Host a Poker Night

Host a family poker night

After endless nights of watching TV,  why not host a family poker night to shake up your family’s monotonous routines. Teaching your loved ones the timeless game of poker could be a good way to introduce some family-friendly fun that doesn’t involve that screen in your living room. For kids especially it’s a fun way to learn maths and the essential skills of basic negotiation and sportsmanship skills. It’s an activity that everybody can enjoy!

Here are some tips on how to host a family poker night:


Get prepared!

First off, why not think about the food you’ll need for everyone? Rather just playing a game the right food can really turn poker night into a proper event. Finger food and snacks are what you’d be looking for for this type of event, so think along the lines of dips, guacamole and crisps. Wings are always a firm favourite and no matter how many you make they’ll all get eaten! Alternatively, you could make your own pizzas, again a great family activity.



For small families, one table for all players is fine. If you’ve got nine or more players we would probably recommend starting a second table. Be sure to split up the teams so children and poker novices are paired with a knowledgeable ‘mentor’. More experienced players may get frustrated with teaching younger children but the satisfaction they will get will be worth it for sure!


The Rules

Poker, like any card game, has specific rules which can be learned relatively quickly.

Poker wouldn’t be the game it is without some form of stake. However, this is family poker we’re talking about here so choose wisely! Maybe try chocolate chips, penny sweets or other small sweet treats. For older kids, you may have some luck with wagering other things like household chores. If anyone does want to play with actual money you can always bet with pennies.


Variations of poker

There are different poker games to try varying in difficulty and complexity so have a read through each to see which one your family might like.

5 Card Stud

During this basic game, the dealer shuffles and deals each player five cards. The person with the best hand wins.

5 Card Draw

For this game, the dealer shuffles and deals each player five cards. Each player then has the choice to exchange up to 3 of their cards for 3 new cards, drawn randomly from the deck by the dealer. The player with the best hand wins.

Texas Hold’Em

Once you’re comfortable with the more basic games like a five-card stud and five-card draw, it’s time to step up to this casino favourite. Texas Hold’Em starts with the dealer giving each player two cards, then deals five cards, face down, on the playing table. Three of the cards are turned over (the flop) and the betting starts. A fourth card is turned over (the turn / fourth state), more bets are placed, then the fifth is revealed (the river / fifth state). A final round of betting is then played before all players turn their cards over. The player who has the best hand with all the cards available wins.