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Home  Board Game News  Do’s and Don’ts for Explaining a Board Game

Do’s and Don’ts for Explaining a Board Game

Posted Wednesday, 11-Feb-2015

Everybody has different techniques when it comes to explaining a new board game.  There are no definitive ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ ways to teach a game, as all new players learn differently.  There are, however, ways to improve the teaching process while expediting the initial playing of a game.

If you’re going to play a new game with friends, we suggest you study up on explaining the rules.  Try to make the play-through as fair as possible for everybody… although that’s most times easier said than done.

Looking for the best ways to explain a board game’s game-play and directions to a new player?  Check out some of our tips below, and let us know how it goes.  No cheating!

Teaching Board Game


Keep it chronological – When you’re explaining a board game you really like, it can be easy to get excited and jump around when explaining the game play process.  Try to avoid this.

For a new player, the best way to learn is for you to explain in a clear, chronological way – without all the jumping around.

Start by explaining the type of game (cooperative, auction, etc), and then lead into how to take a turn.  After this, you can go into some of the deeper details about the game-play.

Show, don’t tell – For games with big boards or lots of cards and game play options such as Arkham Horror, explaining all the ins and outs of the game can end up sounding like just a bunch of mumble jumble.

When you’re explaining, make sure to show your friends exactly how and where they can move on the board, where goal spaces are, etc.



Learning Board Game
Photo Credit: BoardGameGeek



Bring up all the exceptions – This ties back into keeping it chronological and simple.  As much as other players might hate you for pulling out the rule book and challenging a move early on, it’s going to be much harder for them if you lay out every restriction and exception to the rules of game-play.

Some games (Tzolk’in, for example) have so many ins and out in regard to the game-play that it’s easy for new players to get turned off after being initially bombarded by the vast amount rules (and exceptions to rules.

Make sure they get the general concept, and correct them nicely along the way on any mistakes.

Get frustrated – We play board games because they’re fun.  Don’t get too frustrated in explaining the rules that you don’t enjoy yourself, or worse, cause the other person not to enjoy him or herself.

Stay engaged, don’t be on your phone with a bored face any time they need to ask a question about the rules. Keep having fun!

Are you explaining a board game any time soon? Try using a few of our tips and let us know if any of them work for you. In the event that you’re looking for a few new games to explain, make sure to find the best deals here on BoardGamePrices.

Published by BoardGamePrices.com

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