Summer has been a season of socialising after a year of being locked down, but as we head into autumn and the nights begin to draw in, we’re starting to look forward once again to some cosy nights in. But this time, they’ll be over a bottle or two of champagne and some decadent canapes with friends – with one or two of our old favourite board and card games thrown in for good measure.
In a nod to old-school style entertainment, the new season’s social events are set to go back to basics and embrace the old classics we all know and love – and from Backgammon and Chess to Monopoly and Scrabble, these games will be top of our list.
First hitting the market all the way back in 1935, Monopoly has retained its status as one of the best-loved family games of all time, releasing new iterations and themed versions to add to the original periodically to keep things fresh and interesting.
Nevertheless, you can’t beat the original, and there’s nothing quite like battling it out to lay your hands on Regent’s Park and Mayfair with friends and racing to build the most hotels, generating a substantial amount of rental income along the way. For the wealthy investors out there, it’s not too dissimilar to real life, and a great way to get in some practice while having fun with friends – just be careful not to land yourself in jail.
Another original board game that has remained much-loved for centuries, backgammon is a true classic and is the perfect choice to set up in the drawing room over post dinner drinks.
The playing area consists of 24 triangles of alternating colours, with a bar down the middle of the board. The name of the game is to move a set of 15 checkers around the board according to the numbers each player rolls with a set of dice, with the person who manages to remove all of their checkers from the board first declared the winner. Although it’s only a game for two, it’s a great choice for a glamorous games night and will allow your guests to mingle and socialise between turns.
Also known as patience or cabale, solitaire is a family of card games for one person – not the most sociable of choices, but should lockdown return or your friends be otherwise engaged, this classic is certain to keep you entertained.
The main objective of the game is to release and play into position certain cards by sequence or suit in order to rid yourself of all cards and complete the challenge. These days, many people prefer to play solitaire online for ease, as handling an entire pack of 52 physical cards can prove challenging. There are plenty of free solitaire games available for getting in some practice anytime, anywhere from your mobile phone or laptop.
The beloved word game that still gets us excited today, Scrabble is the ideal choice for a group of intellectual friends to enjoy together. Players are each given a set of tile letters with which they must complete words on the board, with each scored according to complexity. The player with the most points – and usually, the best vocabulary – is eventually crowned the winner – making for an exciting, competitive and fast-paced form of entertainment that will keep your guests engaged for hours.
When a game has endured as long as chess has, you know it’s a keeper – and with nearly 1,500 years of history under its belt, it’s hard to find anything else that can compete.
The aim of this classic two-player game is to manoeuvre your counters – either black or white, and consisting of pawns, rooks, bishops, knights, a queen and a king – across a 64-square board in a bid to reach the other side and take your opponents’. The player who manages to ‘checkmate’ the opposition’s king piece is eventually crowned the winner.
A game that requires patience and dedication, one round can last an entire evening – so if you’ve got time to kill, then it’s the perfect choice.
A family-friendly game that can be enjoyed by multiple players at once, Chinese Checkers is based on a wooden board featuring a number of holes in the shape of a star. Each player must move their set of marbles or pegs across the board one space at a time, taking it in turns, with the winner being the person who is first to move all of theirs into the star point directly across from them.
A fun and fast-paced game that anyone can play and enjoy, it’s a classic you’ll want to always have in your games cabinet.