Any regular player will have noticed that almost all card games take place on green tables. We have become so accustomed to this tradition that we may not stop to think where it comes from, but it certainly would feel odd to play a hand of Poker or Blackjack on a table that is anything other than green!
There are two parts to the reasoning behind the green fabric on the table. One is how the casino games began.
Originally a fabric called baize was used to cover snooker tables, because the textured material created friction that slowed the balls down a little, and made them easier to control and direct. The colour green was chosen, as it mimicked the grass that more traditional ball games take place on.
When casinos and casino games were largely illegal, many illicit card games would take place on the sly in snooker halls. The layout for the games was drawn on the green baize of the snooker table, and could be easily wiped off or obscured, should police raid the establishment.
Not only did the habit of green baize tables continue for aesthetic purposes, but it was found that the fabric was ideal for dealing cards. A dealer could pass cards quickly without them sliding off the table top, but while still moving smoothly enough towards the player that they didn’t flip over.
In more recent years, however, the opportunity for the same fabric to be made in a variety of colours has become available, yet the colour is largely still green. While tradition accounts for a large part of that, a lot of study has also been done on the impact of colour to a person’s mood and state of mind. Evidence largely shows that the colour green inspires calm, trust and a feeling of wellbeing, while colours such as red or black can create a tense atmosphere.
There has also been some study into the colour blue, and you may find quite a few blue covered casino tables popping up. Blue is also considered a calming colour and provides a bit of variety to the traditional green. Some casinos also have tables in different colours to denote varying minimum bets or stakes.
All of the study aside, we are creatures of habit and a good table game just wouldn’t feel the same on anything other than a green table!