MM’s top 10… best card and board games to play with friends

Those who say they don’t love getting together with friends and family and indulging in some extraordinary card and board game-related hoopla have not seen this list!

Get your beady eyes away from those screens, bills and reflections and invest some time in revisiting the pleasures of group merrymaking.

It’s hardly a waste of time when you are building teamwork skills, mathematical aptitude and fast decision-making all throughout the duration of these games. All the while, spending quality time with people you know or are getting to know.

Let us find joy once more in using our brain cells in creative and innovative games which everyone can participate in.

Once you’ve bought the merchandise there is no extra cost, no electricity or anything (unless you’ve lost and forgotten the rules, in which case you will need to Google them).

Next time you go to the pub for the usual mid-afternoon pint, bring along a game, you never know who will be asking to join in on the merriment. They could make for excellent rivals or team players! Take a little step outside your comfort zone and you will find a world of healthy competition and buffoonery at your fingertips.

You can read more about the history of board games here and below are ten of the best to play with your friends.

1. Ticket to Ride

This game is mind-boggling. The principle of it is to travel from one city in Europe to another based on ‘journey cards’ you receive.

You travel using cards you pick up each turn with different coloured trains on them giving you alternative opportunities of courses to get to your destination.

Perfect for the aspiring traveller! Win points as you complete journeys and enjoy the satisfaction of learning some well-needed geography knowledge.

2. Risk

This game is based on dominating all of civilisation, so it’s great practise for aspiring world leaders.

There are battles, conquerors, fatalities and important strategy skill-building decisions.

And this game comes in many versions, including Game of Thrones, which is obviously… awesome.

3. Monopoly

We all know this one! But the truth is, it just does not get old. Build up your empire of London property in the classic version or buy up Simpson, Disney, or Harry Potter characters in themed alternatives.

Bathe in the satisfaction of monopolising the monopoly board. Pray that you don’t get sent to jail or can’t pay your property tax.

Administer negotiations to better your playing field.

4. Perudo

Strategy is most key in Perudo, good instincts and probability maths are extremely beneficial. The idea is that everyone has a cup and 5 die that they shake and turn onto the table all the while hidden in the cup so nobody can cheat.

You know who you are. Then everyone looks at their concealed die and imperatively looks around the room suspiciously because it’s amusing. The first person starts by guessing how many fives, for instance, are on the table, using the very complicated savvy of probability.

The next player must either bet higher or claim that the previous contestant was wrong! In which case, everyone would turn over their cups and count how many fives they had. If the player was wrong, then they must lose one of their five dice.

If they were right, then the player who challenged them would lose a dice. Just to make things even more thrilling, the number one is like a ‘trump’ it can work as any number, therefore confusing the concept of probability maths further.

5. Poker

If you haven’t played it, you’ve probably heard of it. This is a game based on luck, bluffing and mastering a poker face.

You are served two cards at the beginning of the game and bet your chips according to the hand you are given and the cards that get laid out.

Or you can bluff your way to ultimate success and glory with a first-class poker face.

6. Hedbanz

Buy it. Buy it now. This game could change your definition of family gatherings.

Your perception of your loved ones will be forever be altered once you’ve seen them try to act out the word ‘skittle’.

This game has everyone wearing different coloured headbands, a coloured dice is rolled and whoever is wearing the relevant headband has one minute to act out as many words as possible while the person who rolled the die guesses what it is to get points.

Have a camera at the ready.

7. Cards Against Humanity

Not appropriate for children. This game is very dark humoured and will get you giggling but also wondering where your principles left you.

One black card is drawn and each player must chose one or two (depending on the number of blanks on the card) of their 10 white cards to fill the sentence or answer the question.

The person who drew the black card must then read each response anonymously and give the card to the person whose answer cracks them up the most.

Beware – also not appropriate for those who can’t take a joke.

8. Cluedo

Ahah! Aspiring detectives, this is for you!

There’s been a murder and your aim is to find out which room, which person and which weapon was used to commit the crime.

Time is against you as others are working the case as well. This is such a classic and it will get your mind racing, your pulse pulsating and your game brain activated.

Do you dare?

9. Charades

You’ve heard of it, you must have, unless you’ve been living in a dark hideous place where Charades has never come up in conversation.

This game is very similar to Hedbanz accept with no headbands. You get into teams and take turns acting out words to your teammates to get points!

You’ll be shouting out guesses, especially if there’s alcohol involved and if you aren’t shouting, you’re not participating properly.

It’s in the rules. Trust me.

10. Pictionary

Ah! Here we have another guessing game but this time you get to show off your terrible drawing capacities under pressure.

Two teams will take turns guessing what one of their teammates is attempting to draw, they have one minute to get through as many cards as possible.

This game is not for the faint of heart as it is as intense as fudge. Sometimes your card tells you to draw objects, sometimes it’s actions and there’s even a category for expressions.

But most thrilling of all, the category, entitled… ‘difficult’. It’s all in the name.

Main image courtesy of Suzy Hazelwood via Pexels, with thanks.

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