Board Game Etiquette Do And Don Ts For Game Nights


In recent years, we’ve witnessed a resplendent resurgence in the popularity of board games, transforming them from nostalgic relics of yesteryears to the cynosure of modern social gatherings. Game nights have evolved into a sacrosanct tradition for many, offering a unique concoction of camaraderie, strategy, and outright fun. However, amidst the dice-rolling and pawn-moving, the sine qua non of a truly memorable game night often hinges on the observance of certain etiquettes. Let’s delve into the do’s and don’ts that make up the fabric of board game decorum.


Before the Dice Roll: Pre-Game Etiquette

Choosing the right game is akin to selecting the perfect wine for dinner—it sets the tone for the evening. A balance between complexity and enjoyment, tailored to the group’s preferences, is key. Moreover, RSVPs and punctuality are not mere formalities; they are courtesies that respect everyone’s time and anticipation.


Setting Up for Success

A well-prepared game space acts as the arena for the evening’s escapades. Ensuring ample room, lighting, and accessibility not only facilitates a smooth gaming experience but also subtly underscores respect for the participants. Equally important is the art of reading the room—picking up on cues that dictate whether it’s time for a spirited competition or a laid-back, leisurely game.


During the Game: The Heart of the Matter

The crux of game night etiquette resides in the interactions during the game. Respect and patience are paramount; understanding that everyone has their own pace and style enriches the collective experience. When disputes over rules arise—a common scenario in the heat of the moment—maintaining a friendly, constructive dialogue ensures that the game’s spirit remains undisturbed. Furthermore, how one handles victories and defeats speaks volumes; celebratory decorum and accepting defeat with grace are hallmarks of a magnanimous player.


Communication is Key

Fostering an inclusive conversation that welcomes everyone’s input and laughter creates a harmonious atmosphere. Managing distractions, particularly the pervasive presence of mobile phones, with mutual understanding, keeps the focus on the game and each other, reinforcing the social fabric of game night.


Post-Game Protocol

The conclusion of a game is not the end but a transition. Cleaning up as a communal activity not only expedites the process but also symbolizes the collective enjoyment and responsibility. Sharing reflections on the game experience can provide valuable insights and foster a deeper connection among players.


Hosting with the Most: Tips for Game Night Hosts

For hosts, creating a welcoming atmosphere is the cornerstone of an unforgettable game night. This includes being attentive to guests’ needs and preferences, and adeptly managing game night dynamics to ensure everyone feels involved and valued. Your role is not just that of a moderator but also of a catalyst for enjoyment.



The tapestry of board game culture is rich and ever-evolving, with etiquette serving as the thread that binds these communal experiences together. Observing these do’s and don’ts not only elevates the enjoyment but also cements game nights as cherished events that stand the test of time. In this realm, every player is both a teacher and a student, continuously learning and sharing in the joyous pursuit of play. Thus, let us all endeavour to uphold these principles, for in doing so, we enrich not only our game nights but also our relationships and shared memories.

26th March 2024