Need Help with Designing a Table

DoubleBarrel

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I want to build a new table and I have some questions that I’m hoping I can get some guidance on. It would be great to hear what type of table you like playing on.

We had a regular group and our games were usually 6-7 people, rarely 8. Now that we are starting to get past the pandemic in our part of the country (hopefully), I want to re-establish a regular game again. In the past it was mainly a cash game and dealer’s choice, with a decent length session of Texas Hold’em/Omaha included. Going forward I think this game will continue, but I would also like to start having a game of strictly Texas Hold’em.

I have 3 main questions about my next table:
1) Shape
2) Size
3) Design

I like having a little elbow room at the table and not be packed in like sardines in a tin. My personal preference has been a round. When I play on long oval tables and I’m seated at the end, I struggle to see the cards easily. Also, I find round tables make it easier for everyone to join in the conversation. The down side is it takes more work to rake in a big pot because of the long reach.

I would like to hear opinions on your favorite shape of table to play on. Round, oval, or ellipse? I haven’t played on an ellipse shaped table before, but maybe it is a good compromise?

Would a 62” or 64” Round be a good size? Or is it too big for a Round? I think it would give a comfortable amount of room for 7, but maybe too tight for 8? I’m not sure about the reach on this big of a round? I am a woodworker, so I’m not too concerned with the building/material considerations of this large of a table.

I have no idea what size would be comfortable for 8 on an Oval or Ellipse, without being too big for 6. Maybe 7’?

As far as design goes, I like the look of nice wood. I don’t think I want a racetrack, or maybe just a very narrow one for drinks. I like having chip stacks and cards on the playing surface level and chips on a soft surface so they are not noisy when shuffled. What do you think of a 2” or 2 ¼” thick hardwood outer ring, maybe about 6” wide, with an arm bevel, instead of a padded rail with a racetrack? This way I could have the “wood look” without a racetrack. I do like padded rails. Or, does it make more sense to forget about the wood look and go with a traditional padded rail, and no racetrack?

Sorry for the long post! I’m looking to forward to hearing your thoughts.
 

allforcharity

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I think that people rarely go above 54" diameter for a round. With 8 people, that gives 21" of rail space, which should be reasonable.
I would recommend no racetrack. Go full felt, but do a custom print so you can have a two colours/patterns/fields which delineates the betting line.
I prefer drinks off the table or rail surface. There are options for slide in cup holders, or swing out/clipped cup holders underneath the rail.
 

Al Azouri

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A while back I built an oversized octagonal table for a group of vets who were confined to wheel chairs. I went with an octagon to help with the reach issue. Though in general I really don’t like the aesthetic of that shape.
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DoubleBarrel

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A while back I built an oversized octagonal table for a group of vets who were confined to wheel chairs. I went with an octagon to help with the reach issue. Though in general I really don’t like the aesthetic of that shape.
Very nice. I really like the adjustable height design. I'm sure they appreciate the table and give it a lot of use. Thanks for posting.
 

DoubleBarrel

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I think that people rarely go above 54" diameter for a round. With 8 people, that gives 21" of rail space, which should be reasonable.
I would recommend no racetrack. Go full felt, but do a custom print so you can have a two colours/patterns/fields which delineates the betting line.
I prefer drinks off the table or rail surface. There are options for slide in cup holders, or swing out/clipped cup holders underneath the rail.
From looking through different threads it does seem like 54” is common for a round. I arrived at 62” because it would give 28” of rail for 7, and 24.5” for 8. Does this seem like a reasonable amount of space? I’m really concerned about the reach to clear pots on this big of a table. My current table. Is 58”.
 

allforcharity

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From looking through different threads it does seem like 54” is common for a round. I arrived at 62” because it would give 28” of rail for 7, and 24.5” for 8. Does this seem like a reasonable amount of space? I’m really concerned about the reach to clear pots on this big of a table. My current table. Is 58”.

28" would be a luxurious amount of space. I think others have said that going above 54" diameter gets difficult for reaching pots.
 

Al Azouri

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What do you think about having a hardwood rail vs. a padded rail?
Having played on both I definitely opt of padded. Wood may look nicer but padded is much more comfortable for long sessions.
Building a good padded rail is the hardest but most rewarding part of the table build. Having done three of these so far, each time my thumbs were sore for two days after.
 
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Jake14mw

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If you never have more than 8, then go round! I have had a full size oval table for a long time, but built a 58" round last year. I will only break out the oval if we have 9 or 10 players. I think at 58", it's just a hair tight for 8 players, but I prefer round so much more that 8 is the limit for us. My players said 8 at the table was good, but not sure if they were just being polite. Definitely very doable for 8, perfect size for 7 players. I made mine 58" instead of 60" for two reasons primarily, 1) some people said that at 60" it was a little tough reaching the middle, and 2) Stretching standard 54" vinyl is very difficult for a 60" table. Doing mine at 58" was tough.

If I had to build the table again, I would make it 60". I have not found the reach to the middle to be difficult at all, so I can't imagine 2 more inches would be a deal breaker. You said you like extra elbow room, 60" will give you plenty of room for 8.
 

DoubleBarrel

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Padded rail all day. So comfy. :)

Thanks for the input. I saw two threads about your table. One was your build, and the other was about your disappointment with the quality of printing on your fabric. From the picture you posted, it looks like you had your fabric re-printed. Very nice!! I also like the birds!!

If you never have more than 8, then go round! I have had a full size oval table for a long time, but built a 58" round last year. I will only break out the oval if we have 9 or 10 players. I think at 58", it's just a hair tight for 8 players, but I prefer round so much more that 8 is the limit for us. My players said 8 at the table was good, but not sure if they were just being polite. Definitely very doable for 8, perfect size for 7 players. I made mine 58" instead of 60" for two reasons primarily, 1) some people said that at 60" it was a little tough reaching the middle, and 2) Stretching standard 54" vinyl is very difficult for a 60" table. Doing mine at 58" was tough.

If I had to build the table again, I would make it 60". I have not found the reach to the middle to be difficult at all, so I can't imagine 2 more inches would be a deal breaker. You said you like extra elbow room, 60" will give you plenty of room for 8.

Thanks. I have also seen quite a few posts stating other people prefer rounds for smaller games (8 or less). Your comment about the extra 2" to 60" not being too much longer of a reach makes sense.


buzz monkey and Al Azouri: Thanks for the votes for padded rails.
 
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