Texas Hold 'Em Casino Party

Looking for a winning theme for your next party? Texas Hold 'Em Casino & Saloon BBQ is your hands down best bet! Texas Hold 'Em (or Holdem) poker is one of the hottest games sweeping the nation. Unless you live in a cave, you've heard about it or seen it on ESPN (The World Series of Poker) and on the Travel Channel (The World Poker Tour).

The good news is you don't have to know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em to have a great time and fabulously successful poker party! Just add a poker table to your casino party or have a complete World Series of Poker Texas Hold 'em - style Tournament. And it's so easy! Your guests will be putting on their cowboy hats and best poker faces as they face off against each other in America's new favorite past time.

You can host a Texas Hold em party for just a few friends, corporate events or as a fundraiser for your organization. Think of it—an entire evening filled with great grub and a-whoopin' and a-hollerin'. Just ask your guests: Do you feel lucky? The goal for the evening is to have great fun and make sure everyone's a-hankerin' to come back to your next party or event.

Texas Hold'em Invitations

Here's where your guests' fun starts. You can buy invitations or let us create unique personalized invitations, here's a few great personalized casino invitations from Party411.com.

Several Make-Your-Own Invitation Ideas:
  1. Playing card motif - Glue a playing card (or if you're handy with a computer, scan an Ace playing card) to the front of a plain invitation and add the words "Do you feel lucky?" Add the party particulars inside (date, location, event hosts, RSVP information, etc.). Or, print your invitation on specialty papers with playing card suit.
  2. Western motif - Burn the edges of parchment-look paper and fold in half. Cover: Create a wanted poster with Uncle Sam saying "We Want You to come to our Texas Hold 'em Saloon and Casino BBQ!" (Include the party particulars/information.) Alternate idea: Print all on one side, roll parchment and tie with yellow ribbon and include a single silk flower—yellow rose of Texas. These may be hand-delivered or inserted and mailed in tubes.
Whatever invitation you send, consider including How to Play Texas Hold 'Em and a Poker Cheat Sheet so your guests can familiarize themselves with the game before hand. Print these up on playing card themed paper for extra panache.

Texas Hold'em Theme Decorations and Party Supplies
You can keep it down home low-budget or go hog wild for your Texas Hold'em evening with western and casino decorations. Themed decorations help you create the festive atmosphere your guests will remember from here to yonder.
 
To authenticate your décor, get oversized playing card cutouts for the walls. Playing card dangles hanging for the ceiling will do a lot for any room.

Or go with the Western look and have your game at the OK Corral including straw bales, an inflatable cactus, cowboy boot dangles, steer pillars, and split-rail fences. Yee-haw!

We think that mixing western elements with casino/gambling ones will create the effect you are looking for.

Texas Hold'em Table Decorations and
Menu: Texas BBQ
If you're planning assigned dinner seating, you'll want to set up additional tables and have a table to display seating cards. These can be as simple as adding a western-themed or casino-themed sticker to plain, fold-over seating cards (available at any stationery or party store). Or, you may want to add some flash and attach the cards to poker chip keychains.

For a real casual cowboy western-style setting, serve food from the Chuck Wagon buffet tables on butcher block with paper towels and plastic utensils. Buy or rent tin cups and plates and set them on red and white checkered tablecloths.  Playing card themed paper goods are another great choice! Western bandanas make great napkins, wrap beads around them for napkin rings (and a party favor!) Add a yellow rose of Texas silk flower to the ladies' place settings and they'll love ya forever. And don't forget the western confetti sprinkled on the table!

Great centerpieces will be remembered long after the party is over. Add a western centerpiece and some Mylar balloons to cowboy hats filled with breadsticks or nachos to make great (and tasty) centerpieces.

Serve plenty of drinks and snack food, and if you're serving dinner, nothing beats a Texas BBQ for good eats served, of course, at the chuck wagon.

What's a Texas BBQ, anyway? It's piles of sliced beef brisket, German-style sausage, and meaty ribs with tangy, tomato-based sauce spooned over the meat or placed on the side. Now that's what we call m-m-m-great grub!

Side dishes typically include pinto beans, macaroni and cheese, potato salad, sweet potato casserole. Barbecue should be served with yummy condiments like pickled jalapeno peppers, pickled okra, cherry peppers, sliced onions and dilled pickles. The bread of choice is plain white sandwich bread.

Dessert at a Texas BBQ is traditionally cobbler. (Did you know that cobblers can be cooked over hot coals in a cast-iron Dutch oven, thus the origin of the chuck wagon?) Favorite flavors are peach, cherry and blackberry. Top with vanilla ice cream. Remember, if you feed them, they will come—and a well-fed guest is a happy guest!

Texas Hold'em Games and Activities
First things first; how many players are you going to have? This determines everything else that you need to decide. Count on having 5 to 9 players per table, so decide how many tables you're going to need. For up to 9 players, a single table is your best bet. For 10 to 14 players, use two tables. For 15 to 19 players, three tables, and so on. Special game tables and felt covers can usually be rented, or make one from green felt and white fabric paint.

If you're playing with more than one table, have plenty of munchies on hand. It's also a good idea to work out a system that allows the players who are eliminated early to continue playing if they want to. For example, if you have two tables with five players at each, once the first five players are eliminated, start a new Losers Only table. The five players who still have chips all continue play at "The Winners Table".

Have plenty of poker chips on hand - 50 to 100 chips per player are optimum. Use brand-new decks of cards - one or two decks per table. While one is in use, someone can shuffle the second deck for the next hand. This keeps the game moving faster.

You will also need to determine your chip denominations. A typical casino standard is $1 for white, $5 for red, $10 for blue, $25 for green and $100 for black. Or, regardless of color, you may choose to make them all one denomination.

You may want to lasso your own volunteer dealers or let players take turns. Have "dealer buttons" available, one per table. You can buy actual dealer buttons, or just use something distinctive, like a western blinking pin you can put on your clothes or wear in your hair. These are used to keep track of the "dealer," which is important even if you use a single dealer at each table.

Make sure everyone knows the rules ahead of time. If they don't, or even if they do know how to play, you're likely to have some novices. We suggest running through at least two hands at the start of play so everyone can get the feel of the game. It's different from most other forms of Poker. You may also want to provide poker cheat sheets.

To protect the game tables, which may be rented, make sure everyone knows the rules: No food allowed at the playing tables, and all drinks must be set somewhere other than on the playing tables.  You can also put a life size dealer cutout by the tables with a speech bubble that says "To play, hold your food and drink!"

What are you going to do with all those chips? At the end of the night, hold an auction, assigning high money values to the various colored chips, and watch the fun begin! Prizes can be party favors, solicited donations, white elephants or purchased, depending on your budget.

Texas Hold'em Party Favors
One way to win the hearts of all the ladies is to present them each with a yellow rose when they enter the party (the yellow rose of Texas...get it?). The yellow rose theme can be added to the décor with yellow rose balloons and silk roses on the napkins if you like something a little more feminine.

Send your guests home with something unique to remember the events of the evening. A personalized chocolate candy bar is just the thing. Personalized casino cameras are also a great option.  They'll be beholden to you for introducing them to Texas Hold 'em.