Think back to the last dinner party you attended. What was the best part? What made it memorable? Most likely, it wasn't the decor, the designer outfits or even the food, but the people and the laughter that stick out. For the next dinner party you throw, keep this in mind. To ensure plenty of laughter that will leave your guests begging to come back, play games! It's as simple as that — and we've found the best ones that are sure to guarantee a good time. Let the games begin.
We like games that keep everyone involved, and Catch Phrase does just that. Divide your party into two teams (boys versus girls will always get some extra laughs). When it's your turn, you describe the word on the electronic device and try to get your team members to guess it. If they guess correctly, pass the device to a person on the other team. Now they try to get their team to guess the new word. Go quickly, though, because if the time runs out and your team is holding the device, the other team scores a point! First team to seven wins. (Amazon, $22)
Another crowd favorite, Apples to Apples is perfect for larger dinner parties of up to 10 people. Once named "Party Game of the Year" by Games magazine, this game will make you laugh harder than you ever have before. Each player gets seven red cards with one random noun or phrase on each card. The "judge" (you'll take turns being judge) picks one green card with an adjective and places it face up for everyone to see. Of the red cards you're holding, pick the word that best describes that adjective and place face down. The judge then reads everyone's cards and picks the one he/she likes best! Whoever the winning card belonged to gets a point. (Amazon, $27)
A dice game similar to Yahtzee, Farkle is good for either small or large crowds. It's a game of risk and challenges — yet is super simple (we like fun, simple games for dinner parties). Each player takes their turn rolling six dice. Different combinations will get you different scores, and it's up to you to keep that score or roll again and risk losing everything. First player to 10,000 points wins! (Amazon, $10)
This is the naughtiest party game around. If your friends are notorious for their dirty minds and aren't so big on political correctness, this card game is for you. Sort of like the deviant's Apples to Apples, in Cards Against Humanity one player asks a question from a Black Card, and players have to submit the funniest answer they can from their White Cards. Avoid playing this with your family, and definitely make sure the kids are tucked safely in bed before you pull this game out of the cupboard. (Amazon, $25)
Trigger is a boisterous game that relies on players' reflexes. The cards make a statement, and then players have to slap the target in the center of the table with the appropriate hand to indicate if the statement is true or false. There are random ones, like "Cows drink milk," but statements about the other players at the table, such as "the person to the right of me is wearing a watch," help party guests get to know each other. It's a fast paced game that keeps everyone on their toes — and watching a bunch of grownups freak out as they try to slap the target with the correct hand first never gets old. (Amazon, $14)
Balderdash is a classic bluffing game that asks players to write down an answer to a question from the categories People, Words, Initials, Movies and Laws - and try to trick people into guessing that their made up answer is correct. The correct answer is mixed into the group, and you can score points both by convincing other players that your bluff is true, and for guessing the right answer. From creating movie synopses, revealing the "true" meaning behind certain acronyms, and giving the definitely-not-made-up definitions to different words, this creative game will have all your guests laughing in no time. (Amazon, $25)
Tenzi is a fast-paced dice game that has everyone playing simultaneously, so no one has to sit around waiting for their turn. At the most basic, the first player who rolls all of their ten dice until they show the same number wins, but there are so many other ways to play, including stacking, stealing, and more. It's a great game for adults and kids alike, so make sure you have it on hand for your next mixed-ages party. (Amazon, $35)
This team game is super easy and super fun. Get your team to guess a word without using any of the taboo phrases. Could you describe an ice cream sundae without menioning ice cream, hot fudge, or whipped cream? The team that guesses the most words in the phrase within a minute wins, and points are deducted if the person giving clues uses any of the taboo words. The game is for four or more players, making it perfect for larger parties, and can get your guests rowdy in no time - make sure you close the windows so you don't disturb the neighbors with your laughter! (Amazon, $15)
Scattergories is a party game classic for a reason. It's fast paced, and the rules are easy. Each player takes a list of categories, and when the 20-sided letter die is rolled, each player has to come up with an item in each category on their list that begins with the letter that was rolled. The challenge is to choose unique words - you get points if no other player wrote the same thing as you. It's a great way to see how creative your guests can be. And, each round lasts just 3 minutes, so there is ample time between rounds to sneak some hors d'oeuvres or refill your wine glass. (Amazon, $15)
Perfect for adults and kids, Pictionary is a classic party game for three or more players (you can play in teams of 2 or 4 players, too, if you have a large group). The game comes with adult and junior clues, making it great for all ages. One player per round has to sketch out a word from a card that is pulled, while their team mates have to guess what word it is. The picturist isn't allowed to communicate with their team in any way other than through sketching. The results are pretty hilarious, and watching the mounting frustration when the picturist's team mates just aren't "getting it" never fails to make everyone laugh. (Amazon, $25)
No board or cards required for this one. This is the perfect game to play if all of your guests are wine fanatics. Have each person (or couple) bring a bottle in a paper bag. Pour everyone a sample and have them try and guess the origin of the wine, the price range, the specific type of wine and/or the age of the wine. Do this with everyone's bottle. Whoever gets the most correct answers wins. And what do they win? Perhaps a bottle of wine...
Additional reporting by Justina Huddleston.
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