It’s every gamer’s dream to have a massive game room in their house. Shelves filled with walls of board games, sound systems rigged in, and maybe even a bar in the corner. But the centerpiece, the piece de resistance, the piece of furniture that ties the whole room together… has to be the gaming table.
Today, we’re looking at board game tables and what makes a good one. Whether you’re looking to get a little handy and DIY your own gaming table, purchase one out of the box, or get a fancy custom one designed and built, you’re going to want to have your requirements already checked off before you put down any money.
Without further ado, get ready, we’re diving into what makes a good board game table and what you should look for when considering your own.
Pre-made vs. Custom-built
First, you’ll need to decide whether you’re going to simply purchase a gaming table or if you want to look into customization options. There’s a whole range of bespoke gaming tables out there that include a host of different sizes and features.
If you’re feeling particularly extravagant, many of those same companies offer completely customized options as well. All you need to do is pick out your options and send in your requirements.
Gaming tables and quality furniture aren’t cheap, and going the completely customized route is going to add significantly to the overall cost. Getting a custom gaming table is probably the most expensive option, but you’re guaranteed to get exactly what you’ll want.
Buying a pre-made gaming table is another great option. Furniture companies that design and manufacture gaming tables usually have quite a few customization options and add-ons that can give you exactly what you want without increasing the price too drastically. Typically you can find one made and ready to ship anywhere between $700 and $5000.
Check out this beautiful board game table with removable topper from Tables4Games on Etsy.
If you’re feeling particularly crafty and have the tools, making your own gaming table could be a lot of fun. There are a few different hobbyist sites out there that sell designs, but probably the most comprehensive is going to be the Wood Whisperer Guild where they sell designs, blueprints, and instructional videos on how to build your own gaming table.
Find inexpensive board game table designs on Etsy: TeelexBoardGaming | NobleStruggle
Whichever way you decide to go, there are also several different factors you’re going to want to look at for your table. These elements are what differentiate a gaming table from a really long dining room table.
No matter what finish or surface you choose, the most important thing is that cards can easily be picked up from the surface. There’s nothing worse than setting down a card and then struggling to pick it back up again because the surface is too slippery.
This is why you typically see felt-lined gaming tables. If you’ve played a card game on a glass table and placed a card face down, it’s sometimes impossible to pick it up without sliding it off of the table’s edge.
It’s always fun to have a beverage while playing a tabletop game, but there are inherent risks with having any beverage on the table. Spills are always a threat, but what about condensation? If it’s a cold one, condensation builds up on the outer edge of the glass or can, and can drip down onto your playing surface where your precious games could be warped or damaged.
For drink holders and cubbies, look no further than KremaDesigns 8-Player Maple Table on Etsy.
Considerations for where your players can place their drinks are huge, and that’s why there are quite a lot of gaming tables that offer recessed cup holders. The recessed cupholder not only eliminates the danger of condensation but also helps reduce the potential for spills.
Having drinks tucked away in their own little cubby is really the only way to have drinks at the table, otherwise, you’ll just have to risk it or ban drinks altogether during a game.
It’s got pockets!
I know my wife always gets excited when she finds a dress with pockets, and I like to think I get the same feeling when I discover a new hidden compartment in a gaming table.
UnderTheTableGaming has a great board game table topper with added shelves and pockets too!
Whether it’s a card groove to hold your hand of cards, a cubby to hold your character sheets, or simply storage, a good gaming table has some kind of “pocket” or storage solution.
This particular feature is a bit controversial… or at least it is for me. A lot of the custom board game tables have a sunken edge around the table. The design is meant to keep things like dice and components from falling on the ground.
Check out this sunken edge Walnut Board Game Table from StoneMTNprojects on Etsy.
I say this is controversial because a lot of the board game tables have this feature, but it seems unnecessary, in my opinion. Go with whatever makes you happy, but I don’t typically throw dice like I’m playing craps at the casino.
The WOW Factor
The final thing to look for is the WOW factor. Any table can be a gaming table, but if you’re getting a dedicated board gaming table, you’re going to want it to have the wow factor.
This could come in all shapes and sizes. Whether it’s a particular type of wood, hidden compartments, neon lights, speakers, or even pop-up DM screens — if you’re putting in the time and money to get a dedicated gaming table, you want to have that wow factor that adds a level of wonder to your game night.
We hope you enjoyed our guide on the best board game tables and custom tabletop gaming solutions! Do you have a board game table in your game room? What are your must-have features for the ultimate gaming table of your dreams?
Drop a comment below and let us know what you think! We’d love to hear from you.
Before starting GameCows with his wife Kendra, he used to teach English Language Arts in the US. He combined his love of gaming with education to create fun game-based learning lessons until he eventually decided to run GameCows with Kendra full-time. He’s known for pouring over rulebooks in his spare time, being the rule master during game night, and as the perma DM in his DnD group. Bryan loves board games, writing, traveling, and above all his wife and partner in crime, Kendra.