Which Tabletop Game Have You Played the Most?

30 April 2013 | 12 Comments

poker_cardsI’ve played quite a few games in my day. I grew up playing Risk, chess, and Stratego. My sophomore year of college we played hearts almost every day. Settlers of Catan was the first Euro game I discovered after college, so I’ve played that hundreds of times. In recent years I’ve branched out to quite a few other games, but I’ve definitely played the game I designed, Viticulture, more than any of them.
However, the game I’ve played the most doesn’t have an impressive German name to it or a hundred custom wooden tokens. It’s a simple game that has reached such levels of popularity that it’s actually shown on TV (having said that, I would watch people play all kinds of games on TV. Can someone start a Tabletop TV channel? Wil Wheaton? Tom Vasel?)
The game I’m talking about, of course, is Texas hold ’em poker.
When I graduated from college, I started hosting a weekly poker night as a way of getting my friends together on a continual basis. $10 buy in, one buy-back, winner-take-all (unless we had a lot of players, in which case there were second- and third-place winners). It was a friendly game. No one ever cheated (as far as I’m aware) and people generally walked away from the table happy to have played, even if they lost.
The magic of poker is the excitement of seeing how your cards combine with the cards that everyone can use. I get a little endorphin kick every time I’m dealt those two precious cards. It’s sheer luck of the draw, sure, but it’s so much more fun than if you got to select your cards from a hand of five or something like that. The skill and strategy are all about the odds, betting, bluffing, and reading other players. There’s tension and conflict in every hand. Really, it’s excellent game design.
I hosted the poker group for about 8 years before the game eventually died off, but we must have played well over 300 games of poker during that time. That makes it by far the game I’ve played the most. For a while I thought about trying out an online poker site like Partypoker, because I really do love the game, but I decided instead last fall to start hosting a weekly board game group. We play a wide variety of games there, so I doubt that a single game will ever reach the number of plays that poker did.
What about you? What game have you played the most?

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12 Comments on “Which Tabletop Game Have You Played the Most?

  1. i’ve definitely played more small world in the last year than anything else, close second would be dominion, only because i just got that this year. Love me some small world

  2. Scrabble for me, easily, but probably Power Grid, Stone Age, Bohnanza, or Ticket to Ride among the modern Euros. I’ve also played a truly distressing amount of Cosmic Wimpout. :-)

  3. Some classic games there. Dominion plays so quickly–especially with 2 or 3 players–that it’s easy to play 2-3 games an hour.

    Ah, I think maybe I have heard of Chronicle. Kenai gets major props for his simple but fun designs.

  4. Cribbage is most likely my most played game as my family played this a lot growing up. Modern games is harder to say. Faster games like Crokinole get lots of plays in a short time span. My BGG recordings are skewed by the year I recorded my online playings. Samurai, Thunderstone, Oregon, Thurn and Taxis and Can’t Stop have a higher recording than sit down plays.

  5. Scrabble or Boggle are probably my most played Tabletop game. My mother and Grandmother were both Language Arts teachers, so things got pretty cutthroat.

    Regarding “modern” games, I think Dominion and Ascension would definitely have to be up there. Feels like we ALWAYS throw one of those two on the table during game nights.

    ——

    Re: what Jonathan said, Chronicle is a good game, and has a nice pedigree in that it’s by Seiji Kenai (sp?), the same gentleman who designed Love Letter.

  6. Interesting. Is it your favorite trick-taking game? I gravitate more towards games that use trick-taking as one of several mechanics.

    1. Not anymore. I still have fond memories of it (we played a LOT when I was younger), but I prefer other games these days. My favorite trick-taking game is currently Chronicle (three suits, no trump, variable goals for each round, and each card has a special ability–a bit intense and chaotic, but tons of fun).

  7. Good call on Dominion. I’ve definitely played that a ton too. I’m not familiar with Rook–is it a card game?

    1. Rook is a trick-taking game with a roving trump card (the rook is worth more than any other card, and the game can be played with the rook as the highest, lowest, or middling trump–we play lowest). I like it better than Euchre, and it’s a little easier than Pinochle (the other trick-taking game in my family). It’s currently published by Hasbro: https://www.amazon.com/Rook-02104/dp/B001VIWAO4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1367352006&sr=8-1&keywords=rook

  8. Oh yes, I love Tabletop the show…but I want more! I really could watch interesting people play games for much more than 30 minutes every 2 weeks, discussing their strategies as they go. I subscribe to a number of YouTube gaming channels, and I enjoy all the reviews, but there aren’t too many shows that show games being played. Tabletop’s editing helps cut out the uninteresting parts.

  9. Dominion is probably the game I’ve played the most, at least in recent years. It’s fast and easy to get new players into.

    Earlier I’d say either the Star Wars CCG (when I was in middle school), Rook (my whole life with my family), or Canasta.

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