The 10 Best Poker Tables
This wiki has been updated 29 times since it was first published in September of 2015. If Texas Hold 'Em or a similar card game draws you and your buddies together on a regular basis, you may want to get one of these poker tables to add a professional touch to your next get-together. They come in a variety of sizes and designs, including ultra-portable options that allow you to take your game on the go, as well as heavy-duty models built to live in your rec room. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
April 30, 2021:
A game of poker needs three main components: a deck of cards, a set of poker chips, and a table on which to play. There are a number of considerations to take into account when choosing a poker table for your home. Namely, how much space is available, how often will you play, how many people should it accommodate, what should it look like, and how much are you willing to spend. In this most recent update to the ranking, we tried to cover all of these questions and selected a range of options, from portable toppers that fold away for storage, to permanent casino quality tables for up to 10 players.
Those who don't have room for a permanent table may consider a folding option that can be stored relatively compactly. The Barrington Billiards LED and the newly added Triton Poker Folding are two such models that use high-quality felt, have padded rails and drink holders, and can seat eight to ten players. If you already have a large table then a topper might be preferable, as these can quickly be set up on game night, then folded up and stowed away for next time. They range in quality and price, from a simple felt mat, such as the BBO Portable, to the Fat Cat Tri-Fold which has a wooden frame and built-in padded armrests and cup holders. A high-quality alternative is the Steve Silver Game Top, which is designed to sit on circular tables up to 50 inches wide. It is made from solid wood with a faux leather playing surface and has built-in drink coasters and chip trays around the outer edge. Finally, we included the Mrc Poker Top, which is an insert that is designed to fit in a standard eight-foot table pool table. It has padded rails and casino-quality, speed felt that is water and stain-resistant, and converts the pool table into a poker table for ten players.
February 04, 2020:
One of the models on our previous list, the Polar Aurora, didn't quite live up to our standards, as the black covering around its arm rests had a tendency to rip and its felt cloth bunched up in places. We added a very fine option in its place with the Rush Creek Creations Octagon, however, which has a specific enough aesthetic to keep it out of the top spots, but whose soft padded playing surface is something you could sit at for hours on end.
We reordered things a bit, as well, with a preference for full and folding tables over tabletops or mats, though some tabletops make pretty viable options if you have a big enough table to put them on. Otherwise, their ends will sag and could break if you put too much weight on them. In our special honors section, we added a pair of high-end models meant as additions to game rooms or even small amateur casinos.
Geoffrey Parker Piano Black The thin, heavy base on this model allows for a lot of legroom, and its two-part cup holders feature grills to prevent moisture buildup around the bottom of a glass or can. Its surrounding cushion is exceptionally well padded and is finished with soft leather. Just be aware that this is a particularly expensive option. geoffreyparker.com
Regal Venice Texas Hold-Em A large option designed for play with big groups, this model features a Teflon bathed speed cloth that lets cards glide quickly across its surface. That playing area doesn't extend all the way to the table's lip, however, allowing your chip stacks to sit securely on a fine, finished wood. You can choose from among Maple, Oak, Cherry, Mahogany, and Walnut. regalpokertables.com
Playing At Adulthood
As children, we can play cards anywhere, and our games sometimes skirt rules that are too complicated.
One of the things that distinguishes adult behavior from childish behavior is a degree of planning and execution that younger sets are either incapable of accomplishing or uninterested in to begin with. In very young children, the former seems to be the case, as their concepts of adult behavior — which we can observe in the way they mimic the behaviors of their parents — often lack many crucial aspects that make the real acts functional in the world.
As we get a little older, our ambition for more complete experiences grows, but is often hindered by cost and freedom. A teenager might want to emulate the silly competitions he sees on TV through shows like American Gladiators or Ninja Warrior, but he likely doesn’t have the capital to build such elaborate courses. Even if he did, his age would prevent him from investing in the necessary land and infrastructure to do so. For him, an array of old furniture, empty boxes, and Nerf guns might be the best he can do.
Poker tables represent a kind of graduation in this respect, a transition into more adult experiences. As children, we can play cards anywhere, and our games sometimes skirt rules that are too complicated. Go Fish stands in for Rummy and Bridge, and we gamble with little more than pennies. High school and college students with an avid interest in cards might keep a small folding table handy, as well as a cheap plastic set of chips. They’ll also adhere much more faithfully to the rules (though exposure to one too many westerns may induce a few rebels to slip an ace up their sleeves).
As an adult, hosting a poker night with friends can be a much more complete and rewarding task. One of the most surefire ways to enhance this experience is to invest in a high-quality poker table. These devices will accurately mimic the kinds of tables you play on when you visit professional casinos, with soft felt surfaces allowing your cards and chips to glide nicely.
This level of investment in your experience is the highest expression of adult behavior, as it mimics the real experience to a tee. As long as you include a few delicious cocktails and a set of casino-grade clay chips, you might as well be at the Bellagio. With a little strategy and a bit of luck, you can strip your friends and family of their hard-earned cash and finally invest in the Ninja Warrior course you always wanted.
What To Look For In A Poker Table
Choosing the right poker table for your home will have a lot to do with your available space and your desire to have a complete experience. There are two primary styles you can pretty easily choose between at the outset that will narrow your options significantly. Some poker tables are, as they sound, complete tables with legs (that often retract) and a felt-topped playing surface. Other models are merely toppers designed to fit on a table that already exists in your home.
When evaluating tables and toppers alike, look for handy features.
If you have a lot of space to spare, or you have the luxury of a dedicated game room or spacious finished basement, a full-sized table might be the way to go. Many of these fold up for easy storage if you need the space for other activities, and you won’t have to worry about a topper sliding around on you as you play. Additionally, you can bring these tables with you to other venues and not have to worry as much about fit, where a topper might be too big for a table at a friend’s house.
If you already have a table at which you love to play cards, then a topper might be your best option. These are also ideal if you don’t have a lot of space to set up an additional table. Toppers often have plenty of features for you to choose from, and they’re the easiest type of poker table to transport.
When evaluating tables and toppers alike, look for handy features. Many boast cup holders for the cocktails and coffee that you’ll want to enjoy as you play. Others include slots for chips to reduce the clutter on the table surface, though some players view these as unnecessary, preferring instead to stack their chips like the pros.
If you have a pool table that you’d like to convert into a playing surface, there are toppers out there that are designed to fit such a surface. In this case, though, make sure your fellow players aren’t careless with their drinks. Should you want to play more than just poker, you can invest in a poker table that includes the necessary markings for blackjack, craps, and a litany of other tabletop casino games.
A Brief History Of Poker
While the exact history of the development of card games is difficult to track, we do know some specifics. It is more than likely that card games grew out of tile games that were popular in China around the 10th century C.E. The most familiar of these games that’s still in existence is Mahjong, which anyone that owned a Windows computer in the mid-to-late 1990s probably has played extensively.
Many games were developed during this period, and the 15th century saw German, French, and Italian games that would eventually coalesce into the poker we know today.
Mahjong doesn’t have the same kinds of suits that you see in a modern American deck of playing cards, however. These originated as the game made its way to Egypt before reaching Europe. The Egyptian variant of the cards included sets of goblets, gold coins, polo sticks, and swords. These suits are actually still popular in the cards of Germany and Italy.
Many games were developed during this period, and the 15th century saw German, French, and Italian games that would eventually coalesce into the poker we know today. In more recent years, thanks in large part to televised poker tournaments on ESPN, as well as the James Bond film Casino Royale, poker — Texas Hold 'Em, in particular — has had a massive resurgence into popular culture.