Are you starting to get bored of isolation after two years of restrictions? Most are, but fortunately conditions have reached a point at which we can safely gather with the right precautions. And while there are a lot of ways to “get back out there” or gather with friends again, one option that some are finding appealing is to host a poker night. A lot of people turned to online poker (or even Zoom-based card games) to maintain connections during the height of the pandemic. Now, playing the same game in person makes for a nice return to normal.
With that in mind, here are five essential factors you’ll need to consider for hosting a poker night at home with your friends.
Get The Right Stuff
You can’t play poker without a poker set! While you can invest in a fancy poker set with artistic cards and heavy chips though, a less expensive version will work just as well. Other necessities when it comes to the “stuff” of a home poker night include a poker table (or a normal table with a poker mat), some comfy chairs, and at least a notebook to keep track of scores and/or bets. If you’re looking to start a consistent poker night, you might also consider investing in some poker-related décor such as posters or other items.
Get Some Classy Music
We love a soft, sultry jazz playing in the background, but you can choose whatever you know your group likes. And lest you feel it might be a distraction, bear in mind that music is a perfect background filler! A study at NIH even demonstrated that music can improve moods without interfering –– in this case, with a game of poker. Just stick to music that isn’t too imposing, and you may just find the whole mood of the game lifts a little bit, without stealing anyone’s focus away from the cards.
Have Rules & Details On Hand
Some hosts like to supply references listing common poker hands and rules, simply because it can be helpful for newer or less confident players. The easiest option in some cases is to have a poker or card gaming guide book on hand. Or, for a DIY approach, there are also sources online where you can access rules and details for free and record them as needed. Poker.org does a nice job of explaining various popular varieties of poker (as well as providing clear hand rankings), and there are also tutorials on YouTube you can draw on for fundamentals of the game. Whatever the case, having a few rules and details on hand makes your poker night more welcoming. And keep in mind, you can also always play a few practice rounds to make sure everyone’s on the same page.
Make Some Cocktails
Sure, you could stock up on beer and call it a night. Or you could get fancy and try your hand at some quality cocktails! While there is an overwhelming number of cocktail recipes available online, we’d suggest starting off with one from James Bond’s Casino Royale, to keep the poker theme alive. The Vesper Martini played a memorable part in the film, and can be replicated fairly easily (though you can choose for yourself if it’s to be shaken, stirred, or (gasp!) blended). Then again, there are endless options on the table. You may even have the most fun simply stocking up on a variety of ingredients and inviting everyone to make their own.
Get Some Snacks on Sticks
Eating and playing with cards at the same time isn’t the easiest thing in the world to do. However, making snacks that you can eat off a stick makes it much easier to eat without having to disrupt the game. Finger foods are usually a no-go since you want to keep your cards and poker table (or mat) clean and free of grime, food crumbs, and whatever else might get wiped around. But by setting up some food on sticks, you can effectively do the whole finger-food thing without the mess. Delish.com offers a whopping 80 different recipes to choose from, which makes for more than a good start –– though we’re partial to the pesto shrimp skewers, caprese sticks, and Bluth frozen bananas (for you Arrested Development fans).
All in all, it’s a pretty simple party to set up! Taking these tips to heart, you’ll be organized for a fun, festive night in with those friends you’ve been wanting to see more of. For more tips on entertaining or general lifestyle pieces, visit us here at Momspective.com again soon!