Quarantine Idea: Hosting a Poker Night With Your Family

Family poker night is a great way to break up night after night of sitting in front of the TV. Teaching your kids (or your partner) how to play poker is a great way to introduce some screen-free family friendly fun. In addition to teaching counting, it’s a great way to show your children basic negotiation and sportsmanship skills. It’s an activity that everyone can enjoy! 

Looking for help hosting your next poker night? We’ve got you covered. Take a look at our best tips below. 

First things first, we always recommend starting with the food. You can really turn poker night into an event with the right menu. Heavy hors devours are excellent for this kind of event, so think hot dips or guacamole and chips. Wings are a fun way to make everyone feel like it’s a party, as are make-your-own pizzas. Bon Appetit has a list of the best recipes for poker nights, so take a look for some culinary inspiration.

For small families, one table of poker players is plenty. However, if you have more than nine potential players, Global Poker recommends starting a second table. Children and poker novices should be paired with a more experienced ‘buddy’, at least for the first few hands. More experienced players, this is the time for patience – you weren’t always a card shark, so don’t be discouraged if it takes a little while to get things moving!

The Rules
Rules are very important for poker. Each game has betting rules, an ‘ante’ and the winner of the game gets the pot. 

Poker wouldn’t be the same without betting something. However, as you’re playing family poker, you’re unlikely to have chips (and good luck trying to get those $50 off your eight year old). You can choose to play for fun (always a great choice) or give your children chocolate chips or cereal to bet with. For older kids, you could try wagering other things, such as chores. If the money is really important, try playing with pennies. It’s almost impossible to get in trouble with a penny buy-in!

The Game

If you’re hosting a poker night with your family, odds are that at least one person won’t know the rules. However, not all poker games are difficult. Start off with one of these classics, and then work your way up until things get more complicated. 

  • 5 Card Stud: In this simple game, the dealer shuffles and deals each player five cards. The player with the best hand wins.
  • 5 Card Draw: In this game, the dealer shuffles and deals each player five cards. Each player has the option to exchange up to three of their cards for three new cards, drawn randomly from the deck by the dealer. The person with the best hand wins. 
  • Texas Hold’Em: Once you’re comfortable with five card stud and five card draw, it’s time to make things a bit more complicated. Texas Hold’Em begins with the dealer giving each player two cards, and deals five cards, face down, in the middle of the playing table. Three of the cards are turned over (called a flop), and the betting begins. A fourth card is turned over, more bets, and then the fifth. A final round of betting sees the players turn their cards over. The player who can make the best hand with the cards available wins. 

Mastered these? Beginner’s Poker Guide has more games that are perfect for the novice poker player. After your family masters a few simple rules, you’re ready to get started. Family Poker Night could become the highlight of your quarantine routine! Happy playing.

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