Or: how to get through a night of gambling with a bunch of drunken hicks.
Ever got the guys together for a night of gambling only for it to devolve into mayhem only a couple hours later? The role of a host isn't a privilege - it's a responsibility; and everyone knows the best way to play your role is learning through experience.
But that takes effort, so here's a website instead.
The bare bones of hosting a successful poker night boils down to the right people, the right food and the right distractions. And the cards. And the chips. If you're just testing the waters, start small. Single dollar buy ins, to keep the crowd relaxed. Don't dish out every poker chip just because you have them. The game's success is a direct inverse of the length of the game and the amount of money on the table. More poker chips per player is a longer game, and with less money that all results in less care.
You're hosting, right? Provide some food! Maybe even beer if you're feeling like a true saint. Chips are always a safe bet, but if you don't know what your victims are craving, the answer is usually meat. Chicken wings make friends for life. If you're all vegetarians... god help you that's great!
Music is more important to the game then you think. Treat a poker playlist the same way you would treat the notes you wrote for that girl back in the 6th grade because you thought people still did that. Just like every rhyming word in the terrible poem you thought was hella-romantic, each song needs to have rationale. Every group has one song that will make everyone blast into a loud, drunken, terrible, hilarious sing-a-long. Yeah, don't put that one in there.