As the cards are spun across the table by the dealer with a graceful flick of the wrist, effortlessly gliding over the surface to the eagerly awaiting hand of the poker player, the smoothness of that motion is almost like an intricate dance, choreographed to perfection that only adds to the thrill of the high-stakes game.
Sounds poetic and really idyllic, right? Well, even the most casual poker player must surely agree, there’s nothing quite like the excitement of sitting at a poker table, observing the movement of the cards and the stacks of chips, rising or falling in size depending on the success of each participant.
Quality & Style
Great games of poker are undoubtedly aided by the quality of the poker table in use, particularly the playing surface. The movement of the cards is one of the most important attributes of a good card table. It’s the same reason why snooker and pool tables are typically covered with baize, conditioning how the balls accelerate and then slow gradually to a halt.
Of course, the kind of poker table you’re looking for will depend entirely on personal requirements. You might simply be out to impress everyone with an expression of good taste, keen to get playing poker at home with friends and family members; or maybe you’re making a statement of intent, showing everyone there’s a professional-caliber player around.
Elite Casino Poker Tables
If you have ever watched the coverage of live poker tournaments, on TV, or via online streams, these poker tables have a very distinct style and unique look to them. Typically, the elite poker table is oval-shaped with an indented area where the dealer usually stands. The surface is covered with the finest baize or a specialized felt designed purely for poker table use, allowing for the smoothest possible movement of the cards.
According to this guide to buying the right poker table, the most famous casinos and tournaments organizers can spend thousands of dollars on each table they use, ensuring they are built with only the finest materials for the utmost comfort and style. Often customized with branding emblazoned on the surface, tournament and high-roller tables always feature a padded “rail” around the edges, accompanied by a wooden “racetrack” with integral cup and chip holders.
Delving into Antiquity
Not everyone wants a modern looking piece of furniture in their homes, even if they’re planning on hosting a few exclusive card games amongst a close circle of good friends. Some of the earliest card tables originate from Europe, becoming popular as high-class furnishings during the 1700s. Some of the most elaborate were carved from durable wood like oak or walnut, featuring intricate carvings and delicate inlays, crowned by beautifully polished surfaces.
As poker became widespread throughout America in the 1800s and early 1900s, some of the most prestigious poker table manufacturers were located in New York. What’s more, they often crafted card tables that served multiple purposes, with folding tops which meant they could be used as pier or end tables, placed against a wall when not being used. Simple examples can be bought at yard sales for bargain prices, while beautifully exquisite antique games tables can fetch five-figure prices or more via specialist dealers and auctions.
Bargain Home Poker Tables
While the options we have covered so far may require a significant outlay, there are plenty of cheaper options for the home poker player. Of course, the quality can vary significantly, all depending on what you are prepared to spend to get the right kind of card table, not to mention your own personal preferences. Amazon has plenty of great options for tables costing a few hundred bucks, alternatively, you could always use Google and go straight to the manufacturers, if looking for something a little more specific.
Designs often range from oval-shaped emulating the tournament poker table look, to octagonal and circular options, including simple and basic tables that can be folded for convenient storage. These days, you don’t even have to buy a whole table and can just buy felt or baize mats, which can easily be placed over normal dining or coffee tables. These can cost less than fifty bucks for something cheap and simple. Essentially, it all depends on the space you have available and how often you are planning to host poker games at home.
Don’t Forget the Seating
One thing that many people often forget when shopping around for poker tables, participants will always need comfortable seating. While that problem can easily be resolved if you already have plenty of dining chairs available, it will inevitably be something to consider if you are planning a dedicated gaming and poker space at home. Just like the tables themselves, you will probably want to match the same overall style and look, to get the best effect.
Some of the most luxurious poker table chairs might set you back hundreds of dollars each, especially if they’re bespoke or covered with the finest leather. However, sturdy metal-framed chairs like those found at casinos can cost as little as $100 each, while you could also save money by opting for simple yet supportive banquet style chairs if you prefer to keep a tight hold on the purse strings. Don’t forget, along with the table and chairs, you will certainly need to keep some cash to one side, ready for when the poker gaming action begins.