Party Games to Play at the Dinner Table

Elegant dining table image by Paul Hill from

Guests gather to have fun and converse at parties. Many hosts offer a big meal and much time elapses as attendees chat at the dinner table while their food digests. Others may encourage games before a meal, waiting to set the table until play completes, or not offer food at all. Many fun games may result from partygoers gathering around a large table.

Card Games

Hosts should always keep a few decks of playing cards on hand. Card games offer a quick and relatively inexpensive way to keep guests entertained. Many different games, from blackjack and poker to hearts and spades, can take place with a single deck of cards. Organisers should ensure that each player understands the rules of the game and strive to keep play fair and free of argument. Longer games, such as poker, may be better suited for playing after a meal than before, due to time constraints.

Trivia Games

Trivia games offer players a chance to test their knowledge and wits while seated at the table. Players take turns posing trivia questions to the group. The player with the first correct answer gets to ask the next question. Incorrect answers may or may not carry penalties based on the wishes of the host. Competitive players may prefer to keep track of the number of correct answers given and organisers can award prizes to the most knowledgeable guests.

Improv Games

Improvisation games come in many forms. The most basic games involve each player completing the sentence of the person next to him, or players telling a story one line at a time. Play progresses in these games as one person starts a thought and the next completes it. Alternatively, players may choose to take on the roles of famous movie stars, cartoon characters or other well-known individuals. They proceed to act out conversations based on the roles they have chosen.

Board Games

Many partygoers enjoy the massive selection of available board games. Hosts should determine board game choices based on the average age and abilities of the guests. Some suitable games for younger children may not interest adult players, and spelling or word-based games may rule out those who have difficulty reading. Large dinner tables may accommodate multiple games, allowing hosts to entertain a wide variety of different tastes and abilities at the game table.

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