We may earn a commission if you make a purchase through one of our links. Learn more

Leisure Sports & Games

  • Poker night. There may be no greater American mainstay of repose than getting your buddies together for a little friendly rivalry, often times with a small financial component. You know, to make the game "more interesting." You've bought the frothy refreshments and even got a new tablecloth for the kitchen table, but what kind of cards are you using? You know, those little flat things that are actually used to play the game? The deck is all too often overlooked when it comes to planning an evening of cards. But you're probably thinking to yourself, playing cards are all the same, it doesn't matter much... and you'd be dead wrong in that assessment.Most cards come in two basic types, paper card-stock coated in plastic or vinyl and cards made entirely of plastic stock. You'll also want to consider index size and pip placement, because nothing makes it tougher to keep the other guys from seeing your hand than a large font broadcasting that you indeed have a royal flush. So when you're ready to buy in on some decks for poker night one of the five following picks is likely to be a sure bet, each one chosen along criteria such as durability of material, most cards are made of heavy plastics and cardstocks now so they remain resilient as the oils from fingertips can break down the material of a playing card over long periods of time.These cards also all have top notch feel to them and a smoothness which makes them easy to play with, whether it's in a game or pulling off a magic trick. The visual aesthetics of these cards are also quite unique and suitable for game play, preventing anyone from cheating on that all important last hand; most important, of course, is the ability to see the pip and value of the card you're playing because it's crucial to know when to hold and fold. Lastly, each of these sets offers eye-catching color and unique design.
    May 15, 2019
  • Table Tennis, or Ping-Pong if you prefer, originated in England near the close of the 19th century when Victorian upper-crust types decided they wanted to play their beloved lawn tennis indoors. Unexpected ingenuity in the process of designing their table tennis table included a row of books standing in a line across the dining table serving as the net, empty cigar boxes used for rackets, and a champagne cork or ball of twine functioning as the ball.Today, the common table tennis rig is much more advanced but just as simple and straightforward in its design and function. Of course, you'll find many improvements such as wheels for mobility and stronger materials used in their manufacture for outdoor use. However, one thing is still very certain and that is these tables are just as much fun as the ones first developed in the 1800's. For more information on purchasing a table tennis table, check out our comprehensive buyer's guide, which breaks down all of the important factors that should be considered when making your selection  
    February 02, 2016
  • The right table tennis paddle can be tailored to your style of play or pre-assembled. Most professional players pay hundreds of dollars to get the perfect blade and rubber, but luckily you don't have to, and why would you if you're not interested in a career on the tour circuit. For the casual player, a pre-assembled paddle should do the trick just fine and these best picks were chosen along two very specific and crucial components, the rubber and the blade.The rubber is that spongy layer on either one or both sides of the racket and for the purposes of this list, we selected only double sided models. Double-sided foam is better suited for players who aren't professionals and these rackets all come with smooth rubber, which afford greater control on the ball. That makes it easier to put it where you want and the stickier the rubber, the more spin you can achieve.The thickness of the rubber is a matter of personal preference, the thicker it is the more speed you get, the thinner it is the more control you'll have. You might want to try a few out but the rackets on our list stay within the sweet spot of 1.8mm-2.1 mm which affords a good amount of both.The other component, the blade, is just as important and you want something that uses a number of layers in its composition, Five ply is commonly preferred by most players but you can find as much as seven. Much like with the rubber thickness, blade thickness also affects ball performance with thinner blades offering better control and thicker blades offering up more power. Now that you know all the vitals, give our five Picks a look and then try a few out to find the perfect balance that's right for you.
    October 09, 2015
  • A timeless staple of sports bars and recreation rooms for generations, foosball is one of those games that’s elegant in its simplicity because anyone can learn how to play. Whether you're buying a table for the fraternity house or the family den, there are some basic decisions that are necessary before you make your purchase. To begin with, the heavier the table, the better because good weight will keep your new table firmly in place and game play will remain consistent. Other considerations like wooden or rubber grip handles, adjustable legs, and ball return placement should also play a role in deciding which table is best for you. You should also keep away from tables with any parts manufactured from particle board.We have chosen five of the best foosball tables along a set of stringent criteria. Every one of our picks was judged by the quality of its fundamental components including the rods, foosball men, playing surface, and game cabinet. The types of rods you will find on these tables come in either solid, hollow, or telescoping versions and made with machine-grade steel. The foosball men featured on these tables also have pointed feet as opposed to rounded for improved ball control. Playing surfaces are also hard and smooth while the cabinets are manufactured to be durable and long-lasting. These foosball tables are also constructed of strong wood or composite materials at a width of 1-inch or more to avoid warping and moisture absorption. The greater density and thickness also makes these tables dent-resistant as well.
    August 20, 2015
  • As the NHL seems to have a work stoppage every few years, it appears that the only way to be sure to have the sport you love in your home all the time is to buy a table hockey game. YOU control when the players play and, best of all, it's hockey season all year long at your place. Like most games of this nature, they come in a variety of sizes and accessories, and can provide hours of fun for die-hard fans or those who are casual observers of the sport.Buying a table is a little easier than settling on a new CBA, though there are still some items you need to negotiate. How much do you want to spend? Who's the game for, children or adults? Do you want a simple unit that you can prop up on a table, or a free-standing machine that has all the bells and whistles of an arcade-style game? You'll find these options and everything in between on our list of Best Picks below. Soon enough, you'll be dropping the puck at home long before the owners and the players come to an agreement on the real thing.These tables have all made our list under the careful consideration of certain criteria. For starters these tables offer durable cabinets and playing surfaces to ensure each one holds up to repeated and intense use. These tables also feature playing rods that are made of strong materials like fiberglass or steel, and move with fluid motion which allow players to pass and shoot the puck with ease. While some of these products are table-top versions that rest on any counter or folding table in order to play, the bigger models feature strong, well-constructed legs so the unit won’t wobble to ensure the playing surface stays perfectly level. Lastly, many of these tables also include lights and sounds to make game play more fun and exciting.
    August 17, 2015
  • Can we all agree air hockey is one of the best competitive table top games around? This game is elegant in its simplicity; all you have to do is put the puck in the opposing slot. The pace of the game is fast, and anyone can get in the action since you don't need much of a pre-requisite skill set beyond good hand-eye coordination. That doesn't mean you won't put in a serious calisthenics workout during the game as you lunge and stretch for both sides of the table to attack and defend against your opponent. There’s nothing quite like a good session of air hockey to get the blood and sweat flowing.There are a lot of tables on the market to choose from. The best way to narrow your options is to decide on where you want to keep the table and who is going to be playing on it. A basic table is best suited for younger and casual players. They're usually intended for home use, and built sturdy enough for the family to enjoy the table for occasional recreational use. Mid-level tables are built to withstand a little more abuse in order to keep the game play consistent. These are usually found in high-traffic areas where many different players will use the table for routine gameplay. For those who want a top-notch table in their home or bar, an arcade-style table offers long-lasting durability, reliable gameplay with high-impact surfaces, and congruous air output for a smoother ride on the puck. Of course, these tables will cost much more, and they're larger in size.It's really up to you to decide what you want and what you need in an air hockey table. These five Best Picks below should help get you started, each of them making the list judged by a variety of criteria. First and foremost, the unit has to be powerful enough. The blower is one of the most important parts of the game and these are some of the best on the market right now. Without air, the puck doesn't move so you want a table that's going to keep the game moving fast.These units are also sturdy enough to accommodate even the roughest players, smacking that puck back and forth can start to take a toll on the unit. Of course, air hockey is meant to give you that feel of real-live hockey action so many of these selections offer special enhancements like digital scoreboards, sound effects, and lighting. Puck returns make the game more convenient and exciting as they enable you to put it back in play quicker when someone scores.For some consumers, the size of an air hockey table is too large for some homes, that means you want to go with a table-top unit and there are some of those on this list as well. Above all, these tables can cost a lot of money, so you want to make sure your investment lasts a long time. You will get plenty of value and consistent game play in every one of the picks on our list.
    August 03, 2015
  • Kites are often considered a simple child's toy, but the reality is they can be highly advanced performance aircraft built for power and speed. They come in many different sizes and shapes for all skill levels. Choosing the kite that is right for you is actually pretty simple in comparison.The first thing to decide is what kind of kite you're looking for. Is this something you're going to use on a casual Sunday afternoon? Maybe it's more for the kids and you're just along to make sure no one loses their kite. Perhaps you want to do some crazy tricks with it. Once you know what you want it for, then you can determine the skill level you're working with. If you've never even seen a kite before or if it is intended for the little ones, then you really want to start with a single line kite. These are easy to put together and get in the air and are a perfect introduction to kite flying. Most beginner kites come in delta, diamond and box shapes and are attached to one sturdy line that lets you control the kite with only the slightest of a breeze. Those who have more experience in flying a kite can start to branch out to more complex configurations, including dual lines and multiple sails made of faster and lighter materials. These kites are usually built for specific uses. If you want to perform elaborate stunts...there's a kite for that. There are also kites designed for high winds and for people who don't want to merely fly a kite...but "pilot" it through the air.Ready to enter the fun world of kites? Our helpful buyer's guide below covers all the basic information you need to select the right one.
    May 28, 2015
  • You have quite a few decisions to make when you're ready to buy a set of darts but there are two types out there, steel-tip and soft. The difference between the two is obvious in the points. Steel-tips are sharp and intended for use on sisal fiber or hard surface boards. Soft-tips on the other hand are made of nylon or plastic, and used primarily on electronic/bristle dartboards. You can't use one for the other; steel-tips will damage a board intended for soft-tips, and soft-tips will likely bounce out easily on a densely-woven fiber board. Add in factors like barrels, grips, weights, and flights, well you have a lot to think about when looking for the ideal dart set. Fortunately, we’ve provided a buyer’s guide below which will help you in your search. 
    May 20, 2015
  • You love playing darts but you're sick and tired of heading out to the bar in order to play. Too many drunks want their turn at the board and most of the time they have no clue what they're doing. No sir, you want a more civilized game and it seems the only way to make that happen is to go out and buy your own board. Do a little research and you can decide whether to go the traditional route with a bristle board or choose a high-tech electronic dartboard. For more information on choosing a board best for you, take at a look at our buyer's guide below which explains the difference between bristle and electronic boards as well as the other essentials of this addictive game.
    April 22, 2015
  • Chess is played with a variety of game pieces on a checkered game board with 64 squares arranged 8x8. For the most part, it’s a pretty simple game but there are many variations intended for different playing environments, age ranges, and skill levels. Some chess sets will be better suited for beginners, there are portable versions to take on the go, and certain sets are manufactured to specific tournament standards. You even have a choice of materials the set is manufactured with such as wood, plastic, metal, or marble. In the case you're not sure which chess set is the best choice for you, take a look at our buyer’s guide which breaks down the different types available along with some considerations to keep in mind when purchasing a set either for yourself or as a gift.
    April 22, 2015