How to (Safely) Play Poker with Your Friends During the Pandemic

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Play Poker with Your Friends

Poker is a hands-on game that requires the constant use of your hands. Between cards and chips being shuffled around and touched by nearly everyone, it’s not a very safe game to play during socially distant times. However, there are still a few ways to play poker online with your friends without putting yourself in harm’s way.

Playing socially distanced poker requires a few things to make it work, so make sure everyone in your party has access to the internet and a working camera and microphone. 

To set up a poker game with your friends, you can use a variety of platforms to video chat with them while you play. Here a few trusted and popular platforms to use:

  • Zoom: This video chat program has become highly popularised and accessible since many states shut down earlier this year. It’s very user-friendly, free to download, and has a multitude of other features, like screen-sharing. It also allows you to have up to 100 people join your meeting, should you invite several people to your game.
  • Google Meet: Using Google Meet is easy and looks great. This program also allows screen-sharing and even comes with a closed captioning feature. However, this option does require each person to have a Google account, so make sure this is okay with the people you’re playing with if you choose to use Google Meet.
  • Microsoft Teams: Teams is Microsoft’s personal video chat service. This program makes it easy to create personal chat rooms for you and your friends. However, the free version of Microsoft Teams has limited features. To get the full version, you’ll need an Office 365 subscription. If your friends do have Office 365 and are willing to use Teams, you should give it a try for your next game of poker.
  • Skype: A trusted program that has been operating for over a decade, Skype is another safe option for you and your friends to play on. Users who choose Skype don’t even need to make an account to join. You can have all your friends join as guests to play a game without the hassle of making sure everyone can get into the meeting.

After choosing which video chat service to use, it’s time to get your friends together for poker night! Plan out which day your friends are available and make sure everyone has access to a computer with a microphone and camera as well as a stable internet connection.

As soon as you get your friends together, you can all get online and start playing. There are a multitude of sites where you can create a private room to play online poker with or against your friends. Websites like PokerStars or 888Poker allow you to send a unique code to anyone wishing to join the game so that you can play in private. Check with your friends if they have any preferences when choosing a site.

Playing poker with your friends can be easy, safe, and fun without even having to leave the comfort of your own home. 

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