The first thing you want to do is make sure you have poker chips. Using real money takes the fun out of it because when you can see how much you are really losing you tend to get depressed. This where you have to decide if your poker party is for fun or if your poker party is for fun and money. If it is just for fun then issue a set amount of chips to every player and when they are they are done and no more chips can be given. If it is for money then at least set some maximum amounts that can be bet and set a limit for everyone so that people don’t start putting the deed to their house on top of the pot. This is a friendly poker game after all and we are not trying to breed habitual gamblers. Usually a friendly game of poker will involve 50 cent or 1 dollar antes and then the highest betting chip is $5. Those are standard for friendly games of poker at fun poker parties. Beyond that you are on your own.
Setting the right mood is always important to a good poker party. Rule number one is no music or if there has to be music then it needs to be kept low. People are trying to think and music is a huge distraction. Make sure the table is big enough for everyone to be comfortable at. If you know you will be having 10 people to play cards and your table only fits 6 people then be prepared for problems if you try and cram 10 people on to that table. Make sure the table is tall enough and big enough to accommodate the game. Sunlight is a bad thing for poker party because when people see that the sun has gone down then they start to want to leave. Close the curtains and rely on room lighting to set the proper mood. Use a new deck of cards. There is nothing worse than being accused of fixing the deck before the party so just use a new pack of cards where the seal is broken in front of everyone to avoid any issues. The last bit of mood advice is if you are selling chips then keep the money out of sight of everyone but someplace where everyone knows where it is. Seeing a pile of money can be intimidating.
The last rule of a good poker party is make sure there is food and drink available. As long as people can eat and drink they will continue to play cards until all of their chips are gone. So have fun with your next poker party and remember that if you see a sign that asks you to check your weapons at the door then you may want to leave right away.