New table build question

Ronoh

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I am looking to build a new table one of these days. In the past I have built an octagon which is beautiful (but I hate it...don't ever build, buy or play on an octagon) and a standard 8' oval. I enjoy the oval but it's become more of a utility table as I've dragged it to many 50/50 raffle dinners for my sons baseball team. My uncle is moving in to a new house soon and I mentioned I'd give him my table if I ever decided to build a new one, so... good excuse as any I suppose.

As I said I like my standard (4x8) oval but it is a bit bigger (wider) than I really need. I'm curious if any of you have built an elliptical and if so how do you like it compared to an oval?
 

BGinGA

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Haven't built an ellipse table, but have seriously considered it. Comments noted during research included cramped leg room on the ends, and lack of player space compared to a standard 'oval' design.

If I built one, it would be a hybrid -- ellipse shape for the center two-thirds, with rounded ends like an oval. From what I can tell, it would provide the best of both designs.
 

Mental Nomad

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I agree with BG - an ellipse may look more natural, and may be aesthetically pleasing, but they have both advantages and disadvantages.

The main dis is that the ends are smaller, so you can't fit as many people around the end (or those players are cramped.)

The long edges belly out instead of running parallel, which means players along that edge get extra space. Also, it's easier to see neighbor's chip stacks if there's a slight curve, instead of them being directly left and right of you. And, ironically, it's harder to see their hole cards when the edge is curved, because the player is not sitting at the same angle as you. These are all advantages of a round table, too.

On the minus side, though, non-straight edges are (a little) harder to build accurately, for every layer of the build, right on up to stretching your surface fabric. Also, the more your edge belly out - the farther it is for those player to reach the center. On an oval, the players at the ends can't reach, but at least the players on the edges can.

The circle is kind of an ideal from many perspectives - each player is angled away from neighbors, everyone gets equal leg room, accommodates different numbers... the main down sides are that for a table that fits 10 players, it has to be so big that nobody can reach across the center. A big round table in a small room can be difficult for people to walk around where the curves approach the walls, yet the center has a lot of "dead space."

If you room is elongated, an oval may be easier to navigate than an ellipse - because the straight edge will be lined up with the wall; you just have to leave enough space. For an ellipse, if you leave enough space for the widest point, there's an excess of space behind the neighboring seats - but if you snug it up more to avoid that waste, the seat at the widest point is going to be cramped against the wall, and that person is often expected to deal, too.

If I did one, it would be like BG says - an ovoid that has rounded ends (like a circle or oval), but instead of parallele edges, they would have a slight curve. That softens the visual lines, and even gives the players by the dealer position a little extra space (avoids getting their cards mucked as much, allows more space for bets without splashing a pot, etc.) Of course, it's subject to the room where I'm planning to put it... if it's a narrow room and the table will mostly fill it, well, oval it is.

I'd like a place where I can also fit a round table for side games and/or 6-max days.
 

Ronoh

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Thanks for the input, very helpful information. I still may build one because I love the look when done right but let me ask a question about ovals. My playing surface is 38.5" wide (inside rail to inside rail)... I am curious how skinny one can make it without affecting usability/gameplay and without it starting to look "wrong" (while keeping the length of a standard 8')?

edit- yes I know cutting the width will shave some room for player seating
 

Ben

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Thanks for the input, very helpful information. I still may build one because I love the look when done right but let me ask a question about ovals. My playing surface is 38.5" wide (inside rail to inside rail)... I am curious how skinny one can make it without affecting usability/gameplay and without it starting to look "wrong" (while keeping the length of a standard 8')?

edit- yes I know cutting the width will shave some room for player seating

My old table is 42" wide (edge to edge - subtract 4" rail would make 34" of playing area) and always seemed fine. I know I was surprised when Courage said how wide his middle mini-table is (I think 36" or 39"???) In any case it seemed like it was a LOT narrower but wasn't, so right around there would be the sweet spot I think.
 

Mental Nomad

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I've got one of these from BBO:
http://www.bbopokertables.com/ultimate_poker_table.html
20150423135535663566.jpg


Rail to rail (inner) is 36", including racetrack, but the felt is 25" wide. This makes for a fairly narrow playing surface. It looks extra-skinny because of foreshortening in this photo, but it's still pretty narrow.

Chips stay on the racetrack, cards, bets, and pot stay on the felt.

When the dealer is in a center seat and both center seats are "in," between hole cards and pot there isn't enough room for the flop, so the flop goes on one side or the other, not in the center.

And when discards are being dragged around the pot to the muck, you have to occasionally take care to avoid fouling a hand.

So I think 36" is fine, but if a table were 25" rail-to-rail, it would definitely be too narrow. Maybe some people have tables in between and can offer some insight.

Here's shot of my pre-game spread, with one of my dogs offering to deal - the cards give you perspective on the width:

upload_2015-5-11_21-39-43.png
 

BGinGA

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The 'standard' for overall table dimensions is 2x (36x72, 42x84, 48x96, etc.). Using that as a guideline, the felt dimensions on a full-size 4x8 table with 5" rail would be 38x86.

I tend to build on the narrower side to facilitate dealer movements -- although 2.5x is about the max you can go before things start looking funny. For a full-length (96") table, I wouldn't go any narrower than 38" overall (resulting in a 28x86 playing surface, assuming a 5" rail).

Those dimensions also assume that the rail does not have outside overhang. A 5" rail with 1" overhang will increase the felt size and overall table dimensions by 2 inches.
 

courage

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My old table is 42" wide (edge to edge - subtract 4" rail would make 34" of playing area) and always seemed fine. I know I was surprised when Courage said how wide his middle mini-table is (I think 36" or 39"???) In any case it seemed like it was a LOT narrower but wasn't, so right around there would be the sweet spot I think.
It's 6' x 3' outside but a 7" rail makes the playing surface 59" x 23". It's a good table for the space and glad I bought it, but would've been better with 4" rail since it seems very narrow. Seats 8.

A 72 - 84" x 40 -44" with a 4-5" rail would be sweet spot for a small table imo.
 

BGinGA

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My small table (and all of my portable tables) are 76x41 (66x31 felt) with a 5" rail (4" low-rider sectional for portables). They seat eight easy or nine+dealer in a pinch.

Right in courage's sweet spot, too. o_O
 

10centguitar

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I am looking to build a new table one of these days. In the past I have built an octagon which is beautiful (but I hate it...don't ever build, buy or play on an octagon) and a standard 8' oval. I enjoy the oval but it's become more of a utility table as I've dragged it to many 50/50 raffle dinners for my sons baseball team. My uncle is moving in to a new house soon and I mentioned I'd give him my table if I ever decided to build a new one, so... good excuse as any I suppose.

As I said I like my standard (4x8) oval but it is a bit bigger (wider) than I really need. I'm curious if any of you have built an elliptical and if so how do you like it compared to an oval?


I have not built an elliptical table, but I can say from dealing games for a long time that the players in seats 2,3, and 7,8 would be more cramped up imo.

Pokertableforum run by Tchan, has a lot of useful tips on building any sort of table.

I would check there. Also look into kidney shaped tables.

Quick tip though, if you go with the oval (easier to cutout in my mind), then make it 44''X96"" not 48"X96".

The 4'' difference in the width, although slight, will save everyone's (or your dedicated dealer's) back from not being able to reach far enough when pushing pots/making change/etc.

That might be why you feel your table is too wide.

Pax
 

10centguitar

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Thanks for the input, very helpful information. I still may build one because I love the look when done right but let me ask a question about ovals. My playing surface is 38.5" wide (inside rail to inside rail)... I am curious how skinny one can make it without affecting usability/gameplay and without it starting to look "wrong" (while keeping the length of a standard 8')?

edit- yes I know cutting the width will shave some room for player seating


If i missed the answer to my question im apologize in advance.

How wide is the rail on your table?
 
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