Game Night

Hosting A Successful Game Night

Game nights have been a staple activity for decades, and they are making a comeback. Games create fellowship, laughter, and connection. The most popular board game in America is Monopoly, but since it was developed in 1903, thousands of other board, card, word, and video games have been created. If this is your first time hosting, we have some suggestions for making the night a smashing success!

Game Selection

  • Variety: Choose various games to suit different interests and skill levels. Your guests’ competitiveness and skill level may vary widely. Try to manage things amicably and keep things moving along. 
  • Group Size: Select games that accommodate the number of guests.
  • Complexity: Have a mix of easy and more challenging games. Some guests may be uncomfortable with more complex games, so keep that in mind.

Create a Guest List

  • Consider the number of guests your space can comfortably accommodate. If a game requires a specific number of people, don’t go over since someone will be left out.
  • Mix guests who will get along and enjoy each other’s company.

Set a Date and Time

  • Choose a date and time that works for most of your guests.
  • Send out invitations and request RSVPs so you can know what games might be appropriate. Consider asking for suggestions of games to play.


Arrange a comfortable seating area with adequate space for playing games. Pay attention to the table and chairs to ensure everyone is relaxed and has good lighting to see clearly. Be mindful of any guests who may need accommodation for physical problems.

Snacks and Drinks

Have snacks available that are easy to consume while playing. You could consider having snacks in a different location to avoid clutter on the game table. Offer alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Keep in mind that people who consume alcohol may be driving.

Greet Guests

Greet guests and make any necessary introductions. Allow time for everyone to chat a bit before beginning to play games. You may need to suggest that it is time to start the games.

Be Flexible and Prepared

  • Be prepared to adjust your plans based on your guests’ moods and preferences. Lively conversation may sabotage playing a game, and that is okay. Ask your guests if they are happy conversing or if they want to get started with a game. 
  • Handle any unexpected issues with grace and a positive attitude.
  • Organize Games: Prepare all game pieces, cards, and instructions.
  • Try a New Game. If your guests are willing, have a new game to learn.
  • Explain Rules: Explain the rules before starting each game, even if everyone has played before.
  • Keep it Fun: Rather than strict competition, focus on fun and enjoyment.

Wind Down

  • As with hosting dinner, you may need to signal the end of the evening, but often, one or more of your guests will decide to leave. Conversation may continue following game playing. Allow those remaining to talk and relax. 
  • Some game-playing groups like to rotate hosting, and you can discuss the next date and host before everyone leaves. Encourage suggestions for future games. Some groups prefer the same game and number of people each time. Examples include Bridge and Pinochle.

Games encourage laughter, increase skill and concentration, facilitate social interactions, and provide a challenge. You can create a successful and memorable event with careful and thoughtful planning.

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