How to Host a Poker Party With The Ladies

Shake the martini, pass the bowl of chips, deal the cards and get ready for a great night in with the girls.  Poker may be labeled a man's sport but that doesn't mean a girl can't learn to kick ass and have fun with the game, too.


Across the country an estimated 70 million Americans play poker recreationally. And thanks to recent broadcasts of the World Series of Poker and Celebrity Poker Showdown, it's fast becoming the hottest game in town. There's something kind of dangerous and sexy about playing the game.  So here are a few simple tips to get you going.


Technically you only need 2 people to play, but more players tend to create a more interesting game. Generally 4-8 people make a good table.  It might be a good idea to send out e-vites to your guests. That way you can also attach the rules so your players can brush up on the game ( before they come.


Make sure to have a couple of extra decks of cards in case one gets damaged. You don't need a felt-covered table to play, but you should have something sturdy and smooth. The one thing you should invest in is poker chips. You can always use real money or matchsticks but chips make for a cooler, more authentic game. And lastly you should put out some ashtrays. Yes, you can give the girls cigars. True smoking is bad (well, very bad) but this night is all about being bad. 


Next you're going to need some food and drinks. It's fun to do a James Bond theme and mix up a big batch of dirty martinis. You can serve food like clams casino, chicken satay, or shrimp cocktail as well as pretzels and chips. Whatever you serve make sure there's lots of napkins to keep everyone's hands clean while playing.  You never know who could be marking cards with cocktail sauce to cheat their way into your pocket. 


There are several different kinds of poker to choose from.  Five Card Draw is the most basic game and probably the easiest to start out with.  But don't stop there.  Variety they say is the spice of life, so once you have mastered Five Card, move on to other games like Let It Ride, Pai Gow and Texas Hold 'em.  Just make sure to establish the rules before each game starts. A different player should deal each game and they get to pick which type of poker will be played.


Bluffing is a big, tricky part of the game. You never know for sure if you'll be called, or if you'll be able to steal a pot out from under your girlfriend's nose. Try not to bluff more than two players at once unless you have a really good reason you think you'll succeed. Also, a bluff seems to work better if you try and represent a specific hand, such as a flush or a straight, rather than one that appears to come out of the blue. Keeping that in mind, take a chance and go for it. But be careful of your opponents. Women are notoriously great bluffers. This comes from years and years of telling their boyfriends and bosses how great they are. 


Set cash limits.  Not everyone has an unlimited bank account, so to avoid any problems, make each girl buys in with a maximum amount of cash.  That way when one girl's money is gone she has to sit out while the others finish playing.  While sitting out she can make herself useful by stirring up a few more martinis. The ante should be fifty cents with a three raise limit so on a really bad night the most you could lose is about sixty dollars. You want to be bad - not completely broke.


Now if the men start to get jealous that you're spending too much time with the girls just let them know what you're doing - a bunch of girls smoking cigars and playing poker is not the worst image a guy could have in his mind.  And who knows - if the boys are really nice we could even let them play.


Oh, and lastly if you really want to play like the men - no matter how you do…tell your boyfriend that you won.

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