Setting Up the Ideal Poker Room

More and more people have been investing time and money into redecorating their homes and going through their belongings. Others are just getting ready for some spring cleaning and want to repurpose storage rooms into rooms they can actually use.

If you checked out our piece on ‘Building the Recreation Room’, you know that a lot of thought and execution can go into creating a space for fun and entertainment. You might want a rec room for your own use, to chill and watch sports, or to relax at the end of the day. However, you may also want to use it as a place to host friends; what better way to enjoy time with buddies than a hand of poker? It’s an American institution, a game we’ve played on these shores for centuries, and one as popular today as ever.

If you’re looking to set up either specifically a poker room or just a multipurpose rec room in your home, here are a few tips to keep in mind.

Big furniture

One of the main pieces of furniture in any rec room is the table. You can opt for a playing table with a felt top, or you can even repurpose a table you already have and place a playing mat on top of it. The benefit of this is you can switch out the mat depending on what you’d like to play, or use a simple, all-purpose mat that’s just for protecting the table while still giving you that elegant, put-together look of a professional poker table. Also, pay attention to the chairs. If you’re crafty, Home Guides explains how to fix up old wooden chairs to make them more comfortable and ergonomic. Otherwise, go for wooden or leather chairs that offer some support. No one wants to start squirming in discomfort halfway through a game!

Little furniture

A classy chalkboard can add elegance to your poker room while also giving you a place to display rules or even common hands for beginners to refer to. To ensure you get things right, you can check out the rule breakdowns listed on, where each common variety of poker is explained in simple terms. You can also add some end tables where people can place their belongings, and maybe a small shelf where you can show off some of your prized possessions.

Don’t forget the little things

Fresh notepads and pens and pencils are great for helping players keep track of scores, calculate odds, or jot down any other notes that will help them during a game of poker. Other small details include coasters to protect your nice poker table or table mat, movie posters (here is some inspiration from or another wall decor, and decent lighting. It’s a good idea to install a dimmer or use smart lights that can be dimmed. That way, you get the best of both worlds – a well-lit area, or a sultry, warm area that doesn’t blind you.

A bar

You can go different ways here: if you and your crew enjoy playing with a glass of scotch or whiskey, stock a bar with some bottles, nice glasses, a fancy ice bucket, and some ice tongs. If you prefer mixed drinks, consider a full-sized bar complete with different glasses, liquors, mixers, and a blender or a tumbler, together with a minibar or small fridge. You can also go the non-alcoholic route and mix virgin drinks. Don’t get the snacks! Common snacks to, well, snack on during a poker game include nuts, cut-up fruit, popcorn, and cheese and crackers. The Palm Beach Post has a piece on how to put together the ultimate charcuterie board if that’s your jam.

If you’re looking to upgrade your rec room or you’re just about to clear out your old storage room and turn it into something more fun, we hope these ideas give you some inspiration.