8 Different Types of Tabletop Games – Do You Know Them All?

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In this post, we're going to be listing out 8 different types of tabletop games. It's not something that we normally think about, but there are actually loads of fun ways to keep occupied and have fun without any electronics.

different types of tabletop games

Let's check them out...


Tile-Based

Qwirkle Board Game

Tile-based games require the users playing to place tiles on the table. These are the main pieces used during the game and can be used to gamble, create a board, or make changes on the board.

Every tile has a back that is the same so that it can’t easily be differentiated from other pieces when not flipped over, face up, and on the table for play.

There are games that exist with all different shapes of tiles, including rectangular, square, hexagonal, and triangular.

Players take turns drawing and then placing tiles on the table in an effort to score points and sometimes to try to block their opponent from being able to move as well.

As players place tiles they must remember to draw more tiles from the well to keep the correct amount in their hand during the game.

Towards the end of the game, the well will run dry, and players will have to try to use up the rest of the tiles that they have in their hands.

Scoring is based on how well the tiles are placed on the table, as well as how many tiles players have left at the end of the game.


Adventure

Fantasy Flight Games A Call of Cthulhu Boardgame, Arkham Horror: The Classic Game of Lovercraftian Adventure

Adventure games are available as either board games or gamebooks, depending on the type of play that players are looking for.

In adventure board games, players are in control of a character that they try to improve throughout the game. They are able to improve their character through gaining new equipment, abilities, or improving their attributes.

There is often some type of role playing included in adventure board games, although there is an entire separate category for role-playing tabletop games.

These games are best played with groups of people who are willing to involve themselves in the game and who will work hard to make the best decisions for their characters to try to best improve them and then win the game.

Gamebooks require players to participate in a certain story and to make choices that will ultimately affect the outcome of the story. While adventure board games are traditionally played by groups of people, gamebooks can easily be enjoyed by just one person, if desired.


Strategy

Family Classics Chess by Pressman -- with Folding Board and Full Size Chess Pieces

Strategy games involve players making autonomous decisions that will have a huge impact on the outcome of the game. These games require great decision-making skills and also require the players to think about the impact of their moves before making a rash decision.

Generally turn-based, there are a large number of strategy games that players can choose from if they are interested in this type of tabletop game.

Unlike games of chance, where everything that the player does has relevance on their ability to win, but not much pressure is placed on them to make good decisions to advance their situation, strategy games require a lot of forethought.

Players often have to practice for years to learn how to really improve at certain strategy games, such as chess.

While the game itself may not be very difficult to learn and to play, understanding how to win strategy games and how to best utilize the movements that you can make can be tricky for some people.

It’s only by thinking ahead about moves and being able to understand what the opponent is planning on doing that players can excel at these games.


Board

SEQUENCE- Original SEQUENCE Game with Folding Board, Cards and Chips by Jax ( Packaging may Vary ) White, 10.3' x 8.1' x 2.31'

Board games are some of the most popular and common types of tabletop games on the market, and are generally what people think of when they consider buying a game.

These games have a set board that rests on the table, and then pieces or counters are placed and moved on the surface according to the rules of the game.

Some games rely on chance, while others depend more on strategy, depending on the type of game that you are interested in playing.

There are many different types of board games available on the market, including educational games that are geared to very young children and much more complex and harder games that are ideal for adults.

There are set rules for every board game, and players must learn these rules before playing, although they are generally kept close at hand to reference during the game if there is a problem.

While most board games can easily be learned in a short period of time, there are some that require a lot of strategy that will take years to learn how to master.


Role-Playing

Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set

This type of game is often abbreviated to “RPG.”

These games require the players to be willing to assume the roles of various characters that are placed in a fictional setting.

By taking on the personality of their character, players can make decisions for them in the game that match what the character would have actually done in real life.

There is a narrative to the game, and players either literally act out what their character would have done in a certain situation or can move their piece, depending on the type of RPG being played.

All actions that players take within a game have a chance of being successful or failing, depending on the rules and guidelines that were established before play began.

Players must be willing to discuss their character’s actions, as there often aren’t any pieces or components to the game to move, although some versions of RPGs do have markers.

They are considered to be a very collaborative version of storytelling, and players who are willing to fully immerse themselves in the game are much more likely to enjoy playing this type of tabletop game.


Card

Czech Games Codenames

This type of game uses cards as the main device for playing the game, although some card games do have additional components that are added to the game to better improve play or to help keep track of scoring.

There are card games that can be played with a standard deck of cards, but there are also card games that come with their own deck, own rules, and own design.

The problem with opting for a card game played with a traditional deck is that the rules can vary widely depending on your location. Card games that are designed with a specific deck and rules, however, generally have rules that are very clear and easy to understand.

Players must take care to prevent their opponents from being able to see the cards that they have in their hands, as this can give their opponents an advantage.

Some card games can be difficult for younger players who may struggle to hold their cards in their hand, which is why there are some tools that have been developed to help younger players and players with small hands easily hold and see their cards.

Card games are generally easy to take on the road due to the fact that they don’t have a lot of pieces that need to be packed up and cared for.


Paper and Pencil

Brain Games - Relax and Solve: Sudoku (Purple)

These tabletop games are ones that are played solely with paper and pencil and do not require any other components or pieces to enjoy the game.

Paper and pencil tabletop games generally do not allow erasing, although individual players can easily bend the rules depending on who they are playing with, their skill level, and how seriously they take the game that they’re enjoying.

There are many different types of paper and pencil tabletop games, and some are best suited for just one player while others easily allow more than one person to enjoy them at a time.

These games are highly portable, which makes them great for taking on the road and can be an obvious similarity to card games, since there are not a lot of pieces nor is there a board to take with you.

It’s easy to draw out some paper and pencil games on your own, such as tic-tac-toe.


Dice

Yahtzee

Dice games use dice as one of the main components of the game, and generally rely on skill instead of on a player’s ability to win the game.

These games can have additional components, such as markers to move around the board or paper and pencil to keep track of the score, but without the necessary dice, the game simply can’t be played.

Dice games vary in theme, style, length of play, and difficulty.

There are some dice games that are incredibly popular and rely on traditional six-sided dice. Other games, however, have custom dice that were created for the game. These may vary in the number of faces that they have, as well as the colors or information shown on each face.

Generally speaking, dice games are great for teaching to players of all ages, as there may be some strategy involved, especially in push your luck games, but generally not so much strategy as to make the game unplayable.

Games that are played with standard dice are easy to replace if the dice are damaged or lost, but games with custom dice are much harder to replace.