Knowing the optimal number of players that can sit at a poker table is important when running a home game, poker night, or a local pub poker tournament. For those of you who have ever sat at a casino poker table that is full will know what I’m talking about.

How many seats at a poker table? To determine the ideal or max number of seats at a poker table, divide the length of the table by 9″ (23 cm). For example, to fit 9 or 10 players, the table needs to be at least 90″ (228 cm) long, the entry-level size of most casino tables.

Most of the time, there is very little elbow space on even the largest tables when there are 10 people crammed in there. In order to determine the best setup, you must consider the size of the table, the room, as well as a few other factors. My goal for this article is to let you optimize your setup by covering everything you need to know to provide the best “elbow room” for your poker friends and help you make your next event a success.

Ideal Number of Players at Common Poker Table Types

Max players by shape and size:

  • Oval Tables: Your typical 72″-84″ (183-213 cm) oval home poker table will seat 8 players comfortably.
  • Octagon Tables: Octagon models tend to be about 46″ (117 cm) across and seat up to 6 players.
  • Square Tables: Square tables are usually the worse shape for maximizing space as you can only really play a maximum of 4 players.

Be aware that most manufacturers tend to overstate capacity in their product description, so don’t be surprised if my calculations seem low in comparison.

What About Poker Table Mats or Coverings?

Folding poker table toppers and mats will generally hold a similar capacity that a regular folding or permanent table of similar size would. However, it might actually hold more people if the table underneath is larger than the covering.

In my experience playing in pub poker events, often the wooden tables under the poker table topper are much longer in width and you get quite a bit of the wooden table hanging out the ends. This actually works out great and makes the games a lot less cramped. As a bonus, you get more room to eat while you play (assuming you are seated at the end of the table)!

How Many Players Are Ideal at a Casino Poker Table?

There is no set best number of players that is the “perfect” amount at a poker table. It basically comes down to what poker table you choose for your game. However, it is usually optimal to have no more than 10 max at any one table. In my experience, once you get to 9 and higher, the game typically becomes a bit chaotic and just plain overcrowded.

What Are the Best Tables for Short-Handed Games?

Personally, I prefer to play on tables with between 4 and 7 opponents. While some people would consider this short-handed play, I think most players would have a lot more fun due to more action-packed play and a more intimate environment. The conversation is also a lot easier when you have around 5 or 6 players. However, it is all about personal preference and finding the sweet spot for what is most enjoyable for you and your poker buddies.

In my experience, your standard oval poker table is best for short-handed games.

Room Size Considerations

Generally, room size will not affect the maximum capacity of your poker table, as long as you provide a reasonable amount of space for people to be able to get in and out of their chairs and move about. Ideally, I like to have at least 3 feet (1 meter) of clearance from the poker table’s edge to the walls. The more space the better!

In a roughly square room with up to 6 players, I recommend using an octagonally shaped table. This will work nicely for most home game setups. If you want to host more players, it is almost mandatory to buy a reasonably-sized (72″+ length) oval table or table covering/mat. Whether you live in a 10000 square foot mansion or a 700 square foot condo, there is almost certainly a good choice for you.

Be sure to space the tables apart adequately. There’s nothing worse than getting stuck and unable to back away from a table to go to the bathroom. You definitely do not want to have to shift the tables around once the even has started. Just use common sense on the spacing between tables and you will be fine.

Does Table Height Effect How Many Seats Are at a Poker Table?

Generally speaking, table height has no bearing on how many players can fit at a poker table. The height for most poker tables is almost universally 30″ (76 cm), which is plenty high enough that people can comfortably sit at the table. The table dimensions and shape are by far the most important factors that determine the level of comfort for your players.

What if there is a dedicated dealer?

If you have a dedicated dealer, be sure to deduct 1 person from the calculation.

How Many Players per Table if Food or Snacks Are Served?

Almost all home poker games serve food and drinks to the players. Therefore, you want to make sure you have ample elbow room for people to eat. As long as you follow the guidelines listed at the beginning of this article, you should not run into any issues.

If you really want to wow your poker buddies, provide some nice mobile tray tables for them to use. There are some really good high-end options on Amazon. Or, if you are more budget-conscious, here are some lower-priced ones that should do nicely.

What Are the Best Chairs to Use?

If you have spatial concerns, then you probably do not want to invest in heavy-duty “fancy” chairs. There is nothing wrong with having quality, fairly compact, folding chairs around your poker table as long as they provide a reasonable amount of comfort to the players. I recommend getting some decent heavy-duty folding chairs, like these found on Amazon. Otherwise, whatever chairs you already have, dining room or otherwise, will work just fine.

Related Questions

How many decks of cards per table? If you do not have a dedicated dealer, it is best to have two decks of cards per table. That way, the big blind can be shuffling while the dealer is dealing the cards. After each hand, the cards are moved down to the next big blind, and the process repeats. By using a couple of decks there is a lot less downtime and more hands per hour can be achieved. Once you use this method, you will never go back to one deck. Of course, if you have an automatic card shuffler, you only really need one deck of cards at the table.

How many poker chips at each table? Choosing the correct poker chips is an important consideration when hosting a poker home game. If your event is a tournament, you typically will need at least a 500 piece chipset for each table. If you are playing a smaller tournament or cash game with 6 or fewer players at a table, you can get by with a 300 piece set. Typically, chips values are as follows:

  • $1- White
  • $5- Red
  • $25- Green
  • $100- Black
  • $500- Purple

Final Thoughts

Providing a comfortable atmosphere for your friends and family to enjoy a poker game is a key component to running a successful home game or local tournament. Understanding the max number of players at a table is important. By following the guidelines in this article, you should be well on your way to hosting an outstanding and memorable event. If you have any questions or there is anything I missed, be sure to post a comment.

For more, check out How Do Poker Tournaments Work? – Rules, Setup, and Payouts Explained.