4 Things Your Summer Poker Party Won’t be Perfect Without
Now summer’s upon us, it’s time to pull out the patio furniture, dust off the picnic table, fire up the grill and have a party!
If you and your friends are lovers of online poker, why not celebrate this passion at your party? What could be better than catching up with good friends over cold drinks and a game of poker on a cool summer’s evening?
So, to help you plan the perfect summer poker party, we have put together a list of the essentials for hours of great entertainment.
1. The Equipment
Playing poker doesn’t require as much equipment as many other games may do. You don’t necessarily need a poker table – although adds to the ambiance of the evening, any large table will do the trick.
And of course, you’ll need a deck of cards and plenty of chips to play with.
Here is the basic equipment needed to run a poker game:
You can buy playing cards rather cheap nowadays. Basic bicycle playing cards are made of layered paper, which can be prone to creasing and wearing, meaning they are low in cost but still get the job done.
But if you really want to impress, for a higher price, PVC plastic cards will last much longer than paper cards. They’re also easier to shuffle and deal.
You’ll also need a set of poker chips. If you are going to have ten players then a 500-chip set should be plenty. You can always have another set to hand for when players want to buy back into a game.
Cover a flat surface with a poker table topper – preferably made of felt (cheaper than a professional table) to stop chips sliding and rolling off.
If you are looking to go all-out, you can purchase a full-size poker table made from high quality felt with cup holders and padded armrests for a good price.
Don’t forget some comfy chairs for your players too!
2. Know the Game
As the poker party host, it is key you know the rules. Players will look to you to lead the game; especially those who are unfamiliar. You should:
- Be well-versed in the hand rankings
- Know the flow of betting
- Game etiquette (e.g. keeping your cards in full view of the table at all times)
You could even hand out helpful material. For example, one of most common beginner mistakes is when a player thinks they have the winning hand when they don’t. Create printed cards showing the poker hand rankings from highest to lowest for reference.
You could also include images to show examples or simply list the hand rankings:
- Royal flush (all the same suit, sequence A-K-Q-J-10)
- Straight flush (five cards in a sequence, all in the same suit, for example 8-7-6-5-4)
- Four of a kind (all four cards of the same rank, for instance A-A-A-A)
- Full house (three of a kind and a pair)
- Flush (any five cards of the same suit, doesn’t need to be in a sequence)
- Straight (five cards in a sequence, but not of the same suit)
- Three of a kind (three cards of the same rank such as 7-7-7)
- Two pair (two different pairs, for example 8-8 and 5-5)
- Pair (any pair whether it’s A-A or 3-3)
- High card (when you haven’t made any of the hands above, the highest cards plays)
Having visible poker hand rankings can help players understand whether they have a shot at winning and level the playing field for newbies.
3. Food and Drinks
As the host you’ll want to ensure bellies are full without blowing the budget!
Prior to the party, make people know in advance what you are planning regarding food and drinks and how you plan to divide the bill, as well as any dietary requirements or preferences.
Sharing food, e.g. calling your local pizzeria is a great relaxed, quick option. Who wants to be saddled with cooking at a party?
Plenty of snacks should also be available, but nothing too messy while you are handling cards. Some poker favourites are:
- Chopped up vegetables
- Deli meats and cheeses
Guzzling all that food will need to go down with some cool refreshing drinks on a summers evening. Be sure to provide ample amounts of soft drinks, water, energy drinks and juices. Another option could be to have players bring their own drinks.
4. The Invitations
Once you have chosen your invite list, you’ll need to consider a few things to include when sending out your invitations. This may include:
- The time it begins and ends
- Whether you’ll be playing with real money
- If they are required to bring anything i.e. their own drinks
- What the dinner arrangements will be
- If there is a dress code
- If they are bringing anyone such as their partner
- RSVP requests
Make sure to let friends know in good time and with today’s world of instant messaging like Facebook, you can easily throw out an invite via social media and get everyone buzzing for your party.