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How to Throw the Best Poker Parties by Michael Thomas

Poker night at a friend's house is fun, but nothing beats throwing your very own poker parties.  The elements of food, drinks, and the opportunity to win some cash make for a dynamic atmosphere. When planned right, everyone is sure to have a blast at your poker parties.  With that said, here are a few tips for making sure your poker parties are a complete success.   

Set the Poker Party Stage

The first step in project party poker is making a list of all who will be attending.  Remember that poker is a very competitive game, and when money is on the line, tempers have been known to flare.  For this reason, you may want to invite a group of friends who get along with each another.  After calculating a ballpark figure for the number of guests, you should then be able to determine how many chairs, tables, decks of cards and poker chips will be needed at your poker party.  Setting the stage is essential, as it can determine how successful your party poker outing will be. 

Put Emphasis on the Party Poker Game

When planning poker parties, you need to focus on the number of poker chips and decks of cards that will be required.  For poker chips, you should try to gather up as many of them as possible.  The cheap plastic ones will work go fine with party poker, but if you really want a casino experience, we suggest splurging on a nice set of clay chips.  Although about 30 chips per player should be sufficient, serious poker party planners may choose 100 chips to be on the safe side. 

In terms of playing cards, it is a good rule of thumb to have two decks of cards per table for party poker.  This can really help move the game along; one is being used for the current hand, while the other deck is shuffled and ready to go for the next round. 

Choose the Gaming Menu for Your Poker Parties

Though it might seem trivial, the food you decide to serve at your poker parties is very important.  There are certain types of foods that can distract the party poker game or halt it completely.  Since you're hosting party poker, serving a full-course meal would not be practical.  Think of small finger foods, such as chips, cheese and crackers, nachos, or bite-sized sandwiches.  These snacks can be enjoyed and easily put aside so that everyone stays focused on the game.  Smaller foods tend to make less of a mess as well, making them ideal for cleanup after your poker parties.    

Thirst Quenchers for your Party Poker Game

Beverages are an integral part of all poker parties.   Many people like to enjoy liquor while playing their hand.  This also means that your party poker game may experience some interruptions as players stop to tell jokes and laugh.  To appease the drinkers, purchase enough beer to compensate for all your guests.  This is definitely the cheapest strategy, as attempting to satisfy everyone's specific liquor taste can get quite expensive.  Don't forget about those who prefer non-alcoholic beverages.  For these guests, you may want to keep some juice, soda or bottled water on hand. 

When coupled with your own personal spin, following these simple tips will help you create a casino-like feel that has people talking about your poker parties for years to come.  

This article was published on Wednesday 18 March, 2009.
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