Poker has always been a popular pastime, but interest in the game has increased exponentially in recent years. It’s now become a firm favourite among professional and recreational players all over the world.
There are many potential reasons behind the rise in interest. Pro poker tournaments receive widespread TV coverage, while there are many old and established online casino brands offering different versions of the game.
Poker nights are now commonplace, but what items do you need for a night at the tables?
There are many different versions of poker, but they all require certain essentials. The most popular option is Texas Hold’Em so we will focus on that throughout this round up.
Whether you’re playing real money poker, or you’re just having a few fun hands with friends, the first item to take care of is a deck of cards. Poker is played with a single deck of 52 playing cards with the jokers removed.
In professional poker tournaments, the decks are brand new and they will be replaced at regular intervals. Those that are playing for fun will not want to keep buying new decks, but it’s important that the cards are in good condition, without any marks or blemishes.
While multiple packs are not essential, it may help to have a second deck on hand to keep the game moving, and to avoid delays while reshuffles are made.
Playing cards can be purchased at many outlets, but some of the more popular brands include Kem, Bee, Tally-Ho and Hoyle.
A Worthwhile Upgrade
To make your game look as professional as possible, there are some additional items that you can buy. A top quality case of chips is a real head-turner and it can help to take your game to the next level.
In many recreational poker games, players may use real cash. As we become a cashless society, a case of chips can provide an alternative. Additionally, chips are ideal if you’re simply playing for fun.
Poker chips can be relatively inexpensive, and there are some recommended brands among players. Nevada Jack and Nile Club are up there with the best.
Making it Easy
Like most games, poker has its fair share of gadgets. These are quirky items that add a fun element, while some can also save a serious amount of time. Among the most popular poker gadgets on the market is an automatic shuffler.
This is a fairly inexpensive way to speed up your poker play, and you can also be certain that the results are completely random. If set up correctly, there will be no chance of careless hands dropping those cards face-up onto the table.
Other popular poker gadgets include card guards and a blinds timer.
Into the Big Leagues
For those who want to take their poker really seriously, it’s worth considering a professional poker table. This would be the most expensive purchase, so it pays to take time to look at all the options that are on the market.
Tables come in all sizes and there is a range of quality, so there are some budget-friendly options. Along with the size element, other points to consider include the colour and quality of the felt, and whether or not to take up the option of additional chairs.
Is it worth entering into such an expense? For recreational players who have their friends round on an ad hoc basis, the answer may be no. Those who organise poker nights at a bar or local community hall may want to make that purchase, in order to take the game to the next level.
Poker can be a complex and compelling game, and it may be a daunting one if you are just starting out. If this is the case, it’s recommended to simply play hands without real money stakes in those opening stages.
For those with a little more experience, it can still help to have a reminder of those rules at times. Many companies publish a poster of the order of winning poker hands. As a more cost-effective option, these can be downloaded from a digital website and printed off.
Any disputes over wins can then be easily resolved.
All of the items on this list can enhance any poker game. Only the cards are really essential, and it’s simple to start playing with any standard deck. However, in order to add a touch of professionalism, chips, a shuffler and even a full size poker table can be considered.
All of the items can enhance and speed up poker play. Some add an element of fun, while the rules guide is there to settle any disputes. It can be a good idea to start by keeping things simple before looking to add in some additional purchases to boost your poker experience.