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13 September 2021

5 Gadgets That Improve Game Night

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Game nights are a great way to regroup with friends and spend an evening catching up over a table game. Typically, poker is on the docket, as many are familiar with its rules and have experience playing with friends or at casinos.

Even better, game nights are suitable for all occasions—birthdays, national holidays, and even big promotions are great reasons to bring the crew together. Even though game nights are perfect for year-round festivities, many home games between friends are scheduled around Christmas and New Year. 

Those looking to create the perfect set up for the holiday season won’t be deviating too far from the standard fare in terms of gear, but there are a few specific gadgets that can liven things up. After all, even though most poker games can be played with as little as a deck of cards and a flat playing surface, most seasoned game nighters have a particular routine and setup that’s uniquely their own.

Here are five tech gadgets that will enliven an at-home poker game night.

Automatic Card Shuffler

Most poker groups have at least one talented card shuffler who’s eager to show off their skills. However, manually shuffling cards can take valuable time away from gamers—especially those who are playing more competitively. 

An automatic card shuffler comes in all shapes and sizes for all types of budgets. Keep a lookout for shufflers that can be adjusted according to shoe size; many leading brands offer customization from two, four, and six decks. Another element to consider is power—some use hand cranks, while others have cords or run on batteries.

LED Chain for the Table

A swanky table is often one of the most pivotal aspects of a functional and fun at-home poker tournament. The table is the center of the action, where guests will chat, play, and antagonize one another. From a technical standpoint, it’s also where cards are played, which makes felt and similar surfaces necessary so cards don’t slide or flip over.

Some of the best poker tables are antiques, with shined wood and an ergonomic design. Many are hesitant to upgrade these for newer tables—but it’s not always necessary to compromise. One helpful gadget is the LED strip light. These can be cut and pasted onto any surface, making them ideal for inner poker table linings. 

Remote controls let users choose which light color they prefer, as well as light patterns.

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Massage Inserts

Times have changed, and comfort is of utmost priority these days. Massage sleeves or mats are one of the easiest ways to add a touch of luxury to at-home poker nights. As mentioned above, the most emphasis at game night is placed on the table, leaving guests to hunch over in plastic or wood chairs meant for a dining room.

Massage inserts can be placed on seatbacks to invigorate players, especially those with spine, back, or shoulder problems. Even better, a massage sleeve is portable and fits most chairs, which makes sharing the gadget easy.

Chip Distributor

Also known as a chip calculator, this handy device will automatically split chip stacks according to player number. Oftentimes, hosts will spend the first thirty to sixty minutes trying to figure out which players should receive which chip values, and how many of each according to buy-ins and blinds. 

This gadget doesn’t just speed up this process but also makes it more reliable. That’s right—no more early morning arguments about what the starting blinds were.

The Shot Clock

Those with experience playing in a brick-and-mortar casino in a larger city or who tune in to major tournaments are likely aware of what a shot clock is. During each round of play, poker pros have only thirty seconds to choose their hand and act. 

The shot clock is meant to keep players on their toes, keep the game moving, and provide an added element of competitiveness for viewers. Not all game nights will consistently use a shot clock (especially not one timed at thirty seconds). However, it’s a great gadget to have around in case players want to liven up the action and challenge themselves.

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