First Timer’s Guide to Hosting Poker Night

There’s nothing like Poker Night—playing cards, having a few drinks, and  sharing laughs with friends. What if no one in your life has a regular Poker Night? Maybe it’s time you started one. We have all the tips you need to host the best Poker Night!

7 Tips to Planning the Best Poker Night

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1) Invitations

Hosting a Poker Night gives you an opportunity to gather a different mix of people together—colleagues, old friends, family, and neighbors. It’s important, though, to be mindful of how the group will mix together, especially if there is alcohol involved. Discreet invitations by mail, especially for your first poker night are a nice touch. Creating a Facebook group is also a fantastic way to connect with everyone ahead of time, share video tutorials, and answer guest questions easily.

Include in your invites:

  • Game start and ending time
  • If you’ll serve dinner
  • Whether smoking is allowed
  • If guests are allowed to bring anyone
  • The buy-in and re-buy
  • Dress code. Poker night can be a casual affair, or an excuse to get dressed up.

2) Playing the Game

Prior to the main game time, have an hour of open play to help new players learn all the rules while other guests get to know each other. This will help all of your guests feel more comfortable.

If you’re newer to Poker, ask one of your friends who plays more frequently to help you explain the rules efficiently.

To help keep things civil, set a modest buy-in, around $20. Decide on a re-buy based on your invitees, maybe a bottle of alcohol or more cash; it’s up to you.

3) Entertainment

The game itself is the main event, of course, but prior to the game, play some music while everyone enjoys drinks and gets acquainted. Jazz or cocktail standards are perfect. Once it’s time for the game, it’s best to turn the music down or completely off.

Another entertainment option is to play a classic action or suspense movie,  especially on a projector screen, on low volume. Guests that want to sit out a game can still relax with a drink with some easy entertainment. There are inexpensive projectors that can be purchased for laptops or phones that turn a blank wall into a movie theater.

Other games, like darts can provide some easy entertainment between Poker games.

4) Supplies

While you don’t need to completely refurnish your home to host Poker Night, there are a few things that make the game much more enjoyable. At, we pride ourselves in carrying the best in home game room furniture, at a fraction of the cost. Get your ultimate game room started with a table set or a few comfy chairs.

To set up for the game, you’ll want to make space for gaming tables by moving sofas, dining tables, and other large furniture pieces against the wall. If you have card tables, utilize them. Make sure you have a chair at the card tables for every player, plus a few extra.

For the game itself, make sure you have plenty of poker chips and high-quality playing cards.

If you’re allowing guests to smoke indoors, be sure to provide stylish ash trays for each table. If you’re requesting that guests enjoy cigars outdoors, place a few ash trays outside where guests can easily access them.

5) Food and Drinks

Every good poker night party has delicious food. You don’t have to cater or spend hours in the kitchen to have Poker Night be a smashing success. A good guideline is to have hot appetizers for the beginning of the party, and provide crunchy, salty snacks in bowls in the middle of the table. If you’re into cocktails, you can whip up some signature drinks at the bar or keep it simple with beer and wine. Always be sure to have some non-alcoholic beverages on hand as well, like iced tea, ginger ale, and water.

Poker Night, the start of a new tradition

With these tips, your first Poker Night will be one for the books. The best things about hosting your first Poker Night is that it can become a regular thing. Gather friends monthly, seasonally, or whenever you feel like a good, old fashioned card game is in order. For more gaming ideas and supplies visit our full catalogue or contact one of our experts.

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