Gaming Etiquette

Hello and welcome to “On the Table.” This will be a new segment of “Geek Say What?” where I will be discussing all things tabletop related. Which really is anything and everything and I will do my absolute best to leave nothing out.


Now…for the inaugural post, here is…what’s on the table: Gaming Etiquette.


You would think that gaming etiquette is rather self-explanatory, but just like proper eating etiquette, it still needs to be explained to most people. Poor etiquette while gaming can easily be a recipe to destroy friendships and even future game nights. Of course we all know that playing tabletop games in general with friends is a sure way to end friendships, but let’s try to get to the end of the game before we decide who’s not allowed to come over anymore.


First rule: Don’t be late. I can’t stress enough how irritating it is when there is a set time and people show up late. I get that things can come up, but really try to be on time. The game cannot start until you arrive, and if it does, no one likes to be added into the game halfway through when everyone else has already progressed further than you.


Second rule: Do not mistreat someone else’s game. Most board games are not cheap, and in most cases it is very difficult to replace pieces. Some specific things you should not do would be folding, creasing, or bending cards, it should be pretty apparent to most people not to do this, but it happens, and everyone stares at that person like they’re some kind of heathen from the sewer world. Do not throw, or abuse any pieces unless it is part of the game. I know it’s so very tempting to flip the table or the board with an ultimate rage quit, but really, be an adult.


Third rule (kind of an extension of the second rule): Food. It’s great to have food and drinks while playing, especially when some games can last as long as six hours, but be mindful of the game. If possible, keep drinks as far away from the board as possible, because if for whatever reason the cup gets knocked over, you have a little more time to try and save the board from its fluid related destruction. Also, coasters are always great to use too; no one likes water rings on anything. Now when it comes to food, if you don’t have a large table space, it makes it more difficult to eat and play, but if space is limited, don’t eat on the table, as food debris can and will fly onto the board. Try to refrain from eating greasy foods that require you to use your hands, but if you must, try to limit yourself to using one hand for food and the other for playing.


Fourth rule: Do not argue with the rules. People make mistakes while playing and there will be exceptions to letting someone redo their move, but keep it minimal. Also, if you make a mistake because you weren’t paying attention, that is your own fault and the move you make stays. There are people who follow the game rules like it’s their code of honor and then there are those who like to make their own interpretation of the rules and ruin things for everyone, like the bi…uh, I’ll just leave it at that. In any case, you don’t want to know who those people are because they will instantly become your enemy and people stop having fun, so just follow the rules and we won’t have any problems.


That just about covers the most important rules, but if I left anything out, please let me know. Sticking to these core rules will help make any game night or gaming event fun and enjoyable for everyone. Don’t be “that” guy…or girl. Until next time, Roll straight, roll strong, roll precise, and remember, heart of the cards.