Date Posted: 2017-11-30
Going for a board games night and unsure of proper etiquette? Here are some universal etiquette that will ensure you do not get kicked out of the gaming group.

Keep Food and Beverages Separate from the Gaming Table

Yes, even when the plate is huge and the cups are on coasters. We want to keep the game owner as calm as possible, instead of having to look out for close-calls. Bonus points for wiping your hands clean before handling any game components. Remember, games can cost almost $100 and the components are usually irreplaceable.

Handle the Components According to the Owner

Riffle shuffling decks may be cool but they often lead to bent cards. Slamming the card on the table is satisfying but could lead to card damage or marking the card. Throwing the die up high could make it more dramatic but might chip the die. When in doubt, observe how careful the owner is with the game and be even more careful.

Know the Rules

When someone is explaining the rules, listen. They might have practiced beforehand, reformatting the rulebook so that players can understand them faster. It might be annoying when they are repeatedly interrupted or when question is raised about a rule that was explained very clearly to everyone else. (However, if you were the one explaining, be nice if someone asked politely as they could be overwhelmed by the rules.)

Do not be 'too Alpha'

Some games tend to encourage 'quarterbacking', the practice of a player instructing others to simply follow their advice. Games should both be about fun and fulfillment and players feel most fulfilled when their actions are due to their analysis. If a player is too shy and repeatedly ask others what to do, encourage them to voice out their thoughts and just do what they think is right - board games are about people, not winning.

Be Patient

You may ask someone to take slightly less time on their turn but repeatedly asking "whose turn is it?!" and tapping the table is simply rude. If someone takes a very long time on their turn and there is no sign of it improving, that particular game might not be suitable for them or even, they might not be suitable being there at all.

Be at the Table both Physically and in Spirit

Board games are most fun when players are focused and interactions are due to the game. Private conversations should be done during mealtime or before/after the game. Why would a player think so much when other players are in their own world since they might win just because other players are going through the motion? On top of that, keep the phones away just like at the dinner table.

Do Not Bring External Affairs to the Table

Play towards the game objectives, not simply to disrupt a particular player. Disrupting the last ranking player in the game instead of the 2 players in front of you is not in the spirit of most games. It throws other players as they should be thinking of strategies based on the objectives and not a personal vendetta against him.

Be Offensive, Properly

Let me explain what "properly" is. When you are so far back in terms of points and in no position of being first place, do you:
1) aim at disrupting the player in front
2) aim at disrupting the player next in rank from you
3) aim at simply improving your own score
Many suggest that all 3 are suitable but in my opinion, point 3 is the most sportsmanship-like and point 2 is next in line.

and lastly...Pack Up Together

The owner might have been the one setting up everything since he knows the correct setup, but packing the game is common sense. Of course, if they insist not to do it as they have their own way of packing, let it be. It's the thought that really counts and the game owner will really appreciate it!