When it comes to poker accessories, a quality surface 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 cheap table top 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.
- Roll Up Poker Mats – Typically under $50
Perfect for a sporadic casual game among close friends, especially where poker is a secondary part of the fun.
- Foldable Table Toppers – From around $35 up to $100
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.
- Collapsible Poker Tables – From around $100 up to $550
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 setup very quickly. There is a wide range in price depending on your budget and desires.
- Permanent Professional Poker Tables – $550 and up.
For serious players who want to furnish a full-size poker room in their house, high-end permanent poker tables are the best choice. Or, choose a model that converts to a dining room table and kill two birds with one stone!
Option #1: Roll Up Poker Mats
(Typically Under $50)
- For around $15 to $25, you can get a quality cloth felt mat from Amazon. I recommend the 36″ x 72″ one from Da Vinci (Click for Amazon price). As a bonus, it is two-sided, with a blackjack table on the reverse side.
- Alternatively, you can try the oval mat made by Smonet, which has a traditional green look to the felt. Really, you can’t go wrong with any of these as all 3 mat options have solid Amazon reviews.
Option #2: Foldable Table Toppers
(From $35 to $100)
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.
- Here is a nice entry-level model. This 8-seater is a round, octagon design by MD Sports. It has an attractive black felt, 8 cup holders, and chip slots for each player. It all comes with a surprisingly low price tag.
- If you also like to occasionally play blackjack or craps with your friends, my next recommendation will fit you perfectly. A nice convertible 3 in 1 design is a really popular design. Check the latest price on Amazon, the reviews are really good. It seats 8 players comfortably and has plastic cup and chip holders. The construction reminds me of the type of table typically used in pub poker venues.
- A similar waterproof alternative that seats 10 players is also available from Pong-Buddy. It has a slightly higher price tag but is still under $100 as of this writing, click here to check the latest Amazon price. For the extra cash, you get cushioned armrests and stainless cup holders, in addition to the waterproof playing surface. Fully collapsible and available in multiple colors.
Option #3: Collapsible Poker Tables
(From $100 to $550)
This is your 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.
- Let’s start with a budget model from Polar Aurora. 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. Just in case, there is an alternative by Mascarello that is virtually the same construction, check pricing and feel free to choose the one that is currently cheapest. How much each poker table is will vary from month to month.
- Now let’s jump into a couple of mid-priced options. For aesthetics, one of my favorites is the Barrington 10 player table (Click for latest Amazon price). It still folds up and is portable, but just looks more like a permanent table, complete with casino-style Texas Holdem card placements for the flop turn and river. The blue felt color is just amazing and the “racetrack” design is pretty dang awesome.
- If you prefer a more simple design without all the bells and whistles, check out this more spartan model. It comes with a handy carrying bag that is great for compact storage or traveling with the table. Also a 10 seater, it has cup holders and padded armrests as well.
- If you prefer a slightly higher quality contemporary model that is an 8-seater, take a look at this waterproof card table. Now, this is one fine looking table, with a “platinum diamond suited” speed cloth surface which is 100% 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.
- If you are looking for a table that holds more people, there is a very nice option from BBO Poker. Their 92×44 Inch oval poker table (Click to check Amazon price) comes in several different felt variations and you can choose from either the standard texture or you can opt for the speed cloth playing surface. Personally, I prefer the latter, as the cards just slide right where you want with ease.
Option #4: Permanent Professional Poker Tables
($550 and up)
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.
- If you want a position for a dedicated dealer, take a look at this casino-style professional solid wood poker table. Features include stainless steel cup holders, a speed cloth design, and it even has a drop box for the dealer to deposit his tips!
- The next table I will mention is perhaps my personal favorite of any poker table I have ever seen. It’s crazy beautiful and has a really nice contemporary modern look to it. My jaw literally dropped the first time I saw it, and I couldn’t believe the price point.
- Now, I know many people are looking for convertible poker dining tables. Talk about killing two birds with one stone, I think I might have found the perfect 2 in 1 table. It looks like a traditional high-end expensive dining table, but lift off the top, and boom.. a sleek and elegant poker table.
- Last, but certainly not least, let’s take a look at two elite poker tables. Both happen to also include convertible dining tops, so that’s just a huge bonus. Based on the merits of being a poker table alone, these two options are both functional and amazingly gorgeous designs. The first is the BBO Poker Elite (Click to check amazon Price) 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.
- If you want a convertible poker table that comes with matching chairs, BBO also offers a luxury poker table with a dining top. 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.
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, 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:
- Decorating your poker room
- Finding players
- Providing appropriate food & for your guests
- Choosing a game format
- Chip counts and distributing chip stacks
- Security (for you high rollers out there)
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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)
- 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 chips and playing cards.
- 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.
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.