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Foosball is a game that involves mechanical flip pins, usually in the form of uniformed game players in foosball tables. A ball is released into a table-top box, then the players move the figures to catch the ball and make it go into their preferred pocket. The tables can be elaborate, or they can be inexpensive and simply built. It is even possible to obtain a table-top unit that can be placed on a dining room or ordinary game room table. A few of the tables have clear covers for the game parts, allowing the table to be repurposed as a general surface, if necessary.
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Mainstreet Classics Sinister Table Top Foosball
This table top model has a wood finish that looks professional sitting on your table top. The players have a goalkeeper with a different colored jersey and score tabs can be found on either side so you can keep track of the score. At 4” H x 20” W x w5” L, the game is not too big which allows it to be kept on a table comfortably. It’s a miniature table game that should be great for younger players from 5 to 13+ years. Makes a great gift as the size is not prohibitive.
This is a great piece for game rooms. This table is a unique way to play foosball and stands out as something most people have never seen before. The game doubles as a cocktail table which is an interesting design. With this model, you avoid having to set anything up as you are always ready to go. Telescopic rods are included as are balls with this table, so you can be ready to go when purchasing.
Made with a dark wood solid finish, this table is a sturdy addition to any game room. This is great for players who are looking for some friendly competition. One great feature of the table is that it comes with a drink holder on the side. The table is 55 inches long, 52 inches wide, and 36 inches tall. At that size, you should be able to have some fun games that are great for those who want to get some heavy use from the table.
This table combines a modern feel with a more conservative art style to make for a beautiful piece. The parquet floor that the players compete on gives the table an interesting feel. The game area has raised corners to keep the ball in play no matter what happens. The floor also has Leveling boots come with the table so you can be sure you can play anywhere you choose. This premium table can be used for year-round play.
This is an example of a modern foosball table. The shiny black and silver players have a glossy finish and would stand out in any room as a premium item. The cabinet also has some metallic feel to it and the support beams are crossed in an intriguing fashion. The manual scorekeeping adds a classic element to the game as everything else here has a very modern feel to it. Counterbalanced players add a nice weight to the telescopic rods.
An interesting desktop version of the table. This is a great model to keep at work or in your home office. The silver and gold players match the turn knob silver and gold handles for a unique metallic design. It is very small, measuring 4 inches wide by 8 inches long. Don’t let the small size throw you off, this piece is still made with a lot of care and detail. A very nice looking mini table.
The players on this table have an old-school feel to them. The black and silver player colors give off a serious vibe like this table is made specifically for those who are ready to get to business and spend a lot of time playing games. The a-frame design has a clean look and this table should fit into any kind of room given its oak wood finish. Bead style manual scorers fit right into the table and keep the overall look clean.
If you’re looking for a portable foosball option, this table has you covered. At 40 inches, it is not a mini table but it should not be overwhelming to take to a party or a big gathering. It weighs 15 pounds so you should not have any problem getting it in or out. Rubber-padded legs add extra protection. The table has an exciting design that would lend itself towards a younger audience. The red and blue player teams make it stand out that much more.
The first thing you notice about this table is the white and black table legs. The design gives an authentic game room experience. The chrome-plated rods and the whole table feel sturdy so you should be secure if you want this to get some heavy use in your game room. The red and black teams stand out against the backdrop of the white inner table. A traditional, bead style scoring system helps you keep score.
This is a durable and premium table that is meant to be played on by pros. The players have a unique “cut out” design which feels great when turning the rods. Recognized by the ITSF and USTSF player organizations; this table weighs in at 200 pounds meaning you won’t have to worry about bumps or movement. The pro style ball return system is one of the best out there. If you want the best of the best when it comes to the actual gameplay, this table is going to stand out as the players flip faster due to their split bearings.
It's safe to say that most people in Western Societies have at one point or another played a game of Foosball. If you're reading this article - chances are, you're one of those people and you're probably longing for a nostalgic and entertaining purchase.
Whether you're a former classic arcade dweller, familiar with the ins and outs of dig dug and Galaga, or just someone who had the occasional session on the foosball table at your local pizzeria, we're sure that our guide can help you make the best possible Foosball table purchase.
Let's get started.
To get you started with making a purchase, we need to clear up the quite common misconception that there is only one type of foosball tables. Shocking, yes - I know. There are in fact, a few varieties of foosball tables commercially available each of which may or may not suit your needs. Here's a quick overview of the major types.
Standard Foosball Tables
The standard foosball table is the variety you are most likely to be familiar with. Typically, these boards are assembled after purchase and delivery and are intended to remain stationary for extended periods of time.
Usually, these boards are quite heavy, regardless of the materials they are constructed of. Commonly they are made of heavy-duty woods, however they can also be found made from plastic, MDF particle board or softer woods. Regardless of material, you can expect a foosball table to weigh around 100 lbs.
Tabletop Foosball Tables
Tabletop foosball tables emerged as part of an effort to make foosball more widely available. Their convenient sizes typically allow householders who normally wouldn't be able to accommodate a full-size table, to still have the foosball experience at home.
Of course, being "tabletop" doesn't mean you can simply play on any surface in your home. Typically, you'll need to ensure that your surface of choice is stable, to ensure uninterrupted gameplay. Which means your dining table with a slight lean is probably out of the question, the same goes for your rocking coffee table.
Countertops, home bars and sturdy tables are your best bets for fun and uninterrupted play. Tabletop foosball tables are usually made from plastic, so bear that in mind when making your purchase. Of course, there are higher quality materials available, however tabletop foosball is typically intended for short term use and not longevity. So, don't expect more than a few years use from the tabletop variety.
Coin Operated Foosball Tables
Coin operated tables are extremely heavy duty in most cases and thus- extremely expensive. Typically, these pieces are for those who are nostalgic at heart and have the extra money to spend, dedicated collectors or business owners hoping to attract patronage by improving their entertainment or arcade.
The parts for collecting coins - which of course can be safely altered to allow free play in a home environment - usually add a hefty amount to the price tag. They also open new potential vulnerabilities in your machine since these parts increase your likelihood of needing repair. Thus, we recommend against coin operated machines for the casual buyer.
When purchasing your table, the first thing you'll need to consider is size. A standard, full size foosball table is 56 inches in length and 30 inches in width, not accounting for rod length. When measuring a space for your table, its best to leave a significant amount of clearance along each edge. Foosball can become a competitive game, so it's best to leave at least 2 feet of clearance on each side of your table to accommodate wilder shots and movements.
Most experts recommend having a 7ft by 8ft space to accommodate a full-size foosball table. If your table is intended solely as a collector's item or for decorative purposes, of course you can ignore these recommendations to some extent.
Goalie Set up
If you're purchasing a table that will see at least SOME use - if only a little - the next thing you should consider is how your goalies are set up. Some consider the goalie to be the most important player on the foosball table as the goalie set up can dictate the pace of the game.
Goalkeepers can be set up as a single-man unit, or a three-man unit and which one you should choose is based on personal preference. Three-man goalie set ups make for faster games, since it's easier to defend goal-bound shots. Single-man goalie set ups emphasize skill and a slower paced game that focuses on well-timed shots.
That being said, if you're a regular or experienced foosball player, a single-man goalie set up might be more appealing to you. If you're planning on entertaining using your foosball table or have friends and family who are unfamiliar with or new to foosball, then a three-man set up is likely ideal for you.
Counterweighted Players Make for Cleaner Shots
Once you've decided on a single or three-man set up for your goalie, you can consider purchasing a table that has counterweighted players.
Put simply, counterweighted players are designed to stay out of your way once you've released the rod controlling them. For example, if you've just moved a midfield player to block a shot, you probably don't want his feet deflecting the ball back to your goal, once you move your defense to clear it out. Own goals can be hilarious, but those with a competitive nature can find this to be annoying to say the least.
Counterweighted players make for cleaner shots by sitting horizontally once you release the rod controlling them. This lifts heads and feet clear of the table to make lining up shots or blocking them far more consistent.
Playing rods are another important facet to consider when making your purchase. You should be looking for a table that comes with hollow, steel rods. These rods are ideal since they are well equipped for strain and lend to the life of the board by being durable against rough shots or play.
Hollow rods also speed up the game in comparison to whole steel rods since they weigh so much less. The highest quality boards typically come with hollow, steel rods and at the least you should ensure that your board of choice matches this. Never settle for a flimsy or unproven material, dealing with a broken foosball rod can be more than a pain in the neck.
You'll have three major choices when it comes to the construction of your foosball table: MDF particle, Wood + particle composites, solid wood and plastics.
Plastic as mentioned before, has the shortest lifespan of all these materials, unless it is extremely well made and well taken care of.
Tables made of MDF particle board tend to break down over time, often with whole sections becoming rotted or falling way. Proper maintenance and humidity control can prolong the life of these boards but not by very much. Higher quality MDF does exist and is becoming more commonly used in foosball tables, however, most tables made of MDF have a warranty that lasts less than a year, which you can take as an estimation of their real durability.
Wood composites and solid woods
Wood composites and solid woods are interchangeable for the most part regarding durability. Solid woods face a bigger threat from humidity and need to be properly stored and protected. Composite woods react better to humid environments but also don't resist bumps and bruises quite as well as solid wood. If you're willing to maintain a solid wood board and have the budget, we recommend the purchase, however composite wood boards are a happy middle ground for most buyers.
The playing surface that you choose for your table will matter both in terms of long-term use and speed of play. Much like the goalkeeper set up we discussed earlier; your surface can have a significant impact on how fast the ball travels.
We recommend purchasing hard laminate playing surfaces.
These surfaces will offer you the most value for money since they facilitate the fastest play and are also the most durable playing surfaces available. Avoid purchasing playing fields that are stick-on or have stick-on field markings. These markings have a tendency to peel away and roll up, sometimes even after minimal use.
Humidity and temperature fluctuations also tend to heavily affect stick-on surfaces and field markings so try to avoid them if possible. Peeling surface markings are a sure-fire way to ruin the fun and decorative aspects of your foosball table.
Our final recommendation is to ensure that your table of choice comes with stability levers. These are simple gadgets that allow you to maintain a table's balance. Balance may not matter too much in the early days of your foosball table's life, so long as your floor is level.
These bars come in handy once wear and tear threaten the level playing field of your board. Playing uphill is a losing battle regardless of how good you are at foosball and stability levers allows you to adjust the balance on both ends of the table to make the game fun for everyone who plays.