Almost everyone seems to be getting into the poker craze these days, even people who may have never been to a casino before in their lives. Poker is a great game that now enjoys a credibility that it never had in the past. Far from being relegated to back rooms, poker is now broadcast on television for everyone to see and enjoy. If you’re stuck for a fun activity to do with your friends, you might consider a home poker game. Here are some things to think about when setting up a poker game at home.
It’s legal – maybe
In most states, having a poker game in your home is legal as long as no one is making a profit from the game (other than poker wins, that is). That doesn’t mean you have to give back your winnings at the end of the night, what it means is that the host cannot take a rake, or any kind of fee from the game. While this is the standard rule, laws regarding poker vary from state to state, and with the recent poker boom, state legislatures are making new poker related statutes all the time, so check your local laws regarding poker before beginning.
Set reasonable stakes
A home poker game should be designed so that the participants have an evening of fun. This doesn’t mean you can’t try to win money, but your goal in a home poker game shouldn’t be to break your friends. Decide on stakes that everyone will be comfortable with before the game. Figure out how much a player can reasonably lose on a bad night with the stakes you are playing and make sure that is acceptable to the participants. In addition to being good social practice, if you hit your home poker participants in the wallet too hard, they won’t come back. Also, remember it is not a casino. Getting up early after winning a few pots may ruffle some feathers. It’s often good to alert your fellow players an hour before you plan to leave, or set an ending time before play begins.
Don’t let players cash in and out themselves
Only one player should be handling the chips, generally the person hosting the game. At the end of the night, the host will be responsible for making sure everyone gets paid. If there is not enough money to cover everyone’s chips, a winning night for the host can quickly become a loser. Making sure only one person controls the chips going in or out reduces the likelihood of cashing mistakes.
If you follow the rules above, you should have a fun and successful home poker game experience. Good luck!
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