Texas Hold’em Gift Exchange
Supplies: Wrapped gifts, budget limit, cards, poker chips, paper and pen

For those that play poker this is a fun and unique way to do your gift exchange. We have modified the play so that the Texas Holdem gift exchange doesn’t take to long, however your exchange could run 30 – 60 minutes.

Texas Holdem Gift ExchangeHow to Host a Texas Hold’em Gift Exchange
1. Send out an invitation or email letting people know that there will be a Texas Hold’em Gift Exchange.

2. In this Invitation include the follow:
How much can be spent on the gift. $10, $20 or more.
Let guests know if there is a theme or not and let them know that gifts should be wrapped but with no gift tags (To / From) on the gift.

3. When guests arrive have them place their gift in a designated area so all the gifts are together.

Rules & How To Play Texas Hold’em Gift Exchange
4. Decide how many tables you will need. Basically you’ll want 6 – 8 poker players per table.

5. Divide your groups up and have each table draw seating positions.
1 = Dealer, 2 person on the left of the dealer, 3 would be on the left of 2 and so on until everyone has a seat at the table.

6. Each person takes their seat and is given 5 poker chips.
The Big Blind and the Small Blind will each put in 1 poker chip. (a little different than normal).

7. From there you Play a regular hand of Texas Hold’em
If you have guests that have not played before then go over the rules. Remember this is not for cash just the order of gift exchange selection. If no one in your group has played Texas Hold’em than we suggest another gift exchange that is easier.

Once players have received their cards they can bet 1 chip to play or all their chips.

Once the hand plays out the winner collects their chips and the dealer button moves to the left where you play another round of Texas Hold’em

If however, someone goes out of the game during a turn. That person is first to select a gift from the gift pile and unwraps it.
– If two people go out on the same hand then the lowest hand selects a gift first and then the next person goes.
– If playing two or more tables, it all comes down to when someone goes out. So if Joe loses his chips at table one at 8:14 and Jennifer on table two goes out at 8:14 and 15 seconds then – Joe goes first and Jennifer goes after Joe.

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8. Gift Exchange Gift Selection, Gift Stealing and Safe Gifts
a. The 1st person out of the game selects a gift from the gift pile and unwraps the gift.
b. Then the 2nd person out of the game has the option to: Select a Gift from gift pile or steal the gift that person #1 selected.
– If person #2 steals the gift from person #1, then person #1 must select a new gift from the gift pile and unwrap it.
– If person #2 selects a gift from the gift pile, they unwraps the gift and the turn ends.
c. Then the 3rd person goes and continues the process of stealing or selecting gifts.
– If person #3 steals person #2’s gift then person #2 (the giftless person) has the choice to steal any gift other then the one stolen from them or safe gifts or choose from the gift pile. Option: Gift Stealing Per Round – No gift can be stolen twice during any round. (Recommended for Texas Hold’em gift exchange because it adds to the length of the gift exchange.)

Stealing Gifts
Gift stealing can be a touchy subject during gift exchanges so we recommend you clarify the rules before any gifts are selected.
a. When it is a player’s turn they can steal any gift (except safe gifts) from any player or select from the gift pile.

b. However the person that has their gift stolen can only steal gifts from players with gifts or select a gift from the gift pile. They can not steal the gift from the person who just stole their gift and they cannot steal safe gifts.
c. Recommendation: Some people like playing with Safe gifts, however we think you should not have safe gifts as an option in Texas Hold’em Gift Exchange. Remember Texas Hold’em is High Stakes so the Winner can take any gift, so instead make the rule a gift can only be stolen once during a round.
– See the Twist below for why we don’t have Safe Gifts.

Keeping a Gift / Safe Gifts
As noted above, we recommend no Safe Gifts in Texas Hold’em Gift Exchange. However, you can choose whether to have Safe Gift rules (below) or have no safe gifts.

In most Gift Exchange parties the standard rule is a gift can be stolen 3 times and then it if safe.
Sally picks a gift from the gift pile.
Joe takes the gift from Sally – 1 Steal
Tonya then takes the gift from Joe – 2 Steals
And then Adam takes the gift from Tonya – 3rd Steal
Adam’s gift is now SAFE (and that is the gift he will receive)

3 Steals seems to work well, but you can opt for more if you wish. With groups under 15 people it is pretty easy to track how often a gift has been stolen, for large groups you might want to place 1 and 2, 3 numbers on gifts as they get stolen, this way participants know quickly whether an item has been taken once, twice or is safe.

9. Table Winner & Playing with more then 1 Poker Table
a. When you have one table, the winner of that table is the last person to steal or pick a gift from the pile. However when you have more than one table, you need to play until each table has two players left and then condense all players to one poker table. Unlike regular you can’t take all your winnings to the final table, the chip leader from each table receives 5 poker chips and the runner up gets 4 chips and play continues.  (Sorry it takes to long if they play with 20 or more chips.) Now continue play until you have one winner.

10. Texas Hold’em Gift Exchange Winner
The Winner of you Texas Hold’em Gift Exchange can now select any gift they want or choose the last unopened gift and it is theirs to keep. If they steal a players gift then that person can steal a gift and so on. By making a rule that gifts can only be stolen once per round then gift stealing options dwindle and the last present will eventually be taken.
At this point, the Gift Exchange is over… Unless you have a Twist!

11. Ending the Game with a Surprise Twist
Want one last Texas Hold’em Twist well then add this to the game.
a. The Overall Winner of your Texas Hold’em Game gets to keep his Gift
b. However with the twist all other gifts can be in play.
c. Take a deck of cards that have already been shuffled and lay them out on a table face down.
d. Starting with the First person to go out they select a card.
– If they draw an Ace they can swap gifts with another and that gift is theirs to keep!
– If they pull a King or Queen they choose to keep their gift safe or swap it with another but that gift can then be stolen by anyone else pulling a Queen or higher.
– If they pull anything between a 2 – Jack nothing happens and the next person selects a card.

This is a fun little Poker twist that really makes this gift exchange a gamble.

Once the last person has selected their card the Texas Hold’em Gift Exchange is over. This type of gift exchange could take 30 – 40 minutes and maybe longer with groups of 12 and over.