Planning your perfect poker evening event

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Everyone can get involved in poker games

When you can’t get to the casino, or just feel like hosing a fun themed event at home, there’s nothing better than a poker evening. Bringing the glitz and glam of Las Vegas to your event is great for both the host and the guests and is entertaining for people from all backgrounds.

And while poker evenings have been stereotypically portrayed as male-only events in tv and film, this doesn’t need to be the case in real life. Everyone can get involved in poker games, making it the perfect entertainment for an evening with friends or family.

Here’s everything you need to consider when planning your perfect poker evening event.

Choose a dress code

A dress code is important to get right and inform your guests about early on. It also takes the pressure off them when deciding what to wear, as no one likes to be unsure if they’ll stand out from the crowd or not. You need to decide whether you want your event to be more relaxed or formal.

If you want to plan a James Bond-style poker night, request everyone dress up in cocktail dresses or go black tie. For something a bit more casual, ask that people go ‘smart casual’. A smart casual look is actually the requirement for many casinos — it allows people to be comfortable without looking sloppy. So, no shorts, caps, or athletic wear, for example.

Making sure your guests know the dress code well in advance can ensure they know exactly what to choose from their wardrobe well before the evening.

Send out invites

If you actually want to have guests at your event, give them ample notice to save the date! An invite can be over Facebook or text, but to replicate the glamour and excitement of a casino, why not send an invitation the old school way through the post?

Besides the date and the time of the event, this is the place for you to include the dress code and briefly outline the evening’s activities. For those that aren’t experts in poker, indicate you’ll be conducting a brief tutorial so that as many people as possible can get involved. Why not try a poker-themed invitation like a card from the deck? There are so many creative ways to send out invites and get people excited for what’s to come.

Plan the décor

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Bring in elements of Las Vegas like bright lights

The décor is one of the most important aspects of planning an event. Getting it right can completely change the atmosphere and really immerse your guests in the experience. For a poker-themed night, you may want to replicate the world of casinos. Bring in elements of Las Vegas like bright lights and even a Welcome to Las Vegas sign. You can use cards and poker chips creatively as part of the décor.

When considering the décor for the evening, the central focus should be on the poker table. This is where you’ll be playing the games, of course. You don’t need a professional table — adding little extras, like buying a colored table cloth specifically for the evening can make a huge difference to space.

There are so many budget-friendly ways to dress up a room for a poker themed event. You can find loads of ideas on Pinterest, or check out a website like Etsy where you can purchase special items. Ultimately, you want to achieve the wow-factor when people walk into your home. Even if it’s not a real casino, there are so many things you can do to achieve a casino-look and add glamour.

Consider hiring a dealer

If it’s in your budget, consider hiring a professional dealer for your poker night. This will instantly transform your event and will impress all of your friends. It’s something that you might want to consider if you’re looking to really go a bit wild with the budget and take your party to the next level. Just imagine the photo opportunities!

Choose the right food

When it comes to throwing parties, choosing the right food is so important. A casino-themed night requires a certain type of food. Remember, this isn’t a dinner party. Your guests ideally will be drinking and playing poker throughout the evening. That’s why the most suitable food for a poker-themed party is light snacks and appetizers. This will ensure that people can enjoy eating throughout the night while playing the game.

You want the food to add to the poker experience, not distract from it. To keep in line with the theme, try making some extra fancy appetisers and finger foods. Don’t forget some small paper plates or napkins!

Try casino-themed drinks

Alongside the food, is, of course, the drinks. How about starting the evening off in style with a glass of champagne (or prosecco if you’re on a budget) for when guests arrive to start the evening off right. You may want to consider making up your own fancy cocktail that people can enjoy throughout the evening. Be sure to stock up on beer and wine for those that aren’t into liquor. And always have a nice selection of soft drinks on hand for those who don’t drink (or happen to be the designated driver for the evening.