If you’re a fan of summer movies or comedy in general, you’ve probably seen the trailer for the new Will Ferrell film The House by now. It looks like a pretty raunchy and ridiculous movie, but the plot has to give you ideas. Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler play two parents who have lost their daughter’s college fund and wind up starting a basement casino in order to make some money to send her to school. And you have to at least wonder what that would be like….
Functionally the idea of setting up a casino in your basement is absurd. In most cases it could be considered illegal, and it’s almost definitely more trouble than it’s worth. But there’s nothing wrong with taking a basic poker room to the next level, and if this movie’s got you thinking, now might be the time to try it. So we put together a few ideas for how to go about creating an awesome poker room in your home.
The first step is to set up the room itself, and you want to strike a nice balance between being accommodating and businesslike. The tables themselves are pretty easy; you can usually find a poker or blackjack table that can be folded out on top of an existing surface. But furniture is a little bit more difficult. If you go for the same kind of comfortable furniture you’d put in a living room, your friends and family will be tempted to simply recline and relax, which is fine but not very casino-like. You might actually be better off looking into an office furniture supplier, which can show you a selection of chairs and tables surprisingly good for setting up a poker room. Ergonomics are huge these days anyway, which means this furniture is upright and attractive, but still comfortable – perfect for around a home poker table.
Next, you’ll want to come up with your gaming supplies, which you can usually get through some pretty simple online shopping. Buy enough decks of cards that you won’t have to worry about running out, and secure the necessary equipment for any other games you might be supplying, such as a roulette wheel and ball. And after these basics, start thinking about the fun stuff. For instance, you might want glassware specifically for the poker room, for cocktails and beers around the table. You might also want to think of getting large collections of poker chips and something that can serve as an alternative to money, so that you don’t feel like you have to consult a financial planner every time you hang out with your friends in the basement. Poker should be competitive, but playing with real cash can get burdensome pretty fast!
You might also want to think about some amusing touches you could add to the poker room just to keep the mood light. If you really want to go above and beyond you can look through a costume shop or uniform supplier in search of garments that might suit a dealer, and you and your friends can rotate playing the role. But you can also get inventive with other ideas. For instance, you could install a small television and have famous casino movies playing on loop at a quiet volume in the background. Or you could have a bar menu explaining the steps to some of the cocktails that famous actors have sipped while gambling in films. It all comes down to your interests, but don’t be afraid to get creative – the poker room doesn’t have to be 100 percent traditional.
Once the room is more or less ready to go, you’ll also want to spend some time getting to know the games you want to play with your friends. That means learning the rules of the games inside and out, as well as researching casino etiquette so as to present a more authentic environment. It also means learning how betting works (even if you’re not using real money). In short, make sure you’re prepared to look like you know what you’re doing, so that putting the room together is worth it!