How Combination Game Tables Work

Combination game tables typically include an air hockey table and a pool table.
Combination game tables typically include an air hockey table and a pool table.

Wii and other television-plus-controller gaming systems are gaining popularity. You can buy a wide variety of virtual games, including traditional recreation room favorites such as pool, table tennis and air hockey. But not everyone is satisfied with a virtual experience.

For people who want to build actual skills with actual equipment -- those who enjoy walking around a pool table assessing angles and sighting down a pool cue to connect with the ball, or who relish facing an opponent across the table and pitting their skills against a human rather than a computer program -- but who'd still like the option to play a variety of games, combination game tables offer a solution.

Combination game tables range from simple two-option tables that convert from pool to air hockey (termed a pockey table) by rotating the playing surface around a central axis, to cubes that rotate to offer four different games, to tables that come with add-ons that increase the fun to 15 activities. Most combination game tables come with all the accessories required to play the games.

The quality and size of the product affects the price more than the number of games included does. Seven-foot (2.1-meter) pockey tables range from $300 to $800 [source: Sears, Sports Authority, Amazon]. Combination tables that offer more games tend to be in the 4-5 foot (1.2-1.5 meter) range, making them ideal for accommodating children and their short-attention spans. These are also priced to be outgrown, rather than becoming a permanent furnishing for your home. A typical child-friendly unit costs about $200 [source: Sears, Sports Authority].

Some retailers, such as Sears and Sports Authority, stock combination game tables in the store, but you can also purchase them online. They'll be delivered to your door unassembled, so you'll have the opportunity to develop a separate skill set as you decipher the instructions

What games come with combination game tables? Read on to find out.