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How High To Play In Your Home Game

1 August 2008, By:
Home poker games can be a lot of fun. They're a great social activity and a good way to pass an evening's entertainment with friends. The Tuesday (or Wednesday, or Thursday) night poker game is a staple activity in homes all across the country and the world. However, it is inescapable that poker is a game played for money, and the question occurs, how high stakes should a home game be?

Setting the Stakes in Your Home Game

Setting the stakes in a home game is a delicate balance. You don't want to go so high that a friend will lose his entire paycheck in the game, but you don't want to make it so low that it is not interesting. You'll have to gauge based on the economic status and risk tolerance of the players you invite what the ideal stakes are. It is best to err on the low side. This is, after all, a friendly home game, and if people start getting cleaned out, they'll be less likely to come back.

Handling People of Different Economic Status in Your Game

If some of your friends have considerably less income or risk tolerance than others, your preferred stakes may not be appropriate. You now have three choices. You can ask your friends who prefer playing higher if they would mind playing lower. You can try to have two separate games, one a higher stakes game and one a lower stakes game. Or you can invite those other friends to a different activity on a different night. What you should not do is encourage those friends to play at higher stakes. Unless they are extremely skilled, this will probably result in them losing more money than they want to or can afford to. If this happens, you will lose them for the game anyway and it may hurt your friendship.

Why We Play Home Game Poker

While some private games may be cutthroat affairs, most of us play poker in home games to have fun with friends. If the stakes in your game seem to be causing fights, bad feelings and dissension, you should consider lowering the stakes before the situation causes irreparable damage.

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