Tips to Set Up a Poker Night

Poker has become the hottest party theme in town. You can see it in the movies, like "Ocean's Eleven", where George Clooney's and Brad Pitt's characters were teaching rookie players the finer points of poker. Poker has become a party trend. It is like setting up little Las Vegas in your home.

Invite some friends. The ideal poker group is between six to eight people. The party doesn't have to cost you much. All you need is a deck of cards, which is about $3 at the grocery. Buy a couple of decks so you have reserves just in case some of your cards gets burned by cigar or get bent.

Then you'll need lots of poker chips. You can buy them at local stores and online for about $40. You can buy used ones on Ebay or other auction sites for about $10 only.

Then you'll have to buy some snacks like chips and nuts. But don't buy greasy foods because someone might sneakily mark the cards with their fingers. Also make some healthy stuff, like sandwiches, since you can bet that your poker night will last until the wee hours.

For drinks, set up a few beverages and scotch glasses so players can choose and fend for themselves, or you can show off some of your bartending skills. After that, when the game is at high stakes, be prepared to brew some coffee, or better yet, buy some doughnuts or any other snacks that's almost like breakfast. Players get tired, but will want to wake up, because the game is at its most intense period.

Think about setting the stage. You'll need a big table for playing cards. A rectangular table is unfair to some players sitting on the long sides. Square tables do not have enough space. A round table works, but it's the octagon shaped poker tables that are perfect. They provide room for players and their chips and drinks. But these tables usually cost hundreds. If you don't have one, try to improvise, or try to look for them on auction sites. They could cost you from $10 to $300.

The chances for a poker night to be entertaining should be great, because everyone is participating and everyone is betting on a game of chance, coupled with freewheeling conversation, and the inherent deception that comes with the game of poker.