Poker gifting is fairly popular, particularly among men. There’s just something that has always inexplicably drawn men to this game and all the little things that come with it, and that makes for a lot of great gift-giving ideas. The trouble is, these ideas usually just boil down to one piece at a time: a set of chips, a fold-up table, etc.
To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with those one-off gifts. A nice poker accessory can make a guy’s day, and become a go-to entertainment option for him for years to come. But if you’re really looking to go overboard, or you happen to have a serious poker enthusiast in your inner circle, you can also go beyond single gifts. Instead, you can gift everything that’s needed for a full-fledged poker room.
Basic accessories are probably the easiest gifts of the bunch when it comes to poker. But in this case we’re talking about some of those same one-off gifts mentioned above. A nice, professional-caliber set of chips (with a case) is a tremendous asset for any regular poker player. And as we’ve pointed out before in highlighting Monarch Playing Cards, even a deck of cards can be somewhat elevated, such that it’s a gift unto itself. But these gifts are also essential components of a broader poker package. You can’t start without chips and cards.
Furniture is where things can get a little bit more expensive, but if you’re looking to create a really special set of gifts it’s also where you can make a major impact. The key here is to find a real, solid poker table that can become a fixture in the recipient’s home somewhere. A fold-up table topper is also a common solution (and makes a fine gift), but a classy, pro-quality, felt-topped table is a real treat for a poker enthusiast. And if you do go the table route, it’s a nice touch to throw in some chairs as well. A lot of people will opt for leather or faux-leather swivel loungers around a real poker table, and that may be the most aesthetically pleasing option. But we’d also suggest taking a look at gaming chairs, if you can find some that are more neutral. If you’re not familiar with the gaming chair phenomenon, these are basically comfortable, versatile chairs built for long gaming sessions (and recently referred to as “ascendant” by NYTimes.com). Some of them are a bit gaudy, but dark gaming chairs won’t look bad around a poker table.
Rules & Guides
Furniture may make for some more expensive gifting options, but you can also provide some much cheaper additions to a poker room by providing ways to post rules and guides. For basic rules, it can actually be a nice touch to simply buy an understated chalkboard for which different rules for different games can be posted. For general poker knowledge though, another fun idea is to turn odds and hand rankings into something of a functional decoration. There’s a downloadable guide of sorts on Poker.org that concisely lists all of the possible hands you can get in poker, as well as the odds of each one. Taking something like this and turning it into a more permanent decoration (either framing it or recreating it in a more aesthetically pleasing manner) would be a nice touch as a sort of poker room prop.
Turning rules and guides into functional décor is a nice (and cheap) touch. But if you’re confident you’re gifting to somebody who has a dedicated space to turn into a gaming room, you can also look into framed posters that match the poker theme. This is actually a pretty easy thing to do. There’s a surprising amount of art revolving around card games (no, not just dogs playing poker), and you can also find some really cool versions of posters for poker and casino films. If you take some time to look around the internet for a little while, you’ll almost certainly land on a handful of posters and pictures that can make for great background art in a poker room.
Last but not least, you may as well stock the lucky recipient’s poker room with a mini bar as well! We’re not necessarily talking about a miniature refrigerator like you’d see in a hotel room, so much as a small collection of drinks and glasses that can be on hand for long poker games. Anything will do, and if you know the person’s taste then by all means cater to it. If you need a bit of guidance though, Men’s Health has a great piece on cocktails for men that’s a good place to start. Stock the bar for some manhattans and dry martinis and you’ll have done your good deed.
Clearly this amounts to quite a lot. But a full-fledged poker room is an incredible gift for the right guy, and even if you don’t go all the way there are bound to be some specific ideas among these that will suit that poker enthusiast in your life.