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Formerly a PC-exclusive gamer, Kae was introduced to the tabletop world by gateway of the World of Warcraft TCG. Since then, her interests have broadened with her favorite games including Battlestar Galactica, Pathfinder, Lord of the Rings LCG, WarmaHordes, and more. Kae is willing to try just about any game and loves learning new strategy.

Best Behave Yourself – Game Night Etiquette


When game night arrives, no doubt there are some people that don’t know how to handle themselves when various situations arise. There are many places online where you can find lists of “Do’s and Don’ts” when it comes to gaming. Both old and new attendees to game nights can benefit from these suggestions to avoid potential problems and ensure a welcoming invite to return. These are some of the “rules” (we’ll use that term lightly) that we try to nurture for our own game nights. Every group is different, so get to know your host and fellow players!

While these won’t be numbered, I will say that the number one rule of game night is to HAVE FUN!

Location And Time

Where to host your adventures will be a two-parter, because there are special things to note for this as both the host and the attendee. All involved should agree upon a place, being mindful of personal situations. Does one or more member have a kid? Make sure to give enough heads up to give them time to find a sitter, or move game night to their place if they can host. Is transportation an issue? Make sure it is somewhat easily accessible or perhaps organize a carpool. Someone have to wake up at the crack of dawn for work/another obligation? Try to keep the time reasonable. Once a time and location have been agreed upon, which are you?

The Host – More often than not, I find myself the host for game night, and I love it. I think one of the most important things I’ve learned as host is to have a pretty good feel for your guests. What do/don’t they like to play? Are certain subjects touchy? Are they open to all types of gaming, or should you have a schedule prepared and approved beforehand? Knowing these can prevent hours of sitting around staring at a pile of games and being unsure of what to set up, and also make sure that no toes are stepped on. If 4 of your 5 guests love Magic the Gathering, but one has no interest, plan to play Magic another night. If a structured game night works for your group, have at it! Also, I have pets and try to make any new players aware of them in case of allergies, because having someone sneeze all over your games is, well, gross.

My name is Ajani, and I am here to shed, be in your lap, and try to help you play games.

My name is Ajani, and I am here to shed everywhere, be in your lap, and try to help you play games.

The Guest – Be upfront with any limitations you may have that will influence game night going smoothly. Be considerate of the location, whether it be someone’s home, a restaurant, or a game store! It helps to have a good feel for your fellow gamers who are attending, but if you don’t, try to get to know them! Remember that everyone is here to play games, not debate differences, so if they arise, discuss them elsewhere. Showing up on time (or giving notice if you are going to be late) will prevent unspoken frustrations within the group, and all involved will be appreciative!

The Golden Rule applies to everyone in attendance, to treat everyone else the way you’d want to be treated in reverse roles. If you must cancel, let the others know. It can affect what game is played, where it could be hosted, or if it will even happen at all!

Grub And Cleanliness

No one wants to see a good game ruined by greasy, sticky fingers. A good balance of prevention and emergency items will make all the difference to protect all involved, including the innocent (games). Personally, I don’t feel that the host needs to bear the weight of nourishment every time, but having options available is always appreciated by your guests. I provide simple things like iced tea or other beverages, and I at least have space in my fridge for the snacks that my guests would like to bring.

We allow items like veggies, crackers, and snack bars in the game room, with occasional exceptions depending on the food type and the game being played. Things like chips, pizza, fries, etc are busted out when we are taking a break, and generally moved to the living room for these things. We have yet to have a drink spillage on game night – knocks on every wood item in the house – but there are enough surfaces in our game area for cups to be placed off of the table for intense games. If you are worried about the gaming surface, provide some coasters if you are the host, or ask the host if they have some if you are concerned as a guest!


But, sometimes accidents happen. We keep paper towels within reach of the table in the game room, as well as wipes and a towel for major spills. The paper towels double as napkins for any potential crumbs/greasiness from snacking. The room is also equipped with hand sanitizer, because you can never have enough of that stuff.

Clearing The Board and the Air

The following is just some basics that every gamer should bear in mind for any gaming situation, because common courtesy is cool, folks.

I am guilty of pulling my phone out mid-game and at the end for photos, because I have a slight addiction to social media and I’d like to share my gaming escapades on, but make a decision with your group on what is excessive and what is acceptable. Constant texting and answering calls slows the game down and is guaranteed to irritate your fellow gamers. Whether your group decides on a no-phone rule or limited use, just ask!


If you win, don’t gloat! I’m all about a little victory dance, but rubbing it in is unnecessary. If you lose, its not the end of the world. Tantrums and table-flipping antics don’t belong here, we’re all here to have fun! Learn from the experience, no matter the results. Don’t cheat, because a false win is never as satisfying. If any issues come up in the group, address the problem as quickly as possible, and not in an attacking manner – be objective and honest! When setting up, and cleaning up, help! No one appreciates that one person who isn’t willing to help. Taking an extra minute or two before leaving will make everyone’s jobs easier at the end of the night.

So, there you go. Except for providing lists of game suggestions for these various group types, I feel that these tips will give you a good start to organizing a smooth – and fun – game night! Have any other suggestions? Leave them here!

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