How to Choose the Best Home Poker Table for Any Budget

Poker Table Cards

When it comes to poker accessories, a poker table to play on at home is a must for any poker enthusiast. In this article, I will take you through all of your poker table options, from portable inexpensive tabletop mats and folding tables to professional high-end choices. Whether you want an 8 or 10 person table, octagon, round, or oval, no matter your budget, I will help you find the perfect solution to your home game poker needs.

When choosing a poker table for your home poker or game room, you have 4 basic options at varying price points.

  1. Roll Up Poker Mats
    Perfect for a sporadic casual game among close friends, especially where poker is a secondary part of the fun. My favorite mat is the Smonet Sure Stick Mat.
  2. Foldable Table Toppers
    Folding poker tables are a great option if you are serious about poker but on a budget. These still look amazing and sit on top of any table, dining room, or otherwise. If you’ve ever played pub poker, this is what they almost always universally use. My favorite topper is the Gigantex Folding Table Top.
  3. Collapsible Poker Tables
    If you have either a dedicated space for poker or just room in your living room, collapsible poker tables with legs are the most popular option for home game hosts. These tables tuck conveniently away in the garage and can be brought out and set up very quickly. My favorite one is the Barrington Oval Poker Table.
  4. Permanent Professional Poker Tables
    For serious players who want to furnish a full-size poker room in their house, high-end permanent poker tables are the best choice. Check out this solid wood poker table (Click to see on Amazon), it comes with a cool dealer station.

Option #1: Roll Up Poker Table Mats

Poker mats are typically made of either cloth or rubber and are basically just a rolled up felt that is used as a table top cover. They usually come with a compact carrying case, ready to be stored or conveniently taken any location you choose. To use, you simply unroll them onto your dining table and voila, poker time.

#1: Smonet Sure Stick Oval Poker Table Mat

This mat is my favorite mainly due to the fact that it is about twice as thick as most other poker table mats. It has a 1/4″ thickness versus the standard 1/8″. It is also comes with a nice carrying case and is available in green.

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#2: Gameland Oval Portable Poker Table Mat

If you are looking for a mat that has a bit fancier look then this one is for you. It has a nice “felt” design and slots to place Texas Hold’em community cards. This mat also comes with a handy carrying case.

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#3: Da Vinci Rectangle 2-Sided Poker & Blackjack Mat

If you also like to play Blackjack then you will love this mat. Just flip it over and you have your own personal Blackjack table. However, while this is one of the least expensive mats you can find it is also one has durability issues.

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Option #2: Folding Poker Table Toppers

Folding poker table tops usually look like traditional card tables in that they typically have raised arm rests and cup holders. However, unlike regular poker tables, there are no legs on this next step up from poker mats. I recommend these to anyone who is on a budget but still wants to offer their playing buddies the look of a real poker casino table. Poker table toppers typically come in either octagon or oval shaped.

#1: Gigantex Oval Folding Poker Table Top

This attractive design is as about as good as it gets for folding poker tables. It is big enough to seat 8 people, has a solid durable construction, and folds up for easy portability.

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#2: Homcom Octagon Foldable Poker Table Top

If you play in a small poker game or want a topper for a round table, this model fits the bill perfectly. It is heavy duty and very durable.

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#3: Fat Cat Tri-Fold Poker Table Top

If you prefer a poker table topper that has a defined padded rail you will like the Fat Cat tri-fold table. It is also much larger than most other table toppers and will comfortably seat 8 or 9 players.

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Option #3: Folding Poker Tables (With Legs)

This is the most common table that most folks purchase. The construction is generally similar to that of folding poker table toppers, they just have legs added on. However, there is a wide range in construction and sturdiness across a wide spectrum of price points. My goal is to help you sort through the madness and provide recommendations across a broad array of choices.

#1: Barrington Oval Folding Poker Table

This table has it all: Durable construction, compact storage, padded rails, and a really attractive design. It’s like having a professional permanent poker table without the high expense.

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#2: Texas Holdem Folding Speed Cloth Poker Table

I just can’t get over how nice this poker table looks. If you have a small home game, this is the perfect table to impress your buddies. A huge bonus is the stainless cup holders and the speed cloth (spill-proof).

The materials are casino quality and you can expect this item to last for a long time. It’s basically a permanent quality table that happens to have folding legs.

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#3: Polar Aurora Oval Folding Poker Table

If you are on a budget but don’t like poker mats, then the Polar Aurora is a great option. It has a plain look to it but is highly functional with its solid metal construction.

It seats 8 players (6 very comfortably), is made with solid wood, and has steel legs. There are 8 cup holders and padded armrests as well. I really like this foldable table and it would likely fill the needs of most everyone.

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Option #4: High-Quality Permanent Poker Tables

If you have a dedicated game room and want your poker table ready to go anytime, you have a wide array of options. I realize that a large purchase like this will not typically be made on a whim. You will likely spend some time doing some research before you decide on which type and mode you ultimately choose. To that end, I will offer a few suggestions at several price points to help you on your way to a decision.

#1: Solid Wood Poker Table With Dealer Station

If you want your home game to have a professional setup, this is the best table for the money. It has a casino-style design with a dealer station and toke box (for tips). It also comes with speed cloth and stainless cup holders. Make sure you have a lot of room because this thing is huge!

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#2: BBO Elite Poker Table With Dining Top

If you are looking for a higher end model then this BBO Elite poker table offers a solid oak construction with a black finish. It doubles as a dining room tables as well.

This is a 10 person “racetrack” table. It has a solid oak claw pedestal, black finish, and all the other bells and whistles you would expect at this price point. I can’t get over how awesome the black finish looks.

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#3: BBO Ultimate Poker Table (Folding)

With this BBO table you get the best of both worlds. It has a high-quality construction and looks like a permanent table but has legs that fold under for storage.

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#4: BBO Luxury Poker Table (With Chairs)

With this BBO table you get the best of both worlds. It has a high-quality construction and looks like a permanent table but has legs that fold under for storage.

It has both traditional and contemporary design elements and would fit in almost any decor. It actually would make a great conference room table as you can choose either dining or lounge chairs.

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Other Considerations

Before purchasing the poker table of your choice, make sure that it fits your needs as closely as possible. Here are a 5 things to consider.

  1. Does the table fit well in the space allocated?
    There’s no sense in buying a giant luxury poker table if you can’t even get it through the front door of your 600 square foot condo. You are much better off just using your current dining room table and a poker table mat. However, if you live in a 9000 square foot mansion with a million dollars of antique furniture, rolling out a rubber casino in front of your friends just won’t do.
  2. Will the table match the expectations of your poker friends?
    This ties into my first point. If “the guys” or “gals” are expecting a regular poker night that lasts for years, you will want to invest in a solution that matches that expectation. Even so, you still don’t have to break the bank when creating your poker atmosphere for your buddies. Any perceived “cheapness” you’ve put into the equipment will soon be forgotten if you break out the favorite beer or snack foods of your poker compatriots.
  3. Is the table big enough to accommodate your regular players? 
    Check the number of seats a poker table will accommodate, before purchasing. For most small games, this isn’t typically an issue, since it’s usually just 4-6 friends. Almost every table I have recommended will fit the bill for this scenario. Just remember that for bigger events, you will need to comfortably fit everyone. If you jam Frances up against a wall, stuck between a counter and a trash can, don’t expect to see her next week. Remember, no one puts baby in a corner. (sorry bad movie reference, couldn’t resist)
  4. Does your table of choice fit into your budget?
    If you have set aside $200 to buy all of your poker night needs and then splurge on a $180 poker table as your first purchase, $20 doesn’t leave a whole lot of room to buy everything else you need. While the table is important, so is poker chipsand playing cards.
  5. Do you plan to play when on vacation?
    If you have a family poker night, then you will want to strongly consider a foldable poker table that travels well. Or, just buy two tables; a permanent one your main home table and folding or roll-up one for vacations.

About Poker Table Felt

While the design of the table is the most important factor in choosing the right poker table, the type of felt that covers the surface is also something to take into account. Basically, there are two predominant options available for poker table felt, standard felt and speed cloth.

  • Standard Felt (Made of Micro Suede or Velveteen)
    This is the standard option on the vast majority of poker tables, especially those on the lower end of the price spectrum. The surface has a roughness to it and sometimes it is difficult to get the cards to slide where you want them to while dealing. This is the cheapest surface and should be fine for the vast majority of players. However, some folks like a slight upgrade to a more “professional” surface.
  • Speed Cloth (Typically made of polyester)
    Discerning players and many professional poker players prefer their playing surface to be a bit faster than standard felt can satisfy. Enter speed cloth. Made of a very smooth type of polyester, you will have no problem getting the cards to slide from one end of the table to another while dealing. In fact, players not used to the surface may complain that the cards are sliding off the table too much. Most poker tables do not come standard with speed cloth, it is typically an upgrade that some companies offer if you want to pay for the option. A few of the tables in this guide do offer speed cloth as an option, be sure to check before you purchase.

Personally, I prefer speed cloth, but only for higher end tables. I would much rather adjust to a fast surface than a slow one. Even so, most folding or portable poker tables are compact enough that it doesn’t really matter one way or the other.

Honestly, the type of “felt” on your poker table is a really tiny concern for the vast majority of players out there. Unless you are a professional or play for thousands of dollars every poker night, no one is likely ever to care about what surface your table as (assuming it isn’t soiled, torn and nasty).

Additional Poker Accessories & Essentials

Now that you have tackled the biggest ticket item for your home game, you may need to buy a few more essentials to get ready for your home game. Speaking of which, I wrote an informative article on the 10 keys to hosting the perfect poker night, be sure to check it out. I cover everything you need to do to be a great poker host.

Also, get some really nice playing cards and good quality poker chips, they can make or break a poker night. My personal favorite is Copag, what’s yours? Here are a few more considerations for you to think about:

Summary

If you are looking for a short-term solution but want to upgrade at some point, I suggest going with the cheapest poker mat possible and then spending some time deciding what permanent setup you want. Or, if you just want a safe bet that will last you many years, just go with what I feel is the safest bet, the folding 8-person Polar Aurora. It is a fine table that is a perfect balance between portability and permanent options. I love the way it looks and how it folds in half for easy storage.

From cheap, portable,  rolled up cloth mats, to high-end luxury professional models, I hope to have given you a good review of the best poker table options there are out there and an idea of how much each type costs. If you found this article informative, be sure to browse the resources section of our site, and let us know if there is a subject you would like addressed in the comments below. Also, feel free to browse our site to learn more about poker strategy. Thanks for stopping by!