“How do I get the same bounce as the casino craps table?”
This is a question we often hear from customers, and the answer is not as straightforward as you might think. It really depends on the specific casino.
To achieve a desired bounce, many turn to materials like vinyl, which provides a softer impact, or closed cell ⅛” Volara foam for a more energetic trampoline bounce. However, casinos use a variety of materials for their tables.
In this post, we’re getting into craps table underlayment–what’s best, what’s out there, and how to pick the right one to amp up your game.
Craps Table Underlayment Considerations
When selecting underlayment for your craps table, there are three main factors to consider:
- Durability: It’s essential to choose materials that can withstand continuous dice impact. Harder surfaces maintain their shape and functionality, while softer options protect your table’s finish and layout.
- Bounce: The type of bounce can influence the game’s outcome. While soft bounces offer consistent throws, casinos often prefer a trampoline-like bounce, adding unpredictability to the game. Your choice should align with your gaming goals, whether it’s replicating your favorite casino’s feel or creating a unique home gaming experience.
- Cost: The price range for underlayment materials varies widely. From everyday materials to specialized options, we’ll explore cost-effective solutions for every budget.
What goes under a craps table layout?
When it comes to choosing the right underlayment for your craps table, understanding the characteristics and benefits of each material is crucial. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common craps table underlayment materials:
Vinyl is popular for its soft bounce, which not only enhances the player’s experience but also protects the table and layout from the sharp edges of the dice.
However, vinyl underlayment isn’t without its drawbacks. It can dent during shipment, and sometimes these dents do not bounce back, potentially affecting the material’s smoothness and evenness. Additionally, vinyl can still be quite hard, which might result in damage to the layout, particularly in areas where dice frequently strike.
Felt is a widely available and cost-effective option for craps table underlayment. You can find a variety of felt materials at local fabric stores, offering plenty of choices to suit your needs.
Despite its high availability and affordability, felt has its limitations. It does not provide much in terms of bounce, which can significantly alter the gaming experience. Furthermore, there’s a considerable amount of variability in the construction and quality of felt, which can impact its durability and effectiveness as an underlayment.
Old Layouts as Underlayment
Using old layouts as underlayment is an economical solution, especially if you’re in the process of replacing your table’s layout. This method is convenient as the old layout is already installed, and you can simply stretch the new layout over it.
However, this approach has several downsides. It does not enhance the bounce in any specific way and might be too worn in the areas where dice typically hit. Additionally, old layouts might not withstand being removed and reinstalled if you need to replace other underlayment materials.
Foam, especially closed cell ⅛” Volara foam, is known for providing a significant trampoline-like bounce. Many modern casinos are moving towards a higher bounce. Foam is an excellent option if your primary goal is to practice for play in a specific casino.
Nevertheless, foam has its challenges. It can dent during storage and shipment and may not return to its original shape. Sourcing foam in the right size for your table can also be a challenging task.
Consider alternatives like rubber gym flooring, floor underlayment, different fabrics (like flannel or neoprene), newspapers, or simply the wooden base.
For those seeking a custom solution, combining different materials or using varied underlayments on each table side can provide unique results. Our customers most frequently try vinyl on one side and foam on the other side. This approach is ideal for practice but may not be suitable for hosting casino-themed events where consistency is key.
Comparison of the Best Craps Table Underlayment Materials
|Durable when stretched and fastened properly; moderate protection for wood and layout.
|Susceptible to denting under weight. Soft bounce; can be double-layered for more action.
|Moderately priced; shipping can be complex and add to the cost.
|Moderately durable; offers good value for the price.
|Low-soft bounce; works well as an addition to vinyl for enhanced feel.
|Economical; widely available at local fabric stores.
|Moderate durability; offers protection for both the table and new layout.
|Low bounce; not designed for enhancing dice action.
|Most cost-effective if you’re already replacing an existing layout.
|Good durability in retaining bounce; sensitive to prolonged weight and can protect the layout well.
|Trampoline-like bounce; may cause dice to fly more unpredictably.
|Generally more expensive; limited suppliers and high shipping costs.
Poker, Blackjack, Roulette, & Other Casino Table Game Underlayment
For games without dice, the underlayment goals differ slightly. The ideal underlayment should be firm enough to prevent chip stacks from becoming uneven, yet soft enough to protect the table, chips, layout, and your hands during card pickups. A balance of firmness and waterproof properties is also crucial for optimal performance. For these table games, you can mostly use the same materials as craps tables, but Volara foam is our most popular underlayment for these games.
The perfect installation starts with a flawless piece of your chosen material. Adhesion methods vary based on the material type. Foam and other non-stretchy materials are best glued, while stretchy materials like vinyl should be stretched and stapled. Ensuring a smooth, bubble-free surface is key to a professional finish.
Selecting the right underlayment for your craps table is a balance of durability, bounce, and cost. By understanding the different materials and their properties, you can create a table that not only mimics the feel of a casino but also caters to your personal gaming preferences.
To get all your craps table supplies, shop casino4you.com.
We’re refreshing our insights! This blog was originally published on May 18, 2015, and we’ve updated it with the latest tips and info.