5 Great Games to Play at the Table

Simple games to engage your guests and have a good time

If you’re hosting a dinner party, there is no reason to fear that dull conversation will leave your guests with a sour taste in their mouths. Just as you would plan your menu in advance, it’s wise to think about ways that you can engage your guests (and their minds) around the dinner table before the day of the party. Using games the group can play together is one of our favorite options. While store-bought products like Balderdash, Apples to Apples, and Articulate are great for groups, you don’t need to spend money to have a good time.

Here are five of our favorite dinner table games that will guarantee good laughs are had by all — and will ensure that your guests walk away hoping for an invitation back again.


1. Homemade “Bananagrams”

So-named because it’s an anagram that is sure to drive you bananas, this Scrabble alternative is sure to be a hit at the dinner table once plates are cleared. It’s best played with 3-6 people.

What You Need: Bag for tossing and a set of Scrabble tiles.

How to Play: Each person starts with seven tiles. Play as you would Scrabble, each player free-forming words on the table. The first person to run out of tiles yells “pick two” and everyone takes two more. Throughout the game, you can rearrange your tiles as necessary (but you can’t remove any). Playing continues until someone uses up all their tiles and there are no more remaining in the middle.


2. The Famous Person Game

This is a dinner party favorite. Each guest has to wear a sticker on their forehead with a famous person’s name on it and then, by asking his/her fellow guests questions, must guess who they “are.”

What You Need: Blank white stickers or mailing labels, a marker, and a list of famous people.

How to Play: Prior to the gathering, create a list of famous people and write names on each mailing label or sticker. Once guests are seated, place a sticker on each guest’s forehead, taking care that they don’t see the name. Guests then have to guess who they are by asking questions of their fellow guests who can all but reveal their identity to them. The game is over when the second to last person guesses who they are correctly (whether the last person has to take a shot or drink a beer is up to you).

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