A good home poker game with your mates can be a great way of spending an evening. Here are a few tips on making sure the night goes as smoothly as possible.
First things first, everyone sitting at the table must know the basic rules of play. Make sure that everyone is comfortable with the type of game you are about to play, and that they understand when to bet, how to deal correctly etc.
You don’t want confusion to arise mid-way through an important pot when one of the players doesn’t burn a card before laying down the river card. Also you don’t want a player thinking a straight beats a flush in Texas Hold’em and losing all their chips.
Once the buy-in has been established (if you are playing a tournament), make sure you set the prize money out before play begins. If you do this halfway through the game, players with the most chips will be more likely to be calling for a higher percentage of the pot to go to the winner! If 6-8 players are sat at the table, it is usually apt to pay the top 2 at a ratio of roughly 70:30. 9-12 players at the table would normally pay out 3 places at a 50:30:20 ratio, but as long as everyone is in agreement it doesn’t matter how the payout is structured.
If you want to make the home game as authentic as possible you might want to draw cards for table position before you start. This stops the more savvy players from positioning themselves in front of the more aggressive players.
Setting up a timer for blind level increases is imperative to make sure the game keeps ticking over and doesn’t stagnate. Any period of time between 15-30 mins is usually acceptable, but once again, as long as everyone at the table is in agreement, it doesn’t matter.