Poker Space; Where to Set up Your Poker Room
Things to consider when selecting a location for your poker room
For many of us this answer is predetermined. Most of us don’t have the luxury of choosing between locations. Maybe the extra room in the house is the only possible place, or maybe you purchased a house with a large garage with “man cave” in mind.
However if you have a choice, or if you plan on building a detached garage with space for a card room then I am going to throw out some considerations to take into account as you design or build your poker space.
Back in 1993 I built my detached garage with a poker room or poker loft in mind. Prior to that I used an extra bedroom in the house, or sometimes the kitchen table. Back in those days we didn’t always play at my house, we rotated the deal between about three houses. It seems in every poker group there are some who just can’t play at there house, they either just don’t have the balls to overcome the wife’s objections, or just plain don’t have the space (it’s usually the first reason mentioned). Looking back, its hard for me to believe the wife even put up with having the guys traipsing through the house semi drunk reeking of smoke. When I put up my garage there was very little space to work with so I had to build a two story garage. My ground area was limited to 20” X 24”. By the time you deduct stairwell space I ended up with about 400 square feet.
Having lived with this space now for going on twenty years I can say with some authority that four hundred square feet is about the minimum you’d want to have. This space is just enough to hold two poker tables and all the accoutrements the room is equipped with which are: Two recliners, 14 stackable poker chairs, a library style service table, two small service tables, small counter and sink, small bar, entertainment system, 56” TV, floor standing speakers, and of course all the crap that gets piled into every unused space in a garage!
To me a detached building for my poker room was a must. I realize that some well behaved groups might be house broken and an “in the house” poker room might work out fine. But, for the most part, that’s not the crowed I play with. Besides, doesn’t everybody love the “what happens at the game stays at the game” mind set? Even if nothing ever really happens, I’d rather leave everyone guessing and let their imaginations run wild! Creates a bit of an air of mystic about the game. Impossible to do when you’re playing in a thin walled house where everyone in the building can here your obnoxious poker buddies! Get you game out of the house.
Wherever you set up your poker room you’re going to want a space that is well ventilated. You get a bunch of people smoking and drinking in a room that’s poorly ventilated and the room gets small and stuffy quickly! That was a problem in my garage poker loft for the first few years. Then I decided to cut in a ventilation door so I could get some through flow in the room, the two windows were not enough. Big improvement!
And last, but very important, the head. At the least you will need a urinal. In a garage these are easy to make. I made mine using a piece of 8” X 11’ plastic pipe and some fittings. I dug a 8’ hole in the ground, poured the cement floor around the pipe, left about 3‘ above the floor, cut into a urinal shape, and using a plastic funnel and some plastic fittings, formed a vapor trap. If you have ladies in your game you might need to give them access to the house head. In my experience, if you allow the guys into your house to use the head, you’re going to end up with piss all over your bathroom. If somebody needs to take a dump I direct them to the Kwik Trip four blocks away. I put this off on the wife telling them that the wife doesn’t bitch about my poker games as long as I keep it all in the garage!