Why a Raised Rail?

Taghkanic

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Honestly, I don’t even feel the need for a rail most of the time. For my game, we have two tables—one that I built with a rail, and a second with a topper (also of my design) which lays flat on my dining room table. Both have similar dimensions, and are intended for 8-9 handed games (able to cram in 10 in a pinch).

You might think that the rail-free option would lead to a lot more cards flying off the table, or chips getting spilled. But it really doesn't.

Especially when tables are full, there are just too many obstacles (between people’s hands and elbows and chips and card protectors and phones and whatnot) for a card to sneak off the table. Plus, few of us are casino-grade pitchers who shoot cards across the felt at high velocity. As for chips, most of our players are experienced and careful with their stacks; and anyway chips can fall off a railed table, too—it’s usually off the top of a higher stack, not the bottom.

I likewise don’t find much need to lean heavily on a cushioned rail, preferring to have the added surface space to arrange my cards and chips as I see fit. It just feels roomier. For shorter players, I suspect a rail (high or low) can sometimes be uncomfortable if they don’t have a chair they can raise substantially.

Finally, I reserve a special place in Hell for racetrack tables where the felt is raised substantially above the track. Ugh. /rant
 

Taghkanic

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P.S. re: Cards under a non-raised rail: There are ways to prevent or lessen this possibility. Possibly the simplest, if a rail has a small gap, is to get some thick cotton twine (the white kind which comes on a softball-sized spool). LOay it down around the edge, then use a flat object like a butter knife to stuff it into the gap. If you get it about 1/4-1/3" inch in, you won't see it, but it will stop cards from going under more than that far. Better, though, to prevent this via carpentry in the building stage.
 

Camoflaws

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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...

View attachment 89448

View attachment 89449
How high is the raised rail on this table?
 

Jeevansluck

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I have 2 tables. One with a raised rail and one without.

For me, it's just aesthetically pleasing to the eye to have it raised, just a tad. I had Tony do a 3/4" raise on my custom build.

I bought my first table from Tony too. A used basic with custom felt, but no raised rail. I don't mind it, but then I also joined Tony's poker club and he utilizes a table for his finals that has a 1" raised rail I think. I found this to be just a tad uncomfortable. Still cool, but a bit uncomfortable. Looks amazing though. This experience made my decision making process easy for my custom build.

From a functional standpoint, I feel it keeps cards from getting stuck and flipped upwards for everyone to see. It happens once in a while on my non-raised table. With the raised metal strip running around it acts as defense against this. I love sliding a card against with a bit of extra oomph and watch the card bounce backwards. Agree with @Quicksilver-75 , it definitely makes a player pay more attention if they are in the hand. They will stay forward, keep their hands and focus on the hand in play. Players that fold tend to relax their shoulders and hands, take a leaned back position until the next deal.

All in all, I'd NEVER buy or build another custom WITHOUT the raised rail. That about sums it up from my perspective.

One other thing I'd add is, seems lighting is popular these days, and while I opted to pass on lighting, one needs to consider a raised rail in order to accommodate this feature.
 

T_Chan

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I bought my first table from Tony too. A used basic with custom felt, but no raised rail. I don't mind it, but then I also joined Tony's poker club and he utilizes a table for his finals that has a 1" raised rail I think. I found this to be just a tad uncomfortable. Still cool, but a bit uncomfortable. Looks amazing though. This experience made my decision making process easy for my custom build.
My showroom table that we use is actually 1.5" tall, which is taller than I like as well, just a personal preference. I prefer to keep the raised rail to 1" max, but it totally depends on opinion.
 

bsdunbar1

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it's just aesthetically pleasing to the eye to have it raised, just a tad.

All in all, I'd NEVER buy or build another custom WITHOUT the raised rail. That about sums it up from my perspective.
Agree with these 2 statements 100%.
A raised rail table is much bolder/substantial and just looks a lot more BA.

I have owned 1/2", 3/4" & 1". The 3/4" is probably about the right size, but the 1" just gives a little more substance to look at. I wouldn't want anything above 1".
 

72o

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This can still happen, although much less frequently. Cards can still get stuck between the felt and riser.
Not if you bolt the rail down or cut the table padding short of being under the rail. I bolt my rail down just enough to compress the table foam and there is no way that a card could slide under the rail. When I didn't bolt and tighten it down, then the cards could slide under the rail.
 

Coyote

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I don't think a raised rail is better-looking than an unraised one.
I can see, as an advantage, the extra lighting when peeping your cards, but doesn't the light from the opposite side get into your eyes?
I think a rail height (in relation to the playing surface) of 33mm, covering the height of a 10-chip half-barrel should be enough for chip protection.
When it comes to cards, I think @72o has closed the issue.
Finally, I guess a raised rail is a no-go if the table is meant to have a dining top. Either the dining top would have to sit too high, or the poker playing surface too low.
 

Jeevansluck

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I don't think a raised rail is better-looking than an unraised one.
I can see, as an advantage, the extra lighting when peeping your cards, but doesn't the light from the opposite side get into your eyes?
I think a rail height (in relation to the playing surface) of 33mm, covering the height of a 10-chip half-barrel should be enough for chip protection.
When it comes to cards, I think @72o has closed the issue.
Finally, I guess a raised rail is a no-go if the table is meant to have a dining top. Either the dining top would have to sit too high, or the poker playing surface too low.
The aesthetics are subjective to the beholders of such tables. I have 1 of each, and the raised rail by far is the better looking table.

My family and I eat on my custom table Walnut topper every day. My 4 year old son also enjoys the table. It's a non-issue. YMMV
 

Coyote

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A. The aesthetics are subjective to the beholders of such tables.
B. My family and I eat on my custom table Walnut topper every day. My 4 year old son also enjoys the table. It's a non-issue. YMMV
A. Agreed.
B. Interesting. Pics please!:)
 

Amish Rabbi

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it's not poker but I play boardgames on a friends table and it has a ~3" vault for the game. doesnt even have a padded rail, just work.

works well and is comfy for reaching and seeing things in your "area" and you never worry about resting your hands somewhere
 

Jake14mw

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I like raised rails, just not too high. I also like LEDs. It helps with viewing your hole cards. I think that is more of a personal issue for my setup because I like to keep the overall light level in the room lower because I have a projector that is usually showing sports at the time.
 

stonker

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How do you personally like that height? I’m going to be having Tchan build me a table and can’t really make up my mind between 1.25 or 1. I know it seems marginal but I can’t settle on one over the other.
I’ve had no complaints but then again I sit in the dealer cutout with no rail. I would have went 3/4” if I didn’t come across such a good deal on the 1 1/4” edging.
 

Camoflaws

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anyone have any idea how tall the live at the bike rail is? I think their light looks awesome but it looks tall.
 
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