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Tips for Hosting Game Night

Whether you prefer game night to be a fun gathering of friends trying their luck at beloved board games or an intense evening of competition when one winner takes all or a challenging session of strategic thinking, the following tips will help you win as game night host.


Most games come with specific instructions regarding number of players. If you are centering your game night on a specific game, check its player requirements, recommends Medium writer Cameron Nemeth. The last thing you want on game night is someone who can’t participate. You also want to consider the personalities of the people you’re inviting. Games that require theatrics or improvisation might not be a fit for a friend who prefers not to be the center of attention and instead would enjoy a more analytical game. A classic board game might be too boring for your friend who likes a more active game. A mix of personalities is good, too, so your game night can challenge everyone to be their best.

Claim your space

A massive space isn’t required for game night, but a space dedicated to game play is. If you’re setting up on your dining room, kitchen or coffee table, make sure to remove any clutter on or around it. Provide enough chairs or places to sit for your gamers — floor cushions work, too, according to Make sure the space has proper lighting — sometimes the rules/instructions are in tiny print! If you’re playing a game like old-school charades or a drawing game using a large sketch pad, make sure there’s plenty of room for your players to move safely.

Setting up

Now that you know who’s coming and where you’re hosting your game night, it’s important to review the details of the game or games you want to play. Some games boast how long each round might take to complete. If you have a game with approximately 10-minute rounds, and you’re hoping for a long evening of gameplay, you’ll probably need to have one or two more games on standby that your group can play after they’ve conquered the first game. If the game is more Monopoly®-like, which can go on and on, you probably won’t have time to try out other games. Don’t forget to factor in time for explaining the rules of the game, especially if the game is new to your gamers.

“Expect about 5-15 minutes of lead time setting up a game and explaining the rules and another 5-15 minutes for clean-up,” according to Nemeth.


Be sure to offer some sustenance to your guests as hungry and thirsty gamers can get cranky and that will put a damper on your game night. Provide tasty snacks — they can be as simple as chips and salsa or more extravagant, depending on your cooking skills. According to The PennyHoarder email content writer Grace Schweizer, game night does not have a required menu. If you loathe prepping food, she suggests making game night a potluck. That way there’ll be plenty to eat, and you won’t have to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.

Game night is a great way to entertain your friends or family, and with these tips, you’ll earn first place as game night host.

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