrangements accordingly.

It will give you an idea of the size of the poker table and chairs you’ll need. Moreover, you need to determine the game you’ll play on that particular night. Is it Texas hold 'em poker or a game based strictly on cash? Well, you have to make sure your guests are fully aware of the game mode. This will save a lot of time and arguments during the game as everyone will be aware of what the chosen game is.

Besides, choosing the game also ensures whether your guests are familiar with it and know the rules. You don't want to be teaching a few of the players about the game in advance. This would just be a waste of time and definitely ruin the vibe.

3.     Establish the Rules

This might not seem like a crucial step, but it's always a good idea to inform every guest about the rules of the game. Other than this, they need to follow house etiquettes. You don't want anyone to end up ruining the night by drinking too much or turning your house into a hot box with cigarettes and cigars. Therefore, by establishing some ground rules, you won't have to worry about anything.

The rules of the game you will play need to be simple, and you shouldn't add rules of your own just because you're hosting the event. This is a big no as your guests will not find it assuming. They might think you’re taking advantage to win. Therefore, establish the game riles beforehand, and if a guest advises something, do take it into consideration. Here are some key points you need to follow before the game starts;

  • Determine the style of the poker game. This means the game decided on the invitation will be the one played on poker night. This will avoid any confusion when your guests arrive.
  • Buy-in requirements need to be specific. You don't have to go into too much detail here, but it's always a good idea to inform your guests of the buy-in costs and re-buy.
  • Once the guests arrive, go through the rules one more time to avoid any confusion and arguments during the game. Also, go through the standard rules of the game which everyone is familiar with.
  • You can visit com to have a better look at the rules of the game.
  • Inform your guests about the external or exit rules such as when they can leave the table during the game or whether they can leave the game before the night ends

4.     Music

This is a must; when you're playing a game of poker, you don't want loud music because that might distract the players from the game. Other than this, communication can become difficult, and most importantly, not everyone likes loud music. You could set up some good quality speakers and play some classy jazz music instead.

No one is asking you to hire a band to play music; renting speakers or borrowing them from a friend will save you a lot of money, and you can simply play music using an app like SoundCloud.

5.     Be a Great Host

We shouldn't have to mention this. But sometimes, the pressure of hosting an event can truly get into the mind of the host and influence his or her behavior adversely. Therefore, keep in mind this is your event, and you're the entertainer. Here are some tips you can follow to be a great host and create a memorable poker night

  • You have to be active throughout the night. If you're going to be dull, so will your guests. And who knows one of them might call it an early night by coming up with an excuse just to leave because there isn't any vibe.
  • If there are any arguments or confusion during the game, don't pick sides, and always be neutral. You need to handle the emotions of the game on your behalf and also control your guests when things get too heated.
  • Make sure to serve everyone with snacks and drinks. Don't ask them to help themselves because that might just seem rude. It's your responsibility, so do it.
  • Don't be bossy. This tends to happen, especially when it's your turf, and everyone has to follow your rules. If someone ends up breaking a rule, don't be harsh; just remind them what the rules were.

Bonus Advice

We feel like this is very important to mention. Many people tend to go out of their way and budget to host a good event that will not only be enjoyable but impress the guests. However, this is never a great idea. By hosting a casual event and following the tips mentioned above, you can host an event that won't cost you too much.

Of course, if you have a high budget, you can definitely add more interesting entertainment features. For instance, book a venue for poker night instead of hosting it at your home. This would give you more flexibility with catering, and of course, creating a good vibe. Besides, you could set up a projector for movies or gaming too. Whenever you feel there is a need to rest before playing the next hand or game, simply go and enjoy a movie together.


We have mentioned all the basic tricks and tips to host a great poker night. These five essential tips will surely help you host an event that will not only make you proud of yourself but also entertain your guests. These are common steps all poker hosts must follow as they are simple and pocket friendly.

Moreover, always keep in mind when hosting an event to have everything covered from what you have planned for the night. Plan a week before and get everything before the night arrives. Of course, the table and chips you can leave for the last day. Nobody wants a poker table in the middle of their house for a week. Have fun!

About the writerBrandi Marcene has over a decade of experience in content. Having seen the constant evolution of the field, she undertakes efforts to keep pace with the continuous changes to offer first-rate, ready-to-publish copy. Her interests lie mainly in literature with the occasional Netflix series. She has extensive experience of writing about most topics under the sun, but has a particular passion for finance and fitness.

Brandi Marcene
Last update date: 11/07/22

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