Best way to handle food costs (1 Viewer)

Phoe9x

Sitting Out
Joined
Apr 7, 2023
Messages
39
Reaction score
75
Location
CA
I'm starting hosting some home games and I wonder what do you guys think is the best way to handle food costs?

I hosted my first home game and covered the food bill myself for all 8 players. I'm not sure this is the best way to handle it right now, do you think I should have a rotation of people who provide food, or should I ask for ~$5-10 from each player to help cover the charge?

What do you guys do at your home games? Also, any suggestions on what to get? I don't want to get pizza every single game night.
 
Will get many different answers. My crew all organise their own dinner meal through pickup or delivery during the main break. All drinks and snacks are BYO. Everyone gets what they want. My games are low to micro so I'm not pulling profit to cover such costs.
 
You can pull $ out of every pot that reaches a predetermined number until you reach your food budget. ie take $5 out of every $50+ pot. Or you could take a larger amount out of each Bomb Pot instead using the same principle...especially if it's PLO.

Just make sure everyone knows before they start playing so they don't think you're taking a rake.
 
You can pull $ out of every pot that reaches a predetermined number until you reach your food budget. ie take $5 out of every $50+ pot. Or you could take a larger amount out of each Bomb Pot instead using the same principle...especially if it's PLO.

Just make sure everyone knows before they start playing so they don't think you're taking a rake.
If it’s a mandatory sum being pulled from a pot, that may be considered a rake. However, I’m no lawyer, and your local laws may vary.
May be better to ask for a contribution outside of the pot to avoid a potential issue.
 
Haven't hosted for a while due to my new living arrangements but I loved @Goldfish method. Doordash group order before the day of the game - fantastic. People who are in the order just give me some cash or send a transfer beforehand. Also acted as a last second RSVP as people who pre-pay for food will definitely not flake on me last second unless it's a valid reason :ROFL: :ROFLMAO:
 
There are people on pcf who collect a food fee from everybody. That makes a whole lot more sense to me than raking a pot, especially at a low stakes game.
Personally I don’t mind footing the food bill at my game because all they get is hot dogs, because this is a poker game, not a dinner party. But I understand different crowds like different things. I hear some people have success with potluck situations. You know, like a church social.
 
If it’s a mandatory sum being pulled from a pot, that may be considered a rake. However, I’m no lawyer, and your local laws may vary.
May be better to ask for a contribution outside of the pot to avoid a potential issue.
For the record I don't do that. I have a hot dog roller!!! (If they want something else doordash/grubhub/ubereats is always available)
 
Get a hot dog roller. After that initial cost you can supply (cheap) hot dogs and buns for $10 or good hot dogs and buns for $20. I get a big box of the single serve variety pack of chips from Costco and call it a day. Since my game starts at 7:30pm pretty much everyone has had dinner by the time they arrive. Hotdogs and chips are snacks and not a real meal.
 
Haven't hosted for a while due to my new living arrangements but I loved @Goldfish method. Doordash group order before the day of the game - fantastic. People who are in the order just give me some cash or send a transfer beforehand. Also acted as a last second RSVP as people who pre-pay for food will definitely not flake on me last second unless it's a valid reason :ROFL: :ROFLMAO:
Or…… do a food flip ….. everyone puts up a certain amount and the winner of the flip pays for the food tab and keeps the remaining amount.
 
Well, my games start at 7-ish. My assumption is people have had dinner. But….I let them know that I will have snacks (pretzel goldfish and peanut butter m&m’s). If anyone wants/needs anything else, they are welcome to bring it so they know upfront what the deal is. For drinks, every whiskey I have open in my cabinet is brought out and they are welcome to try anything they want (I don’t have cheapies). I tell them I have some beers, but they are welcome to bring there own if they don’t like the beer I have.

I still feel like I'm being a good host, but allow the freedom to augment if they want/need. I don’t ask for money to cover snacks or drinks. It’s my pleasure as host. Although some may round down when cashing out and donate it to the house. I’ll tell them it’s not necessary, but will graciously accept if that’s what they want to do.
 
I take a hospitality fee of $20 per player once a month on league tournament nights, it covers the pizza, 2 beers on tap, nitro cold brew coffee on tap, and the whiskey shelf.

Cash games in between I cover pizza but most of the guys will throw me $10-$20 to help offset on those nights.
 
I provide drinks and hot dogs.
I used to put out a "snack fund" can but it's not necessary. I find that winners (tournament or cash game) usually chip in at the end of the night.
Some folks always chip in.

@krafticus does the same I think
 
I provide drinks and hot dogs.
I used to put out a "snack fund" can but it's not necessary. I find that winners (tournament or cash game) usually chip in at the end of the night.
Some folks always chip in.

@krafticus does the same I think
This is the way.

This topic has been posted many times before and my answer is always the same - I host so that we have a safe, comfortable place to play with good equipment because let's face it - if you're on this forum then you care more about your poker game than the majority of people who play the game.

I don't track my hosting costs but overall for food and drink costs I'm upside down lifetime, even with people tipping the odds and ends or throwing me $20 on a good winning night. On top of chips/drinks/booze/water/soda I also do a pizza order every game (or other delivery) and I hardly ever even get the pizza money back.

I won't ever rake for the game or for the food, because that's when it becomes illegal.

In return for the cost of hosting, I help drink the couple of bourbon bottles that people usually bring, and I get to not play on folding chairs with dice chips.
 
It's my opinion that a fixed amount given to the host per player isn't considered a rake, vs a fixed amount out of each pot is considered a rake. I don't do either of these, but if my hosting costs started to add up in terms of food and drink I'd either 1) make it a potluck or 2) charge a fixed amount per player to cover those costs.

For our big tournament series we use 10% of what is paid by each player to pay for food, drinks, a trophy, and some raffle prizes. Any amount not used for those costs are added back into the winnings.
 
It's my opinion that a fixed amount given to the host per player isn't considered a rake, vs a fixed amount out of each pot is considered a rake. I don't do either of these, but if my hosting costs started to add up in terms of food and drink I'd either 1) make it a potluck or 2) charge a fixed amount per player to cover those costs.

For our big tournament series we use 10% of what is paid by each player to pay for food, drinks, a trophy, and some raffle prizes. Any amount not used for those costs are added back into the winnings.
If I take anything that resembles a door fee (even if for food, even if is a donation) I'm likely breaking local laws. Hell, I think raffles without a license is illegal where I am.
 
Another way is to ask players to round down to the nearest $10 or $20 to help with food costs when cashing out. The amounts generated are more random but over time it evens out to an average of about five or ten bucks per player.
 
Bomb pot for approximate average cost per person multiplied by 2 then take the amount out.

So if the total was say $100 and there’s 8 players then do a $25 bomb pot and take out $100 from the pot before action begins.
 
Bomb pot for approximate average cost per person multiplied by 2 then take the amount out.

So if the total was say $100 and there’s 8 players then do a $25 bomb pot and take out $100 from the pot before action begins.
Not a bad way to do it, but it's stakes-dependent. If you're playing .25/.50, that's 50bb per person; kind of a steep bomb pot.
 
I have a hard enough time getting my players to bring cash.

They arrive, and ask "can I Venmo you?"

They aren't bringing anything :ROFL: :ROFLMAO:
I have been wishing my players would Venmo/PPal me their entry fee for my tournaments and bring cash for Rebuys and Cash games. Wishful thinking on my part. We are generally an older group of players and some have no idea what Venmo even is!!!:ROFL: :ROFLMAO:
 
To actually answer the question. I generally order pizza and ask my players to chip in $5. Drinks are on the house, I'll send out when I have in stock beer wise before the game. If you don't like it byob.

Most of my usuals will ask how much the pizza is. Some of them even "tip" the house when I have gotten wracked in poker.
 
Most of our games are late in the evening so most have already eaten.

When we do order food, we ask who would like to eat and only order enough for that group and then we split the cost evenly.

I usually supply drinks and snacks, but always suggest that the group bring whatever they'd like to snack on or drink. My group is pretty good about contributing beer, bottles of liquor and snacks. I do have a list of banned snacks while playing poker such as no cheetos or other messy snacks.
 
I do have a list of banned snacks while playing poker such as no cheetos or other messy snacks.
BB0A8F69-D2DE-4D2F-B054-BEC9563D5A65.jpeg
 
Most of our games are late in the evening so most have already eaten.

When we do order food, we ask who would like to eat and only order enough for that group and then we split the cost evenly.

I usually supply drinks and snacks, but always suggest that the group bring whatever they'd like to snack on or drink. My group is pretty good about contributing beer, bottles of liquor and snacks. I do have a list of banned snacks while playing poker such as no cheetos or other messy snacks.
What kind of sociopath would bring cheetos to a card game?
 

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account and join our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.

Back
Top Bottom