Why a Raised Rail?

bsdunbar1

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I am by no means a professional poker table maker but have made about 10 of them previously, always in the style in the pics. Its time to make a couple more and i want to do something different. My question is why is everyone making raised rail tables? I have never played on one but it seems like the lower the playing surface is from the rail the more of a pain it would be. What functional reason is there for the rail to be raised up? I like the look of the beefier outside dimension of the rail but it just seems it would be harder to reach the table surface.
Second, why the craze for led's? What function purpose do they serve? Yes they have a WOW factor when they are sitting idle with some flashy lights turned on but are they anything more than that?

Thanks for your input & thoughts
Bill
 

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Kyle

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Different preferences for different people I guess. I have never played on a raised rail but they look cool. Kinda a final table look and feel I assume.

It is really only about what you like. Your tables look pretty cool and look well made. :)
 

mummel

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Raised rails and LEDs seem to be about bling, but they look really cool. Yet to sit at one in person though.
 

ovo

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I like a raised rail, seems more comfortable to me and my long arms. I love lights on a table.
 

Quicksilver-75

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IMO I find it either makes players sit attentively at the table or completely fall back into their chairs when they aren't in a hand. It seriously works like magic. I also find it easier to tank with because it allows you to think with your hands and eyeball stacks easier.
It's going to come down to preference and either is just as good, offering plus' and minus'.
 

Mental Nomad

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A raised rail makes you less likely to knock over your stack when running well.

If you have drinks on a racetrack, it also means they get knocked over less often.

I like a slight raise, not a big one. Not a fan of LEDs. @Irish hits the sweet spot on his main table... Small raise with a nice wooden inlay.
 

RainmanTrail

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Personally, I hate raised rail tables. I think it's a terrible idea. @justsomedude hit the nail on the head. These were made for cameras on TV tables initially, then people started thinking it was cool to turn their home game into a poor man's WSOP final table. Again, terrible idea IMO. I think they look ridiculous and try hard. And to play on one is really uncomfortable and annoying. It's like eating dinner on a pool table. No thanks. But as they say... to each their own.
 

mipevi

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I've had a table with no rail, one with it, and now with a raised rail. Only with the last one have my chips been safe from butterfingers, with the other tables chips ended up on the floor occasionally... I also have no trouble playing on it, I actually find a raised rail very comfortable. Of course mine isn't super high, and the table is a bit small (8 max), so reach isn't an issue.

 

p5woody

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I have two - 8 person oval tables, one with a 3/4 inch raised rail and one without. I built both and I don't think there is a big difference between the two. I personally prefer the raised rail for looks and it seems a little more comfortable to me. I know one of my players prefers the one without. I haven't heard any other comments, so I am assuming most of my players don't have a preference either way, but have never asked. Kind of like chips, most don't really care what chips we use. Of course I might have to test that theory and pull out my old dice chips and see how many complaints I get :)
 

Trihonda

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This has been debated in many threads. I was initially in the camp that assumed a raised rail would be less confortable. I believe I was wrong. And many others chimed in with reasons why a raised rail is comfy. To summarized, it places your hands at the same level as the chip stack tops. So for us chip geeks who like to fondle chips, shuffle, it's certainly more ergonomic. I have a raised rail and can confirm.

Then there's the cool factor of the raised rail for sure. Yes. And of course you're less likely to knock over stacks.

And the lights. They are blingy for sure. But they do serve to illuminate the cards (when you are sneaking a peek at them). I've had several of my older players claim the extra light is helpful in seeing their hole cards.

In this pick, you can see the illumination on the chips, as well as the top level of the chips relative to the rail.

IMG_0349.JPG
 

palindrome

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I have a small raised rail on my table and I like it for most of the reasons listed above. Here you can see that the rail top is about the same height as a barrel of chips so it is easy to play over. More comfortable for me anyways.
 

Irish

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I changed my mind. I think I love a raised rail.....
:) As long as the riser is less than about an inch, I like them too. In addition to all the things noted above, it gives you a great opportunity to add a nice inlay. The suited diffusers with LEDs are OK but IMHO nothing beats a classy decorative inlay:

 

Trihonda

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The suited diffusers with LEDs are OK but IMHO nothing beats a classy decorative inlay:
I love your inlaid wood. Very nice.

I do think the lighted LEDs add an awesome opportunity for customization and coordination..

I've yet to see a suited LED diffuser cooler than the one Tony created on @Jason's Atomic table... the concept of nuclear and glowing... well... just makes sense...

IMG_1853.JPG


IMG_0240.JPG
 

T_Chan

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I personally really like raised rails. My max height would be 1-1/4" tall, but a 3/4" to 1" tall raised rail is preferred. It's still comfortable to play on and as some other have said, it's nice to have your wrists/arms supported while shuffling and handling chips with your hands more level with the rail. I think they're a nice detail that adds more character to a poker table. It can break up the colors and really pop. Like Irish's table, that awesome golden oak color pops between the dark black rail and green felt and matches the legs as well. It does a similar effect as a wood racetrack table, but more subtle for those who prefer to have a full felt table.

As for the lights, they are certainly for show. It depends on your style. I've said this before, but they do help a little with seeing your cards if they're lit the whole game, they shine right onto your cards as you peek at them. They've also come in handy during a power outage, we turned on the raised rail lights and kept our gambol on until many hours after the power went out. And as Trihonda said, it allows for more customization too.


2017-01-16 14.14.51.jpg



2016-10-31 16.58.55.jpg
 

bsdunbar1

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Thanks everyone for the feedback. I think my next tables i'll go with a 3/4" raised rail just for something different. Not sure about any lights yet. Next question is are there any good general plans out there? I've searched a TON and haven't found anything that really has me understanding the general construction process. I read the entire thread on Irish's table build - impressive to say the least.
Where do you get the diffuser for the riser when using lights? everyone seems to have a similar metal/aluminum insert? Thanks in advance.

Bill
 

kmccormick100

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I'm a fan of the feel of a low raised rail 3/4"-1" maybe, I think it makes shuffling chips less painful for hours on end and less likely to knock over stacks especially when everybody is dealing. I ended up going with a 2" foam in my rail to get a similar height and really like the feel of it.
 

pedrofisk

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The main reason you see the really high rails on TV is advertising. Especially now with RF for reading hole cards since you don't have a hole card cam. Just look at the Poker Night in America table.
 

Stephen Hixon

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A raised rail makes you less likely to knock over your stack when running well.

If you have drinks on a racetrack, it also means they get knocked over less often.

I like a slight raise, not a big one. Not a fan of LEDs. @Irish hits the sweet spot on his main table... Small raise with a nice wooden inlay.

I agree a slight raise is good. I'm having a 65" round being built now with a slight raise. The lights look cool for pictures but that's about it. The raise works.
 

Raf

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Only use raised rail on one table, which acts as a 'feature/final' table. My players love it... they get 'it' and wouldn't have it any other way.

Raised rail portion gives room for further customization for art, diffusers and such. ... aside from what everyone else has already mentioned.
 

Wils

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The main reason you see the really high rails on TV is advertising. Especially now with RF for reading hole cards since you don't have a hole card cam. Just look at the Poker Night in America table.
I don't know how far behind the UK is with that show, but last time I caught it the rails were advertising MySpace!
 

crussader

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I know I'm late to the party here, but I wanted to point out another important reason for a raised rail that I didn't see mentioned. When cards are dealt they can get stuck under a standard rail. This can cause the cards to be exposed or bent. A raise rail prevents that.
 

mummel

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I know I'm late to the party here, but I wanted to point out another important reason for a raised rail that I didn't see mentioned. When cards are dealt they can get stuck under a standard rail. This can cause the cards to be exposed or bent. A raise rail prevents that.
Thats a good point. The cards lift on a standard rail but you cant really see them unless you bend down, so its not really a problem, but I guess it could still happen if someone was being evil.
 

crussader

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The cards lift on a standard rail but you cant really see them unless you bend down...
That's true when they are being dealt into the rail, but when the player pulls them out, that's when they tend to get exposed or bent.
 
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