If you and your poker friends and family are currently playing your dining room table and are looking for some casino style fun to play, then a folding poker table top is a great idea. I would liken playing poker on your kitchen table with a blanket or towel thrown over it, playing with a monopoly on a board drawn sheet and the money clipped out of notebook paper. It just takes something out of the game.
Sure, you can buy a felt poker layout and spread it out over the table making it a little better, but the creations where it folds drive me nuts and catch the cards when you try to deal with it, and forget about sliding chips across the table. you have the corners taped down situs casino.
A poker table top adds a nice casino feel to your game and really makes it a lot more fun. There are many sizes and styles of tops you can choose from, so you need to find the right one for you and your situation. I will cover the main things before you make the purchase.
1. Size and Shape: If you are currently playing on a kitchen or dining table that is either round or square, and around 48 inches plus / minus 8 inches, you might want to look at the octagon poker table. If you are playing a rectangular or oval table, then you should look at the rectangular or oval shaped table tops. Size does make a difference as well as the material the poker top is made of. For a foam top, you should not extend the edges of the table to a few inches above you. The wooden tops can be as much as 4 to 6 inches without edges. The reason you care is that someone leans on the table top with their arms or elbows, the top will tip or pop up in the middle and your chip stacks will be knocked over. This can get real irritating.
I have had many people ask me if they can use a 36 “card table as a base, and often I would say no. For one thing your game will be disturbed as often stated, plus most of these cards on cheap flimsy legs tables are not sturdy enough to hold the weight of the wood table tops.
If you find that you really don’t have a base to use, and you have the room, then a standalone octagon poker table is a good option since it has it’s own legs. If you really have a room you can even go with a full size folding poker table.
2. Materials: There are 2 basic materials used to make poker table tops. One is a foam type substance that is light and lightly durable and has the lowest cost tops. The upside is that they are great for traveling games where you can play at a different people’s house with their light weight and carrying case or bag. They are usually under 20 pounds so they are very portable and they fold into a nice small size. The downside is that they are not nearly as durable as the wooden table tops and wear that need replacing. Because of their low price they are great as gifts.
The wooden based table are usually made of 1/2 “to 5/8” plywood and are more durable than the foam. They also have some high end features that you can only see on real poker tables like padded felt and armrests giving them a much more casino sound and feel. They are much more expensive than they are, and they are easily disturbed when playing by leaning on people or standing up at the table and bumping it.
I personally own one of these types of table tops, my traveling games for the foam, and my home games for a wooden top. I also have a folding poker table but that is another topic.
3. Features: Once you have determined what size, shape, and material you want to top your table, the most fun part is choosing the colors and designs. There are tops made for Texas Holdem, some for multiple games like craps and roulette as well as poker, and some that you can use pretty much any card game. The lower cost foam tops are the most cost-effective when it comes to designing. The high end tops have poker table style features like wooden underbase, padding under felt, and padded armrests. The quality of the felt is also better and more consistent with real casino tables.
The Padded felt on premium wood tops tends to make them feel more authentic, but the best part is the sound. There is a soft “plink” sound when the chips hit each other and the table, and the chips don’t bounce around as much. Better felt across dealing is smoother and also a plus. I also like the cushioned armrests for a long game night on player comfort. If you have the budget for it, a premium top is definitely the way to go, but they can weigh up to 45 pounds so as not to be portable as foam tops.