The Golden Age of Tabletop Games is right now, and the popularity of the tabletop game has skyrocketed over the past couple of years.
Tournaments are high-stakes, gaming clubs are everywhere, and many casual players are only starting their journey in board games as of now. Once a player realizes that there’s more to tabletop games than Monopoly, they’re all-in (and digging for more).
What does this mean for the bridge player who might be reading this?
The demand for card rooms has increased, as more people are playing and recording bridge from their homes.
A card room doesn’t have to complicated or huge; it’s just a place where you get together to play cards. It can even be a simple camera setup pointed at a table, if that’s all you need.
Interested in setting up a small, casual room or corner where you can play bridge undisturbed?
Here are 5 things every card room needs.
1. The Table
For face-to-face games, players will need a table that comfortably seats two to four people. For online games, I would still suggested a comfortable table – one that isn’t too high up, or too far from a charging point.
Bridge tables are available everywhere. Decide if you’d prefer new, used, or antique, and find your perfect fit from there.
If you’re in a smaller space, keep in mind that tables (and well, players) take up some extra room.
2. The Card Shuffler
Card shufflers aren’t a card room essential, but I would suggest that it is.
In the age where we can have computers do our shuffling for us, why rely on doing it by hand for an entire night? Learn the art of shuffling, but don’t necessarily rely on it for your club game (or you might find yourself getting blamed as the game’s dealer).
Automatic, electronic shuffling machines are always random – and rarely malfunction.
If you play a lot of cards, use one.
Here’s a lengthy YouTube video on the mechanics of shuffling machines, uploaded to YouTube by user Fran Blanche:
3. The Rules
Anyone who plays a lot of games should ensure that rules are never far away. There will always be forgetful days or rules you just can’t remember – sometimes, another player just insists that the rule is different.
Make sure that you have the most official, standardized rules for your chosen game as a standard part of your card or gaming room.
For bridge, see the ACBL (How To Play Bridge), or Bicycle Cards.
4. The Cards
For any card room, it’s self-explanatory that you would need at least a couple of card decks. What else are you going to do with the shuffling machine that was suggested above?
Ideally, card decks should be standard for the game.
When decks wear out (or some cards stand out more than others), retire the deck and change it for a newer one.
Lighting might be one of the most important things you can do for your gaming room and its players. Strain is an immediate negative to your experience – and you want the best lighting you can afford.
Dim lighting might add some atmosphere, but you’re trying to build a card room (not start up a séance).
Overhead lighting is recommended for regular games at a table. Billiard lamps are best, but well-placed lamps can also provide enough visible light to play by.