You know playing online is fun, but a live game is really what poker is about. Unfortunately it’s not always possible to find a game in your area and sometimes you need to travel a bit to get to a game. Doyle Brunson used to travel all over Texas looking for games and back then most of those games were illegal. And that was in the early 60’s. Nowadays, as with everything else, times, technology and people have evolved. You can now set up your own games and all you really need is one other player and cheap poker table sets. Well, one set might be enough, but you always get that one guy that breaks your table when he lost his money for the night, so it would be handy to have another one to spare.
That’s it. That’s all you need. Oh, yes, and some place to set it up, but you can do that on your dining room table. Unless the Old Ball and Chain hisses like a bobcat over the fact that your best friend had left a crater the size of The Grand Canyon, right in the centre the last time you played. Then I can not help you, but I’m sure you can make a plan.
So let’s begin. I’ve searched and searched and searched. I’ve then narrowed it down and came to the conclusion that Amazon sells the cheapest poker equipment. Don’t worry, it’s not like driving a Ford Kia compared to a BMW, where you get what you pay for. Poker chips are basically the same all over the world. Well, you do get the heavier and better quality chips they use in the casinos, but for your home game with just a few friends, those won’t be necessary.
Below I will list my findings for both the United Kingdom and Europe and also for the United States of America.
The first thing you will need when deciding to play some poker is a pack of playing cards. Without cards, there is no poker. When buying a poker set, you usually get a pack of cards included, but those are normally not good quality. If you’ve ever been around a card player, especially the older generation, you will know that the vast majority prefer a pack of Bicycle cards and that’s because it’s good quality cards. I know, because I only use them and nothing else. A proper pack of Bicycle cards will cost around £6 – £10 or $6 – $10. Be watchful for the cheaper versions as they are clearly fakes. The quality is rubbish and the complaints and bad reviews are plenty. Bicycle cards are durable, don’t bend easy and the edges do not fray. I have found you legitimate Bicycle Cards, so please see below.
The second thing you will need is a set of poker chips. It’s not a 100% necessary and you can use matches, but chances are your friends will find a mate with a proper set of chips for their next game and you will be known as Match Boy. And trust me, no one wants to be called Match Boy!
You get a few different types and quality chips, but for your home game, a normal decent set is more than enough. There is just no need to get casino quality chips when you are just starting out. They can be quite expensive and your novice mates will never be able to tell the difference anyway.
Playing with your chips around the table by shuffling, flicking it with your fingers or building huge stacks and towers are very much a part of poker. They do it on tv so once more I have come to your rescue and found you a decent set of chips at a very affordable price below. And as you can see it comes with a very stylish and very handy, silver case. Go nuts!
Check out the link on how to shuffle your chips like a pro. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwfvsa1_3Qk
So now that you have your cards and your chips, it is time to move onto the tables. A table will make your home game look like the real deal and you don’t even have to spend hundreds of pounds or dollars. These tables fold into quarters after you cleaned out your friends and sent them packing. They have spaces and trays for 8 players and their drinks, are covered with felt to give that casino feel and are a little heavier than they look, which means that they are proper quality and not some cardboard piece of rubbish. The one one the left have served me well in the past and the money I have taken from my friends have paid for the table a 100 times over. In poker there are no friends, so don’t feel bad if you take their money, because they are playing to take your money.
In the next post I will cover all the accessories you can get for your home game and truly amaze your friends. I just hope that they won’t be too scared to play you then.
As always, I would love to hear about your experience in using this equipment at your own home games and how you got on. Drop us a line in the comment box below.
Good luck and see you at the tables.
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