Home Game Convenience Items (1 Viewer)

nebdrew

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I don't bother with starting stacks for cash games. Not really a point when people may buy in for different amounts and show up at different times. Also people are rebuying all night for different amounts. Kinda pointless.

Hot dog dollar, beer fridge/kegerator, and ice machine with ready glasses have improved our game greatly.

I added a cash register to my bar this weekend to make tournament buy ins and cash buy in/out more efficient, and man it saved me a lot of work.
Can I see your register setup?
 

Taghkanic

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Can I see your register setup?

Would like to see that, too!

But I’m not clear how a register really makes things more efficient.

At my game, people don’t all show up at once. I can buy them in initially without a lot of rush. I just take their cash, count it, place it where it’s visible in the the chip case, cut out their chips, and don’t put the cash into my box until they have received their chips and verified that they got what they wanted. Ideally, I count the cash one more time before I put it in with the rest.

Ditto when someone tops off/rebuys during the game. There is seldom more than one buy at a time, so I can take my time if needed... But the process doesn’t take long, and I’m not sure how a register would speed it up.

Probably I’m missing something.

And all that said... I suppose a register might make things more fun, especially an old-fashioned one that makes a lot of cash-y noises.
 

Taghkanic

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Re.: Food and beer:

In a low-stakes game, I can see how sharing the burden of drink prices is necessary for equity. If the average buy-in is $20, and the host has to buy a case of soda and a case of decent beer every time, that’s not fair.

Once the stakes get higher, it kind of becomes irrelevant TBH. As the host of a game which plays fairly big (by my standards), a $20-$40 food/drink expense isn’t worth making a fuss over.

I’ll make sure there are sodas and beer, plus some light snacks. I can count on at least a couple guys to bring some of their own stuff to share. I’ll usually have one middling bottle of whiskey/bourbon around, if someone really needs a stiffer drink who didn’t BYO, but people know not to abuse that.

I don’t like having greasy food at my own game, but have played in plenty of other home games where if someone offers to pick up a couple pizzas, guys will usually kick him five bucks each. It all evens out over time.

I suppose if you had an unfriendly/miserly group and one guy was always shelling out with no one else contributing, that would kind of suck.
 
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krafticus

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Now that I'm back hosting a game a little more regular, I was thinking about this. As I was going through my preparation for my game on Friday, I was thinking about ways to make the pre-game prep easier. I was wondering if you all would share your thoughts. As hosts, we all know there's a lot that goes into prepping for a game (cooking, cleaning, etc.). I'm wondering what items (if any) help streamline the pre-game prep. Please include anything that is cost effective or a time saver.

For me, the main item I want to purchase is an ice maker. I'm constantly buying ice because my ice maker in my fridge can't handle the how much ice is consumed on game night.
Cash games or Tournaments?
 

Venturalvn

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Can I see your register setup?
1664818661316.png


1664818640826.png


1664818678578.png

Would like to see that, too!

But I’m not clear how a register really makes things more efficient.

At my game, people don’t all show up at once. I can buy them in initially without a lot of rush. I just take their cash, count it, place it where it’s visible in the the chip case, cut out their chips, and don’t put the cash into my box until they have received their chips and verified that they got what they wanted. Ideally, I count the cash one more time before I put it in with the rest.

Ditto when someone tops off/rebuys during the game. There is seldom more than one buy at a time, so I can take my time if needed... But the process doesn’t take long, and I’m not sure how a register would speed it up.

Probably I’m missing something.

And all that said... I suppose a register might make things more fun, especially an old-fashioned one that makes a lot of cash-y noises.
The primary convenience is for tournaments, honestly. Instead of walking around the entire table and tracking people down who are standing/talking/eating/playing arcade, I can have everyone line up at "the cage". I take their buy-in, I can hand them a seating chip, and then I enter them into TD. Once everyone is seated, I know they've already bought in, and I can hand out tourney stacks to the players.

This is also a MASSIVE time/headache saver for rebuys/add-ons. No more going around 2 tables pointing at people "you in? you in? did you pay?". Break after the first hour, come give me your add-on/rebuy, get another bounty chip if necessary, I hand out the add-on chips directly out of the cash drawer, and then you get entered into the laptop. I sit in one spot, am organized, and everyone can then go eff off to smoke, drink, discuss terrible hands, etc.

Now for cash games it's only SLIGHTLY more convenient. At the beginning of the night I know I have $300 in change in the drawer. For buy-ins I just have people come up to "the cage", the money goes straight in, I give them a rack, and they find a seat. For cash outs, instead of a pocket full of cash to wade through and possibly mishandle, trying to find a spot to do the count out to not stop the game, etc., I just have them come to "the cage", I can easily and quickly count them out, and the game keeps going in the background.

And really, the most important part is that now that I have this all set up, I get to be even sicker with it. It gives me a chance to buy a CASHIER lighted sign, I'll set up a finger print scanner to hook up to the drawer, and I'll put shelving above my bar sink to move glasses to so I can eventually put a locking cage for chips under the backside of the bar.
 

Old State

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You people are doing it wrong. ;)I used to put out food etc but the people that play at the Old State Club are only interested in playing poker…cash poker. You see I have the bar pictured below with two beers on tap. I can make almost any cocktail one could imagine. Guess what? I haven’t been asked for one in about 15 games or more going back before Covid I think. (and I offer a few times a night…and my cocktails are pretty highly regarded) I put out some pretzels and maybe make some fresh salsa with chips. Few eat anything. I may pour or serve a couple beers a night but most either bring something or don’t drink. I go through mostly bottled water.

The only real prep I do is to turn on all the TVs (large projector screen not shown here) and the music. Oh and I’ll count out chips in the buy in stacks most tend to ask for.

You people need more degenerate gambler types…they are much easier and cheaper to host! :LOL: :laugh:


355EFF63-9044-495C-9BE1-B19C2E23E863.jpeg
 
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krafticus

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You people are doing it wrong. ;)I used to put out food etc but the people that play at the Old State Club are only interested in playing poker…cash poker. You see I have the bar pictured below with two beers on tap. I can make almost any cocktail one could imagine. Guess what? I haven’t been asked for one in about 15 games or more going back before Covid I think. (and I offer a few times a night…and my cocktails are pretty highly regarded) I put out some pretzels and maybe make some fresh salsa with chips. Few eat anything. I may pour or serve a couple beers a night but most either bring something or don’t drink. I go through mostly bottled water.

The only real prep I do is to turn on all the TVs (large projector screen not shown here) and the music. Oh and I’ll count out chips in the buy in stacks most tend to ask for.

You people need more degenerate gambler types…they are much easier and cheaper to host! :LOL: :laugh:


View attachment 998408
For cash games only, I agree with everything above. I don't have the setup like that, but I put beer in the fridge, bourbon on the cart (with some custom glasses), and let the cards fly until the wheeeee hours of the morning.
 

Old State

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For cash games only, I agree with everything above. I don't have the setup like that, but I put beer in the fridge, bourbon on the cart (with some custom glasses), and let the cards fly until the wheeeee hours of the morning.
Yes…. when I did host tournaments they were 30 people minimum and I did have lots of food and drinks. Mostly because there were a lot of people and many were there from noon till 1-2am sometimes with the post tourney cash games. We (a group of us hosted at different locations) only had seven tourneys a year. Cash was always far more popular in my poker circles. Many played in the tournaments just to get to the cash games after.
I haven’t hosted a tournament in probably 12 years though
 

upNdown

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I’m with @Old State on the food thing - who needs it? But people do like it, so a hot dog roller is a very cool thing. And as far as food goes, hot dogs are pretty self contained, quick easy neat and clean.
And for the guy who said the local wing place is good - holy crap! Could you give your players anything messier than wings?

So my attitude is keep it simple - people are there to play poker for 6 hours; maybe they don’t need distractions. But if I have to vote for something other that a hot dog roller, I’m voting for the ice maker - that seems cool.
 

DontKnowWhen

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You people are doing it wrong. ;)I used to put out food etc but the people that play at the Old State Club are only interested in playing poker…cash poker. You see I have the bar pictured below with two beers on tap. I can make almost any cocktail one could imagine. Guess what? I haven’t been asked for one in about 15 games or more going back before Covid I think. (and I offer a few times a night…and my cocktails are pretty highly regarded) I put out some pretzels and maybe make some fresh salsa with chips. Few eat anything. I may pour or serve a couple beers a night but most either bring something or don’t drink. I go through mostly bottled water.

The only real prep I do is to turn on all the TVs (large projector screen not shown here) and the music. Oh and I’ll count out chips in the buy in stacks most tend to ask for.

You people need more degenerate gambler types…they are much easier and cheaper to host! :LOL: :laugh:


View attachment 998408
Absolutely sick setup !!!!!! Awesome space. Good thing your location isn’t listed or I might have to crash that game lol.
 

BonScot

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I count out the starting stacks and that’s it.

My players are here for the poker. They’re not bothered about me putting on a spread. They’d look at me like I was weird if I did :ROFL: :ROFLMAO:

I stay in the city so there’s loads of food places nearby. Some of them will bring food with them (if they’ve come straight from work). Usually after a couple of hours we’ll do a food order and get pakora or some other delicacies from the nearby kebab shop around the corner.

Everyone brings their own drinks as some guys are on the beer / whisky while others are on the soft drinks because they’re driving.
 

krafticus

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I think at the end of the day, you need to know what your players want. If they tend to get hungry and want to order food, then maybe start providing it. If they like to booze it up, have what they like. If they are snackers, the HotDog roller is a must, but put a few things out. Want sports everywhere, add a TV or 2 somewhere. It's really up to what the do each week. Start with 1 thing, and see if they really need anything else.

For my tournaments, I've added a few things over the years to help improve the flow.
- I use starting tubes for all starting stacks.
- people come down the stairs, and I put a table right there. They buy-in, I give them the tube and an on-time bonus chip if applicable.
- Now I've added a thermal printer which prints your table & seat when you check in. no more questions.
- Adding players cards and a bar-code scanner next, so, I'll take money, give them the bonus chip and the players card. they scan, it buys them in, they take a tube and receipt, and sit down.
- I've got a ton of helpers that help me color up quickly.
- I have a loaded bourbon cart with custom glasses (see picture). people usually bring bottles to fill the empty spaces, which is great.
- I have a freezerless fridge that has 3 shelves for beer, 1 for soda, and 1 for bottled water. it's BYOB, but I don't mind if they have one or more of my beers.

-- Most of all, it's all about the players though. Once you get a good group and a solid base, its about growing the game and keeping everyone happy. I think @Ben8257 has mentioned before that he likes playing at my place, and I appreciate that. I appreciate everyone that comes into my house. They all know the rules, and it works perfectly.

I don't usually host many cash nights. Baseball schedules are usually brutal (Fall baseball from Aug - early Nov; winter workouts from Jan-Mar; HS season runs March to May, and Travel is May to early August), so finding time to host 2 games can be tricky.

For Cash nights, when I do run them, it just put the 2 TV's on whatever games they want to watch, fire up the dog roller, and make sure there are plenty of libations for all.

Mark

--edit -- added pictures (with humble treehouse brag from 2020)
bourbon_cart.jpg
beer_fridge.jpg
 
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My VA home game included a few really big guys who were big eaters and big drinkers. First thing I found essential was to install a directly-ducted exhaust fan in the nearest bathroom.

(This is not a joke!)
VA home game you say? May I ask what part of Florida you are in? Maybe another seat?
 

Ben8257

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I think at the end of the day, you need to know what your players want. If they tend to get hungry and want to order food, then maybe start providing it. If they like to booze it up, have what they like. If they are snackers, the HotDog roller is a must, but put a few things out. Want sports everywhere, add a TV or 2 somewhere. It's really up to what the do each week. Start with 1 thing, and see if they really need anything else.

For my tournaments, I've added a few things over the years to help improve the flow.
- I use starting tubes for all starting stacks.
- people come down the stairs, and I put a table right there. They buy-in, I give them the tube and an on-time bonus chip if applicable.
- Now I've added a thermal printer which prints your table & seat when you check in. no more questions.
- Adding players cards and a bar-code scanner next, so, I'll take money, give them the bonus chip and the players card. they scan, it buys them in, they take a tube and receipt, and sit down.
- I've got a ton of helpers that help me color up quickly.
- I have a loaded bourbon cart with custom glasses (see picture). people usually bring bottles to fill the empty spaces, which is great.
- I have a freezerless fridge that has 3 shelves for beer, 1 for soda, and 1 for bottled water. it's BYOB, but I don't mind if they have one or more of my beers.

-- Most of all, it's all about the players though. Once you get a good group and a solid base, its about growing the game and keeping everyone happy. I think @Ben8257 has mentioned before that he likes playing at my place, and I appreciate that. I appreciate everyone that comes into my house. They all know the rules, and it works perfectly.

I don't usually host many cash nights. Baseball schedules are usually brutal (Fall baseball from Aug - early Nov; winter workouts from Jan-Mar; HS season runs March to May, and Travel is May to early August), so finding time to host 2 games can be tricky.

For Cash nights, when I do run them, it just put the 2 TV's on whatever games they want to watch, fire up the dog roller, and make sure there are plenty of libations for all.

Mark

--edit -- added pictures (with humble treehouse brag from 2020)View attachment 998938View attachment 998939
Still the "best game in town" even though if feels like we haven't been there in years... (dang all these meet ups this year, weddings and other crap!! I hate a busy schedule!!) Anyways looking forward to seeing everyone this weekend! I will yet again be the guy starting with the Tiny stack for our end of the year Chamionship game... I am a terrible card player, I just go to Rail.for my Better Half who always has a chance if she has any chips left! Lol

Poker room Accesories...

I really like Heavy Based Glasses for drinking Bourbon, I think custom printed glassware is awesome but not necessary when starting a setup... that is more of "once you card room has a name and a bit of vintage to it" kind of things.

I kmow cheese can be messy but chips an queso in a cheese dispenser will kind me happy for about 2 extra hours! Lol

Hot dog Rollers are not even optional at this point, everyone has one... don't be the guy that doesn't, also some of us are fat... please buy some "Big Boy dogs" so I am not laughed at or ridiculed when I have to put two of those "wee lad" little kid hot dogs on one bun to make a decent sammich!

I prefer drink carts over cut holders, or both... we always have a Tom of crap I front of us, it's nice to have a little personal shelf to put stuff on. At meet ups with other chippers we often have a box of chips for pot splashers, dealer buttons, stuff to show off to other chippers... oh and the real reason I didn't want to admit to is that 98%ofthe time I am dou le fishing with a beer (in the cup holder) and I need a place for my Bourbon, sometimes shot glass. And on a special occasion add in an Old Fashion (all at the same time... don't judge me) otherwise I am constantly trying to steal my neighbors cup holder or putting my beer under my chair... we all know how that one turns up about 3 times a night. So absolutely a fan of drink carts or small portable tables like TV dinner Trays.

The most important things in a card room though are:

1) comfortable chairs (I have a broken back in Two places, a good chair makes all the difference)
2) a nice rail on the poker table (we are spending hours leaning against and holding our selves up when we are drunk on these things... please make them padded)
3) proper lighting (I am legally color blind, enough light so that folks like me can see edge spots and read denoms) also nobody likes a weird gloomy rape dungeon, but also we don't want there to be a need of SPF55 and shades either. When establishing a table that is going to be stationary keep in mind the lighting situation... please Don't let a "lamp in the corner" be the only light source so we are all using our phone flash lights! Lol
4) keep it fun! Slip the old grumpy guy a couple viagras in his ginerale... OK maybe not that, but just sayin... it's an option I he is being extremely grumpy!! Haha
 

Old State

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I’m with @Old State on the food thing - who needs it? But people do like it, so a hot dog roller is a very cool thing. And as far as food goes, hot dogs are pretty self contained, quick easy neat and clean.
And for the guy who said the local wing place is good - holy crap! Could you give your players anything messier than wings?

So my attitude is keep it simple - people are there to play poker for 6 hours; maybe they don’t need distractions. But if I have to vote for something other that a hot dog roller, I’m voting for the ice maker - that seems cool.
Yes!! Absolutely no greasy food!
 

4SUMERZ

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I have a monthly home cash game, with only 8 players. It's a fun low stake cash game $20.00 buy in. I have an inset wall bar fridge with a few types of beer, water, sodas of various brands, and 4 types of liquor ( Crown Royal and CC Rye, Rum, Vodka) Only a few actually have beer of liquor, mostly have water or a soda drink on ice. I do have an ice maker filled to start the night, and when it gets 1/2 empty, I turn it on to refill it.
I do have a few snacks, but our games are only 4 hours long, so snacks are always left over.
 

nebdrew

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I think at the end of the day, you need to know what your players want. If they tend to get hungry and want to order food, then maybe start providing it. If they like to booze it up, have what they like. If they are snackers, the HotDog roller is a must, but put a few things out. Want sports everywhere, add a TV or 2 somewhere. It's really up to what the do each week. Start with 1 thing, and see if they really need anything else.

For my tournaments, I've added a few things over the years to help improve the flow.
- I use starting tubes for all starting stacks.
- people come down the stairs, and I put a table right there. They buy-in, I give them the tube and an on-time bonus chip if applicable.
- Now I've added a thermal printer which prints your table & seat when you check in. no more questions.
- Adding players cards and a bar-code scanner next, so, I'll take money, give them the bonus chip and the players card. they scan, it buys them in, they take a tube and receipt, and sit down.
- I've got a ton of helpers that help me color up quickly.
- I have a loaded bourbon cart with custom glasses (see picture). people usually bring bottles to fill the empty spaces, which is great.
- I have a freezerless fridge that has 3 shelves for beer, 1 for soda, and 1 for bottled water. it's BYOB, but I don't mind if they have one or more of my beers.

-- Most of all, it's all about the players though. Once you get a good group and a solid base, its about growing the game and keeping everyone happy. I think @Ben8257 has mentioned before that he likes playing at my place, and I appreciate that. I appreciate everyone that comes into my house. They all know the rules, and it works perfectly.

I don't usually host many cash nights. Baseball schedules are usually brutal (Fall baseball from Aug - early Nov; winter workouts from Jan-Mar; HS season runs March to May, and Travel is May to early August), so finding time to host 2 games can be tricky.

For Cash nights, when I do run them, it just put the 2 TV's on whatever games they want to watch, fire up the dog roller, and make sure there are plenty of libations for all.

Mark

--edit -- added pictures (with humble treehouse brag from 2020)View attachment 998938View attachment 998939
New glaurus!!!
 

nebdrew

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If you want to ruin someone's day, give them a shot of that laphroaig that's on your top shelf. Lol. Worst stuff ever. Not a bad whiskey selection.
 

Poker Zombie

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Set-up takes us the better part of a day, though there is a lot of relaxing down-time so it's not like it's that big of a deal.(and usually a pre-game martini). Our Checklist includes...
  • 6am: Start Pulled Pork (Obviously, only if pulled pork is the dinner plan)
  • Restart Computer - I run some memory intense programs that chew up memory, even after the program has been closed. Since the tournament clock and music run on the machine, it just seems to be a good idea.
  • Charge wireless keyboard. Check to make sure the wireless mouse batteries are good. I have backup mouse plugged in at all times just in case though (sometimes the wireless mouse "walks" off)
  • Empty the coat closet (cold weather only). With 15-20 guests each night, there can be coats everywhere, or in one space - the coat closet. Mrs Zombie and I pull out our coats to make room, instead of everyone wandering into our bedroom to throw coats on the bed. I've always thought putting coats on the bed was odd anyway. Next thing you know, your keys fall out of your pocket, and you have a big pile of car keys - and that is definitely a very different kind of party.
  • Toilet paper check. We have 2 bathrooms. Make sure there is a roll and a spare in each.
  • Print the newsletter. Yeah, Zombies have a newsletter.
  • Restock fridge waters. Those little casino-size bottles are great, and can be refilled from a pitcher or from the water dispenser on the fridge.
  • Count out chips. But c'mon, we already know I did this on Thursday.
  • Money - not buy-ins, but making sure you have enough of your smallest payout denominations, so players don't grapple with change. I also have to make sure we have cash for players that Venmo their buy-ins or rebuys.
  • Move cars - This clears up some room in the driveway, though the majority of players park on the lawn.
  • Adjust thermostat. A small house and 20 people can make for some uncomfortable summer games. Getting the house cool ahead of time helps. We also purchased an extra air conditioning unit that we set up if it is expected to be extremely warm.
  • Set out ashtrays. If you have smokers, those butts gotta go somewhere. Nice players use a coke can or something if you don't have one, but some players are... how did @Goldfish put it... "squirrels"?
  • Vacuum / Steam floors. A good house cleaning before a big event sounds counter-productive. It probably is, but we do this anyway before and after each game.
  • Link Computers. Laptops everywhere linked to the main computer reduces the problem of having just one screen. If you don't think just one screen is a problem, you aren't randomly selecting your own seat.
  • Mise en Place - A smart move from a culinary point of view. Get everything cut and chopped before your guests arrive.
  • Set up tables. Not having a dedicated poker room means tear-down and set-up every game.
  • Set out spill towels. We have movable cupholders so spills are infrequent, but not impossible. Having towels in multiple, easy to reach locations, will allow for a spilled beverage to be cleaned quickly and with the least amount of hassle.
  • Turn on outside lights. It may be well lit when we start, but it will be dark when people start heading out.
This list isn't exhaustive, and does not cover the tasks Mrs Zombie tackles - refilling liquor, checking ice, setting out barware, having hand towels and back-up hand towels ready (20 people and 2 bathrooms means those first towels are pretty damp by second break and need to be replaced), and more.
 
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