December 3, 2023



As of yesterday, June 7, 2006, it’s now a felony to play poker online in Washington state. Or depending on who you believe, it’s illegal all over the United States. You can celebrate such backwards progress with an illegal home game with your buddies, and snack on some poker grub. In a new series, I’ll be supplementing the usual poker posts with easy-to-make, easy-to-eat poker party snack recipes. (We’re also running a poker-blogger interview series. If you are a poker blogger and would like to be interviewed, by email, please either drop off a comment on this blog, or email me at blogspinner-at-hotmail-dot-com. Please put something like “Poker Interview” in the subject line.


If you’re tired of the standard peanuts, pretzels, chips, or pizza, try easy-to-make bitesize snacks like sausage on crackers. You can eat’em cold or baked in the oven:


(1) Pre-heat your oven to 325 F.


(2) Meanwhile, slice up large sausages such as oktoberfest, italian, debrazzini, bratwurst. Make sure that you remove any inedible skin first. Cut each slice about a 1/4 inch thick. (I recommend you use pre-cooked sausages, else they’ll be undercooked while the cheese and crackers burn. Slice up small squares or rectangles of cheddar or pepperjack.


(3) To keep cleanup to a minimum, place a piece of kitchen parchment paper on a cookie tray. (If you’re using a toaster oven, do not use parchment paper, as it’s very likely to touch the element and catch on fire.)

For best results, use a thick cracker that stands up to heat, such as Triscuit whole crackers. Plain crackers will just go soggy.


(4) Place the crackers in orderly fashion on the tray (with or without parchment paper). Put the cheese on top of the crackers, and the sausage slices on the cheese.


(5) Place the tray in the oven for no more than 8-10 minutes ( ), or until the cheese melts – which ever comes first.


(6) Remove the snacks to a serving platter and warn your guests: hot, slightly greasy food. (Use turkey sausages and you’ll probably cut down on the grease.)


(7) If you enjoy a good brew with your poker home games, try something dry, to balance the richness of the cheese and meat. If you don’t want or like alcohol, apple juice or ginger ale works just as nicely.


Put out lots of napkins, and enjoy before, during or after the game. Just make sure that you use cheap playing cards, as you’ll likely have grease all over them because of the doofuses that won’t wipe their hands.