There are three main types of poker tables: oval-shaped tables, round tables, or table-tops.
These are full-sized tables. They usually seat 10 people, but sometimes only seat 8. The more higher-end ones have thick legs that are attached, while the lower-end tables may have foldable legs.
The low end is going to cost you about $100-$150. If you are looking for a solid table with decent felt and rails, then this is a great deal. The higher-end tables can run you over a thousand, but these are professional tables which will probably not be something you would be interested in.
The only downside to this table is that it may be difficult to deal to the players sitting at one end of the table if you are sitting at the other end. This could be solved a few different ways. (1) You could buy a table with a dealers spot (this would increase the size and price of the table). (2) You could just have the player sitting in the middle be the designated dealer. (3) Have players who are good at dealing cards sit at the ends.
These tables seat either 6 people or 8. This table is lighter and shorter and, therefore, more easily movable than a full-sized table. Short-handed tables come in either round or octagonal shape. These tables tend to have more appeal to people looking to have a poker table that looks like a normal table. A big, 10-seat table looks out-of-place when not being used, while a small round table can still fit into the normal decor of a room.
Many of these tables try to position themselves as better tables by seating players 8 instead of 6. But if you have a large enough game where you are playing with 8 people, you should definitely switch up to a full-sized table. Playing on a short-handed table with 8 people is very crowded. Many times, players don't have enough room to handle their cards, let alone stack their chips, or put a drink on the table.
When people are sitting at a table for 3 hours to play a game of poker, they want a little "stretch out" room. I have played in games where I felt squished in with other players and afraid I would knock their drink over or something. I don't mind doing it every now and then if a game ends up getting more players than expected. But it gets old after a while.
Additionally, these tables are not really any cheaper than full-sized tables, so you shouldn't be buying a smaller one simply to save money.
Table tops are placed over a table to turn a non-poker table into a poker table. The good news is that they are extremely convenient to store since almost all of them are foldable. The bad news is that the cheaper table tops are very flimsy and unstable. Table tops in general tend to be very over-priced - many times they are the same price as an actual table.
If you are hosting a regular poker game and are going to the trouble of buying a table top, then you should definitely switch up to a whole table instead.
Electronic poker tables are not an option for home games. Although they have been on the market for almost 10 years now, they have not become popular. You can read more about them on our electronic poker table page.
HPG ADMIN on March 1, 2013