What is a Home Game?
A home game is a game of cards played away from the casino or card room. Though the name suggests the game takes place in someone’s home (as it may well do), any private game can be referred to as a home game. The term home game usually refers to poker. Home games are generally permitted by law in nations where gambling is legal, though there are certain conditions which the game operator must meet – such as not taking a profit from a social game.
Home Game Explained
If a poker player says they are taking part in a home game, they mean a game which does not occur in a casino or card room. Home games are usually organized by a host as a social activity, and may be a regular or one-off occurrence. They might take place in a private home, or some other non-gambling premises such as an office, bar or hotel.
Playing poker socially at a private dwelling is usually legal in nations where gambling is permitted, and bets can even be made so long as certain conditions are met. The operator must not take a profit from the game, the game must be fairly operated, and the players must be willing participants who bet their own legally obtained cash or assets. In home games, material bets might be made rather than cash wagers – from exchanging businesses services to gambling with property.
In nations where gambling is prohibited or heavily restricted, home games might be illegal and players running them might be charged with gambling offences. If a host is making profit from the games, there could be charges of operating a gambling venue without a licence, racketeering and more. Home games might also used by criminals to extort money, or to offload illegal cash.
At the other end of the scale, home games might be a fun social occasion for friends and family. Bets may be small with no requirement to honor losses, or some forfeit for the losing player. Home games are popular for bachelor parties and birthdays, or as part of a weekly games night.