How To Choose Poker & Card Tables

No den or entertaining area is complete without a card table for making memories with your friends and family. But not everyone has the space for a dedicated game room, which can make choosing the right card or poker table difficult. To help you find the perfect table for your space, here is our guide to choosing poker & card tables.

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What is the Difference Between Poker Tables and Card Tables?

Although each table can be used for a variety of card games, there are some distinct differences between poker tables and card tables that can influence which one you choose for your game room.

  • A card table is traditionally a portable folding table made from metal and plastic that offers a temporary surface for 4-player card games. Card tables typically have four legs where a poker table is attached to a pedestal. Card tables can be used for a variety of different games and offer greater versatility when it comes to designing and decorating the interior of your game room.

  • A poker table is a specific type of table designed for one game: poker. It has design features that allow for easy dealing and will generally have a thin layer of foam between the wooden base and the playing surface to prevent chips from bouncing, making noise, or chipping the wood.

Should I Choose a Folding Table or Pedestal Base?

The type of card table you choose depends on whether you have a dedicated recreational space or if you prefer a portable option that can be pulled out when the mood strikes for a card game.

  • Folding Card Table: The biggest advantage of a folding table is that it is portable and can be moved from room to room if you don’t have enough space in your living area for a permanent table. Folding tables should be simple to set up with a locking mechanism to prevent the table from closing in the middle of a game.
  • Pedestal Table: Most permanent poker and card tables are mounted on a pedestal base rather than four legs. Although they are more expensive, the pedestal offers stability and space for players’ legs while adding classic elegance to your game room.
Black Green MDF Polyester PVC Steel Folding Play Poker Table
Portable Poker Table Top With Carrying Bag
Medium Brown Solid Wood Leather Round Pedestal Poker Table
Rich Oak Octagonal Pedestal Poker Table
Gray Solid Manufactured Wood Round Contemporary Poker Table
Medium Brown Cherry Leather Round Poker Table

Which is the Right Shape for a Poker or Card Table?

The shape of the tables depends on the number of players you need to accommodate and the space you have available in your home. Some common card and poker table shapes include:

  • Round

For a den or entertainment area with limited space, a round table is a perfect option. The shape allows for up to six players evenly dispersed around the table and keeps chips, cards, and drinks within easy reach.

  • Oval

Most professional poker rooms and casinos use oval-shaped tables to accommodate as many players as possible. An oval-shaped home poker or card table can seat up to ten players and also facilitates easier card dealing. However, oval tables have a large footprint and may be unsuitable for all home entertainment areas.

  • Square

Square tables are not ideally suited to poker as they limit the number of people able to sit at the table. For Bridge, Tichu, Crazy Eights, and other card games that can be played with four players or less, a square table offers the ideal shape and profile for a game room and can easily be converted to a dining table when Game Night is over.

  • Octagon

While not as common as a round or oval-shaped table, an octagon offers the same spacious seating arrangement but caps the number of players at eight people. While an octagon does not have the same versatility as other table shapes, the bold geometric lines make a dramatic statement and create a focal point for the room.

Octagonal Warm Medium Cherry Strawn Poker Table
Oak Solid Wood Round Five Piece Solid Wood Poker Table
Rubberwood Vinyl Round Poker Table
Oval Foldable Poker Tabletop Solid MDF Frame
Solid Manufactured Wood Vinyl Oval Poker Table
Honey Oak Walnut Solid Manufactured Wood Octagonal Poker And Bumper Pool Table

What Are the Features to Look for in a Poker or Card Table?

When shopping for a poker or card table for your entertainment area, some features can enhance the style and function of the table for a better playing experience such as:

  • Easy Glide Surface

Most poker tables feature a felted tabletop to allow the cards to glide smoothly across the surface of the table for easier dealing and discarding. For casual players, a standard micro suede or velveteen surface offers adequate slip. However, the plush surface tends to soak up liquids, which can make for a tricky clean up if drinks are spilled on the table.

Poker purists prefer speed cloth, which is composed of an olefin/polyester blend that lets cards slide easily across an 8-foot table, and it is water-resistant.

  • Convertible Tabletop

A convertible tabletop or a cover can transform your permanent poker or card table into a stylish place to eat in your entertainment room. Convertible card tables can also provide an interesting alternative to a traditional dining table in your kitchen or dining area. Look for poker tables that feature a flip-top or sliding tabletop for a quick and easy way to entertain guests after dinner.

You can buy poker table covers separately form the poker table, but the best choice is to find a table that comes with a convertible option to ensure that the cover fits snuggly.

  • Cushioned Edge

Hours of card-playing can wreak havoc on your wrists and arms, but cushioned armrests around the edges of the table support you while you play and help to contain cards and chips.

  • Drink Holders

Card games and drinking go hand-in-hand but spilling your beverage on the card table is a guaranteed way to end the game fast. A poker or card table with drink holders keeps your beverages away from the cards and prevents spillage. Look for holders built into the armrests or opt for an apron that extends over the edge of the table.

Quick Tips

  • Choose between a card or a poker table depending on the game you play most.
  • Folding tables are best for homes with limited space, or for a portable option to take camping.
  • Permanent tables in luxury wood finishes add opulence and elegance to your home and are worth the investment for dedicated poker enthusiasts.
  • Choose a shape that suits the space available and the number of players.
  • Buy a table with added features such as a cushioned armrest and drink holders for better playing experience.