Hosting a Home Poker Game? Here's What’s Needed for Success

5 min read

For many people, poker nights are a tradition on par with Monday Night Football and a weekly staple of their routines.

After just one successful home poker game, you’ll be hooked for the rest of your life, and so will your friends.

Best of all, you don’t need to be a professional poker player or dealer to set up a fun and competitive home poker game.

With just a few of these essential poker supplies, you could host your first of many successful poker nights. But first…

Are Home Games of Poker Legal?

Yes, home poker games are legal, as long as the host of your poker home game doesn’t rake the pot.

Although laws differ by state, almost all low-stakes poker games are considered harmless and not actively prohibited by law unless a rake is taken or alcohol is sold on the premises (in certain states).

With that stipulation out of the way, let’s discuss what poker supplies you need to host a poker game at your house. 

Essential Poker Supplies

Poker Table

There are several options available for amateur and professional home poker players, depending on your budget and prowess.

Generally, poker players have four options when selecting a poker table for their home:

  • Table-Top: A felt poker top that sits on top of an existing table. 
  • Solid Poker Table: An amateur or professional solid poker table that comes in various traditional shapes. 
  • Custom Poker Table: A customized poker table with unique features, such as a poker dining table
  • Folding Poker Table: A solid table with folding legs that enable easy storage.

If you choose a solid poker table, you’ll also have to select a shape based on the number of people you'll have at a poker game and how much space you have in a room.

Options include:

  • Oval Poker Table: Easily the most recognizable and expensive model, the oval poker table fits up to 9-10 players and is found in most casinos and professional tournaments. Oval poker tables feature a special seat for dealers as well. 
  • Round Poker Table: Smaller than an oval table, a round table is perfect for casual games and fits up to 5 players, including the dealer. 
  • Octagon Poker Table: Similar to a round table, an octagon table typically consists of a 46” width and fits anywhere from 4-6 players. 
  • Square Table: The smallest and most affordable type of table, the square table fits four players during a single game.

One final consideration when shopping for poker tables for sale is the felt. Suited speed cloth is by far the most popular among professionals and enthusiasts.

However, basic poker table woolen cloth could be the most affordable and still provide you with a satisfying experience. 

Poker Chips

Next, you’ll need to purchase a set of poker chips to make your game possible.

A standard 500-piece chipset should be suitable for games up to 10 players. Truly, only casinos require anything bigger than 500 chips.

Next, you’ll need to decide between blank and engraved chips. Generally, purchasing engraved chips with assigned values makes it easier for beginners. With that in mind, most players assign the following values to poker chips based on their colors:

White

Red

Blue 

Grey

Green

Orange

Black

Pink

Purple 

Yellow

$1

$5

$10

$20

$25

$50

$100

$250

$500

$1,000

Of course, some denominations may change based on where you play or who you play with.

If you’re playing with smaller antes, then investing in blank chips to assign your own value to them will be your best bet.

Once you determine how much money and how serious your home poker game will be, the final consideration will be the material of your poker chip.

There’s a lot of controversy around this, especially with clay chips, as no casino uses a 100% clay chip anymore. However, you could still purchase a mostly clay chip that’s virtually indestructible and offers that classic feel.

In addition, you could also choose between plastic chips, which cost less, or composite chips, which offer the best surface and glide for smooth gameplay. 

Poker Cards

Poker cards may not require as much thought as the table and chips, but many poker players have their favorite brands they take with them everywhere.

Generally, the four best brands include:

  • KEM: Made from highly durable cellulose acetate plastic, these cards last forever and resist bending. 
  • Copag: Made from PVC plastic, these cards are durable and feature large print so you don’t have to squint. 
  • Modiano: Made from waterproof plastic, these cards used to be featured in the World Series of Poker. 
  • Bicycle: The most recognizable brand and they have decks for nearly any game. 

Poker Chairs

Considering the average poker game could last anywhere between 2-6 hours, poker chairs are maybe the most important consideration for your guests.

Now, you have a little more flexibility when it comes to chairs, and you could always just use anything you have at your house. Many retailers offer high-end poker chairs sized for table height that offers great comfort.

Generally, any folding chair, bar stool, or high enough dining chair will suit a long poker game.

As a final note, consider purchasing a set for proper consistency and mood.

Once you figure out seating, you’ll have all of your essential poker supplies. However, that’s not all, as there are plenty of poker accessories that could take your home poker game to the next level.

Poker Accessories

Chip Case

The chip case serves the most important function, and it’s not transporting your chips. The chip case is where you keep the money!

For a truly professional and fun environment, be sure to purchase a safe lock box or chip case to store players’ money and protect against theft.

To save money, you could buy a cheap case or use the one that came up with your chips and just throw a lock on the case. 

Shuffler

While not absolutely necessary, poker shufflers could make your home poker game so much more efficient and free-flowing. Plus, who wants to shuffle cards for a couple of hours straight.

Best of all, poker shufflers ensure that no cards get used repeatedly.

Shuffle Tech is a great option that will ensure you’re always playing with the proper amount of cards and will shuffle your deck in seconds. 

Chip Tray

While most poker chip sets will come with their own tray, you could add more style and security by purchasing a separate tray. Chip trays allow dealers to access and distribute chips at a second’s notice and make it easy to keep track of chips and prevent any stealing.

Dealer Button and Lammers (Optional)

Dealer buttons and chips are only recommended if you’re going to have a personal or professional dealer at your home poker game.

Lammers are chips put on a table by the dealer to indicate how much money a player is playing with. For example, if a player paid $50 for a buy-in, the dealer would put a chip with $50 lammer on the table to indicate that amount.

Finally, the dealer button is a button or chip used to designate which player is the dealer. Of course, both of these are totally optional purchases but give your home poker game an air of authenticity and professionalism if you’re striving for that World Series of Poker environment.

Conclusion

Listen, sometimes all you need are a poker table top, a few cigars, and maybe some food and drinks to host a fun poker night at your house.

However, suppose you plan to host weekly home poker games. In that case, you could benefit from purchasing high-quality poker supplies, like an oval table, comfortable poker chairs, clay or ceramic chips, and everything else we listed.

For the best poker supplies on the market, be sure to shop through our website to find a poker table that best matches your vision and everything you need for a successful home poker game.