Just like how every girl posse needs their own “girls’ night”, every guy posse should have their own bonding session too; and what better way to have the most epic “lads’ night” than to enjoy a good-old-fashioned poker night to battle your wits against each other. Moreover, the logistics needed for a poker game is fairly minimal. All you’ll need is a poker table, poker chips and a deck of cards and you’re good to go!
Don’t be fooled by its simple set-up though. Besides abiding by the basic rules, mastering the skill and flow of a smooth poker game requires more skill and tactics. Or sometimes, if Lady Luck is shining her fortune down on you, you might end up beating even the most skillful of poker players and emerge victoriously. Even if neither of you are expert poker players, it’s definitely a good way to while away a few good hours of the night.
If you’re keen to explore the world of poker and eventually hope to turn it into a weekly poker night, then keep on reading.
If You Fail to Plan, You Plan to Fail
Even though as mentioned above, a poker game only requires a few materials to take place, there are a few other facets to a poker game that really elevates the overall experience. While the minimum number of players is only two, we recommend getting roughly eight players to really get the full experience. That’s the number of slots you’ll typically find at a casino poker game. You might even consider holding your poker night online; if so, this is the best poker guide for USA sites for you to consider. And for those who prefer holding poker night in real life, here are some crucial external factors that you’ll need to account for.
Fuel for the Brain
Set the mood for intense rounds of mind games by providing some snacks and drinks. Ensure that the snacks are bite-sized and easy to pass around. A simple trick for this would be“one-syllable eats” like chips, nuts, wings, sweets, etc. Additionally, designate a separate table to place your snacks so that it doesn’t interfere too much with the game process and prevents unwanted spillage.
Keep it simple with drinks too. Sometimes being spoilt for choice can be a bad thing. Either get everyone to bring their own personal favorite blend of beer or create a special mixer for the evening. To accommodate the non-drinkers, be sure to offer non-alcoholic choices too like juice. You don’t want to be too tipsy until you can’t continue the game anymore. We’d also want to refrain from drunk-driving.
Liven Up the Atmosphere
Compiling a soothing playlist to maintain a peaceful atmosphere is also useful. Embellish your chit-chats and lad banter with smooth tunes in the background. It could be classic jazz or disco hits or even rap music, whatever floats your boat really. You can easily access these services on music-streaming sites like Spotify. As a cherry on top, you can also offer a couple of cigars in conjunction with the music to capture Marlon Brando vibes from the Godfather. However, do remember to only do this if your surrounding is a smoke-friendly environment and everyone is tolerant of smoking.
Regardless of how much fun you and the boys have during the game, all good things must come to an end. You should have a rough gauge of the desired duration of your poker game. If left uncontrolled, a poker game can easily last for a few days on end — and we don’t want that! We want everyone to return home safely. Plus, setting a time limit encourages the competitiveness of all the players in the group. It’s a win-win situation.
Once all the prep work is done, try to envision how the night will pan out. How will you welcome your friends to this poker night? When they first walk through your door, are you going to serve them food and beverages straight away or are you going to ease them in and settle down? Suppose there are a few latecomers or worse, insufficient people show up, then what’s your backup plan? Do you have other game substitutes with a player criteria that are suitable for the people present?
Organizing a Schedule
Ultimately, communication is key. You’d want to be open with your communication with others so that it’s easier to arrange poker night according to everyone’s schedule. A good piece of advice is to always allow your friends one week to reply to their availability. This can be done through creating a message group chat or mass sending an email, whichever is your mode of preference. Once you’re more aware of everyone’s usual schedule, it’ll be easier to appoint a fixed day weekly to organize the poker nights. After that, all you’ll need to do is send out weekly reminders so your friends won’t forget.
If you follow these simple steps, your poker night is guaranteed to operate more smoothly. However, if you experience hiccups along the way despite your best efforts, don’t berate yourself too much over it. People make mistakes and what’s more, not all things are within your control. What matters most is that everyone has a good time.
Becoming a Poker Master
Although you can find a guide for practically everything on the internet these days, it’s always handy if someone in your friend group is personally knowledgeable about the game. Having to rely on Google to search for answers constantly ruins how immersive the game is.
However, as the host, it’ll be good to be familiar with a few things like the game etiquette, hand rankings, and the betting procedure. This exudes a sense of reliability and confidence to your friends and you can inadvertently facilitate a smoother game because of it.
One unique aspect of poker is that intensity level is a key factor in determining the playout of your game. Usually, most groups would be mixed with a bunch of experienced players and newbies. This could potentially lead to a power dynamic imbalance. Hence, finding a good balance between the two is essential. Adopt a more relaxed gameplay style with newer players and up the ante with seasoned players. It’s all about adjusting the level of difficulty to find a middle ground for everyone.
After all, that’s been said and done, the perception of poker games contributing to the gambling vice is thoroughly misinterpreted. In good measure, they can present as effective brain teasers to challenge your mental flexibility. It demands players to be quick on their (mental) feet and exercise deception and persuasion well. Additionally, a dose of healthy competition never harmed anybody. It’s a great way of nurturing existing friendships and developing new ones too. All in all, it’s an excellent way of strengthening the bond of brotherhood with your best mates.