Hosting a Poker Game Tournament

Do your due diligence before you think about hosting a poker game at home. Check the local laws for where you live. Once you find out if you're clear to go, you'll need to get people together. This should be the easiest part of setting up your tournament. Have someone be the person making the phone calls and gathering people together. No sitting is complete without food and beverages, so designate another person to supply those for the house, as well as the other necessities (tables and chips). It's a good idea to designate one person per duty so that no one gets overwhelmed before the fun even begins. If one of the participants works at a bar or restaurant, you could ask about holding a free tournament at his or her business. Again, be safe and check with the local laws.

The next step in hosting a poker game is setting everything up. Acquire the right poker supplies: some good chips, cards, tables, and dealer buttons. When you have those things picked out and set up, it's time to post the rules and regulations. Post a piece of paper that clearly states the tournament's blind levels, the pay-out structures, and how to handle chipping up. Every player, new and old, should fully grasp the game they're getting involved in, and its rules. As long as your post is visible and clear, the rules list will help you avoid unnecessary trouble in the future.

The next thing to decide when hosting a poker game is what style you're going to be setting up. This is a crucial step. Things can become very confusing very fast if you don't let the players clearly know what the game is and what the stakes are. Cash or not, Texas Hold'Em or Seven Card Stud, limit or no limit, re-buys or no re-buys, add-ons or bounties, other variants, how to handle buy-ins and fees. These are important rules for everyone to know.

In a large tournament, moving and seating players can get hectic very quickly, especially if you're allowing new players to buy-in. With a few straightforward rules you can make things easy and uncomplicated. In a smaller game, emphasize quick table balancing to ensure fairness. Also, having uniform, unchanging dealing and shuffling procedures will help keep the play speedy and fair. As long as you keep the tournament simple, with posted rules and straightforward dealing, things should go off without a hitch.