Get to know the different types of foosball tables to find out the best one to have for your game room or man cave. There is a wide variety to choose from that vary in orientation, features, cabinet materials, and the number of players.
Foosball comes from the German word for “foot” which is pronounced as “foos.” The first patent for the foosball table was registered in the US in 1901. Three men are credited for inventing this table. They are Harold Sears, whose patent is registered in the UK and believed to have invented the table in Tottenham, North London; Lucien Rosengart, an engineer who invented the foosball table in the 1930s for his grandchildren; and Alejandro Finisterre, a Spanish writer, poet, artist and left-winger who inflicted a leg injury in the Spanish Civil War and invented the table for children with leg injury just like him.
The longest foosball table ever invented was made in Turin, Italy and measured 398 ft. 3.52 in. The foosball table tournament started in the early 1950s of which Frederic Colligon is considered the best foosball player of all time after winning the most number of tournaments in a 15-year period.
Table of Contents
- A. Orientation
- B. Features
- C. Cabinet Material
- D. Number of Players
For some people, buying a tabletop Foosball table is a great way to ensure that they and their families are able to play this fun game without having to devote a lot of space to a full-size table. Some families love that they can simply pull out a tabletop Foosball table when they want to play and then when the table is needed for other things such as homework or meals, the tabletop Foosball table can simply be put back into storage. These tables are usually much smaller than full-size freestanding tables but offer the same enjoyment of play.
When you are going to be buying a table top foosball table, it is important that you make sure that your brand-new table is of high quality or it will not be able to stand up to the amount of play you want to do. While checking the quality of any foosball table is important, it’s especially important for smaller tabletop tables because they are much more likely to be damaged while they are being moved. It is unlikely that you won’t ever be able to play hard enough or long enough on a table top foosball table to get to competition level but families who simply want to be able to enjoy playing foosball together are usually not worried about this and can benefit from a tabletop foosball table.
If you have more room in your home to devote to a Foosball table, then you may benefit from having one that is freestanding. These do not require a flat surface such as a kitchen table for use as they will have their own four legs to support them. This type of Foosball table is generally much more expensive than a tabletop Foosball table but you and your family will be able to play on it for longer without having to worry about damaging the table.
When looking for a freestanding foosball table, you will want to make sure to consider a number of different available features. One problem that many people have is leveling their foosball tables, especially if they are putting them on carpet or have an old home with uneven floors. Rather than becoming very frustrated when you are unable to get your foosball table level when you opt for a table that has adjustable legs, then you will be able to easily make adjustments before or during play. This ensures that the ball rolls correctly and that everybody has fun without worrying about whether not the ball is rolling incorrectly on the table.
1. Adjustable Leg Leveler
There are few things more frustrating when playing foosball than not having a level surface. An uneven surface will cause the ball to roll on its own from one side of the table to another and this can easily give a player an unfair advantage. In addition to being simply frustrating, this is very likely to cause arguments between players. Rather than dealing with fighting during gameplay, when you opt for a foosball table that has an adjustable leg leveler on each leg, you will be able to raise or lower the legs in tiny increments to level out the playing table.
While this may not seem like a feature that you need, it is significantly easier to use these levelers that it is to try to adjust the height of your table or the unevenness of its legs by putting bits of paper under the legs. Additionally, this means that you can move your table around in the room and adjust it quickly without taking away time from gameplay.
2. Quick Scoring
Most people who play foosball want to be able to keep track of their scores so they can see who comes out on top during the game. Rather than trying to remember in your head the scores of a game or write them down on bits of paper nearby, when you choose a table that has a quick-scoring abacus for each player, it is very easy to keep track of the score during a fast-paced game. Keeping the game moving without the players having to take a long break to write down the score will also prevent arguments from occurring. Because the scoring abacus can be used over and over simply by sliding the beads from one side to the other, there isn’t any worry about running out of space when keeping score or having to find a new scoring system.
3. Telescopic Rods
In the past, foosball tables were often quite dangerous because of the rods. Users could shove them through the table and accidentally or purposefully poke their opponent or somebody who was walking by the table. New advances have been made, however, that will keep players and bystanders much safer when a game is occurring. Telescoping rods are one of the best ways to ensure that everybody stays safe when people are playing foosball as they do not allow a long piece of metal to come out the other side of the table.
Because they telescope, there is never any concern about the rods accidentally poking another person during gameplay. However, any concerns about gameplay being limited are unfounded as the telescoping rods work just as well as their predecessors did. The benefit of these rods is that the game is much less dangerous and more enjoyable for everybody playing.
4. Balls Included
The last thing you want to have to do after buying a new foosball table is worry about having to buy balls for your new game. When you buy a foosball table that already has the balls included, then you won’t have to worry about whether not you will be able to start playing right away. Additionally, you can rest easy that the balls included with your new table are rated for the type of table and will work well with the material. While you may want to upgrade to higher-quality balls in the future, this is the best way to ensure that you can start playing right away.
Freestanding foosball tables are relatively large and to ensure that you have the ability to store your new table out of the way it without it taking up space in your home permanently, then you will want to opt for one that can fold. This type of foosball table is not particularly common as most people do not require this feature and are happy with having their foosball tables set up in their homes in a permanent fashion; however, if you need to be able to save space or want to be able to move your table out of the way, then make sure that you find a table that offers this feature as it will make it super easy to clean up.
6. Ergonomic Handles
As people are becoming more and more aware of accidentally being injured when playing foosball, it is easier to find a foosball table that offers ergonomic handles. These handles have been specially formed and shaped so that they are easier on the hands to grip and to hold for a long period of time. If you are going to be playing foosball often or already have problems with arthritis or weakening in your hands, then it’s a good idea to look for a foosball table that offers this feature as it will ensure that you do not accidentally injure your hands or exacerbate an existing problem.
7. Drink Holders
Many people like to be able to have something to drink while they are playing foosball and having a cup holder ensures that your beverage does not accidentally get knocked or spilled while you are playing. This is especially important because you do not want something sticky like juice to spill on top of your table and cause a mess that is very difficult to clean up. By buying a foosball table that has cup holders, you can rest easy that a drink will be nearby but that it will be protected from the jostling and knocking that often occurs with this game.
8. Coffee Table
Some homeowners want to have foosball tables in their homes but simply do not have space for a single-use piece of furniture. If you find yourself with this problem, then one way you can get around this problem is by opting for foosball table that doubles as a coffee table. This type of foosball table will have a piece of glass over the top of the table so when the table is not being played you can rest your drinks, remote, or books on top of the table. Having a foosball table that completes double duty as a coffee table makes it easier to find space in your home for this piece of furniture and ensures that you can have your favorite game in the middle of your living space.
9. Queen Anne-Style Legs
It is possible to have a foosball table that looks a little bit classier and elegant than some of the ones that you see in your local bars or pubs. If you want your foosball table to be able to fit in with some of your more elegant furniture, then make sure that you choose one that has Queen Anne-style legs. These legs are most likely going to be carved from wood and will be attractively curved and styled differently than any other type of foosball table legs. This does not affect the function of the legs or mean that your foosball table is going to be sturdier; it simply creates a different look that appeals to many people.
10. One-Man Goalie System
Foosball tables with just one goalie on each end make the game much more challenging. Some foosball players prefer just one goalie because this is a more competitive way to play. Additionally, if you want to practice hard so that you can play competitively, then it’s important that you opt for a foosball table with only one goalie as competitive play will not allow three goalies.
11. Three-Man Goalie System
Source: Home Depot
A foosball table with three goalies is ideal for players who are just beginning or who are significantly younger as they will have an easier time blocking the goal. More advanced or older foosball players will often shy away from this kind of table because they feel as though it gives an unfair advantage. Because this type of foosball table is not used for competitive or competition play, it’s not very likely that practicing with a three-goalie foosball table will improve your skills to competition level.
Sometimes foosball players want to enjoy the vintage look when they buy tables and for this reason, eschewing more modern tables is the best choice. While it is easy to find vintage foosball tables, it can be difficult to find ones that have specific features so it’s important to really weigh the pros and cons of the available table that you are considering buying. You want to make sure that the table is in good condition so that it will be able to last through a lot of play and stand up to rough use. Also remember that when buying a vintage foosball table, you will most likely not be able to enjoy some of the other features that newer foosball tables have, such as ergonomic handles.
C. Cabinet Material
Stainless steel is a great material to use for the cabinet of a foosball table as it is incredibly tough, durable, and difficult to damage. When you opt for metal foosball tables, it’s important to know that they are going to be heavier and higher quality than ones that are made from plastic. This is beneficial in that the table will not move around very much during play, which can accidentally scratch a hardwood floor. When looking for a foosball table that has a metal cabinet, you are likely to pay more for this type of table than one that relies on a different material. If you are going to keep your foosball table for a long time, then this is not a big deal as this will be an investment piece that your family will enjoy for years to come.
Plastic cabinets on foosball tables may be popular and easy to find but it’s important to remember that you want to buy as high-quality a plastic cabinet as possible so your foosball table will last. In addition to being more easily damaged, plastic cabinets are significantly lighter. This is not a problem if everybody who is going to be playing your foosball table will be gentle when using it but the table itself can be more easily pushed around on the floor by accident.
It’s important to make sure that you have a table in a safe place and that it is on a sturdy floor that will not be damaged. One of the benefits of plastic cabinets is that they often come in fun colors and designs that can really improve the décor of a man cave or game room. If you do opt for plastic, make sure that the designs on your new foosball table are in good condition so that you don’t have to worry about them peeling or chipping off, which can make the unit look lower-quality.
Wood cabinets are very popular because of the beautiful, rich grain and tone of the wood. When you choose a wooden foosball table, it’s important to make sure that the wood matches with the rest of your décor as it is more likely to be a statement piece that you will enjoy in your home for many years to come. Expect to pay more for quality wood foosball tables but also remember that they are likely to last for a long period of time and will do a great job of retaining their value.
If you do buy a foosball table with a wood cabinet, then it’s important that you make sure to keep drinks and watery foods away from it so that they will not damage the surface of the wood. While you can have your wood sanded, stained, or finished to improve the appearance of it, this is costly in both time and money but is a great way to salvage a foosball table that has been damaged.
4. Manufactured Wood
If you love the look of natural wood but want something a little bit lower cost, then opt for a foosball table with a cabinet made of manufactured wood. These tables look just as lovely as ones made from wood but are generally significantly less expensive. Additionally, they tend to be lighter in weight which is ideal if you want to be able to move your foosball table around your home. While lighter than wood, foosball tables made from manufactured wood will not be as light as plastic, which means that you don’t have to worry about the foosball table accidentally moving and scratching your floor.
D. Number of Players
Small table top foosball tables are ideal for just two people to play at a time. These tables are ideal for spending a little time together before meeting at work or for having fun before a child goes off to school. Because they are not large enough for more than two people to compete, the games are often shorter and easier for younger players to enjoy. When you choose a foosball table of this size, it’s important to note that it will be very difficult for any more than two players to play at once, which can be frustrating when people have to wait to take their turns.
2. Two to Four
Typically when you buy a foosball table of this size, it will be ideal for between two and four people to play at the same time. This means that there will either be one or two people on either side of the foosball table controlling the players. Tables of this size are large enough for adults to enjoy themselves or for two small children to play on a team against another pair. Choosing this size foosball table for your family will allow everyone in your family to grow into being able to use it.
Unlike smaller foosball tables that can be very frustrating for older children and adults to play and larger foosball tables that require more people for the game to run smoothly, a foosball table of this size is generally considered perfect. Because of that, it’s not a bad idea to invest in a slightly higher-quality two- to four-player foosball table as it will likely last you for years to come and will have a good resale value as long as you take care of it.
If you want to be able to enjoy a foosball table with a larger number of people, then look for one that is longer and has more handles for users to control the players. Foosball tables that have enough space for more than two players ensure that everybody is allowed to have a turn and have fun. This is ideal if you have multiple children or your kids love having guests over as the kids will not have to wait and take turns.
Home Stratosphere is an award-winning home and garden online publication that’s a result of our talented researchers and writers who work directly with hundreds of professional interior designers, furniture designers, landscape designers and architects from around the world to create helpful, informative, entertaining and inspiring articles and design galleries.