I'm geeked. In one month we'll be kicking off an inaugural monthly poker night. Problem is I don't have a table. I'm fixing that problem. I've researched hundreds of tables and settled on one. In the meantime I've learned a lot about what to look for. Here are my findings.
You might get fleeced at cards but that’s no reason to buy the wrong card table.
My buddies and I are starting a monthly poker game in my new condo office. When our kids are older maybe it’ll become a weekly game so I can lose even more money. I say this because with young kids, it’s not easy getting away weekly. We already play a weekly squash/tennis game (depending on weather). Another night each week is a big ask. So for now, it’s a monthly game.
I volunteered to host the monthly event since I have an empty condo office minutes from where we all live which means I need a card table.
Yeah, I could use one of my two desks, but if we’re going to get serious about it, an actual card table is a nice touch.
And so I’ve been spending the last week or so researching my options.
At the end of this I’ll show you the one I’m likely buying. I say likely because it’s possible a buddy has one he doesn’t need. In case that table isn’t available, I want to be ready to pull the trigger on a purchase.
Here are your poker table options.
Poker table buying research tip
When looking for poker tables on the furniture sites, you should search for both “poker tables” and “card tables”. Some serve up better results with “poker tables” and others serve up better results with “card tables”.
Number of players
The first thing you need to know is how many people will be playing.
We have a sizeable group of 5 to 8 guys. I won’t be surprised if it expands beyond that so a 10 person table is ideal (which is my first pick – see at bottom of this article).
But, if your game is smaller, a 4 or 5 person table is perfect. The advantage of a smaller table is that it’s easier to deal everyone in.
Here’s an example of a 10 person poker table:
The larger tables are typically oval.
Here’s an example of a 4 to 6 person poker table:
The smaller tables are usually round (or hexagon).
How much should you spend?
How much to spend a big problem we all face (unless you’re loaded). After all, it’s not something we’re going to use daily, yet we don’t want to buy a pile of junk.
Here’s the thing. Yes, you can spend $5,000+ on a table and another $3,000+ on chairs. But you don’t have to.
You can get great tables under $1,000.
The harder part when on a budget is getting 4 to 10 comfortable chairs that don’t look terrible around the table.
In fact, I’ve found the table I want which is under $1,000 (see the end of this article). What I haven’t entirely settled on are the chairs. Do I cheap out and buy a couple of used dining chair sets on Craigslist, or do I drop $1,300 to $2,000 on a set of 8 comfortable, cool chairs?
I love the following chairs but they’re $1,300 for four of them. I need eight.
Source: Home Depot
If you want solid wood, you’ll pay more. That’s the basic rule when it comes to furniture.
In fact, like anything, you can spend tens of thousands.
This site (Chanman) sells some amazing custom poker tables. When you have to ask for a cost quote, you know it’s not $700.
As you can see above, there are two main card table shapes:
- Oval, and
- Hexagon (round)
The hexagon round shape is better because it’s easier to deal everyone in, but you are limited with the number of seats available.
A ten-person round table would be huge. I’m sure they exist or you could build one, but it would require a large room.
Not everyone has a designated poker/game room in their house. Often it’s makeshift in the family room or basement. In which case you may want a table that you can easily store away after game night.
If this is you, look for a table with foldable legs.
Here’s an example:
Poker Table Top-Only
If you want to convert your dining room into a poker room, that’s actually easy and inexpensive to do. Just buy a poker table top that sits on your existing table. Check it out:
Here’s an example of a larger top only:
Texas Hold ’em Table
If you play Texas Hold’em, then you might want a table set up for that type of game which is a long table with dealer area.
Here’s an example:
Pedestal vs. 4 Legs
Another consideration is whether to go with a pedestal style or 4-leg style.
The pedestal is a much nicer design and more comfortable because the table leg doesn’t get in the way.
However, the 4-leg table is usually built so that it can be folding.
Here’s an example of a 4-leg folding table:
vs. the Pedestal design:
Poker / Dining Table Combo (Reversible)
If you happen to be looking for a dining table that you’d like to also use as a poker table, you can buy what’s called a reversible poker table that converts easily into a regular dining table (or just a regular table).
Check it out:
The Table I’m Ordering (if my buddy’s table isn’t available)
After combing through hundreds of poker table options, the following is the one I’m getting. It’s a great balance of cost and design. Looks reasonably solid. It’s a larger size which I need since I suspect our monthly game will attract up to 10 guys. The top easily removes from the legs for easy storage.
Where to buy: Wayfair
NOTE: Tables usually don’t come with chairs and poker accessories
Often the product images show off a fully functional poker set up with chairs, chips and cards. You kinda think you get all that when you order, but you don’t.
The biggest misleading aspect is the chairs. SOME tables may come with chairs as a set but many don’t. Buying 4 to 10 chairs can easily double or triple the cost of your poker room.
As for chips, they aren’t terribly expensive but don’t expect them with your table. Buy them separately.