Charger plates are used to dress up a fancy or formal table. My mother believes that every table should be decorated with them. It is just a plate that is larger than your other plates (such as a dinner plate or salad plate) that is placed under all other plates. It can be considered a place holder. Which means that when the first course arrives the charger is removed from the table by a server. Other people believe that chargers should remain in place through all courses until dessert.