For a fun night in with a few friends, host a casual poker party. We've got tips for playing the game, themed decor ideas, and more for this inexpensive get-together.
Throwing a poker party is one of the easiest—and cheapest—ways to entertain six to eight of your friends. Get your poker face in place and steal some of our tips for your own in-house poker tournament.
Before sitting down at the big round table, make sure you know the basics of playing poker.
Serve simple cocktails in glasses that are perfect for the occasion. To make the cocktail shown (called a Mr. Bob Cocktail), fill the bottom quarter of a large pitcher with fresh or frozen fruit. Top with one-part gin and three-parts lemonade; add ice and serve.
Think you've got a good hand? Here's a guide to the cards, from best to worst. (Pictured: High Card)
If you don't have a poker table, don't worry. Fashion this nifty poker table runner from green felt and extra poker chips to cover your playing surface. Cut the felt with pinking shears and punch holes in the felt 1 inch apart. Use a drill to make holes in extra poker chips, and hang them from the felt with paper clips.
Dress up a drum light fixture to hang above your poker table with a set of unused cards. Wrap the lampshade with red ribbon, using glue to secure the ends on the lampshade's seam. Punch holes in the tops of cards (you'll need about a deck, depending on the size of your lamp) and use paper clips to hang them from the ribbon.
Go the extra mile for your party and include poker-theme snacks for your guests. Mini 100 Grand candy bars and chocolate gold coins make easy treats—just be sure to keep them within reach!
Sound like a poker pro by using these common terms during your game:
The Flop: The first three community cards, dealt faceup
The Turn: The fourth community card
The River: The fifth (and final) community card
Burn and Turn: Before laying down the flop, turn, and river, the dealer discards—or "burns"—one card to prevent cheating
Fold: Surrender cards and bets
Call: Match the highest bet
Raise: Increase a bet to an amount above another player's bet
Check: Make no bet
All in: Bet all chips at once