If you want a confident, cohesive team that communicates well, it’s good practice to host a fun team-building event now and then. By getting your workers to participate in group exercises, you can improve their rapport, get them to understand one another, and even boost their morale, both as individuals and collectively. And on top of all this, it’s a great way to help employees unwind after a hard week of work.
Naturally, there are a lot of team-building activities you can consider. One you may not hear as much about however is organizing a poker night. Through a night of fun card-playing action, you can hone your employees’ competitive streaks, which can boost their confidence and make them more proactive at work. And yet, you can do so within a fun environment (and without real stakes). To help you get started, we’ve listed a few easy steps you can follow to host a team-building poker night.
Choose the Right Venue
Since you’re hosting an in-person team building event, your venue needs to convey a level of professionalism while also being conducive to gaming. In this case, it may be best to rent out a lounge, or a back room in a restaurant. Make sure the seating is cozy enough to keep your team comfortable throughout the night. Additionally, keep the area well-lit to ensure every player can see their cards, and that you maintain a warm, casual atmosphere. Finally, place some snack or buffet tables around the sides of the room for food and beverages.
Gather the Essentials
No poker game can begin without a good set of cards and chips. It may also help to rent out a high-quality poker table. Some such tables even come with holders for cards, chips, and beverage glasses. By using a table specifically designed to accommodate poker games, you can keep everyone focused on the action, and make the event feel a little more special.
You can also prepare food to keep energy levels high between rounds. Charcuterie boards are popular options for poker nights, since they’re easy to snack on and don’t spoil when left sitting out for long periods of time. To assemble a charcuterie board, you’ll need a good selection of high-quality meats, such as cured sausages, ham, and salami. Balance these foods’ strong tastes out with a mix of cheeses, nuts, and fruits.
Lay Out the Rules
From Texas Hold‘em to Omaha, there are a lot of different poker variants to choose from, and members of the team might have different preferences. Some might not even be familiar with poker at all. But if you don’t help people get on the same page at the outset, the night won’t flow as nicely.
To make sure nobody gets left behind, establish which game formats you’ll be playing through the night. Then take the time to teach any beginners the general rules of poker. Make sure they get familiar with the poker hand rankings as well, since the different poker variants follow the same system: royal flush at the top, flushes, and straights at the middle, high cards at the bottom (with more specific distinctions in between). You can also provide a hand rankings chart that players can reference during the game, which makes things a little easier for less experienced players.
Be a Good Host
As the activity’s organizer, it’s your responsibility to make sure all your guests feel comfortable. Be an active host and look out for each player to ensure that they’re comfortable through the night. Furthermore, remember to consider the times we live in. You should follow safety recommendations and impose necessary safety rules in order to make sure that everyone involved feels at ease.
An experience as fun as poker night should be enough to drive up morale and improve your bond as a team. And organizing one isn’t all that difficult! All it takes is a suitable venue, some essential tools and materials, an overview of the rules, and a good hosting touch.
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