Although there is no definite answer, poker and casino tables may be green because the color green symbolizes luck and money. It also has a calming effect for most people.
Another possible reason could be that in the past some card games were actually illegal and therefore the safest way to play them was to use a pool table, which is green.
Not all casino tables have the same color, but green is still very common.
In casinos, everything is designed to grab your attention and then make sure you keep playing rather than cash out and leave.
When it comes to the color of the felt, green is a popular choice, and here are the three possible explanations…
Green symbolizes luck and abundance
If you gamble, highs and lows are basically inevitable — even in poker, which is a game where skill plays a fundamental role in the long run.
But when you sit at the table, you don’t really think about the chance of losing. You’re there to have fun and (hopefully) win money as well.
Have you ever seen a casino commercial where the players lose? I haven’t. It’s always about winning and making a profit.
In this sense, the color green is ideal because it is commonly associated with luck, abundance, and even money itself (think of dollar notes).
Subconsciously, this could make poker tables and casino tables more attractive to customers.
Green is a calming color
The second reason card tables are usually green could be that, like all natural color tones, green has a calming effect.
If you’ve ever seen a beige/tan car interior and wondered why it looked so comfortable and relaxing, that’s for the same reason.
When you place your chips on the felt, it can be incredibly exciting. It can also make you a bit nervous. Especially in poker, where you play against other people rather than against the house.
So if the table is green, it can make the whole experience more relaxing and more enjoyable.
Green could also communicate that the game you’re about to play is safe. Blue is usually associated with safety and trust (which is why banks use the color blue so much), but green is quite similar.
Pool tables are green
Here is another interesting theory: the reason card tables are green may be that in the past pool tables were sometimes used as casino tables.
Although gambling has always been popular, gambling laws used to be a lot stricter, and being caught playing card games for money could be very risky.
So naturally, some clubs couldn’t have actual card tables as that would have been proof of illegal activities.
Instead, they could simply keep regular pool tables and use those to play card games, so if the police showed up there would be no evidence of gambling.
Keep in mind, the pool felt is actually ideal for sliding playing cards and chips. It’s quite similar to the felt used on some poker tables.
Not all card tables are green
And for the record — for those who don’t know, not all casino tables are green.
Almost all WSOP (World Series of Poker) tables I’ve seen were green. And green is still a fairly common color for casino tables around the world.
But if you’ve been playing long enough, and in different casinos, then I’m sure you’ve seen blue, red, and purple tables as well.
Over time, people have learnt to associate the color green with poker and casino tables, but depending on the casino or card room interior, green may not be the best color tone.
Other facts about poker and card tables
- Poker tables can accommodate ten players. However, cash games (poker played with real money as opposed to tournaments) are usually nine-handed at most.
- Roulette tables are very expensive. And the wheel is always sold separately, which means the total cost can be around $7,000 or more. You can check my article about the average roulette table cost here.
- Craps tables are huge. Some casinos have a smaller version, but real dice tables are big and there must be at least two dealers running the game. Craps is one of the most difficult casino games to deal, if not the hardest.
- Casino tables have bright colors. I’m referring to the lines, boxes, and details. Such as the red and black on roulette, or the side bet boxes on blackjack. Same for casino chip colors. Bright colors are attractive and commonly associated with games and fun in general.