Like it or not, many parts of Europe are going back into lockdown as political leaders enter a state of panic over COVID-19 infection rates.
Increased restrictions in Germany, France, Spain, and the UK mean millions of people will be confined to their homes for all but “essential” business this month.
The latest measures, dubbed “Lockdown 2.0” by some, are due to last until December, but there are no guarantees restrictions won’t be extended. With that being the case, many Europeans will have time to revisit the online home games they started earlier this year.
Lockdown Options: Poker Home Games in Europe
For those of you on lockdown who don’t want to partake in another round of Zoom quizzes, the following poker sites will let you set up home games in Europe.
PokerStars has been offering home games for more than a decade. As such, its suite of offerings is more comprehensive than most. Hosts can create cash games and tournaments across a variety of formats, including Hold’em, Omaha, six-max, and full-ring.
There’s also the option to host free-play and real-money games. To create your own game or join someone else’s, visit the “home games” tab located on the right-hand side of PokerStars’ game client.
Partypoker ushered in a home game update in June 2020. Although the changes came after the initial lockdown, they’re in place for the second round.
— partypoker (@partypoker) June 1, 2020
Known as Club Games, this feature allows players to create their own Hold’em or Omaha cash tables up to $1/$2 (or up to $5/$10 if you’re a VIP). It’s possible to host up to five clubs, but you can join as many private games as you wish.
To create your own game or join someone else’s, visit the “Club Games” tab located at the top of Partypoker’s game client.
888Poker reacted to the 2020 online surge by introducing home games. Users can log in and set up a room using the “extra games” menu. After opening the menu and selecting “play with friends,” hosts can create tournaments or cash games.
MTTs can be adjusted to suit all formats and buy-ins (including freerolls). You can also include rebuys and add-ons. Cash games start at $0.01/$0.02, and you can have between two and 10 players at a table. You can also set the minimum/maximum buy-in for a game and how long players have to act.
Unibet Poker has taken a slightly different approach to home games. As a smaller operator, it offers a more personal service.
To set up your own private gathering, you can contact a member of the poker team (specifically David K Lappin @dklappin on Twitter) and they’ll take care of it for you.
Unibet Poker’s home games are MTTs only. However, they will be password protected, which means you can keep out the sharks and invite your fishiest friends.
Europe’s second lockdown may not last as long as the first, but with at least four weeks of stay-at-home orders in place, online games could be another way to stay sane and entertained.