Equipment Needed To Host Home Poker Game

Some equipment is needed, and some isn't. It depends on how cheap you want to be.


  • Chairs - Not having enough chairs is one of the most common problems with home poker games that are not planned at all. This is because the host just assumes that they'll have enough chairs or, more often, they simply never think of it. I have been to plenty of casual games they just assumed 7 people will show up, but 8 showed up. This may not seem like a major problem, but if you are short 1 chair then someone can't sit down. In this case, the host will usually run around the hose looking for more chairs. I don't think I've ever been to a game where they couldn't find an extra chair, but it might be a difficult problem to solve if you couldn't.

  • Table - Most people are fine with playing on a kitchen table as long as the table is actually usable. On a non-poker table, the cards need to slide very well when dealing them so the surface needs to be OK. Ideally, there shouldn't be a crease in the table where the cards get stuck when dealing.

  • Chips - You need a set of chips. If you are hosting a game with just 4 to 6 players then a small set of chips will be fine. If you are planning a bigger game (maybe 10 people or more), you will need a bigger set. If you want to calculate how many chips you will actually need, go to our poker chip requirements page to read about the issue in more detail.

  • Playing Cards - You need one deck of cards per table.

Not Needed

  • Cut card - A cut card is placed at the bottom of the deck to make sure no players can see the bottom card. Cut cards are usually not used at home games since most people simply don't care about someone getting an occasional peak. But since they are cheap but effective, you might as well use one.

  • Button - An official button is one of those things that most home games don't use because they don't have one. A lot of the poker chip sets that were sold years ago didn't come with a button. These days though, many of the better chips sets come with a button. In home games that don't have an official button, they just use something stupid, like a bottle cap or something.

  • Timer - When playing tournaments where each level lasts a certain amount of time, a timer is an effective way to keep track of time. I have played in many home games where the levels were supposed to go up every 20 minutes or so, but the host lost track of time and we went over. If you have a laptop near your poker table, you can set up one of the many pieces of software to keep track of time. These days, you can use something like an iPhone with a regular timer app or something.


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