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Why Do Casino Tables Have Green, Blue or Red Felt?

blackjack table blue clothIf you have ever visited a land-based casino, you will have likely seen table games in action. Card games such as baccarat and blackjack, as well as options like roulette, are often available to play. These all come with tables for players to sit at and enjoy their chosen game.

Online casino software developers have mimicked that table design for virtual game releases. If you join an online casino, you can experience as close a replication as possible. It is common for many of those casino game tables to come with green felt on them. Although others do use red or blue felt in operation instead. Is there some significance behind the utilisation of these colours for the tables?

Green is, of course, the more traditional variation of such table felt. It’s more common to see in casinos. Yet blue and red tables have also grown in popularity over recent years as well. Even beyond that, some software companies have used black for online games. Though, they are much more available as basic customisable felts. Land-based venues don’t tend to use these felts. We’re going to find out more about the table cloths and why it’s these colours in use.

Nothing is an Accident at Casinos

throwing dice at craps table

It would be common to consider that the colour of the table felt is of little issue. Some people would likely think that casinos dipped their hand in a pot and picked green out. Thus, green became the colour of the felt used on tables. That’s not how it came about at all, though.

Everything inside a casino is in place for a reason, including the colour scheme. Nothing is an accident when it comes to casino designs. Operators of such have long reworked and refined their casino formula. Through this, they try to make them more appealing and maximise gameplay. The longer a person plays a game, the more chance the casino has of making big money.

With this being the case, the felt used on the tables is no different. Green is the colour of choice for a purpose – to assist with this extended gameplay. It’s a subtle attempt to maintain customers for longer, but it remains as such. The green felt may not stand out as much as a casino offering you free drinks to keep you playing. Yet it is still another attempt to ensure you stick around.

Green is not only the colour of money in the United States of America, but it has other qualities. For example, it is a colour often associated with calmness and relaxation. The idea behind this is that green table felt will keep players calmer and lead to a more enjoyable time. It’s all about the psychology behind the colour.

group of people playing roulette

It’s common knowledge that colours play a big part in our everyday lives. Certain colours are often associated with certain emotions. Red is one of the colours most associated with anger or rage. It’s why the saying, “he saw red” means that someone became angry. That’s not only an expression, but according to some, scientific fact. The colour dates back to hunter-gatherer times, linking it with danger and threats. Angry people actually do “see red”, science says.

An alternate emotion is one of calmness and serenity. Blue is often associated with this emotion. Clear thought and high concentration come from the colour blue. Meanwhile, yellow often means lifted spirits and confidence. Yet the wrong tone of it can cause self-esteem to decline, bringing fear and anxiety to the fore.

Red, blue and yellow were never considered for the table felt at casinos in the initial stages. That is very likely due to the associations with those emotions. Rage, thoughtfulness and high emotion are all qualities that can see a player end their session. Instead, casinos required a colour of harmony and balance. Something reassuring. This is where green enters the picture. Green is also easy on the eyes and has a restorative quality for the mind. Thus, the green felt makes for an ideal playing ground if you’re engaging in blackjack, for example.

Green Reflects Positivity

casino table illustrationAs well as the psychological context of the colour, green has other qualities. It has links to positive details in Western culture. The colour of traffic lights when you can go is green. American dollar bills are green, associating with wealth and prosperity. In a way, the green felt on the table is bombarding your mind with various positive vibes. When someone says, “you’re in the green”, it means you’re in the money. At least, in the West. It is more common for Eastern cultures to associate red with this, though.

That covers why the tables are green, but what about the felt itself? Why exactly was this material chosen to cover the game tables with? Most theories suggest that it comes as a remnant from the days of illegal gambling. This period of time led to underground gambling picking up. While that material, which goes by the name of baize, is helpful for sliding cards across, there’s more to it. When gambling activity suffered under restrictions, bar-goers had to improvise. Almost every bar had a snooker or pool table in it and were thus used for gambling games. Players marked out wagers and lines on the tables with chalk. This showed up in a perfect way against the green baize.

Should an illegal gambling den suffer a raid by authorities, the chalk was easy to wipe away. This meant no evidence was present and law enforcement could not make accusations. To put it in a simpler way, necessity was what led to the creation of the modern gaming table.

Baize is much more helpful, as noted, for sliding cards and chips across. The material used on snooker tables was a bit more textured. This led to a slowing of the balls, making them easier to control and direct. Green baize mimicked the grass, which is what traditional ball games took place on. With the legalisation of gambling, the green colour stuck around, so did the baize, because players found it easy to slide cards and other items across.

Other Colours On The Tables

blackjack table on a cruise shipWhile green remains a very common colour for the felt on the tables, it’s not the only one in action. Today, it has become more common for alternative colours to be present. A variety of colours are often available from designers and manufacturers. Thus, it tends to be something of personal preference for the casino. Many of them still adhere to the traditional green colour for various reasons. Others have incorporated alternative colours alongside the green ones.

Blue felt is a popular alternative to the green option. As mentioned earlier, blue has its own calming properties. More than anything, it provides a bit of variety to the green tables. At the same time, some casinos will use different colours to denote varying stakes. So, it could be the case that a casino uses red to determine that a specific table accepts bet of £1 and up. Blue may dictate tables featuring bets of £10 and up, and so on.

More and more colour alternatives have become accepted at casinos today. This is much more prevalent when it comes to online table games. Online poker software will often allow players to customise the tables as they like. While green will often be in use as the basic table colour, the settings offer alternatives. This offers options like red, blue, black and so on.

roulette table wheel and racetrack with black cloth

Black is often chosen as an alternative for poker gameplay and sometimes roulette and other games. Some suggest that black helps players to focus on the game at hand. It also helps them to see objects in a clearer way and offer high concentration on the game. Anyone playing poker requires such a setup to get the most out of it. Thus, black may often be the colour of choice for poker rooms to utilise.

It may also be the case that online casinos provide the possibility for gold tables. Gold is, of course, the colour of wealth to many people. If you have ever played a slot machine, you’ll see exploding coins and jackpots in gold. People associate it with prosperity and wealth, so there is a natural desire for some to want to see it on the table.

When it comes to red, you may wonder why this would be a part of a table. After all, doesn’t it signify anger and rage? Well, while those emotions are often associated with red, there’s something else, too. Two of the suits in a deck of playing cards come in red, while the others are in black. Hearts and diamonds are the red cards. Plus, half the pockets on a roulette wheel feature red numbers as well. In this respect, some people may associate red with winning because of that. While it is not used as much as other colours, it is visible in some casinos.

What About the Material?

hand placing chips on a roulette tableWe have mentioned that casino tables use a form of felt for their tops already. Let’s look closer at a poker table for example, though. The playing surface is usually made of two layers – an outer cloth and a foam layer underneath. The covering of this table is usually determined by a person’s preference.

Four main choices are common, which are:

  • Speed Cloth – The most popular type of table covering. It is waterproof and has a smooth surface for the cards to slide across in a simple way. Most people select this material, which is also due to its reasonable price.
  • Felt – When it comes to tradition, felt is the one that is most common. We highlighted how it is always used for pool and snooker tables. Yet poker tables also benefit from it. Felt comes from wool and nylon, providing a less slippery surface than speed cloth. It does stand out as being more expensive, but it comes in a variety of colours.
  • Velveteen – A table covered with velveteen is actually covered with cotton. It serves as a nice alternative if you don’t want to pay for expensive velvet. The material has the same feel and visuals to it. Thus, players won’t be able to tell the difference between the two.
  • Playing Surface Foam – Most poker players want the surface of the table to be soft. In that case, manufacturers will add a layer of foam underneath the playing surface. It is most common for 1/4-inch foam to appear there.

The Conclusion

There you have it. The most common colour of felt on gaming tables remains as green. Yet more and more alternative colours are coming to light and growing in popularity. The online gambling world has doubtless heightened this, thanks to simple settings changes. Players can thus create a table layout and design that caters to their preferences.

Land-based casinos may have chosen to include other colours to mimic this. There is the potential for some players to find those other colours more appealing. After all, casinos want as many people to find satisfaction while gaming as possible.

Green will likely remain as the most common table top, though. It has connections to feelings of calmness and also relates to good fortune. Casinos want people to feel like they will be able to win when playing their games. If green is the colour that has strong connections to that, then they will continue using it. Tradition often dictates what works, and in this case, it does.

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