How to Set Up a Poker Game

By Alan Donahue

Poker seems to be everywhere, including multiple magazines, televisions shows and huge casino tournaments. Regardless of the forum, poker remains one of the most popular card games. If you want to set up a poker game in your own home, follow these steps to ensure the smoothest time for yourself and other players. The setup is easy, and, after a few games, poker can be played hassle-free in your own home.

Choose a location in your home. Usually the best spots to play are in a garage or a recreation room. Games tend to run late, and the garage provides an easy way for players to enter and exit without disturbing other members of the household. Have plenty of room for five to ten players, or even more if you wish to use multiple tables.

Purchase your poker supplies. The best place to purchase poker supplies is at a large-scale retailer, such as Walmart or Sears. The official World Series of Poker supplies are available at these stores, and they also supply tables and chairs. If you cannot find what you are looking for, an online retailer, such as Ultimate Poker Supplies, can provide the rest.

Choose whether you will host a cash game or a tournament. For home games, a tournament provides structure along with clear payouts and winners. This structure makes the financial and timing aspects much easier to handle.

Use the dry erase board to write down blinds, rules and payouts. Point out the board to everyone so the rules are clearly understood and seen. You can also type the rules to give to every player so they can be studied.

Designate a cashier. As the host, you should be the cashier, but you can choose a close friend as well. This person keeps a log book of all the money coming in and out in order to settle any disputes between players.

Start the blind timer when the tournament starts, using a stopwatch. Stick to the clock, and change blinds at the start of the next hand when blinds have ended. If you are hosting a cash game, use the stopwatch as a 30-minute "cash-out" timer for players who want to leave.

Serve light refreshments. They can be as simple as water and chips or as advanced as pigs in a blanket and baked cookies. Good hosting will encourage people to return and may even garner tips.

About the Author

Alan Donahue started writing professionally in 2003. He has been published in the Norwich Free Academy "Red & White," UNLV's "Rebel Yell" and on various websites. He is an expert on wrestling, movies and television. He placed second in the NFO Screenwriting Contest and received filmmaking awards from Manchester Community College and Norwich Free Academy. He currently attends Academy of Art University.