Poker tables are one of the few costs of hosting a home game that can get pretty expensive. If you host your home game often, you will want to buy one though because it enhances the poker-playing experience for all of the players.
Poker Table - Features
- Folding legs Full-size poker tables need more space for storage. If you are looking for a temporary solution then your best option would be a folding poker table.
- Felt type - There are different felts of various qualities that affect the slide-ability of the cards.
- Felt color - Green is the most common color for table felt, but other colors are popular too, such as maroon.
- Padded Rail - These make the table much more comfortable for all of the players.
- Drink holder - Some cup holders come installed in the rail (this is preferred), while others are installed into the playing surface. When they are installed in the playing surface, they get in the way of the cards. It is also best if they are located directly in front of you, as opposed to on either side.
- Bill slot with drop box - This is a feature on professional tables where the dealer puts the money that players buy in with. This is not needed for average home game users.
- Dealer chip tray and card holder - This is a feature that comes on all professional tables, and can come installed on some cheaper tables.
- Dealer position - This is a space for a dedicated dealer without having any special features (such as chip trays, etc.).
Choosing a Poker Table
- The number of players - This will be one of the most important variables.
- Size - Even though the type of table you choose will be dictated by the number of players that you need to accommodate, it will also be dictated by the amount of available space in the room it will be in. You should measure the amount of space the table will take up, then add some space required for chairs, and then compare it to the poker table dimensions stated online.
- Cost - Poker tables will cost you about $100 on the lower end. You can get a mid-priced table in the $200-$300 range. High-end tables will be about $500+.
- Quality - Higher quality tables will have higher quality components. Higher quality felt will allow the cards to move better. A higher quality rail cushion will be much more comfortable than lower-quality cushions.
- Features - Poker tables come with different features, such as drink holders. You need to decide which features you want.
- Fold-ability - This allows you to hide your poker table. This is if you will not be using it in between poker sessions.
- Portability - This is the ability to take the table to another location. Fold-ability makes tables to take us less space, but this doesn't necessarily make them portable. Most people don't need their tables to be portable.
- Durability - More expensive tables will be more durable. There are a few factors that determine how durable your poker table needs to be: (1) The more a table is moved (even folded up and put away), then the more durable it will need to be. (2) The rowdiness of your players - more rowdy players may rough up your table a bit over time. (3) How often the table is used - a table used every day needs to be more durable than a table used once a week.
- Clean-ability - Certain materials are easier to keep clean. This is important if people will occasionally spill drinks on your table.
Buying a Poker Table
- Online Poker Supply Sites - Some sites will have free delivery while others will have huge shipping charges. A couple of popular sites to buy at are PokerNStuff, and DiscountPokerShop.
- Amazon - Amazon (poker tables) - A good selection of cheap tables. Although Amazon is not the first place poker players think of when buying poker supplies, the great thing about Amazon is that most of the tables sold by Amazon directly will qualify for "FREE with Super Saver Shipping".
- EBay - EBay (poker tables) - A good selection of cheap tables. But you will have to pay for shipping (or pay more for the table if it comes with free shipping).
- Craigslist - Now that the poker boom is over, there are tons of people with left over poker supplies that they don't want anymore, including poker tables. Craigslist will obviously have a lower selection of tables, and the tables will probably be in used condition. But you can save some money on delivery fees and possibly get one cheap. I have noticed that the tables tend to be priced higher than they should be though.
- Local retail - Don't buy a table retail. The used tables available at places like the Salvation Army will be crappy. The new ones available at regular retail plaes (like Sears) or whatever will usually be over-priced. There will also be a MUCH lower selection of features.
March 1, 2013