Easy Poker Night Food

Nothing says guy’s night like a six pack and a few rounds of Texas Hold’em. Whether you’re a verified tournament hosting pro or a poker playing newbie looking to practice your game with some friends, here are some essentials you’ll need to host the perfect poker night.

The Basics

Finger-Food Feast Chicken Dipping food is fun for kids. In this recipe, panko-breaded chicken drumsticks and healthy veggies are paired with a lemon and basil yo. Poker with friends - anytime, anywhere. Get the EasyPoker app and play poker with up to 12 friends. No need for poker chips or deck of cards! Game nights can run long, especially if all players are enjoying the big night. Plan your food accordingly. Bring out main dishes every hour or so, starting with this cheesy Chicago-style pie. The spicy sausage adds bold flavor and a boost of protein, to keep the players going.

If you’re new to poker hosting, here are the bare essentials you’ll need to get a game started.

1. An Awesome Poker Table


Surprisingly, there is more to a poker table than just a table, and not any will do. There are three important things to keep in mind when picking your ideal table: shape, surface, and size.

In general, the best shape for a poker table is the classic round shape. This allows players to sit comfortably and evenly spaced around the table. No one needs to have a corner sticking into his stomach and everyone can reach the middle. A round table also allows dealers to easily deal out cards.

The ideal surface for a table would be one that is slick enough to allow cards to slide across but not so slippery that they slide off. The classic green felt used on most standard poker tables are ideal, but wood can also work if it isn’t too polished.

Lastly, when converting your kitchen table into a poker table using a table top, keep in mind that it should be large enough to accommodate all the players, as well as any other items such as drinks or ashtrays, but not so large that it’s difficult to reach the middle. If you’re looking to save space and keep all the amenities of a professional poker table, look into some foldable ones. Some even have cup holders built right in!

Easy Poker Night Food Delivery

2. Poker Chips that Say You’re a Professional

2 x 500 piece 13.5 gram Triple Striped Clay Poker Chip Set


While anything can be used as chips, it says something about a poker night when you’re using the real thing. Poker chips are usually made from three standard materials: plastic, ceramic, and clay. Cheaper ones are usually plastic and on the flimsier side, but they’ll still get the job done. However, if you’re looking to make poker night a regular thing, invest in some nice clay chips. They are casino quality, less slippery, and make a really satisfying sound when you throw them into the pot.

3. Cards


Any standard deck of playing cards will do, but have at least two decks on hand. You should switch decks between deals to save time. No one wants to sit and watch as someone else shuffles. It would also be good to invest in some plastic cards. They’re easier to shuffle, less likely to rip, and spill proof, just in case it turns into that kind of night.

Classic Comforts

Now that you have the basics, you can add a bit of flare to your games. Here are some little things to impress your guests and make the night run smoother

4. Blinds Timer

Dealer Button Timer


There are plenty to keep track of during a poker game – pot odds, potential hand opportunities, the tells of the player across from you – but blinds shouldn’t be one of them. Before the game starts, set up a blind structure. There are many online sites and apps to help you find the best blind structure based on your player and chip count. Make sure everyone agrees to this structure and set a timer so you’ll never forget to raise the blinds again. If you’re big on functionality, you can buy dealer chips that double as blind timers – just another thing to show your guests you know what you’re doing.

5. Chip Calculator

If you’re not too mathematically inclined, use a chip distribution calculator to help you determine a perfect way to split the stacks. The amount of chips each player gets and how much they’re worth depends on how many chips you have, how many players you have, what your starting blinds are, what the buy-in is, and if you’re allowed re-buys. Make sure you have the right chip distribution or you could end up playing till the early morning.

Easy Poker Night Food Fun

6. Poster of All the Hands

Poker is a game for everyone, though not everyone may be familiar with it. Accommodate players of all levels by having a poster of the hand rankings in visible view. It’ll make the game run smoother and you won’t have to keep explaining what beats what.

7. Comfortable Seating

Poker may be a fast paced game, but it is not for those with weak stamina. A casual six-player game can easily go on for at least two hours. Here, standard hosting practices apply. Have out some beers (soda for the designated drivers) and some chips. Cushioned seats and snacks will keep even the losing players happy.

For the Pros

Once you’re ready for the big leagues, add these items to your night. Though non-essential, they really bring you one step closer to that Vegas feel.

8. Automatic Card Shuffler


If you aren’t a good shuffler, or simply don’t want to, there are many cheap, automatic card shufflers available for purchase. They can shorten the wait time between hands and let you rest yours.

9. Card Guards

Good Luck Card Guard


Used by most professional players, card guards prevent your cards from accidentally being discarded. Poker nights can get rather hectic, especially with six or more players, and it can be hard for the dealer to keep track of who is still in and who is out. Have some card guards on hand to give to your players. Not only will it class up the night, it can also prevent some good hands from being accidentally mucked. Plus, they’ll have a nice souvenir to take home.

Guy’s night doesn’t have to get complicated. With just a few items you can make poker night a regular thing. Poker is easy to learn, relatively inexpensive to play, and the perfect way to finish up that seemingly endless work week. Put on some conversation-friendly background music, leave out some snacks, and you’ll have a night of fun for everyone!

  1. Very impressed with all the advice for poker nights.thanx

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Mikey's Kitchen

This blog covers food recipes for guys, though it offers great food tips for everyone.

Drink of the Week

Every week Bob Westal whips up a new drink recipe, from the classics we all love to new recipes to try out when you're out or at home.

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Games to Avoid During a Hangover

Here’s a great list of games that aren’t a great fit with a hangover.

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One of the easiest ways to impress a date is to cook her a great meal. For those of you who cringe at the thought of cracking a recipe book and dicing vegetables all afternoon, Mike Farley has two words of advice: chill out. There are all sorts of easy meals and snacks that you can cook up for your girl or, yes, for poker night with the boys. That's right -- why not ditch the chips and pretzels and offer your buddies some loaded potato skins or grilled buffalo tenders? After all, while whipping something up in the kitchen takes more work than grabbing a couple bagged snacks off the grocery store shelf, your guests and your taste buds will all agree that it was worth it. Dig in!
You can also get more ideas on grub for guys by checking out Mike's food blog at Mikey's Kitchen and on Twitter @FoodForMen.

March Madness Spread
March 19, 2013

It's too late to change your bracket, but you can still mix things up in the kitchen with these quick and delicious snacks.

Holiday appetizers
Updated: December 19, 2012

If your idea of holiday party food is a bag of flavored potato chips and the good pork rinds, let Mike help you make some awesome holiday appetizers that will knock the socks off your guests.

Super Bowl Spread IVEasy Poker Night Food
February 2, 2012

Mike Farley spices up your party with our Super Bowl Spread IV, featuring queso meatballs, pizza potato skins and more.

Beef Tenderloin
PokerDecember 19, 2011

Treat yourself this Christmas with a memorable meal like Mike's beef tenderloin with horseradish dipping sauce.

Green Chile BurgerEasy poker night food delivery
June 24, 2011

Add some Southwestern flair to your next cookout with Mike's spicy Green Chile Burger.

Super Bowl Spread III
February 3, 2011

Chips? Pizza? Burgers? Your stomach and your guests will thank you for getting a little creative this year with some Buffalo Chicken Nachos or Brat and Wisconsin Cheddar Mini Pizzas.

Chili for Dudes 101
November 4, 2010

The calendar has turned to fall, a chill is in the air, football season is in full swing...must be chili time! Mike's traditional chili and white chicken chili both bring plenty of flavor and heat.

Quesadilla Fiesta!
September 28, 2010

Quesadillas for breakfast? Check out Mike's instructions for making a Breakfast Quesadilla as well as Spicy Chicken and Cheeseburger versions.

Cajun chicken fettuccine
August 26, 2010

It may be a clogged artery waiting to happen...but damn, is fettuccine alfredo good! If you like your meals with a little kick, try Mike's Cajun chicken fettuccine.

Easy poker night food ideasPeanut Butter and Banana Burger with beer greens
July 29, 2010

Burgers are the most basic of summer foods, but they can get a little stale if you're just dealing with meat on the grill. Mike adds peanut butter and bananas for an unusual but tasty burger.

Fourth of July Hot Dog Spread
July 1, 2010

Instead of serving the same ol' dogs at your Fourth of July party, try dressing them up a bit. Mike lays out his Chili, Chicago-style and Buffalo dogs.

Pasta salad trio
June 3, 2010

Think pasta salad is too girly? Dude-friendly dishes like buffalo chicken pasta and cold sesame noodles will put hair on your chest and pleasure in your belly.

Chicken-fried hamburger
April 27, 2010

They say it tastes like...well, try it and see! Mike channels his inner good ol' boy with this recipe.

St. Patty's Day reuben
March 16, 2010

Corned beef takes center stage this time of year, and Mike delivers a St. Patty's Reuben using coleslaw instead of the traditional sauerkraut. Eat, drink and be Irish!

Chicken, bean & spinach stew
Easy Poker Night FoodFebruary 24, 2010

With winter winding down, Mike offers up a stew that will warm up the remaining chilly days while helping you burn off the spare tire you've been working on all winter.

Super Bowl Spread II
February 4, 2010

The food is almost as important as the game on Super Bowl Sunday. Spice up your party with Mike's Buffalo Turkey Meatballs, Steak Bites, Olive Poppers, Smoky Chipotle Dip and Fiery Snack Mix!

Hot meals perfect for cold months
December 30, 2009

Mike offers up a Dude Stew and Kickass Chicken & Rice knowing that you'll need something to keep you warm and nourished when you're watching all the bowl games and NFL Playoffs.

You've got all that leftover turkey. Now what?
November 25, 2009

Don't waste that bird when Turkey Day passes. Mike offers a five-pack of recipes for your leftover fixin's, including breakfast hash, a Big Easy-style sandwich and pizza topped with potatoes.

Halloween candy special(10/27/2009)
Candy is dandy, especially around Halloween. Mike names the best, worst and healthiest candy of the season, in case you want to cherry pick your kid’s treat haul.

Ham, olive and three-cheese grilled cheese sandwich(09/23/2009)
Add a cup of tomato soup to this variation on an old favorite, and you've got hearty comfort food in a flash. Mike's buddy Matty pounds them down three at a time, but your cardiologist says a little restraint never hurt.

Meat and Potatoes II(08/27/2009)
Ready for the next level? Mike started out slowly, teaching you the basics of meat-n-potatoes cooking. Now he brings recipes for Flank Steak with Grilled Tomato Salsa and Twice Baked Potatoes, tasty twists on the old standards. Fire up the grill, oven and food processor, as you add to your culinary repertoire.

Fresh Summer Grilling(07/30/2009)
Summertime cooking isn't just all dogs 'n' burgers, or some type of meat slathered in BBQ sauce. Mike presents recipes that add sweetness and spice, like chicken with pineapple and jalapeno salsa, and that other white meat (pork, of course) marinated in lime juice and served as a taco.

Guy guzpacho(06/29/2009)
Cold pizza? Sure. Cold meatloaf sandwich? A real treat. But what about cold soup? If you thought it was only for orphans and prisoners in a dungeon, think again. Mike's Guy Guzpacho recipe is an intentionally cold tomato-based soup that makes for a great summer meal.

Meatball stuffed eggplant(05/28/2009)
No, an eggplant doesn't come from a chicken, but you can use poultry in this recipe that brings together an unusual vegetable with turkey meatballs. Mike shows how a little time in the kitchen, along with a prepared food, equals homemade goodness.

One healthy turkey sandwich(04/17/2009)
Mike marries tasty turkey with good-fat avocado (via guacamole) in this sandwich on whole-grain bread. Add crispy bacon and lettuce and you've got a meal that's crunchy, smooth and not too bad on the arteries. Limit yourself one or two beers and you're happy while eating healthy.

Slow cooker beef stew with beer (Yum, beer!)(03/03/2009)
A slow cooker isn't the first appliance you think of when imagining a guy's kitchen gadgetry, but Mike says crock pots aren't only for girls. His beef stew with beer recipe fills the air with a hearty aroma and the stomach with a tasty meal, and best of all, it can cook while you watch the game!

Super Bowl Spread I: Slow Roasted BBQ Ribs, Spicy Salami Sliders, Killer Taco Dip, Veggie Panini and Savory Cilantro Chili Corn Muffins(01/28/2009)
Aren't you tired of serving the same old grub at your Super Bowl party? Chips, pretzels, pizza, wings...blah, blah, blah. Mike's Super Bowl Spread will help you get creative for this year's game with easy recipes for BBQ ribs, Spicy Salami Sliders, Killer Taco Dip and more. Eat up!

Looking To Lose That Holiday Weight? Mikey's Cobb Salad, Grilled Buffalo Tenders, Cheese/Peanut Butter Squares and more(01/16/2009)
Chances are you put on a few (or more) pounds over the holidays. For those looking to shed some of that extra weight in the New Year, Mike offers up a tasty selection of low-carb options that will make life a bit easier when you're trying to shrink that gut.

Thanksgiving dinner: Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy for the common dude(11/20/2008)
Guys usually leave the cooking to someone else on Thanksgiving, but Mike presents recipes for the classic turkey dinner with stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, and ensures us that it's not too complicated, even for the novice cook. Just be sure to save room for pumpkin pie.

So you have a hangover? Hangover Soup and Bloody Mary(10/23/2008)
What helps when your head feels like it's packed in a vice with a bag of cotton balls in your mouth? Some protein, some fluid and a bit o' the hair of the dog. Mike Farley comes up with recipes for Hangover Soup and a Bloody Mary to turn down the volume on the boom-boom-boom of the morning after.

Chipotle Mac & Cheese and Tex-Mex Meatballs with Spicy Tomatillo Sauce(09/25/2008)
The term 'comfort food' conjures up images of mac and cheese, chicken soup or maybe meatloaf and mashed potatoes. But comfortable doesn't mean bland. Mike adds a spicy twist to a couple of old favorites in dishes that bring the heat while satisfying the soul: chipotle mac & cheese and Tex-Mex meatballs.

Cheeseburger Wellington(09/04/2008)
It sounds damn fancy, but hey, it's just a cheeseburger. Mike dreams up a taste treat and emerged from the test kitchen with his Cheeseburger Wellington, using puff pastry instead of a bun and ground beef in place of filet mignon. On the side, he adds home fries. Greasy, salty, but oh, so good.

Quick & easy grilling(08/12/2008)
Your backyard grill can become a source of interesting and easy foods, beyond the basics of burned beef. Mike Farley offers up recipes for chicken, pork and shrimp, and some marinades and spices to season them. And don't forget what Mom said: Eat your vegetables and fruit!

Real Man quiche and bistro pasta(07/07/2008)
A great date begins with you cooking her dinner and ends with you making breakfast the next morning. Mike suggests starting with Bistro Pasta with tomato and basil and then capping off your sleepover with Real Man Quiche. It may not sound very manly, but trust us -- she'll eat it up.

The Best Damn Chicken Wings, Period.(06/24/2008)
Smoke 'em if ya got 'em. Mike presents his recipe for chicken wings, a twist on the familiar fried or baked poultry pieces. Prepped in a range-top smoker, he then adds Cajun spices and grills the wings to crispy perfection. Added bonus: your house ends up smelling like bacon.

Mini pizzas: buffalo chicken and chili dog(06/10/2008)
Mini-anything doesn't sound like Grub for Guys, but duuuude, these mini pizzas hold two all-star male-oriented edibles: buffalo chicken and chili dogs. Mike advises that a knife and fork may be needed to chow down on these tasty tidbits, and, hey, no one said you can't have a half dozen of 'em.

He-Man fiery sausage and peppers(05/28/2008)
Are you the kind of guy who likes to singe his tastebuds with spicy food? Then Mike's latest Grub for Guys offering may be right up your alley. His He-Man Fiery Sausage recipe is the perfect dish for a get-together with the guys. Just make sure to have plenty of frosty beverages on hand!

The Morning After: Huevos Rancheros(05/13/2008)
After a night of imbibing, you may want a little bit of the hair of the dog, but try this dish instead: Mike’s quick and easy Huevos Rancheros. They are filling, high in protein and spicy enough to cut through the fur coat on your tongue. Maureen McGovern was right – there’s got to be a morning after.

Spaghetti Sauce 101(04/28/2008)
Put down the Prego, fellas. Mike offers up a killer spaghetti sauce recipe that you can whip up while watching the game or playing 'Guitar Hero.' Simple and, even better, inexpensive, Mike's Spaghetti Sauce 101 recipe is the perfect way to impress your lady.

Meat and Potatoes 101: Steak, baked potato and grilled vegetables(04/10/2008)
After waiting all winter, it's finally time to get back behind your grill. Mike Farley offers up a simple menu that will satiate any carnivore, whether you're grilling up something nice for your lady or just throwing together a filling meal for yourself.

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