Not sure if this is applicable to the decorum of Poker.SE but here goes:

What is a reasonable way of getting a regular ring together? I have a group of 6-8 friends at work who are fairly interested in playing (and learning).

Specifically, how do I start a regular poker group while keeping the following

  • Friendships intact (nobody getting sore over hands / plays)
  • The bankrolls within everyone's range (to keep it serious play, but not discouraging new players)
  • An opportunity for growth in the ring if interest develops. Ex: if we are able to get 3 more people, how would the ring accommodate it?
  • Are cash / "ring" games even the best format? Comparing this to a tourney style play, I always thought ring games were more "friendly" allowing players to buy in if they get knocked out early, less "fierce" competition, etc.
  • 2
    Remove the couch from your living room, and bring in about 2 tables. Put them side-by-side and you have a poker table. Go to a neighbor and borrow some chairs. The dealer part is more tricky, depends on where you live... PS: You do realize I'm ironic, right ? Or am I ? Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 20:19

4 Answers 4


My suggestion based off my own personal experience with house games is start with small buy-in tournaments. As the experience and comfort level grows, you can then either. Up the buy-in of the tournaments and/or transition into cash games. You can set the Buy-in caps of the cash games to limit the loss and keep the games friendly. To keep players from getting bored. If they get knocked out early, we usually allow rebuys up to a certain level. We started off with $5 buy-in tournys and eventually worked our way up to a nice $100, deep stack tourney with 20 minute blinds.

  • How would re-buying into a tourney work? They pay the entry again and get the starting stack again? Also, where would you draw the line to not buy in? Time limit? Commented Jul 5, 2012 at 12:42
  • Yea we would start with a stack of about 5K. Starting the blinds at 25/50. After level 4 of the blinds (roughly an hour and 20 minutes laters) we would cut off rebuys. Commented Jul 5, 2012 at 13:05

The monthly tournament home games I play in have the following features:

  • Most of the core players met each other through a free tavern league. This had the advantage of meeting people who were poker fans and we had some idea of the personalities involved.
  • Games are scheduled on a poker site. Most use http://www.homepokertour.com
  • We play by the rules, Robert's Rules - No hard feelings
  • All house rules are posted on the poker site (no fishing, no splashing, etc)
  • The games are played on a regular monthly schedule on time so that players can plan their calendars accordingly.
  • A real timer is used, either a portable poker clock or a laptop with a PC program.
  • A small amount is withheld from each tournament to go towards a year-end tournament that you must qualify to play. Minimum number of games & points to qualify. Points are earned based on finish position, number of players, bounties taken etc. The number of entries is limited and we usually have a wild-card (as in American football - not card games) tournament to determine the last qualifier(s).
  • Game features are mixed up during the year.
    • Double buy-in, double points day
    • Rebuy/add-on day
    • Limit hold'em day
    • Omaha day
    • Double tournament day
  • Some games offer a 'First Out' rebuy. First player out can rebuy, whenever it happens, but only the first one out. Making it to the money bubble gets you money back otherwise it goes to the current prize pool and/or the final tournament.

We also often play a loser's cash game and play a second tournament not related to the end of year prize pool.

I've made some very good friends through these games, but it takes dedication from all involved. We sometimes take field trips to the casinos and usually some of us cash.


you haven't specified whether this is a live game or whether you can play online. pokerstars offers a home games set up for free.

you can choose between real or play money ring or tournament games, can choose blind levels and speed too.

pretty much covers everything you would need.


We needed more players for our poker game and found this to work:

  1. Set up a poker league - this creates a sense of belonging and returning players (plus track your scores each game)
  2. Advertise your game so that players can contact you
  3. Contact players in your area and ask them if they want to join
  4. Use a poker site like PokerDIY to do this or do it using Gmail/Excel

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