7 Best Combo Game Tables | March 2017
- abs molded connectors
- chrome-plated corner caps
- expensive for its durability
- mini billiards with balls and cues
- wide legs and crossbars
- requires 2 people for assembly
- large 72-inch table
- hockey powered by a standard blower
- height is not adjustable
- hard platform for consistent bounce
- manual scoring system
- low friction polyester fabric
How Does a Combo Gaming Table Work?
Most combo tables fall into one of two similar categories. The game surfaces either flip, which is generally the case when there are only two games offered, or there are separate "boards" included for each game, each of which can be attached by placing it above the primary playing surface, which is usually air hockey or pool.
Combo tables are usually made to be assembled in the home. They come with instructions, and more than likely, the url of a website where you can go to learn more.
The majority of combo tables are manufactured in the United States. Triumph Sports USA and GLD Products, a pair of industry leaders, are both headquartered in Wisconsin. That said, there are a handful of combo manufacturers that are headquartered in China.
This is an important distinction, one that potential buyers will want to take into account before making their choice. One reason being a lot of combo tables require a considerable amount of assembly, and they come equipped with a boatload of screws and boards and panels.
If something does happen to be missing, or broken, or lost, it could take a lot longer to secure a replacement part - or even get somebody on the phone - if you're dealing with a manufacturer in China.
What Do I Need to Know About a Combo Table Before I Buy?
Well, you need to know a lot, as this is a considerable investment. First, you'll want to find a range of tables that offer the games that you are most interested in.
Next, you'll want to research the dimensions of the table to ensure you have sufficient space. Beyond that, you'll want to take note of the shipping weight (you can usually find this in any online description).
Most combo tables weigh in at 100-200 lbs. But some of the high-quality tables, particularly those with a durable base and an 8-9 foot billiard surface, have been known to weigh in at as much as 350 lbs., or more.
Once you've zeroed in on a model that really meets your specifications, spend some time checking out the product's customer reviews. These will give you a sense of the underlying issues, many of which may not be apparent.
Perhaps the table is difficult to assemble, perhaps it's not level, or, worse yet, perhaps the table's surface sags. Customer reviews are really helpful in laying out the issues that occur after a consumer has lived with the table for a while, thereby gaining a sense of how it behaves.
A Brief History of the Combination Gaming Table in America
Combo tables were born out of the same philosophy as card tables, the idea being that a person can get more use - and enjoyment - out of a surface that offers several different gaming options as opposed to one.
As the average middle-class American home grew to include a recreation room, combo tables made it possible for people to enjoy a reasonably-priced pool table that featured air hockey and/or table tennis (among other games), as well.
Early combination tables rarely offered more than two options. There was only one surface, which would flip - manually - to allow for switching games. Over time the concept has evolved, combining billiards with everything from foosball to backgammon and chess.
Today's tables either flip by way of a built-in mechanism, or they allow different boards to be attached over one major surface. There are kid's tables which focus on providing a variety (usually 6-12 different activities), while the more refined tables zero in on one or two games, the playing surfaces of which are uniquely-crafted to assure more fluid play.