Couple of table questions

JGoch0512

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Hey Everyone,

Got two quick questions for you all. I am looking to build my first table and have been getting a lot of design ideas online. Two questions have come up during this that I don't have a great answer for.

  1. How does everyone feel about racetracks on the table (never personally played with any).
  2. How expensive/a pain in the ass is it to put lights on the table?

Thanks!
 

trigs

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Racetracks are definitely a personal preference. I'm okay with one as long as the playing surface is large enough still. I prefer a racetrack that is level or higher than the playing surface. Racetracks that are lower I find annoying as cards that fall into it have to be awkwardly picked up and put back on the playing surface.

I don't know how much lights cost to put into a table but things to consider are whether to get a battery or are they being plugged in. Battery is more expensive but removes the cord running to the plug that can be a tripping hazard.
 

DoubleEagle

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Racetracks look nice but playability sux. Built one, played one game, tore it down and converted to full felt.

Not a fan of lights either. And yes, they are a PITA to build.
 

jja412

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Lights are much more difficult to build, and give minimal perks besides being "pretty."
Racetracks are pretty, but actually detract from the play-ability of the table (never a good thing), and are harder to build right than a full felt table.

There are some who like both, and some who hate both.
 
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I far prefer no racetrack due to the difficulty in picking up cards and chips off the wood.
I've never put lights in a table, but as far as pictures I've seen go, unless there is a diffuser panel, I think the lights look a bit too intense/distracting.
 

CantSpellPoker

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Negative on the racetrack. I can’t name one positive that they bring to the table (pun intended) other than looking nice.
 

Coyote

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Full felt with betting line IMO.
Wooden racetracks look good, but they sound utterly awful (when people shuffle chips on them) and they 're still hard surface, not suitable for expensive chips or cards.
Cupholders on the playing surface (in what amounts to instead-of-racetrack surface), or slide-under-the-rail, or in the rail, or no cupholders at all, is an eternally debated issue.
Equally debated is the issue, if you do have cupholders on the table, wether you place them in front of the players or at their side.
I vote in front, especially if the glass seats lower than the player's nose:D, i.e. with cupholders in the playing surface or in the rail.
No experience with rail lights. Some say it's a useful additional source of light when peeping cards. Probably so, but aesthetically, not my cup of tea.
 

stevea

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Would never do a race track. I just don’t get it other that it can look cool with a good stain, but very impractical imo. And I used to think lights were just cool looking but not practical but now it think it helps in lower light situations and it makes the chips and table look cool. The transition was when I was playing on a lit rail table and it seemed cool. Like a little better than no lights and then someone unplugged the rail lights and I thought “omg turn them back on asap! I can’t play with out them on. The table just looked too dark after.
 

TheBigTater

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Racetracks are a visual thing for tables that look good when viewing from a static point of view. They look great but a lot of player (myself included) don't like to play on them. The racetrack is usually terrible for stacking and moving chips on and/or picking up cards. Players will end up moving their chip stacks to the felt so the racetrack just ends up taking up space that could be put to better use. A full custom cloth/felt with or without a betting line is a much better option.

Lights are another fancy visual that once again looks good from a static point of view but IMO don't add anything to the playing experience. Plus they require either batteries built in or a electrical cord strung across the floor for power.
 

BGinGA

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Order of preference:
  1. printed gaming cloth with betting line
  2. printed gaming cloth with faux racetrack (can be dyed to look like a second fabric/color or even fake wood)
  3. single-color gaming cloth
  4. separate racetrack that is padded and covered with gaming cloth
  5. mini-racetrack design (see @Irish post pic above)
  6. full wooden racetrack design
Much prefer to play on #1, #2, or #3. The others are both harder and more expensive to build, and a pita during actual play.

Also not a big fan of raised rails (unless 1" or less) or in-rail table lights (unless heavily diffused and non-glaring).
 

Trihonda

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Josh, skip the racetrack. :)

The lights can be cool if done right, but it takes a bit of work to get them to look good (and not garish). Being your first build in a while, you are better served doing a solid full felt table..
 

ReallyGoodUsername

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Not a fan of the racetrack. Lighting is cool but generally not worth the extra work. Best value add ons IMO are raised rails and a betting line.
 
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