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Entertain Your Friends

5 Ways to Entertain Friends in Your Man Cave

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Well, you would think watching sports and having a high level political discussion among friends would be enough. But do you really want to get into politics? Of course not. You’d rather have a discussion on what are the top five comedies of all time, which without question, should include Caddyshack. You know, “Gambling is illegal at Bushwood, Sir… and I never slice.”

Still, we believe you need some form of entertainment in your Man Cave other than drinking beer and watching sports (not that there is anything wrong with that, Costanza).

Here are five items, in no particular order of ranking, that we suggest for your Man Cave that would help keep your buddies entertained, especially in the dog-days of summer when baseball, golf, and cornhole are generally the only sporting events. Though there are plenty of other items that can be included on our list, these are Mancavia’s Fab Five.

Pool Table

Who doesn’t like to play pool? If you’re an 80’s man, you’ve seen Paul Newman as Fast Eddie Felson in the Hustler. Yeah, it came out in 1961 but if you’re an 80’s man, you know who Paul Newman is and you’ve seen the Hustler. C’mon now, he plays against Minnesota Fats, a legendary pool shark who is played by Jackie Gleason. Hey, it’s not over until Fats says so.

The Color of Money, released in 1986, is the sequel starring both Tom Cruise and Paul Newman but pales in comparison to the Hustler.

Okay, back on topic. A pool table, of course, would be a nice addition to your Man Cave as long as you have a view of at least one television. And the great thing about pool is you can play with multiple players and there is plenty of down time to enjoy beer and watch football as you are playing. But you need space for a pool table, and that, along with the cost, are the main cons for purchasing a pool table for your Man Cave.

Think about it, an 8 foot regulation pool table is 4 feet by 8 feet. But then you need enough room to be able to complete a shot. At the minimum, there should be 5 feet of clear space around the table, so you probably need to allocate about 150 square feet (10 x 15). Okay, we’re not math experts here at Mancavia but we believe our calculation is accurate, for the most part.

We’re sure you’ve seen pool tables tightly fit into basements where the player trying to take a shot has the cue at a 45 degree angle and is almost scalping the ceiling. You don’t want that. You’ll pull a muscle or put a whole in the wall or worse, rip the felt. The bottom line, is that if you have a large basement, then it’s a no-brainer decision, and it would just come down to how much you want to spend on a pool table.

Generally, you can expect to spend anywhere from $500 to $5,00 and even more if you want a premium pool table. And unless you are a serious pool player like Fast Eddie Felson or will be playing for hours a night, your probably best getting a mid-range pool table and buying another television instead. And if the space in your basement or Man Cave is tight, then you may want to think about some other gaming tables. You can get always get a combo poker/bumper pool table, which is much smaller, but it’s not the same as a pool table and you won’t be able to recreate any scenes from The Hustler.

poker bumper pool combo

Also, there does not seem to be much maintenance to a pool table. Just in case, here is a Helpful Guide to Pool Table Maintenance. Well, what about the felt? When does it need to be replaced? Generally, if you play pool daily, you can expect the felt to last 3-5 years. If you don’t play on a daily (or near-daily) basis, your felt could last twice as long. Finally, in lieu of a pool table, you can always put a swimming pool in your Man Cave.

Here are some pool tables you can consider for your Man Cave (click on them to check the price on Amazon).

Foosball

Ah, futbal. Or soccer as we call it in America. We are sure that when you were in college and you were in a fraternity or ever visited one you participated or have witnessed a bunch of guys surrounding a foosball table drinking beer and going crazy watching or playing the great American game of foosball (okay, foosball was invented in Spain. Did you think it was America?). It is a simple game. The object of the game is to put the ball in your opponent’s goal. Duh. You can play with two or four players. And who can forget this scene involving Foosball from Dazed and Confused, a great movie directed by Richard Linklater.

You have to love Mathew McConaughey in Dazed and Confused. He plays David Wooderson, the type of character you were probably familiar with when you were in High School. You know, the guy who was cool in High School (like you) but now is twenty-three and delivering pizzas but still hanging out with the High School crowd.

But we digress. Foosball is a fast-paced game and requires strong wrists. Seriously, it’s a lot harder than it looks without spinning the handles. And let’s make it clear, spinning the players to smack the ball is a no-no with real Foosball afficionados. Here are the rules. It specifically says – No Spinning.

Really, foosball is serious business. There is a professional foosball league. Check this out.

But our sense is you are not planning on going pro because you don’t want to jeopardize your amateur status in case you go back to college to play football (Necessary Roughness anyone? The Fightin’ Armadillos?). Rather, you just want to play with your buddies in your Man Cave as you drink beer and debate whether Temple of Doom was a horrible movie or actually an under appreciated masterpiece. We’re inclined to think its the former and not the latter. Hey, but it did have an appearance by Dr. Detroit…

Back to Foosball, and we note that a downside is that it is fast paced. That is, it is difficult to play and watch a football game simultaneously unless you don’t care about the outcome. But you are inherently competitive and want to win. So, if the intent is to be entertained while you watch sports in your Man Cave, you might want to consider another type of gaming table.

Still, here are some Foosball Tables you can consider for your Man Cave (click on them to check the price on Amazon).

Bubble Hockey

Even if you are not a big hockey fan or knowledgeable about hockey, you’ve heard of the Miracle on Ice, the 1980 Olympic semi-final game where the college-aged and heavy underdog American squad beat the veteran and much older Russian comrades 4-3. In case you missed the ending, here it is…

We mean, everyone knows where they were when the Americans beat the Russians in 1980. Just like your parents knew where they were when Neal Armstrong first stepped foot on the moon.

By the way, who was the second person who stepped foot on the moon? Yeah, Buzz Aldrin. You probably knew that. Okay, but what about third person? Only about one percent of society know that it was Charles P. Conrad, which is good to know in case it ever comes up in a trivia game.

Again, we digress. Bubble Hockey is a favorite with Mancavia. It can be played with two to four players. And it requires skill. For example, the defense to center pass is critical skill you must develop to consistently score in Bubble Hockey. Once the center has the puck, you should be able to get a shot on net. The wing to center pass is another skill you will need to develop in order to be a high-level bubble hockey player. Check out this Bubble Hockey goal…

Similar to Foosball, Bubble Hockey is fast-paced (yeah, kind of like real Hockey). So again, if the intent is to keep you and your friends entertained while you watch sports, you may want to consider something else for your Man Cave. Still, Bubble Hockey would be a great addition to your Man Cave. You can even paint the players the colors of your favorite hockey team. Hey, this guy is Canadian so you must trust him when it has anything to do with hockey.

Here is a Bubble Hockey Table to consider for your Man Cave.

Poker Table

Just like pool, if you never played poker in your lifetime, well, as you parents might have said once or twice in their lifetime, you must’ve “been living under a rock.” A poker table is almost mandatory for your Man Cave. At the very least, you should purchase a foldable Texas Hold’em game that can be kept in storage and used only when you and your friends play poker. And you don’t have to assemble it, too. That’s a bonus…

foldable poker table

We think a poker table could kickstart a weekly poker event among friends. Hey, if you get a bowling ball too, you and your friends can join a bowling league and call yourselves the Pin Pals.

Like humans, Poker Tables come in different shapes and sizes. The Texas Hold Em’ tables are longer and definitely eat up space (and this one does not fold-up).

Round or even Hexagon (uh, a Hexagon has six sides we believe) shaped poker tables are more space efficient, but will seat less players. This Howard Miller Niagara game table is expensive but features a rustic cherry finish on select hardwoods and veneers and is lightly distressed for an aged appearance to compliment your Man Cave decor.

howard miller Niagara game table

You can also consider the 3 in 1 Poker Game Table that includes bumper pool. Or, you can always purchase a round poker table that has a top, which can also be used as a pub table for your Man Cave whenever you are not playing poker.

Otherwise, you can simply purchase a rectangular table that you can use for poker as well as pub/dining table for your Man Cave.

We also think a poker table is beneficial if you have teenagers in the household. It will teach them many things, including Handling Your Finances, Making Decisions Under Pressure, patience, but most importantly, reading and understanding people, a skill you will use throughout your life. We mean, you don’t want your kids to go through life “fat, drunk, and stupid,” do you?

Finally, you can play poker and keep an eye on the game on the television at the same time. So, get a Poker Table for your Man Cave and a poker chip set. We think you won’t be disappointed. Here are some more Poker Tables to consider for your Man Cave (click on them to check the price on Amazon).

Electronic Dart Board

The final item on our Fab Five is an electronic dartboard. For historians, darts began as a military pastime originating in England during the medieval era in the first couple of decades of the fourteenth century.

In amateur leagues and tournaments, dart players can drink alcohol and this is common practice in most countries. For professional darts players (yes, there is such a thing as a pro dart player), however, drinking during a televised game has been banned on stage since 1989, though professional darts players can consume alcohol before a game and during breaks. So, apparently you can call a timeout to shotgun a beer. Also, did you know you can bet on professional darts? Yes, check DraftKings, which also allows you to bet on Premier Lacrosse games, Aussie football, and even Cricket. Yeah, you have to be desperate betting on cricket.

So, we ask who wouldn’t want to be a professional dart player? One of the premier dart players is Jonny Clayton, whose nickname is the Ferret. These are Ferrets…

And here is Jonny Clayton, aka The Ferret, in action…

There are many dart games, including but not limited to, cricket, around the world, baseball, and shanghai. One of the simplest dart games is 301, a game we are sure you played in bar at least once or twice in your lifetime. You start at 301 and the number hit is reduced from the starting point and the game ends when the score becomes exactly 0! If you go past zero, your score returns to the score existing at the start of your turn.

Darts is perfect for your Man Cave. It doesn’t require too much space. You can drink as you play. Heck, you can even eat a hotdog as you play. But most importantly, you can watch sports on television while you play. What more do you want?

We recommend a soft-tip dart set. Seriously, you do not want to risk injuring yourself or a buddy. You can purchase a simple dart set that includes a cabinet and mount it on the wall.

fat cat electronic dartboard

Or you can spend substantially more and purchase a full size machine for your Man Cave, such as this standing commercial grade electronic dartboard…

standing commercial grade electronic dartboard

Final Thoughts

Well, if you have a Man Cave and enough space, you should purchase one of the five items listed herein. However, and obviously, our list is not all-inclusive, and there are plenty of other options, including Skee Ball, or a Full Size Pub Arcade Machine, or a Table Top Arcade Game, which requires far less space. Buy at least one and enjoy your Man Cave. You deserve it.

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