Poker Table Railing: Essential Guide for Beginners and Pros

Elevate your poker table with a professional and comfortable railing. Choose from materials like dense rubber or vinyl based on your preference and budget. Constructing the rail requires precision and attention to detail. Create a poker table that combines style and functionality with a well-built railing.
Poker Table Railing: Essential Guide for Beginners and Pros

Poker table railing, also known as the padded rail, is an essential component of any professional poker table. It not only provides comfort for players during long sessions but also adds to the overall aesthetics of the table. Building the perfect poker table railing involves choosing the right materials and design to ensure durability and functionality.

There are various materials available for creating poker table rails, ranging from dense rubber to vinyl. The choice of material primarily depends on personal preference and budget. The shape and size of the poker table should also be considered when building the railing, as it affects the final appearance and comfort of the table. Assembling the poker table rail requires precision and accuracy to prevent any unevenness or gaps in the rail.

Key Takeaways

  • Poker table railing contributes to player comfort and the aesthetics of the table.
  • The choice of material, shape, and size depends on personal preferences and budgets.
  • Accurate assembly and installation of the rail is essential for a professional appearance.

Poker Table Rail Basics

A poker table rail is an essential component of a well-constructed poker table. It serves as a comfortable resting area for players' arms during long gaming sessions and provides a professional appearance. In this section, we will discuss the basics of creating a poker table rail, including the materials and construction process.

The primary material used in a poker table rail is wood, typically plywood or MDF. These materials provide a sturdy base for the rail while remaining relatively lightweight. The dimensions of the rail will depend on the size of the table, but it is generally 3 to 5 inches wide.

To add comfort and durability, the wood is covered with high-density foam padding, which offers support and cushioning for the players' arms. The foam can be found in various thicknesses, with 1-inch being a popular option.

The next step in constructing a poker table rail is to wrap the foam-covered rail in a durable, smooth fabric. Vinyl is commonly used due to its resistance to wear and ability to stretch easily over the foam padding. It is also available in various colors, allowing you to customize the appearance of your table.

When assembling the poker table rail, it is essential to ensure that the foam is securely glued to the wood using a spray adhesive. Once the foam is in place, the vinyl can be stretched over the foam and wood, stapled underneath the rail for a clean and secure finish.

In conclusion, a well-built poker table rail enhances the gaming experience by providing comfort and a professional look. By using quality materials and paying attention to the details of the construction process, you can create a poker table rail that will be a valuable addition to your poker table.

Selecting Materials

When building a poker table railing, it is essential to choose the right materials to ensure a professional and comfortable playing surface. In this section, we will discuss the materials you should consider for the wood, foam, and fabric.

Wood Selection

The foundation of your poker table railing is the wood. Plywood is a popular choice for its durability and affordability. Consider using a 4x8 sheet of plywood for the rail base, as it provides ample space for customization and can be easily cut to size. When selecting the thickness, opt for 1-inch plywood for better support and stability, especially if you plan to add padding and upholstery later.

Foam Types

The foam you choose for the railing's padding is crucial for providing comfort to the players. There are two main types of foam to consider:

  1. High-Density Foam: This type of foam has a firm feel and offers excellent support. It is durable and less prone to wear and tear, making it suitable for poker tables that see regular use.
  2. Volara Foam: This closed-cell foam is soft and pliable, making it easy to work with when upholstering the rail. It provides a comfortable cushion for resting arms but may require replacement more frequently due to its softer nature.

Choose a foam type based on the level of support and durability you desire for your poker table rail.

Fabric Choices

The fabric you choose for the poker table rail should be both visually appealing and functional. There are three main fabric options to consider:

  1. Vinyl: Upholstery vinyl is a popular choice for poker table rails due to its durability, easy maintenance, and variety of colors and textures. A 108"x54"x1" piece of upholstery vinyl should be sufficient for most rails, providing a smooth and comfortable surface for players to lean on.
  2. Speed Cloth: Suited speed cloth is a type of fabric specifically designed for card-playing surfaces. It offers a smooth, water-resistant surface that allows cards to glide easily, perfect for the poker table's playing area.
  3. Felt: Traditional felt is an affordable option for covering the table surface but may not offer the same durability and performance as other fabrics, such as vinyl or speed cloth.

When selecting a fabric, consider the visual appeal, durability, and functionality that best suit your poker table's needs.

Poker Table Shape and Size

When it comes to poker table design, the shape and size of the table are crucial factors to consider. This section will discuss the different table top shapes and size considerations to ensure that you make an informed decision for your poker setup.

Table Top Shapes

There are various shapes of poker table tops to choose from, each offering a different gaming experience. Some of the most common shapes include:

  • Oval: The oval shape is the most popular and traditional design for poker tables. It accommodates up to 10 players comfortably and is the standard choice for casinos and professional poker rooms.

  • Octagon: The octagon poker table is an excellent option for smaller games and home use. With eight sides, it can usually seat around eight players, providing a more intimate and casual gaming experience.

  • Kidney-shaped: Also known as the scallop or cut-out shape, the kidney-shaped poker table is commonly found in casinos and card rooms. It features a small section cut out on one side for the dealer's station, often with a chip rack and no rail.

Size Considerations

The size of your poker table is dependent on the number of players you intend to accommodate and the space available in your playing area. Below are some typical dimensions to consider:

  • A standard casino poker table has a length of between 92 and 104 inches (234 and 264 cm), a width of 44 inches (112 cm), and a height of 30 inches (76 cm).
  • An octagon poker table usually measures around 48 inches (122 cm) across, providing adequate space for eight players.
  • The kidney-shaped poker table has a similar size to the oval table but with the added cut-out section for the dealer.

When determining the appropriate size for your poker table, remember to consider the space needed for players to move around and access their seating comfortably. You don't want to compromise the gaming experience by choosing a table that's too cramped for your space or player count.

In conclusion, selecting the right poker table shape and size is essential for creating an enjoyable gaming experience. Considering the table top shapes and size options available will help you make an informed decision that meets your specific needs and preferences.


In conclusion, mastering the art of poker table railing is crucial for both beginners and pros. The padded rail not only adds comfort during long gaming sessions but also enhances the overall aesthetic appeal of the table. Selecting the right materials, such as wood, high-density foam, and vinyl, is vital to ensure durability and player comfort. With this essential guide, you can elevate your poker table setup and provide a superior gaming experience for all players.

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