As we move from summer to fall and the weather (except for California) is beginning to chill, most parties or gatherings will be held inside. If you are looking for a theme why not consider having a game night? Games can range from cards to board games to casino games. I like them all – well after all I am a gameaholic to which my husband will testify. Not to mention oh my um….. competitive nature! To which my husband and kids will also testify.
So here are some thoughts on planning a game night for family or family and friends. Not everyone you invite will want to participate which is totally ok! The number of people you have coming over will help you determine how many different games you simultaneously have available to play. If it is a relatively small number (less than 10) you can pick games where all can play the same game.
First let’s talk about card games. Back in the day – my grandparents and parents use to have bridge parties. Unfortunately here in the US the game is only played at bridge clubs or groups. My grandparents would invite couples in multiples of 4 to fill how ever many card tables they wanted – usually 3-4 tables. Other traditional card games are spades (similar to bridge except spades are always trump and you don’t have a “dummy”), hearts, spoons (you have to have enough spoons – less 1 for everyone playing). With spades and hearts you can’t have more than 4 people playing – so I would rule those out for a game night. I think the max for spoons is about 9. Newer popular card games are Cards Against Humanity (this game has some offensive parts to it, but it is the number 1 best selling game – and honestly I can’t say that I have played this), Bad Campaign (cards contain campaign slogans, political promises, awkward statements), Acts of Insanity (charades kicked up a notch), 5 Second Rule – Just Spit it Out (name 3 items in a category in 5 seconds or less – kind of like Jeopardy – when your watching and know the answer but can’t think of it fast enough!), Blurble (flip over a card and the first person to say the correct answer scores).
Board games and miscellaneous games – Codenames (Each team has a spymaster and each spymaster tries to figure out who is on their team by using one word clues and each spy has a codename), Telestrations (is a combo of Pictionary and telephone – with words and drawings), Heads Up (can be played from your phone too) one person puts a card or phone up to their forehead and everyone else gives clues as the person with the phone or card on their forehead tries to guess the word, Taboo (a word guessing game with words you can’t use (hence Taboo), Catch Phrase – similar to Taboo, Say Anything (a fun game for people to get to know each other).
Casino games – It makes sense to me that you have a casino theme for your game night if you are going to involve casino type games. You can either rent different casino tables or if you have a poker table top you can use that. One caution – you need ample room if you are going to have multiple casino tables – black jack, poker, craps, roulette, etc. And don’t forget the chairs! For most rentals you will also want to hire dealers for each of the tables. If you choose to throw a casino themed party make sure you plan your budget accordingly. Crap tables run about $200, poker tables about $100, blackjack tables will cost about $80 and each dealer will cost about $40 and usually for a 3 hour minimum. While a casino themed party sounds great (guests don’t have to spend/lose any of their own money) – consider that it will be a substantially more expensive, you need to make sure you have ample room, not all will want to play (but everyone gets drawn to the excitement of a craps table), and typically you have a 3 hour minimum from the rental company.
What ever type of game night you choose to host – make it fun and lively. What a fun way for your guests to get to know each other. And you will have lots of laughs and memories to talk about for the months and years to come or… until the next game night party!
Happy Planning! What’s your next party?
“You cannot shake hands with a closed fist” – Indira Gandhi