Which table should I buy?
People have different requirements. Whether you are looking for a pool, football or hockey table game, our Buying Guide will help you find one to suit your budget and your space.
Use our much respected ‘no-nonsense’ Buying Guide to help you find a table you will be proud to own. Avoid the mistakes that other people have made and invest in a table that is strong, durable and will deliver a good game time after time. Whether you are a club owner, a single bloke looking for something special to impress or a budget conscious parent who wants something that will last for the kids to play on we have a recommendation for you.
Table Game World’s A B C Buying Guide
A Good Quality, Top end
Top end of the market. These are among the best-made items out there. Well designed, manufactured to high-quality standards and built to last. These items are above average price and will last a lifetime if looked after. An investment or family heirloom, perhaps. Resale value will often exceed purchase price twenty years later. Club and arcade items fall into this group. Feel the weight, experience the quality; these items will produce top quality performance whatever the game.
B Good Quality, Mid-range
Well manufactured, good quality items made from good quality materials. These items have a quality feel about them but do not carry the heavier price tag of items in the first two categories. You’re looking for something that will last but doesn’t break the bank. We only recommend items we would be happy to use and that previous buyers have been happy with and would buy again or recommend to a friend. Products here are a safe bet.
C Reasonable Quality, Budget-conscious
You want a decent table but haven’t got the budget or the need for the more expensive tables on the market. You want value for money. A well-made item that will last and produce a good game for friends or family. Try one of these. They will produce hours of fun without putting a hole in your wallet. Almost all items in this group are made the Far East but don’t let that put you off. There are plenty of good value table games here that will provide hours of entertainment and fun.
Table Game World recommend any of these products in each category. They are tried and tested and proven.
Most of our product recommendations are in the Good Quality or Mid range section ( A and B) where there is a range of prices to suit most budgets.
Still not sure? Take a look at these hints and tips from people who were in your position a little while ago.
Other Tips from Buyers
These are based on comments made by various table game buyers in product reviews over the past five years. There’s some good advice here – from people who can admit they goofed and made a mistake; make sure you don’t fall into the same trap when buying a pool table or foosball table for the first time. There’s also some stuff you may not have thought about before (hint: see delivery, leveling, durability).
1. Small tables for young kids – They are OK for very small kids as a low-cost toy for a bit of fun. Buy one If you really want to but don’t spend over $150. A tabletop version might be suitable. The good thing is ……you can store it someplace out of the way when you finish playing.
Our advice is not to buy one at all. We are not fans of these small kiddies table games. They don’t last because they’re not made to last and, kids grow up fast so they’ll soon want a ‘big boys’ table. Buy a table that everyone can play on. If your budget is really restricted you can still get a reasonable quality table. Just don’t expect it to last for years.
FACT a small kid can still play on an adult table if they stand on a chair, bench or strong box and do you know what? ………. within a couple of weeks they’ll win every other game!
2. Delivery – most decent pool tables and football tables that are strong and well made are heavy and will require a 2 man lift to put it where you want it.
FACT – most delivery companies will only deliver to the roadside. Delivery does not include carrying it up your drive and placing the box in the room where you want to put the table. This is especially the case if you want it carried upstairs and definitely true if you live in an apartment 12 floors up. So be ready with a wad of cash to persuade your friendly helpful delivery men to do the extra work. Most will only be too pleased to help.
3. Self Assembly – OMG didn’t they tell you that? Yes, most pool, football and hockey tables are self-assembly. depending on the quality of the instructions and how good you are at this sort of thing it could take you less than an hour or up to 4 hours. Most tables are a 2 man assembly. Enjoy. Seriously, take your time. Read the instructions through, choose your location spot and just do it. Remember to leave adequate space around the table for players movement and cueing room. There are usually guidelines for this in the instructions.
4. Leveling This is something that many people overlook because they are so keen to get playing on their new table. It is essential that you locate your table on a flat and level surface that does not slope in any direction. Check the floor strength as most good quality tables are heavy and may cause warping of the flooring, especially if the table is located on an upper floor. When positioning the table use a spirit level to ensure that there is no side to side slope or end to end slope. Also check for diagonal slopes from corner to corner. Avoid using thin, inappropriate wedges made from wood, or cardboard to correct slopes. They will compress with the weight of the table. Use a solid plastic or nylon based material. Do the job properly.
5. Durability A well designed, strongly built table made from good quality materials will be a pleasure to play on, produce a better quality game and you’ll feel good about it. It will also last longer and have a better resale value if you ever decide to sell it.
There are hundreds of cheap nasty pool, football and hockey tables being marketed all the time. They are badly designed by people who don’t play the games and don’t appreciate what is really needed to make a good quality table that will last for years. All they want is a quick buck.
You will feel a chump if you buy one of these cheap crappy tables because they are a con. And the people you had hoped to please will be embarrassed and simply won’t play on it after the first few weeks. When it has lost its initial appeal, it will end up gathering dust in the loft or the garage.
Sorry for being so frank and brutal here. We’re just being honest and trying to help.
Table Game World only recommends tried and tested quality tables in each of the three budget categories in our Buying Guide. If there are gaps it means we simply haven’t found something of good enough quality or value to be included in that section.