Assorted appetizers on a wooden board with sandwiches, colorful dice, playing cards, and a chessboard on a blue tablecloth.

Hosting a Board or Card Game Night Party: The Victor Doesn't Have to Win a Game

Written by Greystar
Edited by Greystar
Lifestyle June 28, 2018

Board or card game night at your apartment is the perfect party for a laid-back evening or a day long gathering. This game night gathering can be a lot more relaxed than a dinner party or big sports game party and is perfect for first-time party planners. 

Rachel Cannon, an experienced party hostess, offers some advice for throwing the most awesome game night party at your apartment. 


Friends gathered around table playing Jenga

If your preferred game is video, board or card-based, this party is for you. This can be a fun, casual event that requires minimal effort but garners a maximum reward. The central focus of this party is a table, so ensure all your guests can easily access it. Rearrange furniture if needed, but moving chairs to surround your coffee table should be adequate. If you really want to go beyond the average, host a murder mystery party and turn the entire party into a game. 

  • Invite guests to bring games, but also have casual games for everyone to enjoy.
  • Ensure your table has ample space for games of varying sizes.
  • Snacks and beverages should be easily accessible but not directly on the game table.
    • A complete meal isn’t necessary for this party, but simple sharable snacks including pigs-in-blanket, chips and cookies work best.
  • Music isn’t necessary at this event, but adding it can be welcome as long as it’s not too loud. 

Party foul:  Game night can be a fun time, but being too competitive can really bring down the mood. While it’s fun to win, don’t make that the priority of the night. A great way to avoid this common conundrum is to include games that require everyone working together for a common goal.   

Community courtesy: Board, card or video game nights usually won’t get too loud, so notifying your apartment neighbors probably isn’t necessary. However, when inviting guests, make sure they park in designated visitor areas and not in reserved spots around your community. Another thing to consider is the date of your event. If it’s on a weekday, remember that your neighbors may have to go to work the next day, so keep volume levels normal.     

Feeling inspired now to host a gathering? Be sure to look at how your furnishings are set up and think about what can and shouldn’t be moved to maximize your space. Also, keep in mind that you’re not alone when you’re hosting a party. 

Asking guests to bring food, help with decorations or be a part of the planning process is perfectly fine. The important part of any party is to have a good time with those who you care about. 

“I feel when a party is formally organized, it’s easier to make memories and touch base with friends,” Cannon says. She notes that being a host allows her to socialize in a familiar setting. She recommends that first-time hosts do their research and start small. 

Party Hosting Series

#1: Looking to host a World Cup party - or any sports game gathering with friends and loved ones? Here are the fouls you should avoid.

#2: You don’t need a formal dining room to host a great dinner party. Here are a few tips so you can be the best host possible.

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