Apartment Entertaining: Poker Night!

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Apartment Entertaining: Poker Night!

Staff Writer · Aug 5, 2009

Looking for a simple party idea? Host a Vegas-inspired poker night! With minimal preparation, you can bring the casino to your apartment.

Poker Supplies

Buy or rent a portable/foldable poker table. These are usually covered in green felt and seat 4 to 6 people. If you are looking for a budget-friendly option, just use your regular kitchen table, you can even use a coffee table. Measure the surface and head to the fabric store to get some green felt to fit the top.

Make sure you have enough poker chips-experts suggest at least 35 chips per person and as many as 100. Ask your friends to bring some extra chips from home, if they have any. If you’re playing a game with a designated dealer, make sure you have a dealer marker.

Know the Game

Make sure you and your guests know what you’re playing before you start. Have the rules on hand and be prepared to go through them when everyone arrives. Hopefully, by the time you throw your next poker party, everyone will know the rules and come ready.

Know the Stakes

Decide ahead of time if you’re playing for fun or for money.  If you’re playing for money, let your guests know if they should bring nickels, quarters or dollars.

Food and Drink

Keep it simple. Serve foods that can be eaten without people giving away their hand. Think finger foods: Chicken strips with dipping sauce, taquitos, sliders and bruschetta.

Serve some Vegas-inspired cocktails. Try these:

Manhattan:

  • 4 ounces bourbon
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth
  • A dash of bitters, such as Angostura
  • Maraschino cherries, for garnish

Fill a shaker with ice. Add bourbon, vermouth and bitters. Shake well, and strain over ice into rocks glasses; garnish with cherries.

Tom Collins:

  • 4 ounces gin
  • 2 ounces fresh lemon juice
  • 4 teaspoons superfine sugar
  • 6 ounces cold club soda

Fill a shaker with ice. Add gin, lemon juice and sugar. Shake and strain into 2 tall glasses filled with ice cubes. Top with club soda and stir.

For a non alcoholic option, try Italian soda:

  • 1 ounce flavored syrup
  • 8 ounces sparkling water or club soda

Combine sparkling water or club soda and syrup in a tall glass filled with ice and stir well. Garnish with mint if desire.

Have fun. Don’t be too uptight about the game and the rules. If this is your first time hosting, relax and see what happens. All that matters is that you and your guests have a good time. If at a later date you want some serious poker action, invite only the people that seemed into the game.

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