You have probably seen it many times over, but have you ever wondered what the green felt that is used on card dealing tables is called or where it comes from?
It is actually called baize, and it is also used to cover snooker, billiard and pool tables and has the effect of slowing the cards down. The same effect takes places on card dealing tables and when the cards are passed out, the friction of the card rubbing on the material slows it down, preventing it from falling off the table of flipping face up accidentally.
Nowadays, many people play live dealer games on sites such as the all British casino and although everything is done digitally, most online casinos still use the traditional green color on their screens to represent the table.
Some casinos use a blue ‘surface’ but the All British uses green, even for its roulette games. The material itself is made out of a coarse woolen type cloth, which was originally deemed to be inferior quality. However, as the popularity of casinos and billiard and pool halls increased, it became a much sought after material.
The origins of using green dye were to mimic the green color of a grass lawn. With pool tables and some brick and mortar casinos, you can occasionally find red covering. Bars and pubs normally go for a harsher and fluffier type of baize to increase longevity of the playing surface and to guard against tears. Because it is a smaller table than a snooker one, the balls need to be slowed down as well. Snooker tables tend to be covered in a ‘faster’ baize while card tables in casinos tend to be somewhere between the two. So there you have it, next time you try your luck at cards gambling, you can have a story ready to tell those who are playing what the surface is called and how it came to be.