Sometimes we get caught up in the money.
Sure, you can win money playing poker, but more than anything, it’s a really fun game to play.
Combine poker with friends, and you can get a really enjoyable experience. However, there are some things you should keep in mind if you want to avoid any heated arguments and keep the mood light.
1. Keep the Buy-in Small
Playing for money is part of the thrill of poker, but if the buy-in is too big, players will fear scared of losing and it will ruin the whole night.
There’s no set amount for a buy-in, but it should be a small enough amount for you and anyone coming to the game that it’s not a big deal if someone loses, even if they do more many nights in a row.
For some groups, this might be $5, while for others, it might be $100. Find an amount that’s exciting, but not crazy.
2. Keep the Focus on Poker, Not Other Distractions
By all means, talk about anything at the table, but be at the table.
What often happens is that as the game goes on, players drop out and go watch TV or play video games while the poker is still ongoing. It makes it hard to focus on the poker and it loses some of its excitement when it seems like not everyone cares.
3. Have Some Table Rules
While the purpose of the night is for everyone to have fun, you need some rules to make sure that happens.
You don’t need to be overly strict, but before you start the game, agree on some simple rules. I recommend:
When someone has a tough decision, quiet down
No phones at the table
No crazy bets (adding cash from wallets)
4. Pick Smart Snacks
It’s hard to have fun when everyone’s hungry. But no one wants oily cards and poker chips, so don’t put out potato chips or chicken wings. Stick to foods like veggies and dip, or classic snacks like trail mix or bridge mix.
Alternatively take a break after a while and chow down on pizza or wings. You can leave the smaller snacks on the table.
A weekly poker night will likely end up being the highlight of your weeks, and one of your fondest memories. Take the precautions in this post to heart and you’ll make sure there’s no major problems.
Now if you want to take your friends’ money, head over to our strategy section.