50 Etiquette Rules for Board Games - cutlassboardgame.com

50 Etiquette Rules for Board Games

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I share my 50 etiquette rules that I try to abide by when playing board games, and hope my fellow gamers follow too.
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325 Comments

  1. "dont be a kingmaker" – except in the case of something like Dune Imperium where it very much feels thematic and is often hilarious (as long as your group are comfortable with that sort of stuff!) Ive literally swung the game from coming dead last to coming 2nd just by sabotaging the guy who was otherwise guaranteed a win in the next turn… In some games being an absolute bastard is absolutely the correct play for you to make 🤣

  2. I was laughing and agreeing with you until you started hitting things that I do! 😅 you’ve inspired some self reflection lol

    Keep up the great videos, always a pleasure to watch!

  3. I love this video. I have not found a another video treating basic civility manners. I hope it would have Spanish subtitles to share it to people who need it.

  4. House rule addendum: when playing Uno, verify the rules beforehand.

    When I'm so ridiculously behind, I know I don't have a snowball's chance in hell of winning, I kinda try to help out everybody else evenly.

  5. I like voices in games when it's obvious a bid at getting everyone to crack up

  6. I think 50 and whatever "goal" rule there was, can be conflated as "don't anti-play". The spirit of the game, in which the game actually works and delivers the intended fun experience, is made with the premise that each player (in a versus game) will aim to win and for their own goals. The moment spouses start kingmaking, someone starts seeding chaos and making moves that don't benefit him at all, or even ignore or misplay rules, and generally people act outside the confines of the game's ruleset, it changes the expectation and the quality of the experience. Someone will definitely go "but this is my fun", but it's the same thing as squirting ketchup over the entire boardgame. Might be fun, but.. that's not what we're doing, nor why we're here.

    Then again, some people do use boardgames as an excuse for socialising and in that case the game is perfunctory and none of this rant matters.

  7. No. Most snacks do not belong at the table. Have a snack break in the kitchen!

    The only acceptable snacks are candy

  8. We usually play two games in an evening – with a drink and snack break in between when the table is cleared. This is more for table space than for protecting games.

  9. 20:16 actually at a recent board game convention three friends of mine managed to get a game of TI done in 2 hours and 40 minutes. The main reason they managed to be that fast is that i wasn't playing with them. I was playing some marvel co-op card game at the table next to them and was fucking floored when they told me they were done playing before i was.

  10. As much as possible, plan out your next turn while others take their turn. When it's your turn, be swift with what you are doing but narrate aloud so others can follow. Double-knock on table when the next player should go. Also, don't highjak other people's turns. For example: "I'm sorry to interrupt, but I forgot to turn in 2 wood for a VP on my turn… let me just really quick… ohhhh, and that then activates this card ability… which gives me enough power to stage an attack on another player, so…..".

  11. Chopstick.
    I would HATE it when I would take a game out, and as we're about to start, my ex would take out a bag of chips, and then saying "yeah, I'll give napkins." NAPKIN CAN'T REMOVE GREASE! Chopstick solves it all. Good for eating chips and popcorn and it eeps fingers clean. All my fellow gamers truly loves respecting the board game by using chopsticks.

  12. My rule would be :
    Don't buy a game a friend has because it's good.
    Groups of gamers work best when they're complementary un their game library. More games means more choice and more fun.
    Not to forget that the offer is now so big that you'll find another one as good if it's a genre you miss in yours.

  13. A printed list would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your comments. Completely on point.

  14. Isn’t 50 basically like saying you know better than the designer? If you have the option to impact the outcome that would seem to be a design element…

  15. In general I agree with allowing food and drinks at the table, but there are some big caveats (some you addressed in subsequent rules). If someone shows up with a bag of pretzels they can pass it around if they like, but it would be polite to at least ask for bowls or napkins to set things on. If something is greasy, messy, or otherwise takes up a lot of space (this has been an issue more than once in the past) do not just immediately set it in the middle of the table like you aren't completely in the way of the planned activity, and wash up afterwards instead of cramming sauced chicken wings into your mouth just to immediately reach for the cards/board/components with the mess still visibly dripping off of your fingers. If you need to eat a proper meal do so before showing up, your grease-dripping fast-food bag doesn't belong at the table when the game is set up on it (or coordinate a pre-game meal of some sort with your fellow gamers). Accidents and messes happen, but there's a pretty clear point at which accidents and messes are completely preventable, and someone is just acting like a rude pig.

    Phones are the devil. I cannot believe how rude full-grown adults can be with them, and when you show up for the activity don't treat it like a side-event that you're just hanging out at. Side-conversations are great and fun, but if you aren't interested in actually playing the game don't show up to it.

  16. Being a 'king maker' won me points with the woman who would one day be my wife… I did it to mess with a sore winner, but still, pretty sure I was the real winner of that game. 🙂

    As for the voice part, I've been a GM for 10 years, my players love it when I put on voices.

  17. This list is absolute perfection. Yes, it personally attacks me. It also vindicates a lot of the things that I try to convey to others about their gaming habits. We're all guilty of breaking at least ONE of these rules, but it's important to strive to be well versed in all of them for the best experience possible. We're all just trying to enjoy the hobby after all.

  18. I am nit picky about people eating at he Gmae taklbe. It is not just about proetecting the game, but also table mannerisms. some people are consumers of food that are atrocious mutli-tasking without manners.

  19. “Classic Adam always making up rules” is literally my least favorite thing to hear and I have some friends who say that every time we play

  20. Yellow is the Banana that saved your life

  21. Don't roll the dice in the board area.
    Oops, I hit some of the pieces, but I think we can remember where everything was, right?

  22. Try not to damage the game components. Some wear is inevitable but I've had people hold cards in a semi-closed fist, turning them into Pringles.
    I never say anything because I feel pretty but there's really no need for you to bend the cards that way, put them down if you can't comfortably hold them.

  23. I gotta say i think i may be a shitty person to play with. I don't want to be i just find myself getting frustrated with some games. Every time i play i try to work on that. Honestly i think i need to aim for less competitive games.

  24. Thanks, I have found myself lacking some etiquette sometimes and this helped for me

  25. My only rule is don't touch my stuff without permission or I will kill you and mount your head over the opening of a shop containing the game you touched

  26. No28. Sooo important…verybody is a reviewer nowadays

  27. Loved this video. Thank you for making it. I would like to say that Kingmaking isn't always that bad. It is quite group specific. I play a lot of war games and area control games, where more often than not, you do get to be a Kingmaker. There are situations where you know you cannot win, but you can make another person win. And those situations have usually turned out to be lot of fun, where each person is requesting the Kingmaker to help them. Of course I totally get why Kingmaking can be frustrating, especially if you are making a particular player win for no reason at the cost of completing your own objective. And most people dislike that. But towards the end round of many games, a Kingmaking situation can turn up and there is no other way to resolve it but attack the player who is at the lead(even if you are not going to win). A good example is Dune, or Game of Thrones.

  28. The only time I will play kingmaker is if one of the players was the sole reason that I can no longer win. At that point I will go all in on destroying them.

  29. 37: wait til youve played it at least 3x. I actually did exactly this after playing a few Xs and worked on alternate play mechanics before realizing this was completely stupid and pointless and I put it on my trade/sale pile instead like an adult and moved on.

  30. 47 houserules def have a place. Sometimes a rule book is confusing. or contradictory or nobody can find the relevant rule. I would actually make this…..

    rule 51: do not spend 20m trying to figure out what the correct rule is. If you cant find it in a reasonably short period of time, the host (or game owner if it wasn't the host) gets to make an executive decision and right or wrong, that's how it will go. and that should remain consiantant in future plays unless someone eventually discovers the real rule is X. In which case its perfectly fine to say "we've been playing this way so far so well keep it that way". if it major changes the entire game, however, you should play it as intended.

  31. I've seen long-out-of-print games being ruined by greasy snack fingers.
    Not sure the first few rules are as simple as that.

  32. Hmm… a lot of these rules are premised on an assumption that nobody knows which game to play in advance and that there's a "teacher" who has to know the game, teach it to others and manage rules correctness.
    Here's a thought … In a lot of the groups I play in, we plan which game to play in advance and everybody has a responsibility to read the rules or otherwise learn the fundamentals in advance.
    We all collectively have the responsibility to play it correctly. No one is to blame for rules errors.

  33. 🎶 And a great singer as well! 🎶
    A couple of key ones for me are:
    🔸 If you're coming to play games, play games. That doesn't mean you can't talk about anything else, but at least be paying some attention to the game and have a vague idea when it's coming round to your turn and what you're going to do.
    🔸 Don't batter newbies! If one player is new to a game that the rest of you know well, make sure you help them get into it, give them some pointers about tactics and strategy as they're going along (without getting too bossy or patronising) so that they can enjoy it and have a chance of success.

  34. I think '#47: Don't Introduce House Rules' is okay to do as a group if everyone is okay with them. Many of the games my group plays are vintage games intended for younger audiences and 1 good house rule can make the game far more enjoyable.

  35. Just discovered your channel and love this list! All rules apply in their own way and circumstances. Thank you.
    I‘d like to defend house rules though (a little, at least):
    Playing with children simplifications offer an easier introduction to new games (like leaving the farmers away in Carcassonne). In other contexts a house rule adds more strategy to a game (e.g. playing Carcassonne with three tiles in your hand instead of only playing with the one you just drew). I do agree though, that it is vital to also play the game as intended, because it’s the way it was authored and also because not everyone might like the house rules anyway.

  36. no, winning a game should be fist pumping and high fiving everyone else at the table! else the game is shit. i will die on that hill. fight me

  37. hmm the soundtrack thing im not really sold on. so far it was always really nice to put on something in the background for a round of root. usually i go to the sound track of hollow night which lasts about 2 hours without repeating

  38. Being honest about the play time of a game would be easier if game designers were honest about the play time of a game.

  39. Number 12 is gold. I'm always the one teaching so that one resonates.

  40. Tell people up front how long the rules explanation will take. Expecting a 5 minute explanation and getting a 30 minute one is excruciating.

  41. 2:35 Riffle shuffle is most definitely not proven to be the best way to shuffle in the sense of randomizing the order of the cards. The best way is to put the cards on the table and whirl them around. It takes some time and it requires the skills of a kindergartener, but that is actually the best.

  42. 3:26 I think there's a difference between winning a game where nobody really knows where they're standing relative to the others, where they have an idea, but no certainty, where there is certainty about scores and the lead was piling up and no surprises happen close to the end, and the last option: When it's a close race and you barely won against second place.
    In the last case, you can be way more excited because of the buildup of all the tension and the immediate release.

  43. 5:35 for me i personally just ask people what game they want to play

  44. You forgot a big one.

    Hygiene!!!!

    And another. Don't spare your significant other simply because they're your significant other. Now, we're all individuals and you're a team of 2. Not fair… and reeks of relationship insecurity!

  45. In response to some comments – some of the rules are intended to be very tongue in cheek. I was hoping it would be obvious by how silly some of them are, but I obviously failed in getting that across.

    6. Celebrate how you like!

    31. I didn't say don't sleeve. I didn't say sleeving is bad. I sleeve games! I just think it's something your friends can rib you about.

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