A folding poker table top is perfect for turning your dining table game into a casino night. Like playing checkers using buttons on a hand drawn checkerboard, so is poker on a table cloth on your kitchen table. Something is really lacking.
Sure you could buy a felt poker layout and spread it out over the table making it a little better, but the creases where it folds drive me nuts and catch the cards when you try to deal, and forget about sliding chips across the table even if you have the corners taped down.
A poker table top adds a nice casino feel to your game and really does make it a lot more fun. You can pick from many designs and shapes, so your needs will dictate which top you should choose. I will go over the primary things you should look at before you buy so you get one you will be happy with.
1. Size and shape: If you currently are playing on a kitchen or dining table that is either round or square, and around 48 inches plus/minus 8 inches, you would want to look at the octagon poker table tops. The rectangle shaped table tops should be used on similar shaped tables. What manufacturing substance was used for the base and the size of the table top does count toward your decision. You should make sure that the foam top you get will not be more than 4 inches longer or wider than the table you are setting it on. The wooden tops can be as much as 4 – 6 inches over the edges without too much problem. You do care because if a person rested their heavy arms on the edge of the top, all the poker chips would be knocked over. This can get on your nerves.
I have had several people ask me if they can use a 36″ card table as a base, and generally I would say no. For one thing your game will be disturbed often as stated previously, plus the cheap flimsy legs on most of these card tables are not sturdy enough to hold the weight of the wood table tops.
An folding leg octagon poker table is a great alternative if you don’t have a table that will work. A folding poker table could be a choice for you if you have the room available.
2. Materials: There are 2 basic materials used to make poker table tops. The first are a tops with a foamy type base that weighs and costs the least. If your game moves to other houses often, the storage case and the fact that they weigh much less make is a great benefit. They are usually under 20 pounds so the are very portable and they fold up into a nice small size. The downside is they are not nearly as durable as the wood table tops and will need to be replaced with wear. They are also a cheaper priced gift for someone who is really a poker nut.
With more durability than foam, the wooden tops are made of 1/2 inch particle board or plywood. They also are able to have some high end features that you normally only see on real poker tables like padded felt and armrests giving a much more casino sound and feel to them. Heavy elbows are not so likely to disrupt the game due to their heavier weight.
I actually use a premium top for games at my house and foam table top for friends houses. On a side note, I have a folding poker table too which I won’t get into here.
3. Features: Once you have determined what size, shape, and material your table top should be, the most fun part is to select the colors and designs. Some tops are designed to be used for more than poker, like roulette and craps layouts included with them. While the foam top are a lower price, oddly enough they also have a better choice of patterns. The poker tops on the top end have padded felt, cushioned armrest, and a plywood base just like the poker tables. The quality of the felt is also better and more consistent with real casino tables.
The superior tops are more authentic sounding and feeling because of the padded felt. The chips have less bounce and a better more muted sound when they hit the pot. Since they use better materials, card presentation is much better too. When your game seems to go on forever, the armrest becomes an important feature. The premium tops are great if you can afford it, but the are much heavier so you lose some portability campared to the foam.
I hope this article has provided you the information you need to select a folding poker table top that suits your needs whether as a gift or for yourself. I can assure you that you will never want to go back to playing on a blanket on the kitchen table once you play on one of these. Enjoy Your Game!