Home Game Killers Pt 1
March 15, 2022

I recently had to stop playing at a weekly home game I’d been attending for three years.  It was a difficult decision; as a steady winner, it was hard to give up grocery money for the year.  But I’m not in law school anymore, and I don’t want to be “that guy” - you know, the one who keeps hanging around college parties and events past his date of graduation.  As a result, I’ve been looking for a new weekly game, but gosh, a good one is hard to find.

From a purely social point of view, hanging out with your friends and playing cards can be loads of fun.  When you’re with your friends the actual poker game can be terrible and you can still have a good time. But when I started looking around town for a new game, my criteria moved from laughs and conversation to game quality. In my attempts to find a good one, I played in a number of local home games, mostly with complete strangers.  As I worked my way through these games I started to collect a list of people that absolutely kill any good home session. Here’s the first batch:

1. The guy who plays according to the Phil Hellumth book of etiquette.

This is the guy who thinks he would playing the tournament circuit if it wasn’t for his family and/or job.  He’s the “best player in the world” and can do no wrong.  He’s extremely tight-aggressive and, unbeknownst to him, easy to exploit.  But be warned, when you crack his aces and take his stack, you’re in for a verbal assault.  At first it can be laughed off, but while he’s waiting around for his ride home he’s going to take every opportunity to criticize your play, say that it’s he who should “have all the chips,” and generally sour the mood.  He hates your game and wants you to know it.  My advice: Do your best to bust his ride home.

2. The guy who’s way too drunk

He’s easy enough to beat, but by the time he’s more than half way through that 26oz bottle of rum he’s dropping his chips, taking 20 minutes to shuffle, and forgetting enough rules that he might as well be playing Go Fish. With the short levels that often come with home games, it could take an entire round of blinds to get through one of his levels.

3. The person at the game who has never played before

Sure, we’ve all had our time at the kitchen table with a stack of chips, but that doesn’t mean we have to suffer the virgin experiences of others.  Most newcomers share symptoms with the aforementioned drunks, except we can add one more crucial move into the mix – the unintended slowrolls. I’ll never forget the time I thought I had won a pot against a host’s mother.  She triple checked her hole cards and finally said "you win," only to throw her cards face up to reveal a flush.

Look out for part two of our home game killers, and add your own to the list in our comments section.

farmbag72Having over half the table be the people that don't have a clue as to who's turn it is to act. Friday, I hosted 1 of these games. 8 people at the table, 3 of us could follow the action. 0