HOW TO START A POKER HOME GAME
So, you want to start a home game. I mean, why wouldn’t you want to start a home game? Home poker games are some of the most fun you can have, and it’s incredibly easy to start one. These days when everybody is wrapped up in their devices and binge-watching the most recent TV hit, a home poker game is a glorious return to the days when people actually got together and socialized with Situs Poker Online.
I’ve hosted more home poker games than I can count, and played in home games in dozens of basements, kitchens, and dining rooms. I’ve experienced the good, the awesome, and the awful – so if there’s a better or worse way to run a home game, I’ve seen it.
With that, I offer here a guide to setting up your own home game. In return, I only ask that you give me a seat next time I’m in your town. Here goes:
Start with the right group of people. “Player pool” is to home games as “location” is to real estate. If you get that right, pretty much everything will fall into place. When finding your players, select people who are good company, first and foremost. If somebody is a big winner but fun with a good sense of humor, they are better for the game than a donor who whines all the time.
Get people who show up. Preferably on time, but not the guy or gal who’s always texting you at lunchtime on the day of the game to say they can’t make it. Once you have that group established, give special preference to the ones who are there at the appointed time, and don’t leave for at least 4-5 hours. You can’t have a successful home game if you start an hour late and you’re on the verge of the game breaking throughout the evening.
Make sure you’re clear with everybody what the game is going to be like. I’ll put more details below, but you want everybody to have the right expectations when they show up.
Set up a schedule for your game. The more predictable and regular it is, the more people will commit to it, put it on their calendars, and show up. The most successful home games I know run like clockwork. They’re Tuesday at 7:30pm, or Sunday at 1:00pm, period. Then everybody puts them on their calendars, clicks “Repeat weekly”, and bam, you have an institution. In his glorious paean to poker, Big Deal, Anthony Holden talked about the Tuesday night game he played in near London. Tuesday night was sacred to members of that community and nothing – not even an invitation to see the Queen, we’d learn – would prevent the regulars from showing up.
If the schedule is “sometime in the future”, then you have the constant battle that Joe and Mike can make it Friday, but Amy and Bob can’t. Amy can do Saturday and Sunday, but Bob…
Even if your game is every two weeks or every month, that’s fine. Make it the third Thursday of every month. Pretty much anything that can be programmed once into iCal or Google calendar will work. It also allows people to plan and look forward to it. Anticipation of a good poker game can drive a lot of people in your direction.