On the upside, combination game tables are versatile. They provide multiple game options in a limited amount of space. Comparatively, they are less expensive than furniture quality single-game tables, and they come in a variety of sizes, so you can find one that will work in almost any room. And many combination game tables are sized and priced so you can let children play on them without worrying about their damaging a costly, high-quality furnishing.
But the lower cost of combination game tables is a trade-off. The quality and durability of most combination game tables is less than what you'd expect in an expensive, tournament-style billiard table. Almost all of the choices are made of laminate covered MDF (medium density fiberboard) or particleboard. These materials are made from wood scraps, particles and sawdust, so they lack the strength and durability of solid wood.
Another problem with MDF and particleboard is that they don't hold screws well. It's very easy to over-tighten fasteners, and that enlarges the screw or bolthole so that it doesn't grab the screws. When this happens, your table may wobble. Laminated surfaces chip easily, and reconstituted wood products tend to deteriorate or crumble where they're exposed.
Delivery and assembly are additional expenses for combination game tables. Expect to pay around $200 for shipping of this oversized item [source: Sears, Sports Authority]. If you don't want to put it together yourself, Sears offers assembly service, but it can cost up to 50 percent of your purchase price [source: Osgoode].
For more information on combination game tables, see the links on the following page.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- Amazon.com. "Fat Cat Phoenix 7-Foot 3-in-1 Billiard, Slide Hockey, and Table Tennis Table." Sports and Outdoors. Amazon.com. (Accessed 01/07/2010) http://www.amazon.com/Fat-Cat-Phoenix-7-Foot-Billiard/dp/B001CCHHV0/ref=pd_sbs_sg_1
- Amazon.com. "Harvard G05204W Game Choice 7-Foot 2-in-1 Air Hockey/Billiard Combination Flip Table." Sports and Outdoors. Amazon.com. (Accessed 01/07/2010) http://www.amazon.com/Harvard-G05204W-Choice-Billiard-Combination/dp/B001G1JV3Y/ref=pd_sbs_sg_3
- Amazon.com. "Triumph Sports 45-6041 7-Foot 6-in-1 Rotating Combination Game Table." Sports and Outdoors. Amazon.com. (Accessed 01/07/2010) http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001L1S914/ref=asc_df_B001L1S914994674?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&tag=googlecom09c9-20&linkCode=asn&creative=380341&creativeASIN=B001L1S914
- Every Game Room. "On the Edge Marketing 4-in-1 Rotating Game Table - 900361." EveryGameRoom.com. (Accessed 01/07/2010) http://www.everygameroom.com/asp/show_detail.asp?sku=OTE1542
- Halex. "Table Games Assembly Instructions." Regent Sports Corporation. Regent-Halex. (Accessed 01/13/2010) http://www.regent-halex.com/manuals/50202.pdf
- Harvard. "Classic Junior Family Game Center Assembly Instructions and Rules." EscaladeSports.com. (Accessed 01/13/2010) http://www.escaladesports.com/pdf/G05100.pdf
- Harvard Game Tables. Assembly instructions for model G05600. EscaladeSports.com. (Accessed 01/13/2010). http://www.escaladesports.com/pdf/G05600.pdf
- Magrino, Tom. "Rockstar presents Wii Table Tennis." Game Spot. July 18, 2007. (Accessed 01/08/2010) http://www.gamespot.com/wii/sports/tabletennis/news.html?sid=6175253
- Nintendo. "Rec Room." Games. Nintendo.com. (Accessed 01/08/2010) http://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/1DdBH0g9IWPdtDvebnzD4lB8Aod2whti
- Osgoode, Mark. Personal interview. January 13, 2010.
- Sears. In store product inspection. North Point Mall, Alpharetta, GA. January 13, 2010.
- Sears. "Sterling Games 3-in-1 Wooden Game Table." Fitness and Sports. Sears.com (Accessed 01/12/2010) http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00681589000P?vName=Fitness+%26+Sports&sName=Combination+Tables&cName=Game+Room
- Sportcraft. "Instructions." Instruction Manuals, Multi-Game. Sportcraft.com (Accessed 01/13/2010) http://orders.sportcraft.com/orders/instructions.php?cat_id=1&type_key=3
- Sports Authority. "Harvard Bumper Max 3-in-1 Bumper Table." Indoor Games. SportsAuthority.com. (Accessed 01/12/2010) http://www.sportsauthority.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3254183&cp=&sr=1&kw=combination+game+table&searchSort=TRUE&camp=PPC%3A3893532&pg=1&s=A-UnitRank-TSA&origkw=combination+game+table&parentPage=search
- Sports Authority. In-store product inspection. North Point Parkway, Alpharetta, GA. January 13, 2010.