How To Make A Classy Poker Room In Your Home

As our homes need to multitask now more than ever – increasingly they're the places we work and socialize – many people are remodeling and restyling to reflect these trends. While we pointed out in our article ‘9 Unique Ways to Make Your Home Stand Out’ that man caves have been popular for at least a decade now, there's a sense they've had their moment. Folks are looking to open out, rather than closing doors. Sentiment suggests that it's time to ditch the sweatpants and get dressed up again. But where do we go from here? The poker room is a stylish venue, and bringing it in-house gives a less fleeting taste of the high-rolling lifestyle.


The good news is the ambience of a poker room is entirely fitting to the general vibe of a modern home anyway and will add a wow factor to your property whether you have a game on or not. Lighting needs to be bright enough to see cards, but not blazing like the Vegas sun. Consider track lighting over the table, or a featured pendant lamp over its center. Dimmer switches are invaluable, or even better, get some smart lighting that can be controlled by a home assistant like Alexa or Google Home. Light and neutral colors work best on walls and it may be an idea to leave a wall free of any adornments for use as a projector screen, rather than trying to work out where to mount a TV. Smart speakers like those by Bose or Sonos are portable so can be shifted from corners of the room providing background music for a card game to front and center for watching a movie at other times. 


The table will be the centerpiece of the room, so it's worth investing in a good one. With Texas Hold’em poker being the most widely recognized and enjoyed variety of the game, it makes the most sense to find a table that is designed specifically for it. This means places for cards will be painted onto the felt covering in the appropriate places for a game of Hold’em, although the same table can also be used for Omaha poker and perhaps even blackjack. There's no hard and fast rules for seating round a poker table, and it's quite acceptable to use captain-style chairs, ergonomic gaming chairs, armless chairs for dealers who'll need to move their own arms around, or combinations therein. Ottomans might be a good idea as they can double up for storage of cards, chips and other accoutrements when not in use. Side tables are useful for keeping drinks off the felt, too.


A classy poker room may not be the best place for family pictures, but equally, there's no need to resort to card room clichés. Prints of the Vegas skyline work well, and the Dogs Playing Poker pictures have now become so kitsch they're always going to be iconic. Casinos famously don't have clocks; rebel against that and invest in a classy wall clock like the Time Maze by Alessi. If there's enough natural light in the space to support them, small cacti make a knowing nod to the Mojave Desert.


If you're splurging on a higher-end table, it doesn't make sense to run out to your local discount outlet and pick up one of the Texas Hold'em poker sets that become ubiquitous in the run up to each Christmas. Good quality clay chips are less expensive than you'd think, and many companies will put your own monogram or design on them. Likewise, an electric shuffling machine will cost you less than $20, and are entirely worth it for no other reason than that they're really cool. Elsewhere in the room, many folks associate poker with cocktails, and if a minibar or bar shelf is workable in the space then that they can be both stylish and practical, giving an area to socialize for those not active at the table. A small, glass-fronted fridge for beers and mixers means nobody needs to leave the game to grab a drink.