Poker Gadgets and Accessories For Your Home Game
Best Poker Gadgets and Accessories
This article promotes poker as a socially enjoyable game of skill. It in no way promotes the act of gambling for money.
Investing in a few poker gadgets and accessories can bring a little casino glitz and glamor to your home game without breaking the bank. Why settle for mediocrity at your card nights when you can dazzle your guests with a professional set-up? The poker boom of the last decade has spawned a huge online market for home game poker gadgets, equipment and accessories. Here we’ll take a look at some of the best products to enhance your own personal card-room and make you the envy of the neighborhood.
A poker table is your arena of combat and game centrepiece. A good one will impress your buddies more than anything else. Cards were born for felt surfaces; glass and wood table tops pale in comparison. Felt softens the clatter of chips and makes dealing much easier. A vinyl rail around the perimeter of the table acts as a cushion while you’re peaking at your hole cards or counting chips. It also prevents cards from slipping onto the floor.
There are hundreds of different poker tables on the market. The low end products are basic playing surfaces that rest on your dining room table and can be folded away again for storage. Many of these brands come with accessories such as built-in plastic chip trays, cup holders and carry cases for storage. These products are typically octagonal in shape, seating eight players (although it is possible to squeeze in a couple more if absolutely necessary).
The more expensive tables come with collapsible or permanent wooden legs and feature high quality felt in green, blue or red, vinyl rails and metallic cup holders. The very best have elegant wooden legs that secrete grandeur. Although costly, these products look fantastic, are built to last and will help bring the casino experience into your home.
Price Range: $40 - $2000
Recommended Poker Tables Available on Amazon.com
Tight Budget: Trademark Padded Poker Table Top (Amazon Prices From $81.33)
- Green segmented felt playing surface.
- Vinyl rail and built-in cup holders.
- Octagonal (eight seats) / Size: 52in X 52in / Storage case.
Mid-Range: Trademark Poker Full Size Poker Table (Amazon Prices From $207.60)
- Casino quality blue felt surface.
- Collapsible legs / Size: 83in X 44in.
- Black vinyl rail with cup holder and ten seating positions.
Connoisseur's Choice: Trademark Poker 90in Poker Table with Raceway (Amazon Prices From $935.71)
- Red wool felt surface.
- 90ins / 10 steel cup holders.
- Lacquer wooden legs.
Electronic Tournament Directors and Blind Timers
The next best thing to a human tournament director is an electronic one. These convenient poker gadgets time the blind levels and manage your tournament schedule, giving you more freedom to focus on what really matters – winning those big pots!
Electronic tournament managers feature LCD screens that show the current blind level and time remaining. Some even help you to calculate the prize structure. You can perch them on a bookshelf or cabinet to keep your fellow players informed as to when the blinds are due to go up.
Anyone who has ever tried running a poker tournament using the timer on their mobile phone will understand how valuable this product can be. With an electronic manager, there’ll be no more cries of “How much are the blinds now? How long till the end of the level?” at your home poker tournaments. If you want a cheaper option, check out the blind-timing devices that double up as dealer buttons. These little accessories are worth their weight in gold.
Price Range: $5 - $80
Recommended Electronic Tournament Directors Available on Amazon.com
Tight Budget: World Poker Tour Dealer Button Poker Timer (Amazon Prices From $7.75)
- Electronic blind timer with one minute warning.
- Dealer button.
- Tamper Proof / Battery included / lifetime warranty.
Mid Range: ESPN Tournament Director Timer (Amazon Prices From $24.99)
- Times levels and shows current blinds.
- Metal table stand / Power adapter.
Connoisseur's Choice: Poker Genie Tournament Manager Timer (Amazon Prices From $39.98)
- Times levels and shows current blinds.
- Calculates starting chip stacks and tournament duration.
- Customize your tournament.
- 6in X 4in X 1in / Durable plastic / Power adapter.
Clay Poker Chips
Why settle for lousy chips when you’ve invested in a beautiful poker table and other great poker gadgets to enrich your card game. Clay chips are far classier than plastic ones and feel so much better between your fingers. They are also easier to stack. There is no universal weight standard but most casino chips weigh an average of 10g. You may have heard that 11.5g is the officially sanctioned weight for gaming chips but this is a myth.
A far more important decision than weight is chip colour and design. If you play solely cash games, it might be shrewd to purchase a set with the monetary value imprinted on the chip face - $1, $5, $10 etc. For greater flexibility, and simple sophistication, non-logoed chips should meet your needs, especially if you alternate between cash games and tournaments. Most sets come in a range of between three and five colours.
As far as poker gadgets and accessories go, chips should be first on your shopping list, closely followed by a quality table.
Price Range: $50 - $2000 (depending on quantity)
Recommended Clay Poker Chips Available on Amazon.com
Tight Budget: Trademark Poker Pro Clay Casino Chips (Amazon Prices From $68.48)
- 500 chip set / 4 different colors / 13g.
- Clay with metal insert.
- Vinyl chip case with green felt lining.
- Includes 2 decks of cards and 5 dice.
Mid Range: Bicycle Premium Mega Masters Clay-Filled Poker Chip Set (Amazon Prices From $99.95)
- 500 chip set / 4 colors / 11.5g / Clay-filled.
- Lacquered handmade wooden case.
- Includes 2 decks of cards and heavyweight dealer button.
Connoisseur's Choice: Paulson World Tophat and Cane Clay Chips (Amazon Prices From $799.99)
- Authentic clay chips / Casino quality / 13g
- 500 chip set including 2 decks of cards.
- Mahogany case.
Secure Storage Case for Poker Chips
Stay well organized at your poker games with a handsome storage unit for chips and valuables. Keeping all your poker chips together in one place, secure and accessible, minimizes disruption to the game when a player needs to get more chips or end his/her involvement in the game.
Poker chips are valuable and having a safe or chip case with a sturdy lock is preferable. Many clay chip sets come with cases but these are often disappointing and ugly aluminum units. Why not treat yourself to a wooden mahogany or oak chip case with removable compartments which will not only satisfy practical needs but also signify to guests that you a running a proficient and polished game
Price Range: $25-$500
Recommended Poker Chip Cases Available on Amazon
Tight Budget: 500 Wooden High End Poker Chip Case (Amazon Prices From $24.98)
- Classy jewelry box design.
- Green Felt Interior.
- Magnetic drawer.
Connoisseur's Choice: Trademark Poker Mahogany Poker Chip Case (Amazon Prices From $53.99)
- Gorgeous dark mahogany finish.
- Brass fixtures.
- Lock to keep your poker chips safe.
- Room for 500 chips.
Connoisseur's Choice: New Trademark 750 Mahogany Chip Case (Amazon Prices From $224.34)
- Dark wooden poker chip case with high lacquer finish.
- Brass hardware and black felt interior.
- Key and lock.
- Room for 750 chips.
Automatic Card Shufflers
Card shufflers are not for everyone but may find a home amongst games with a high proportion of inexperienced dealers or players with limited mobility. Like poker itself, buying cheaper shufflers can be something of a gamble in terms of quality. The more expensive machines are capable of randomizing the cards through a series of riffles and strips that mimics the actions of a professional card dealer. Shufflers certainly aren’t a traditional part of the poker set-up however they do help to minimise cheating (unless the host has rigged the machine) and can speed up play if used correctly. Automatic card shufflers are battery powered.
Price Range: $6 - $700
Tight Budget: Automatic Two Deck Shuffler (Amazon Prices From $9)
- Shuffles up to two decks of cards.
- Battery operated.
Mid Range: Da Vinci Wood Grain Deluxe Automatic Playing Card Shuffler (Amazon Prices From: $14.95)
- Shuffles up to two decks.
- Battery powered.
Connoisseur's Choice: Shuffle Tech Professional Automatic Casino Card Shuffler (Amazon Prices From: $699.00)
- Designed to replicate hand shuffling.
- Two shuffle sequences using both riffle and strip methods.
- See-through cover for totally transparency.
- Power adapter.
So now that you have a good idea of the poker gadgets, products and accessories that can add a little sparkle to your card night, why not take a look at my article on setting up and running your own poker home game. If you have any questions or comments about the hub you've just read, please leave them below and I'll get back to you.