When you think of spending a night together with some friends and a bottle of wine (or two) you probably think about a dinner party.
Everyone’s gathered around a table enjoying some food and a few glasses of wine.
But we have another idea.
Don’t get up from the table though, because you’re going to need it.
What if you had some friends over for a bottle of wine and a game of poker instead?
Poker is the perfect game to play with a big group. You all get to test your skills against one another.
You’ll brief alliances in the heat of the game, only for those alliances to shatter when you have to pit your wits against one another.
You’ll all feel the tension as the game comes down to the final players.
Winner takes all and the glasses of wine keep things a little more interesting.
Of course, you may need a little help before you start the night. Here, we’re going to talk about the types of poker that you can play, the best wines to drink, and a couple of little drinking games that could make the whole night even more fun.
Which Game’s For You?
When we say poker, we could be talking about any number of variants of the game.
The question is which one do you want to play during your poker night?
Let’s run through them all to see which you prefer:
- Texas Hold-Em– This is probably the most popular type of poker. It involves every player getting a couple of cards, with five being placed in the centre of the table. Three of those cards get turned around and you place your bets. Then another gets turned and you place bets again. This continues until all five cards are turned, after which the player with the best five-card hand of the lot wins.
- Omaha– This is similar to Texas Hold-Em except that each player now gets four cards to start with, instead of two. You’re usually still playing to get the highest hand out of the best five cards from your hand and the centre of the table.
- Seven-Card Stud– With this variant, each player gets dealt four cards. You then place three in the centre of the table, with only one turned around. The game then plays out like Texas Hold-Em, with one more card turned around after each round of betting.
Those are just a couple of the most popular variants. There’s also the likes of Chinese poker to play if you want to give yourself an extra challenge.
Of course, the aim of the game is to end up with the highest pot of cash possible at the end of the night. That means you’re going to have to learn all of the hands and what they mean if you want to stand a chance at success. There are plenty of sites dotted around the web that can teach you more.
The Wines to Drink With Poker
Now that you’ve got your game up and running, it’s time to look at the wine.
Here’s a suggestion before anything else. You could make a nice bottle of wine the main prize for whoever wins the game. You could all pitch in to buy a nice bottle, with the winner taking it home. It’s a fun twist on the usual formula and it also means that you’re not going to have to play directly for cash.
But what about the wine that you drink?
We recommend going for lighter wines during the poker evening. Games of poker can stretch out for several hours, especially at a table of evenly-matched players. You don’t want to find yourself getting a little heavy as the night bears in.
A sparkling white wine, like Prosecco, goes down a treat. Lighter whites also work well.
But the choice is really up to you. If you’re at a table of red wine fans, there’s no reason why you can’t drink a red.
Or, you could go for the poker-themed wines that JAQK Cellars produces. Their attractive bottles include the likes of Bone Dance Merlot and Charmed Sauvignon Blanc. They also go along perfectly with the theme of the night.
A Poker Drinking Game
A drinking game within the main game can add a little bit more fun to the proceedings. But first, a word of warning. Make sure that you drink responsibly while playing. While a drinking game can make the night even more enjoyable, you don’t want to get too carried away.
With that being said, it’s easy to make a drinking game out of the poker rules. Here are just a few suggestions for when somebody should take a sip – and we stress a sip– of wine.
- When you’re caught out in a bluff.
- When the players lose to a certain hand. For example, you could have all losing players take a sip of wine if they lose to a flush or a four-of-a-kind.
- If you fold for three games in a row, you have to take a sip of wine.
- The dealer must take a sip before dealing the cards.
There are so many more rules that you can add or take away as you become more experienced with the game. Just don’t get carried away and you’ll have a great time. Perhaps you could even serve some finger food to really make a night of it.
The Final Word
Poker is a great game to play with a group of friends because it’s accessible while still requiring some level of skill. It’s all about how well you play the players, as well as the luck of the draw.
Adding a bottle of wine or two into the mix only makes the game even more fun. Make it the prize for the winner or enjoy a sensible drinking game as you play. Whatever you choose to do, just have fun and try not to get too competitive!