Nurturing your friendships will help them last a lifetime, and one of the best ways to do this is by sharing hobbies. To sustain a friendship, the NYTimes.com outlines how consistency matters more than frequency, so creating a tradition can help you maintain common ground even when everyone gets busy.
If you love poker, then setting up a poker group with your friends can be a great opportunity to find that common ground. An article on The Rob Report found that poker is one of the best ways to make new friends and maintain friendships due to it being an intensely social and jovial game. It also makes everyone equal at the table, so job titles and life achievements outside of the game don’t matter. Another reason poker is so popular among friends is that it is very easy to pick up. Poker.org’s beginner’s guide to poker explains how the rules and mechanics are simple enough to learn in a few hours. While poker variants have unique rules, all of them involve the same betting, bluffing, common terms, and poker hand ranking mechanisms, making it a very teachable hobby.
Wondering how to set up a poker group with your friends? Here’s how to get started.
Prepare the game
Before playing, you’ll have to hash out all the details for your games. Choose a variation that everyone can learn and play. By far, the easiest to learn and the most popular poker variation is Texas Hold’em. Here, each player is dealt two-hole cards, and the dealer reveals five community cards. The one with the highest “hand” according to poker rankings wins. You can also try out other variations like Omaha and Seven Card Stud together.
If you’re planning to play with real money, then you’ll also have to set up the buy-ins, structure, and the blinds. Buy-ins are decided based on how much money your friends are willing to play for. The structure indicates whether rebuys are allowed, or whether players are out once they’re out of chips. Lastly, you’ll have to decide a blinds structure which determines the speed and amount at which the blinds change. If you’re playing online, most poker sites allow you to modify these elements or choose from a range of pre-arranged conditions.
Get everyone ready
Whether you’re playing online or in person, make sure that you can maximize the conditions to make it as easy as possible to participate. If your group is playing in person, decide on a time and venue that’s accessible for the entire group. Give everyone food assignments, and decide who’s bringing the poker equipment.
If you’re playing online, then you’ll have to decide on a poker site or app that you and your friends can play on. Sites like PokerStars and GGpoker let you invite friends to private cash games and tournaments. Make sure to do test runs prior to your first game, to ensure that the app will run smoothly.
Adjust your stakes
If your poker group is going to last a long time, then everyone will have to be properly engaged and excited. Besides, what’s poker without a little thrill? For everyone to get into the game you’ll have to light up their competitive spirits. Money and bragging rights are incentives enough for your friends to give their best. But you can get creative with how you want to spice things up by putting other stakes on the table — food, favors, or even material prizes. It has to be something everyone would want.
Choosing stakes that are enticing for everyone can stoke friendly competition and give them something to come back for each time.
Setting up a poker group with your friends is a simple and low-budget way to share your hobby and find a common activity. Most importantly, it gives everyone an incentive to see each other once in a while and build new memories with each game.
For more ideas on how to get creative with your friends, do check out our Lifestyle posts.