You’ve agreed to host a game night for your friends. At first, it seemed like an exciting prospect. Now? You’re crazy stressed. You’ve never done it before, you have no idea where to begin, and the thought of playing a game (you know, something that’s supposed to be fun?) is giving you more anxiety than your day job.
If you’re confused about how to host a fun game night for your friends, worry no more. The following will give you a few ideas to ensure you let loose and have a blast.
Game Night Food and Drink
Game nights without food and drink are not worth having. Period. They’re essential to a fun game night, and we’re willing to go out on a limb and say that they’re more important than the games themselves.
Our advice? Go for a buffet. Nothing fancy, cheap, easy to eat, prepare, and be consumed while playing. Don’t go for anything extravagant; game nights should be a laid-back experience. You can even do a little bring and share, where everyone contributes one small dish. Supplement the haul with a few extras to ensure you have enough for everyone.
In terms of drinks, don’t focus on just alcohol. There are plenty of people who may not be drinking, so make sure to have a decent selection of soft drinks. Offering non-drinkers water is not acceptable, especially if you’ve bought a bunch of alcohol for the others.
Set Up a Tradition: Poker Night
Starting a Saturday poker night tradition is a great way to cement seeing your friends on a regular basis. When you leave college and your life gets taken over by the rat race, it’s easy to neglect your social life. Setting up a weekly or fortnightly poker night ensures your group of friends know that every (other) Saturday is all about spending time together.
Of course, during the Covid-19 lockdown, it may not be as easy to get together. An alternative is going for a private online poker room; these days, it’s a pretty smooth experience. Of course, living in Canada, you need to be a little more careful about where to go (legislation is quite strict in the country). At CasinoTopsOnline, they know which casinos conform to local regulations and are the safest bet (forgive the pun).
Have a Wide Selection of Games
For some people, poker isn’t really their thing. If your friendship group is more about board or card games, for example, we recommend having a good selection ready to go. You can even ask others to bring a game or two. Just make sure the games won’t take hours and hours to play, as this will take the fun out of it. These are some of our favs:
- What Do You Meme? It’s silly, sure, but super fun. It gives you the opportunity to match a caption to a photo, creating the best meme. You win by getting the most votes.
- Exploding Kittens. An easy-to-play card game that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Perfect if you want to take the competitive edge out of the equation.
- Hella 90s. If your friendship group includes people who can remember the 90s and love shows like Saved by the Bell (or the unlikely reboot!), this one is fun + nostalgia combined. The only issue is replayability, as once you’re through the 400 questions, you’re done. Still, it’s good enough for a game night or two.
One option is to create a small online poll so that people can vote for the game they’d like to play. Some like intense and competitive games, for example, while others prefer something where it doesn’t matter who wins.
The key is having a little bit of choice. We know games can be expensive, but remember you can also go for something that’s free. For example, setting up a Pub Quiz style evening is great fun, and that won’t cost you a single dollar.
Don’t Be Too Controlling
Remember that episode of Friends, The One With the Two Parties? Monica runs one party at her place, and even though she has all of the snacks and games, everyone prefers the laid-back affair with Chandler and Joey.
Why? Because Monica is a control-freak.
When you’re hosting a party, do not be Monica. Don’t have too many rules. Be guided by what your friends want to do, and be a gracious host. Feel the vibe of the room, and react accordingly.
Relax! It’s Meant to Be Fun
Our final bit of advice is to relax. People can get really wrapped up with the pressure of having to host the perfect game night. Firstly, there’s no such thing. And more importantly, that’s not what it’s about.
Hosting a game night is an excuse to get together. The games are not the point of the evening. It’s about enjoying friendships and family time, an opportunity to have fun as a group. So relax, stop stressing, be yourself, and you’ll have a good time.