How to Host a Texas Hold 'Em Poker Tournament

By: Kim Williamson

Tips for Hosting a Texas Hold 'Em Tournament

Aside from poker acumen, what do you need to host a successful Hold 'em tournament? First, know the law. Most U.S. states allow home tournaments as long as you don't profit off the gig. Check out local laws beforehand -- after all, a police raid ruins a good time.

Next, you need equipment; you don't have to spend a lot but if you'll be hosting tournaments on a regular basis, you may want to buy authentic supplies. Here's a checklist:


  • Two decks of cards per table
  • Tables seating 8-10 players each
  • Poker chips and a dealer button (denotes who's dealing)
  • Poker timer to time rounds
  • Snacks!

Actor Kevin Costner said in "Field of Dreams," "if you build it, [they] will come." So, now you need players. Typically, no more than eight to 10 people per table, and if you're new at this, start small with one or two tables. Decide on the entry fee for players, maybe $20 so it's affordable but still can generate a good payout. Assign the order of seating by having each player pick a card from ace through 10.

As the host, you have an important role. You set the start/finish times, and a courteous host sticks to these. You also decide the rules, payouts and formats played -- and you discuss them prior to play. Finally, you are judge and jury over disputes, bartender, waitress and the Master or Mistress of Ceremonies, responsible for a fun evening. Follow these tips and unlike Kenny Rogers, you'll have happy gamblers.

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