The 10 Best Shuffleboard Tables
This wiki has been updated 22 times since it was first published in December of 2016. If you don't have the space in your bar or games room for a pool table, but want to include something that will keep patrons, family, or friends entertained for hours, then try one of these shuffleboard tables. Fun and challenging, this game requires strategy, finesse, and a competitive spirit. We've ranked them here by build quality, ease of assembly, and overall value. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
July 23, 2019:
While many shuffleboard tables tend to warp over time due to changes in humidity, the Fairview Game Rooms Signature has six metal stabilizer bars embedded under its playing surface to keep it flat. Its cabinet is made of five layers of MultiCore composite material with a maple veneer, and the legs come with chrome levelers with locking nuts that allow for precise height adjustment. Unlike most others, the Playcraft Telluride Pro-Style uses an electronic scoring system, and the display hangs above the playfield where everyone can easily see it. It's made from solid hardwood and comes in your choice of honey- or espresso- stained accents. The Hathaway Challenger comes in lengths of 9, 12, and 14 feet and includes all the accessories you'll need, which can conveniently be stored in the built-in cabinets in the legs. It's also backed by a 180-day manufacturer's warranty in case you run into any problems.
The Barrington Billiards Allendale is a great choice for those who want an attractive, high-quality table without spending too much. It has a modern look with sturdy A-style metal legs, and the UV coating on the playing surface helps to prevent scratches. Another budget-friendly option, the Hathaway 9-Foot Avenger has a smooth, poly-sealed melamine surface with padded and carpeted gutters to minimize noise. However, it's not equipped with climate adjusters, so it's probably not the best choice if you live in a particularly dry or humid area.
Union Wood Co. Sleek and modern, this table is handmade to order and completely customizable. It's available in sizes ranging from 7 to 22 feet, and you can choose any color you like for the frame, or even have it branded with your company logo. unionwoodco.com
Berner Billiards Aspen This unique 2-in-1 design includes a two-piece wood cover you can put on when you're not playing, so it doubles as a console or dining table. It also offers plenty of storage space, with six drawers and a shelf that runs across the entire bottom. bernerbilliards.com
Plank & Hide Beaumont If you want a table that's just as decorative as it is functional, this one fits the bill. It's made from solid oak with an antique silver finish, and the trestle base makes it extra sturdy. plankandhide.com
The Beautiful, Sandy Game
Depending on the level of skill you expect your players to have, you can go with any variety of wax, some of which create a lot more speed than others.
If you’re lucky enough to live within striking distance of a bar or rec room that contains of shuffleboard table, then you’re undoubtedly familiar with how competitive matches can become. The game seems so simple at first blush, and its rudiments are fairly straightforward. From there, however, the nuances and complexities of the game only grow.
For those of you who are a little unfamiliar with the game, here are its basic tenets:
Two players — or two teams of players — face off in an effort to slide little pucks made of plastic and metal from one end of the shuffleboard table to the other. Either end of the board contains scoring lines. A puck across a line is worth a certain number of points, with the lines closest to the far edge of the table leading to the highest scoring areas. This way, riskier shots that might go too far and fall off the table are rewarded with more points. It's like a much more complicated version of paper football.
Players or teams take turns shooting, giving either side an opportunity to knock the other team’s pucks out of place or to land pucks in a defensive position, making it harder for the other team to score points. If a puck fails to cross the initial line that opens up the scoring area, or if a puck goes off the table to the side or in the back, it is taken out of play and is not eligible for any points.
Once all the pucks have been played, the team with the puck or pucks in the highest scoring zones wins. Points are calculated by adding together the number of points scored by the winning team counting from the farthest end of the table backward, with the tally stopping at the first opposing team’s puck. For example, if the red team wins a set with two pucks in the three-point zone and one in the two-point zone, but the blue team also has a puck in the two-point zone that’s closer to the end of the table than the red team’s, only the red pucks in the three-point zone will count, and they, combined, are worth six points.
One of the things about shuffleboard that makes it so fascinating is the texture of the surface. While most surfaces are made of finished wood, they are also often covered in a thin layer of silicone beads often referred to as shuffleboard wax. They aren’t made of wax at all, but they serve to speed up the play of the table, acting kind of like ball bearings beneath the puck as it glides. Depending on the level of skill you expect your players to have, you can go with any variety of wax, some of which create a lot more speed than others. This material often lasts a while, as it collects in the puck-catching gutter that runs around the whole of the table, and can easily be reused.
What To Look For In a Shuffleboard Table
Before you select a shuffleboard table, it’s important for you to realize that these are heavy installations. They’re often made of solid wood and will likely remain where you put them for years to come, very much like a good pool table. Whether you’re a business owner looking to put your new shuffleboard table in a bar, pub, or restaurant, or you’re simply an enthusiast looking to add some class to a game room in your house, your intentions for the table will go a long way towards helping you pick a model.
If you have this kind of clientele, it might be a good idea to save a little money on your table and go with a model made from less expensive wood.
Bar owners know how rowdy customers can get, and how disrespectful they can be toward your facilities. One look at any bar’s collection of bent and mismatched darts (as well as the absent space left behind by lost and stolen projectiles) can quickly confirm this. If you have this kind of clientele, it might be a good idea to save a little money on your table and go with a model made from less expensive wood. At the end of the day, most of the woods used in these tables are comparably durable, and it’d be much less painful to replace a cheaper shuffleboard table that’s been beaten into uselessness by drunken fools. Less expensive tables are also ideal for environments where children will have access to the game.
If you have a classier sort of customer on your hands, or if your game room is off limits to anyone who doesn’t meet certain height requirements, then you have the liberty to choose from among the finest tables on the market. These will be smoother-playing and heavier than their less expensive counterparts.
Whatever quality table you end up with, there are some additional features that can make the game easier and more enjoyable to play. High-quality pucks, included shuffleboard wax, and a built-in means for keeping score are among the most useful features to seek out.
A Brief History Of Shuffleboard
Shuffleboard tables are miniaturized versions of the original game of shuffleboard, which is played with much larger pucks that competitors move with long cues. The history of this full-sized game is muddy at best, but it is interesting that it, like croquet, eventually developed into a tabletop game, with billiards being the smaller, indoor offshoot of that lawn-based pastime.
We do know that shuffleboard, or some variant thereof, was played in the royal court of King Henry VIII. As with many of the games played in that court, the King made it illegal for commoners to play shuffleboard. Henry VIII was a big fan of making and breaking rules — just ask the Roman Catholic Church.
Since those days, the game has shared a marginal place with the likes of Bocce ball, and curling. Its tabletop variant is far more ubiquitous, gracing the halls of any good bar with a long enough room or wall to accommodate a table.