The best gaming table for every kind of board game

With all the hubbub around video games—mobile, free-to-play, high-end console games, and more—an under-the-radar movement has elevated old-school board games back into the mainstream. More and more of us are playing tabletop games with our friends and family, remembering the fun of tactile strategy and competition. If you play board games often, having a dedicated surface can make your sessions easier, letting you focus on having a good time. There’s nothing worse than trying to play a board game on an uneven surface, or a table that’s too small, or one with cracks that your cards always seem to fall through. The best gaming tables ensure you never have an awkward setup.

The best gaming tables are designed specifically with tabletop games in mind. They often feature special compartments, covers, or built-in boards to make it easy to play a wide range of games. They can also serve as a fun, but versatile statement piece in your living room or den. The ideal table for board games is simple and sturdy, so they often work well as a coffee table or even a dining room table, depending on the size. (That said, you should probably avoid eating and drinking on the same surface as your game).

What should you look for in a gaming table?

Different gaming tables have different features, and it can be helpful to know what kind of gamer you are before shopping. Are you really into puzzles, or card games like poker, or sprawling board games like Settlers of Catan? Each of those setups can be optimized for a specific type of table. Felt is an ideal surface for card games, because it makes sliding cards to each player easy and smooth. Circular tables are perfect for varying numbers of players, just as easily hosting three or five people as a four-sided table can host four.

Some tables can change their heights—you might want a gaming table a little bit higher than a dining table—and others can fold up their legs for easy storage. There are even some in the works like the Arcade 1Up Infinity Game Table that have gone fully digital. They’re designed with downloadable versions of classic games—though they’re not super common just yet. What kind of table you should look for depends on how you like to game, but rest assured, there’s an option for everyone.

The best gaming tables: Here are our recommendations

Best gaming table for puzzle fanatics: Jumbl Puzzle Board Rack

Best gaming table if money is no object: Wyrmwood Prophecy

Best budget gaming table: Stakmore Folding Card Table

Best outdoor gaming table: Flash Furniture Table

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