And a shuffleboard table also makes an incredible addition to a game room at home.
But owning a shuffleboard table might seem like a major investment.
And, to be sure, there are some beautiful shuffleboard tables out there with handcrafted elements and custom features that come with a hefty price tag; often exceeding the $10k price mark.
Yet, if you’re committed to the idea of bringing shuffleboard to your home, or if you’re a bar owner and think it would make a great addition for your guests, there are still plenty of budget friendlier options available.
The ‘affordable’ bracket includes tables that start at prices around $1000.
Many of these more affordable shuffleboard tables are in the 9, 12, and 14 foot length range.
These smaller, entry-level tables will fit into tighter spaces, while still providing plenty of length for a real game of table shuffleboard.
Here we’ll take a look at how to select one of these high-quality but affordable shuffleboard tables for your home or bar.
We’ll also feature a few of our favorite options on the market today.
What to Look for in an Entry-Level Shuffleboard Table
Before we review some of our favorite entry-level shuffleboard tables on the market today, it’s worth taking a look at some of the factors that you’ll need to consider as you search for the perfect model.
While you might sacrifice some of the pristine wood work and the superior craftsmanship of a handmade table, you can still find a sturdy, beautiful looking table that will deliver countless hours of shuffleboard fun for you and your guests.
You don’t need to make major compromises.
These smaller entry-level models focus on the key elements of a quality functional table:
- the hardwood playing surface with protective polymer coatings
- engineered surface curves for fast and even play
- sturdy frames with leveling systems
- the right gutter widths, pucks and accessories to make for a great game of knock-off
While a standard regulation shuffleboard table will usually be 20 inches wide and 22 feet long, there’s a good chance you don’t have enough room for something that large in your home (or your budget).
With that in mind, it’s worth noting that there are many different sizes available, starting at just 8 or 9 feet long.
Our favorite size for budget-friendly tables, for example, is the 12-foot shuffleboard category.
With this size you can get a mid-size table that will work in many spaces and still deliver the feel of a full-scale game.
So, ideally, you’ll want a model that’s small enough to fit into your chosen space, but large enough to provide a challenging game for all of your players.
To learn more, be sure to review our full post about shuffleboard table sizes.
In fact, determining the available space and connecting that the right table length should probably be the first step in choosing a new shuffleboard table for your home or bar.
There are a few common types of shuffleboard scoring systems available.
Some are included with the tables, while other scoreboards need to be purchased separately and installed.
The most popular scoring options are simple electronic attachments, abacus style scoring units, and manual slide scorekeepers.
You’ll find abacus scorekeepers on many of the budget friendly shuffleboard tables. These are classic and functional.
Electronic units come in many shapes and sizes.
A common design is the circular electronic scoreboard attached to the side of the table by a j-shaped rod.
These units come encased in wood or plastic.
Type of Wood
As mentioned above, most shuffleboard tables are made using wood.
There are many different types of wood available, including birch, maple, mahogany, oak (typically used with high quality frames) and more.
In general, a table with a solid butcher block surface that is made from a hard wood like mahogany, oak, and maple is going to result in the best quality.
Of course, a full hardwood table will also come with a much higher price tag and is more common on top of the line tables from companies like Georgetown, Champion and McClure.
On the other hand, most affordable tables may be constructed using a base of medium density fiberboard (MDF) and laminate veneers.
These materials are lightweight and affordable, although less durable.
But if you take good care of your table and keep it in a dry space, it will be fine as a core material of your shuffleboard table.
Many entry-level tables, like the Playcraft Woodbridge (featured below), include other materials like vinyl laminate to reduce the cost, while retaining a solid hardwood playing surface.
You may also want to choose a wood coloring that matches the décor of your game room.
Another thing that you may need to consider, besides the type of wood on your shuffleboard table, is the surface coating used to ensure that your pucks slide well across the length of the material.
A polymer coating is generally the option recommended by experts because it’s strong enough to protect your playing surface from damage, while also being smooth enough to deliver a fantastic rate of play.
Basic clear sealants simply won’t provide the same level of protection.
You may notice that some of the higher-rated tabletop shuffleboards on marketplace websites come with a slight curve in the center of the wood.
This is a design feature that’s intended to keep the puck in the middle of the table and stop it from veering off into the gutter with every slide.
If your curve is too steep, however, it can prevent your puck from moving correctly.
In general, any decent shuffleboard table will be engineered with a subtle curve to achieve the correct balance.
You should also look for a table with a leveling system. In fact, this is one of the most important considerations when purchasing and setting up a new or used shuffleboard table.
Even with a perfect surface curve, if you’re table isn’t level, the game will suffer. Adjustable leg levelers make playing a lot more fun, and setting up the table a lot easier
Several of the most popular entry-level shuffleboard tables also include storage systems. This usually involves a cabinet that is built into the legs or bottom frame of the table.
Here you can store things like extra shuffleboard pucks (weights), shuffleboard powder, your table cover during play, and any other accessories.
Choosing the Best Shuffleboard Table for Your Space and Budget
Five Top Picks
As you begin your search for an affordable shuffleboard table, you’ll notice that there are many different options on the market today, each with their own strengths and weaknesses.
There are options in all size categories, from 9 feet all the way to the full 22 foot category.
Many of the best tables fall somewhere in the middle, as in the 12 or 14 foot lengths.
We already spend some time reviewing the basic characteristics of a decent table.
Now let’s make the process even easier and show you a few of the best options on the market today.
1. Playcraft Woodbridge Shuffleboard
Playcraft is one of the best-known shuffleboard brands in the world.
Their tables are designed in a range of different formats, to suit people with virtually any budget.
If you’re looking for a high-level table, you can spend thousands on a Playcraft model.
On the other hand, if you’re searching for more of an entry-level solution that still delivers excellent quality, the Woodbridge model is a great choice.
One of the highest-quality entry-level tables on the market, this shuffleboard set is beautifully-designed to fit well in any game room.
It comes with leg cabinet storage for your equipment, and a sturdy design that’s sure to withstand years of play.
2. Hathaway Challenger Shuffleboard
Designed with a dark-cherry finish for that high-class luxury appearance, the Challenger Shuffleboard is another of the more affordable professional shuffleboard tables on the market.
The surface is coated in a polyurethane coating for a silky-smooth playing experience, and like the Woodbridge, the table comes with built-in storage in each leg.
Not only is this table highly stable and secure once it has been put together, but it’s also easy to set-up too, which isn’t always the case with these luxury tables.
Additionally, the set comes with a 180-day warranty, so that if anything goes wrong with your table, you can simply contact Hathaway and have a new model sent out -free of charge.
The biggest problem is that if you want to adjust the table, you may have a hard time, as it’s hard to alter once put together.
3. Playcraft Telluride Pro Shuffleboard Table
If you’re looking for a highly professional level of play from your shuffleboard table, then you can’t go wrong with the Telluride model from Playcraft.
Though this set is more than double the price of the other options that we’ve mentioned so far, it makes up for the expense with a stunning design, high-quality durability, and 23-inch electronic scoring system built-in.
Available in two different colors to suit your interior design strategy, the Telluride can even be purchased in a 22-foot model, for the complete shuffleboard experience.
If you consider yourself to be a serious and committed player, then this is the board for you.
4. Fairview Game Rooms Shuffleboard
One of the best-rated shuffleboard tables that we’ve seen, the Fairview Games Room table is 12 feet long – enough for a great game with the whole family.
Unlike some of the Playcraft options mentioned above, you won’t have a choice of sizes when you buy this table, but you will be able to decide whether you prefer a chestnut finish or a Mahogany effect.
Either way, you’ve got one very attractive table.
Like most modern shuffleboard tables, the Fairview Game Rooms model comes with handy storage sections built into the pedestal legs.
What’s more, Fairview Game Rooms sets themselves apart from other brands by providing completely free shipping.
5. Carmelli Dark Cherry Shuffleboard Table
At only 9 feet in length, the Carmelli Dark Cherry Shuffleboard table is one of the smaller sets that we’ve mentioned on this list.
However, there’s still plenty of space on the table for the family to enjoy a riveting game or tournament.
The beautiful cherry laminate design means that this shuffleboard table will look fantastic in virtually any setting, and the molded cabinet corners are reinforced for extra durability.
Featuring plenty of storage in the legs, and game pieces included as standard, the Carmelli table gives you everything you need for a great game of shuffleboard at home.
What’s more, you even get a portion of wax so that you can maintain your table too!
Enjoy Your Game!
If you’ve been looking for a way to play shuffleboard in the comfort of your own home, and you don’t have a local bar or pub that you can sneak off to in your spare time, then the best thing you can do is invest in a shuffleboard table.
For most of us, this means pinpointing an affordable, entry-level table that will hold up over time.
In addition to the cost, your choice of which set will appeal most to you will depend on various factors, including where you plan on playing and how much space you have.
However, we hope that our quick guide has given you the extra information you need to make a confident decision about your shuffleboard purchase!