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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Lessons :: Set Up a Home Gaming Night with the Girls

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About a year ago I moved to a big city for the first time in my life. And for the first few months, I was pretty carefree about getting out and enjoying my surroundings. For the most part, I still try to get out there as often as I can, but it didn't take me long to feel the impact that going out at night with friends was having on my bank account! I swear, I can order the same drink in New York that I typically enjoy in South Carolina and pay four times the price! At any rate, I started trying harder to have events at my apartment with my roommate, and about a month ago we landed on the perfect concept: gaming night.

Of course, the idea may or may not appeal to you and your group of friends, but for us it was the perfect way to enjoy some time and amusement together without dropping $100 apiece on a handful of cocktails (only a slight exaggeration!). At any rate, if the idea of a home gaming night (specifically, casino gaming night) appeals to you and your ladies, here are a few tips I'd recommend for putting it all together.

Serve Up A Signature Cocktail

You can simply provide an "open bar" of sorts, or make it a BYOB event if you want to keep things cheap and simple, but everyone at your homemade card tables will have fun if there's a signature drink for the evening! Personally, I've been sticking to "Irish Coffee" since it's so cold out (you can find an easy recipe at Esquire), but as soon as it warms up a bit I'm serving up mint juleps. Whatever your preference though, a cocktail theme for the night always makes things more fun.

Go Beyond Poker

Poker night is always enjoyable, but if you want to invite a bigger crowd and really go full "game night," diversify your card tables a bit. You can offer some chance games by buying a cheap roulette table to set up, or even setting up a few digital slot machines on computers around the room, but blackjack is another great card game that's simple enough to play (and bet on) with friends. Just brush up on the rules first!

Get In Some Practice

You can play your gaming night very casually, and it's not as if it's necessary to be an expert. But that said, card and casino games are always a bit more interesting if you know what you're doing, and it's easy enough to practice online. The poker features at casino site Betfair is one option that gives you a variety of ways to play, and it can help you figure out your betting and card-playing strategy. There are some pretty intense tournaments, but there are also games more appropriate for simple practice (without a ton of cash committed).

Set Up Prizes & Tokens

The goal is more to spend some time together than to "win," but at the same time it's always entertaining to set up some prizes or tokens. Perhaps the whole room is gambling with candy instead of chips—as explained on eHow—or perhaps whichever player ends the night with the most chips takes home the leftover drinks, etc. Put something on the line, just for fun!

There you have it! The rest is up to you and your friends, and you'll surely figure out ways to make your gaming nights unique.

*This is a guest post written by Alyssa Brown. Thanks Alyssa!
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