4 Expert Tips To Choose A Poker And Card Table

Poker and card tables have been a popular feature in dens and home bars for years. Despite that, choosing one can still be tricky, so here are a few pro tips for choosing poker and card tables for your home.

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How big a poker table should I go for?

The first item on the list for consideration will be the number of players you expect at any point in time. If you've been hosting poker games for fun at your house and attendance has been growing or going up or down, it's a good idea to get a table that can seat the maximum number you expect at any one time.

If you're unsure of the number or want some flexibility, round tables can squeeze in an extra chair or two more than tables with sharp edges. When tables are not fully occupied, round tables excel at "filling" the spaces, since they don't have defined boundaries. Instead of being conscious of the lack of players at your table, you'll be able to fully immerse yourself in gameplay.

Dutch Colonial Rubberwood Round Poker Table
Gray Wood Round Contemporary Poker Table
Black Metal Round Folding Poker Table
Glacier Oak Rectangle Poker Table
Black Metal Leather Poker Table
Steel MDF Board Foldable Poker Table

Which material is best for the card table?

If you've ever had a wooden deck for a few years, or a wooden staircase in a home, you're probably not shocked to hear that even hardwood can become worn relatively quickly. Leaning elbows, sliding glasses and palms slammed in excitement all detract from the lifespan of your table.

If you're expecting your table to be used frequently, it's in your best interest to make a good choice in materials. Metal and hardwood are your best bets for longevity without sacrificing too much aesthetically.

Hardwoods resist fluctuations in humidity and temperature, which can quickly cause particle board or lesser wood composites to warp and flake. If you want the best of the best woods, be sure to choose solid hardwood over engineered hardwood.

Engineered hardwood consists of a ply or hardwood core, which then has a hardwood veneer layered on top of it. While you won't notice much difference in your early stages of use, layered veneers warp and peel over time, so cumulative damage will show.

Solid hardwood is made from a single, sturdy piece of wood so you'll see far less warping or peeling. Hardwoods are also easier to maintain since all that's really required is regular maintenance with a sealant like wax or polyurethane.

Blue Vinyl Wood Round Poker Table
Metal Manufactured Wood Poker Table
Metal Vinyl Oval Poker Table
Espresso Cherry Wood Poker Table
Brown Solid Manufactured Wood Poker Table
Vinyl Solid Manufactured Wood Oval Poker Table

What card table style will match my décor best?

Poker tables are aesthetic pieces as much as they are entertainment. When choosing your poker table, it's a good idea to take a look at how well a design fits in with your décor.

Octagonal designs with gray or light brown finish and the accompanying vinyl playing surface with cup holders provide a luxurious and contemporary atmosphere. Perfect for a home gameplay experience. 

Some tables boast a casino-style finish. Polished and brushed metal components compliment hardwood floors or dark carpets. Consider using cool white lighting for the best color emphasis. Such tables look especially good when paired with a hardwood bar set in your den. They come equipped with metal cup holders, which makes it perfect for cold whiskey all around. The edges of the table also sport comfortable padding for leaning elbows and wrists.

If you have a traditional interior, choose a round or oval wooden table with a dark finish. It will emphasize the old-world style but will not compromise on elegance and high-end look of your room.

Forest Green Vinyl Wood Poker Table Set
Chestnut Solid Manufactured Wood Poker Table
Brown Wood Octagonal Poker Table
Black Solid Manufactured Wood Poker Table Set
Walnut Solid Wood Square Poker Table
Traditional Cedar Octagonal Poker Table

What features should I consider in a poker or card table?

There are a few useful things to consider when choosing a poker or card table. Have a look at the features below and decide whether they are for you.

  • Does the poker table come with chips?

Authentic poker chips add a layer of immersion and detail that is hard to match with off-brand or budget chips. If you're operating commercially, you already have a source of chips that likely carries the brand of your establishment.

However, as a homeowner, what better way to create the feeling of an authentic casino experience than to use high-quality chips. If you can find a poker table that comes with a small set of playing chips, you can consider that a steal of a deal.

  • Can your table be used for eating?

In most cases, you'll want to limit the eating and drinking on the table as much as possible since felt playing surfaces can be tricky to maintain. Further, as water-resistant as hardwood surfaces can be, placing chilled drinks on them repeatedly can cause water damage over time. Some tables come well equipped for use as dining areas as well as playing areas. These tables have large swaths of hardwood or metal-free of playing surface material for just that purpose.

Some tables have tops that can be easily removed and flipped to reveal a dining surface, so you'll be able to take a break from poker for chips or even have a full-sized meal. All this, without running the risk of any stains.

  • Will you be serving drinks?

Food and drink can be a big part of the entertainment when you're hosting a game of poker. Especially if the competitive stakes aren't too high and you're mostly interested in relaxing with friends or family. If that sounds like the ideal use of your poker table, you'll definitely want to look at a table that comes with cup holders.

It is inevitable that someone will bump a table just hard enough to topple an insecure glass. While most tables can handle a spill or two if cleaned up quickly, it's best to simply avoid the affair altogether. You'll also want to ensure that your cup holders are made from a water-resistant material like plastic or metal to prevent water damage to hardwoods or playing surfaces.

  • Can the table be used outdoor?

Without a doubt, most poker is played indoors, but that doesn't mean you'll never have the itch to enjoy a warm summer evening with whiskey and cards in the garden. That being said, you might want to consider a table that can function outdoors as well as indoors.

Hardwood and metal tables are usually good candidates for both.  Hardwood resists humidity and temperature change, well in comparison to manufactured and softwoods. Though, metal tables are the most weather-resistant, especially when finished with weatherproof paint.

If you think you'll ever be in the market for some outdoor poker, you'll want to pay special attention to the weight of the table you choose. Moving a 200 lb solid steel table can be tricky, to say the least.

  • Can the table be easily disassembled?

From time to time, disassembly can become necessary for any number of reasons. For the most part, you'll be disassembling your table for transport or storage when your table has fallen out of use. Occasionally, you'll want to relocate your table to another room or venue and usually, this is best done disassembled.

When settling on a purchase, ensure that your table is easy to take apart, you'll save yourself a lot of stress.

Lily is a modern designer with great appreciation for sleek architecture, a love for art in its many forms, and a passion for sharing her experience with people. If you’re looking for advice on how to modernize your old-fashioned place or make your new restaurant a visual blast, she’s definitely the one to ask.