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5 Things You Don’t Need to Run Successful Home Poker Games

Win at Home Poker Games

Do you play in home games where the host is trying to create an “authentic” poker experience? While a nice novelty, most people really don’t care about all of the bells and whistles in a live poker room. That’s why online poker is so popular. You get to play poker without all of the nonsense of live poker.

Today, we will go over 5 things you DON’T need to run a successful poker home game. The best games are usually simple affairs that only need poker, good friends, and refreshments.

Copag Cards

If you’ve ever played poker in live poker rooms, you’ve probably played with Copag cards at some point. Once you play with plastic cards like Copag, you might not want to go back to playing with a standard deck of cards.

While it is understandable that you would want to buy a set of Copag cards for your home game, there are plastic card sets out there that are cheaper and of similar quality. Even Bicycle and Hoyle have their own versions of plastic playing cards.

There’s no need to spend $50 to $200 on playing cards when you can get a decent deck or two for cheap.


People that play a lot of live poker will get spoiled and may decide to hire a dealer for their home game. The problem with hiring a dealer is that you have to pay the dealer for their time and it generally will cost your other players money for tips, etc.

Home Poker Game

In some games, hiring a dealer may push your home game more into “home casino” territory and could land you in legal hot water. Instead, move the deal around to different players. The dealer button will physically deal the cards. Naturally, you will need to watch out for any potential cheating, but most amateurs will not have the skills needed to cheat at poker. Moving the deal around is the cheaper and safer alternative to hiring a dedicated poker dealer.

Designer Poker Chips

Something I always find funny is when people will dump hundreds of dollars into buying clay poker chips. That or they buy a designer chip set trying to show off. Generally, most any decent set of chips you can get for $20 to $40 will do the same trick.

Shop around and you may find some reasonably priced quality chips for your home games. A good set of plastic chips will work just as well and may actually last longer. Sure, they won’t “feel” the same as casino chips, but most people really don’t care about that.

Fancy Tournament Clock Setups

Some home games like to run poker tournaments and they try and emulate live poker rooms. This includes having some monitors setup with a clock, blind levels, and the like. While that’s a bit fun, there are simpler solutions.

A simple timer will suffice to keep track of the time in levels. If you must use a display, there are poker tournament clock apps that you can use for your table or laptop. While not as fancy as what you’ll see in live tournaments, they will do the job.

Expensive Poker Tables

I’ve seen people drop thousands into buying a full-sized poker table complete with all the bells and whistles. The problem is that you’re spending a ton of money on something that you will use very infrequently.

Most home games will get by just using standard tables or lower quality poker tables. You can get a usable poker table for $200 or less. Or you can just wait until someone’s wife or girlfriend makes them liquidate a higher quality table.


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