How to play poker at home

poker at home

The great thing about poker is that two people are enough to play the game. You do not have to register in poker rooms, where there are lots of players, since you can always play poker at home with friends or family. And you need just few things for this:

  • at least one person nearby;
  • knowledge of the game rules;
  • a full deck of cards (52 cards);
  • a set of poker chips;
  • desire (of course).

But even this short list of the necessary stuff can be shortened a bit more. If you are not yet ready to spend money on a poker chip set, and just want to try playing poker, there are many alternatives to do it at home. We will tell about them later in this article.

Rules to play poker with two and three people

Texas Hold'em is one of the easiest types of poker. If you play with two, three people (and so on) – the general principles of the game are the same. You can familiarize yourself with the game rules in our other articles. The list of all combinations is also available on our website.

The main and, perhaps, the only difference in the three-player game is button position. Since you are unlikely to get a personal dealer whilst playing poker at home, then the one who is on the button position will deal the cards.

If there are three participants in the game, then one player is on the button, and the rest are on the small and big blind (mandatory bet), respectively. Speaking about playing with two participants – you do not need the button chip, as there is only room for the small blind (SB) and big blind (BB). In this case, the cards are dealt by the player on the SB. 

If you rarely play poker, or even take part for the first time, make a note of all the combinations on a piece of paper. Let it be your little cheat sheet, because you will definitely not be able to remember all combinations of cards the first time. Even experienced players can sometimes get confused, let alone newbies.

Do not hide the paper far. In order not to mix up who has to act at a certain moment, make two plates inscribed «small blind» and «big blind». If there are three players, then add the plate that says «button».

What you need to play poker at home

Early in the article, we’ve already written about what you need to play poker with a friend. Since you have someone to “fight” with, and you already know the rules, it's time to decide what you will play for! It’s not necessary to play for money. There are game chips for this purpose.

Play chips

The game chips are not sold separately, therefore if you want to simulate the atmosphere of a casino as much as possible, you will have to spend a little money and purchase the poker chip set. Such set also includes cards, chips to indicate dealer, small and big blinds, and some even have the felt (covering) for the table.

«I don’t need that luxury. How to play poker at home without chips?»

Well, everything depends on your imagination. We recommend the following alternatives:

  • coins;
  • matches;
  • buttons.

If you are not lazy, then you can start a needlework club and single-handedly create chips. Of course, they will not emit the same pleasant sound as real ones, but you made them personally. In addition, you can assign the value of each chip yourself. With matches, for example, this will not work (unless, you shorten them). 

Differences between professional and home game

By playing poker at home, your main goal is to entertain yourself. You can bluff with cards like 2-7 and not worry that you may lose, as you are not playing for money (if you’ve refused to play for real money). In online poker, where most players want to earn money, you will not behave so freely and naturally at the poker table.

play poker at home

In the online poker or at championships, you sometimes want to know your opponent’s hand, but he/she won’t show it to you (in most cases). Playing with friends at home, you can easily show your cards after the dealing or check what cards other participants had. Human curiosity has no bounds, and it is always interesting to find out whether your friend was bluffing or not. Moreover, if the hand ended on the flop, and you want to know which cards could come on the next streets, you can (by mutual agreement) open the entire deck.

Someone could have completed a full house, and someone mucked the cards at the right time. As for professional game, the similar case is unacceptable. But at home, you can, if not break, then, at least slightly change the rules however you (and your friends) like. Perhaps, this will only make the game more exciting, so everything is in your hands. 

Playing poker at home is a great way to spend time. You can sit at the table for more than one hour communicating with friends, as you definitely have something to talk about. Poker undoubtedly unites people, even though each participant plays for himself. Hurry up to learn the rules and invite your friends to have some fun! 

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Cardmates editor since 2018.
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