What are the best tables for poker?

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If you’re planning on throwing your own poker night, or you’re going all the way and converting your kitchen into a poker room (good luck convincing your partner), then you may as well get the most for your money. The guys at Lucky Nugget have put together a guide to purchasing the perfect poker table!

Sure, the kitchen table worked when you were playing with family, but now you’ve got a regular poker gathering and it’s time to sort things out. Buying the beer and sorting the food is the easy bit, and you might well have all the poker chips and cards you need, but what about your poker table? People want to feel like they’re playing on the WSOP and so, finding the right table is paramount. But, first things first, you need to work a few things out.

How often will you be playing?

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If you don’t play all that often then you might want to consider buying a poker table topper. These slide over any table you currently own, creating your own poker lobby in an instant. After you’ve finished playing, you can fold it away — no mess, no hassle. Of course, if you’re playing more often than not, you’ll need to invest in a proper stationary table. After all, nobody wants to play on a rickety table every week. There’s stories of amateur players playing on fold-down snooker tables before — don’t be one of those guys!

How many players?

How big is your poker gang? If it’s less than 10 then you’ll manage with the one poker table — otherwise, you’re going to need a couple. Again, if you’re planning on running a multi-table competition then you’ve got to think about cost — is it worth just hiring a few tables? If you’re not having multiple tournaments throughout the year, then we advise hiring.

What are the different types of poker table?

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There’s a growing range of poker tables that might take your fancy:

Roll-able poker tables

Roll-up poker tables are generally blue and come with a sticky surface, ensuring your poker table doesn’t slide about during play. Usually sized at 70″ x 35″, they are water resistant and can be stored away for future use. They might start to curl up around the edges though, so make sure you keep good care and replace when worn. Average prices are around $60 – 80.

Folding poker tables

These easy to store and quick to assemble folding poker tables are mass produced and can be found at most chain stores for around $70-$90. Generally, they come shaped in an octagonal manner and when fully opened will comfortably seat 8 players. They’re often topped with green felt, but can come in a variety of colours. You’ll often find that tables come with drink and chip holders, giving the true professional feel. They also come in an oval fashion with a cushioned edge, creating a sense of luxury for only $20 more.

Collapsible poker table

The great thing about these poker tables is that they stand on their own, requiring no support from your dining room table. They’re a little smaller than regular poker tables and of course, don’t have the same sense of luxury. But, if you want a sense of realism a stand-alone poker table is perfect for you. In terms of fitting players, these tables will fit ten at a push — they’re truly best with 8 players. If you’re the dealer, you’ll probably prefer the 9 player variety which comes with a dedicated dealer’s section. The armrests are generally padded and the felt is somewhat thicker when compared to a table top, they almost feel like a real table. Prices vary, but come in at around $400 – 600.

Professional poker tables

Let’s be straight — these are pretty damn expensive. The quality of these tables is aeons apart from any of the aforementioned tables. Essentially, when you buy one of these tables, you’re in it for life. At around 98″ x 48″, you’ll easily fit ten players and one dealer around the edge. They’re set lower to the ground than a stand-alone table and are incredibly sturdy. There’s plenty of add-ons you can purchase, from cup rests to chip holders. If you’re after true luxury, enquire about the mahogany finish — which will set you back between $4000 – $8000 for the table as a whole. A worthy purchase if you’ve got the room and play regularly.

Premium poker tables

If you’re looking for a TV ready table, then you need to enquire about a premium poker table. They come with all the snazzy extras, including an automatic shuffling machine, lights around the edge and under-table cameras so you can commentate on games — if that’s your thing. Unfortunately, they’ll set you back at around $15,000, so be warned — they’re a hearty investment. Sure, you could try your best to drive down the price, but there’s a good chance that won’t happen! Either way, if you’re a huge poker fan and you’ve got the space, go for it!

Poker table/kitchen table combo

So, you’ve splashed the cash and now you’ve got a huge poker table, but no space to live. What in the world are you going to do? Well, the answer is simple — get a wooden poker-table topper! That way, when you’re not playing poker, you can use it as a kitchen table. Many home poker players use them and they’re a good compromise with your partner if they don’t like poker. Perfect!

What about the felt?

It’s not really felt you know — it’s called velveteen, which is found on low-end tables. The reason for this is that felt isn’t a smooth surface and so they’d stick if you try to slide cards across the surface. Felt damages easily as well, and so you’d end up with lint all over the place. On more expensive tables, speed cloth is used. This premium surface is made from polyester and olefin and allows cards to glide effortlessly across the table.

In terms of the style, there are patterned and un-patterned varieties on the market. The most poplar colours are either green or blue, but then you’ve got red, yellow and even grey. Then you’ve got the pattern to choose — all the suits, stripes, spots — the world is your oyster. Felt is generally $30 per yard and you can cover the whole table for $60. If you’re not sure, order a sample pack, which is offered by most good retailers.

Ultimately, just choose the right style that matches the decor of your house. If you’ve got neutral decor then a purple poker table might stand out too much, unless you want the table to be your centrepiece. There’s a lot to think about, so take your time!

Any extras?

First of all, think about the chairs! Do you want your players to sit in comfort, or would you rather they struggle through the evening on some battered chair. They need to match as well, so make sure they look the part — which might set you back a fair penny.

Next, imagine all those potential spillages on your brand new table. Well, why not prepare for that with you very own personalised drink holder. These can sit next to players and can easily be shared. This means you’ll only need three or four at the partly price of $200 each — easy.

If you fancy protecting your poker table, then we recommend you get yourself a cracking poker table cover; ideal for keeping the dust off your brand new purchase. It’ll probably set you back £30, but will be more than worth it!

So, there you go! Head on out and grab the poker table of your dreams — it’ll probably cost a few thousand dollars, but who cares? You’re only as good as your table is — that’s the truth!

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