Poker Night With a Twist

Poker party ideas.

Poker is poker, whether you play with poker chips, potato chips, microchips or all of the above. So in order to put a twist on the game, turn your poker night into a blast from the past with a 1950s and 60s Rat Pack theme.

After all, more times than not, the Rat Pack members were found playing cards and rolling dice at Las Vegas casinos. Plus, guys, you won’t have to wait a whole another month before you get to play some poker.

And girls, you’ve been waiting patiently to show off your poker skills because you’ve been banned from guys’ night.

Finally, here’s your chance!

The Rat Pack was the epitome of cool, so in order to be true to your theme, you’ll have to be over-the-top when it comes to swank and swagger. Everything from the décor to the drinks must be sophisticated and refined. In a nutshell, you’ll want to populate your party with a bar, a series of poker tables, an array of upscale finger foods and a place to cash in your chips.

The bar. Make sure it is fully stocked! Liquor, beer, champagne, wine, the works. With that being said, you might want to think about hiring a bartender for this event. Nothing says Rat Pack quite like a cocktail, so keeping up with tending to the party needs as well as having the responsibility of replenishing everyone’s drink is a task that even the most experienced of hostesses have a hard time doing.


The poker tables. That’s right; you should have more than one! Chances are you’ll have more than four or five people in attendance, so having everyone huddled around the same table will be a bit difficult and downright uncomfortable. If you and your friends don’t have enough genuine poker tables to spare, just cover your existing table (kitchen, dining room, etc…) with green felt to get that Las Vegas feeling. Make sure you have enough decks of cards at each table, though. And if you really want to go authentic, put an automatic card shuffler on each table, as well. If you don’t have any, ask around. Chances are your friends will have some to donate.

The food. Finger foods is the name of the game. This isn’t a formal sit-down, so tell your guests to eat dinner beforehand. Everyone will be bouncing around from table to table (and from table to bar…), so organizing a dinner would be too difficult on everyone. Since your party is more of a soiree than a bash, you’ll want to provide classy and chicappetizers and desserts. They’re easy to eat, but for some reason seem to have a ritzy and posh allure.

The cash-out. If you’re playing for money, make sure you supply a place to both cash-in and cash-out. This can be a simple station set up in the corner of the party room. Otherwise, you can opt to play for charity, play for fun or play for prizes. When playing for charity, the cash-in station would serve more as a place to collect donations. Playing for fun would require chips to go through the motions of poker, but have no real consequences or rewards (other than bragging rights). Playing for prizes is a good way to add a little harmless fun to the game. Instead of having a place to cash-out, you can set up a prize station. Have a display of prizes and a “price” on each one. For example, a bottle of wine could cost 50 chips, while a key chain could cost 10.

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