Tips for Hosting a Game Night in Santa Clarita – Hometown Station | KHTS FM 98.1 & AM 1220 – Santa Clarita Radio
Throwing a party is one of the best ways to welcome summer. For Santa Clarita residents, winter isn’t nearly as restrictive in terms of activities as it is in other states like Colorado or New York. Still, many choose to celebrate the changing of the seasons by inviting friends over.
Game nights are incredibly popular as they provide entertainment for the whole afternoon or evening. Guests tend to get a bit competitive while the action provides great talking points. In places like the Midwest, corn hole might be the game of the day, but farther west it’s more common for a game like poker to take center stage. But it’s not just about making sure guests know the rules to play the cards and have a successful game night. Think you’re ready to host an unforgettable gaming gathering? Be sure to cover the topics listed below.
The basics: Choosing a variation
Despite being one of the most popular card games in the world, the rules of poker are nuanced – and they change quite a bit depending on the variation too. For example, Texas Hold’em is the most common game, but others like Omaha and Live 3 Card Brag are also common. For the latter, there are guides that break down the fundamental changes between each game type. For first-time game night hosts, it’s recommended to stick to the most common form of a popular game. Guests will be more familiar and comfortable playing a popular variant like Texas Hold’em – and it will likely require less explanation.
Experienced game night hosts may opt for a more complex poker variation, especially if they’ve been playing poker with the same group for a while. The more shared experience a poker group has, the more exciting it is to try a new poker variant. For example, 3 Card Brag, covered in the link above, uses only three cards to determine the strength of a hand. Changing the rules requires players to pay more attention to probability than aspects like bluffing, which has contributed to the variant’s popularity in recent years.
The hardware: what you need
Nothing ruins a game night like a missing deck of cards or a stack of chips. And while it’s easy to find a cheap and affordable poker kit online, it’s important to consider how hardware affects poker play. Plastic shavings, for example, tend to fall off easily and can be uncomfortable to hold for long periods of time.
Some hardware makes each game move faster and more seamlessly, like an automatic shuffler. This is especially true for poker-specific gadgets like a blinds timer, a chip calculator, or even a poster reminding newcomers of hands and card values.
Others, like a green felt centerpiece, are more about aesthetics and convenience. Toppers can be placed on any surface to mimic the casino atmosphere, while players also appreciate the physical feel of the felt. For some, it’s an important part of the gaming experience.
Set up for success
Not many people know that the sandwich was invented so that the Earl of Sandwich could play and eat at the same time. In fact, the staple was created to be easy to hold and consume without making a mess – while also leaving one hand free to shift cards.
The same consideration should be offered on a game night. Finger food tends to be the number one choice for any type of gathering and can be explored with greater creativity during a game night. These days, two pieces of bread aren’t the only option for making hand-held delicacies.
Here, hosts can show their Santa Clarita pride by adding a few local delicacies. This could be specialties from Gyromania that are already conveniently packaged for easy eating, or finger foods from Mom Can Cook Thai Kitchen, like their Shrimp-in-a-Blanket dish.
The same goes for casual courts. Though the Earl of Sandwich helped invent dishes from burgers to Philly Cheese steaks, comfort food eaten with a fork and knife is also a solid option for diners. In this case, catering from a place like Wolf Creek Restaurant or even Newhall Refinery will surely please guests.