No poker game or room would be complete without one thing – a table. Whether it’s a kitchen table for a home game, a nightstand at a hotel room, or a bar top at a restaurant, most players have experienced playing the game away from the comfy confines of a casino.

However, a quality poker table with soft felt and a cup holder or two can make the game so much better and go a long way. Ready to add a decent table to your man cave or poker room? 

Here are some concepts to keep in mind when making that purchase.

Things to Consider When Buying a Poker Table

There are many considerations to account for when making that poker table purchase:

  • What are your expectations? How often do you plan on hosting a game? 
  • And of course, what is your budget for the purchase?

Take some time to determine what will work best. Here are some common characteristics of a poker table to review.

Poker Felt and Rail

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Numerous felt options are available for that poker table purchase. Lower-end options may feature the traditional green, but pricier tables may include different colours such as blue, red, black, and others. 

Those seeking a custom option may even be able to include graphics or lettering. Some high-quality felts may consist of designs enmeshed in the felt for a completely cool and unique look and texture.

One key consideration is quality and smoothness to make sure the felt works well, and cards glide across the table effortlessly when dealing. No one enjoys a table where the cards come up short of a player or a rough texture that causes cards to be exposed. 

The felt should be able to stand up to regular usage with plenty of chip riffling and even the occasional beer spill. A high-quality felt will last long and not create lint and a rough surface – helping a table owner from having to re-felt often.

Another essential consideration is the rail around the table. Is there enough padding and is the rail sturdy? Will it hold up to players leaning against it? Look for a soft but sturdy rail with not too much give. Make sure the vinyl or leather is of high quality. 

Some tables may not even have a rail. Is this a must-have for you? It may look a little strange to some players. Most would like a rail. It can protect the table, offers players a space to lean their hands and arms, and on many tables will hold cup holders for keeping your favourite beverage.

Shape and Size

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When buying a table, consider what most of your regular games will be like. Will it be just a small group of five or six friends playing “dealer calls” games? A circular or octagon-shaped table may be perfect for your poker room and smaller game. Many of these also include table covers so it can function as a regular table in a game room or family room.

If you plan on hosting even more players, an oval, casino-style table may be the best option. These can accommodate as many as nine players and maybe even squeeze in a 10th. Are you looking for a tournament featuring even more players for a decent-sized Texas Hold’em tournament? You’ll need enough space and may want to purchase an extra oval-shaped table that can be put away when the game breaks up.

Mosttables have a length between 92 and 104 inches. Consider your poker crew and the space available in your room when making your selection. No one wants to be crowded in the room or at the table. Size selection may help avoid some of that when the game gets big.

Quality and Build

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Table quality varies widely, and there’s something for every budget. Do you plan on putting your table away when it’s not in use? A lower-cost table with fold-up legs can be easily found online or at a sporting goods store for a couple of  hundred dollars. These won’t break the bank but will get the job done when it’s time to get the game on.

Those with a bigger budget looking for a table that will become a permanent centrepiece in a room will have plenty of options. Many tables feature intricate woodwork and craftsmanship, LED lighting around the underside of the table, high-end stainless-steel cup holders, high-quality felt, and other options. These tables can run into the thousands of dollars, but there can also be more reasonably priced options but with some added appeal as well in the $600 to $1,000 range.

When it comes to a table, durability is also always a factor – especially considering metal legs and the fold-out variety. Make sure the table doesn’t shake and can take a pounding over the long haul. Those legs should hold the table up and in place well – you want that table to be as robust as possible with no danger collapsing – flying cards and chips isn’t a pretty sight.

Chairs and More

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A table may be a necessity for that next game, but chairs may be equally necessary. Standing an entire game could be a little uncomfortable and a little awkward. Once again, there are numerous options. The budget-conscious may purchase some extra folding chairs to do the trick. Or better yet, maybe your poker guests have a few, and you can save a few bucks by borrowing. This setup would work for those with a portable table they plan on putting away after the game.

Players looking for a more comfortable option may want to look into an office-style chair. Many high-end tables come with matching cushioned chairs that raise and lower for maximum comfort. Rolling chairs also make for a more comfortable experience moving around a table. It may be essential to make sure your choice of table and chairs complement the colour and decor of your poker room. 

When considering chairs, it’s also essential to think about your flooring. A regular game in a carpeted area may make for considerable wear and tear to the flooring. That could be the case for wood flooring as well. A quality rug can alleviate some wear and tear on your floor covering as players shift and roll a bit around the table. 

There are numerous options for chairs and thinking about your entire setup will go a long way in making that poker room perfect.

The Complete Package – Going All Out

There are so many more table options for those looking for something extra special. Companies like BBO, Jack Game Room, Gorilla Gaming, and others offer exquisite options from felt colour to pedestals to LED lighting around the tabletop. 

Some companies allow for a completely customizable table where buyers can add all the bells and whistles as they order. The price can get into the thousands, but a custom table can make for a fantastic piece of furniture for any game room.That deal could even include charging stations at each seat. 

Are you looking to name your room Pete’s Poker Palace or Gary Game Room and want your table felt to represent that? A custom table felt will offer numerous options for printing that room name with some cool graphics on the felt.

If you’ve got the cash and looking to make your poker room feel like a trip to Las Vegas, or even Monte Carlo, a customised poker table is the way to go. Stylish and high class, this type of table will impress your friends and keep them coming back for more – even if you keep winning their cash.

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Another Budget Option

Whether you’re a poor college kid, not looking to break the bankroll, or limited on space, there is another option when it comes to hosting your poker game. While a dining room table may not be ideal for battling it out with friends, a felt table top can make it a much better experience. 

These pseudo tables feature numerous options and colours. Some come in the traditional oval-shape while others may be circular, or octagon shaped. Amenities vary, but some even feature a padded rail, cup holders, or slots for chips at each seat. A no-frills circular tabletop felt can be had for around $30 while a fancier setup can still be had for under $100. 

Tabletops run the gamut from a simple felt to a sturdier board-style topper that can fold up and be put in a carrying case. If you want to budget more money for the poker game itself rather than the poker table, this might be the way to go.

Building Your Own Poker Table

There’s also another way to create a decent custom poker table. Are you handy in a woodshop and know your way around a saw? Building your poker table may be an ideal and fun option. Beware though, those with less experience in carpentry may find this a much more difficult option. 

Numerous sites offer directions on building a poker table. These free build plans from the makers of the television show This Old House are perfect for someone looking to build an old-style, round table, or in this case octagon shaped. This table is pretty intricate with attractive woodwork.

A cover also makes it function as a traditional table as well. Below is also a video from The New Yankee Workshop with a similar poker table project:

For those looking for a more modern casino-style, oval table, there are also numerous options for building plans available online. Long-time poker player Ashley Adams offers his step-by-step guide here. The plans call for an 82-inch table – perfect for a night of Texas Hold’em or Omaha with friends.

The result is an attractive table, which is portable if necessary, that certainly does the job. When building a table, be prepared to spend anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands – depending on the style and quality of table you choose. 

Those looking for a high-end oval table may want to check out the video below as well.

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Whatever table a player chooses, it’s essential to consider some of the above when making that final choice. Now call some friends and get out the chips and cards – it’s poker time.

About the Author
By
Sean Chaffin is a poker writer who appears in numerous websites and publications. He is also the host of the True Gambling Stories podcast
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