Home/ Poker at Home/ Poker Party

6 Poker Party Ideas

Don't let your poker home game get stuck in a rut. If you and your friends are just going through the motions on poker night, try one of these ideas for your next game.

#1 - Add a New Game

Need a break from No-Limit Hold 'Em (NLHE)? There's probably enough ways to play poker that you could try a new one every week for the rest of your life. Adding a new game to the mix keeps regulars on their toes. It also gives newer players the opportunity to even the playing field, since the games will be new to everyone.

Poker Party

Some popular alternatives include: Pot-Limit Omaha (PLO), Seven Card Stud, and Triple Draw. There's also many more obscure variations, like 3-Card Hold 'Em, Crazy Pineapple, and Double Flop Omaha.

Check out our How to Play Card Games section for more ideas.

#2 - Prop Night

This is how you add more gambling to your gambling. Typical prop bets during a poker home game involve betting on the board run-out. For example, you can bet on whether the flop cards will all be the same color, or if an ace will flop.

There's a popular game called Lodden Thinks, named after poker pro Johnny Lodden. In the game, two players place a bet on what a third player thinks is the answer to a given question.

Questions can be about anything, like 'What's the GDP of Mexico?', or 'How many nuts are in that container?'.

It doesn't even matter what the real answer is, since you're simply betting on what someone thinks. It's a fun game, and a great way to break the ice with new acquaintances.

#3 - PokerStars Home Games

Sometimes real-life responsibilities can interfere with your poker schedule. Work meetings, family time, and other appointments sometimes have to take precedence over poker. Fear not, though; where there's a will, there's a way. Did you know that PokerStars has a home game feature?

PokerStars Home games

You can create a game that only your friends can join. Even on those nights when it's impossible to get everyone under the same roof, you can still enjoy playing poker with people you know.

#4 - Bonus Hands

Who hasn't gotten tired of being card dead? Throwing away 7-2 offsuit, 6-3 offsuit, etc. gets old pretty fast. Remedy this problem by declaring a bonus for winning with raggy hands in your game.

You can use chips from the rake to make a side jackpot, and award it to anyone who wins a pot with those hands.

It's a great way to get the action going. It's also great to turn over 72o and show everyone they got bluffed by the worst hand in poker.

#5 - Tourney/Cash Switch

If your group usually plays cash games, try changing it up and hosting poker tournament one night. If they usually have tourneys, make the next night a cash game.

poker pool party

There's unique aspects to each type of game, and it's good to get some exposure to both.

If you're hosting a home poker tournament for the first time, make sure to plan the the structure (blind levels, payouts) wisely. Don't make a tourney that could last six hours if the game usually only lasts three.

If a longer session is fine with everyone, make sure to have some poker appetizers available.

#6 - Heads-Up Night

There's not a lot of opportunity to play heads-up poker at most casinos. They have to pay a dealer to deal for two players instead of 6-10, so it's not as cost-efficient for them.

But when you're playing poker at home, you can do whatever you want. If you can find a couple other people who are comfortable dealing, you can have multiple heads-up battles going at once.

They can either be regular cash games, or run as a single-elimination tournament. They're also a great way to settle grudges.

Play poker at home legally in the US at Americas Cardroom.