Table games come in many forms, and the term can sometimes seem a little confusing. However, the technical term means games played on a table board. Traditionally this would be a board with two rows of twelve markings like a Backgammon table.
But nowadays, the term is a little more diverse; several popular games can fall under the moniker table. This blog will share seven of our favorites that also showcase the many different types of table games you can play!
Table games may seem a little complex or old-fashioned to some people, but there is plenty of variety to them. So, if you’re looking for a new game to play with friends, you might be surprised by how fun table games can be.
Our Top 7 Table Games
Also known as the Ancient Egyptian Game of Senet, this is probably one of the oldest table games in existence! Senet uses dice, sticks, and game pieces, and while it’s not the simplest game to play, it’s not as hard as it may first appear.
You can even play with basic rules to make things a little easier and simply switch to the advanced rules when you’re ready. If you like ancient/historical board games, then you should definitely give Senet a try.
You can learn more about how to play the Ancient Egyptian Game of Senet with our game guide. It might seem a little intimidating, but it makes a great two-player board game and is sure to please fans of strategy games.
Backgammon is probably the most popular table game these days! It ticks all the requirements from the board layout to the game pieces. Backgammon is a strategy game at heart, but there is also an element of chance to things.
The aim of the game might seem simple, you need to move all your checkers off the board first, but achieving that goal could be tricky. If you get a bad dice roll, then your carefully laid plans could go right out the window.
While Checkers and Chess sometimes overshadow Backgammon, it still makes a fantastic two-player table game! So, if you feel like giving it a try, make sure you check out our Backgammon game guide.
Trictrac might be a familiar name to Backgammon players. Backgammon sometimes goes by this name; however, the two games are different, although similar in some respects. The game board looks just like the one used in Backgammon, but the aim of the game is different.
Rather than focusing on removing your checkers/ counter from the board, you instead aim to score the most points! However, there is more to learn about Trictrac than just this, as the rules are pretty complicated.
Players can counter each other, and dice rolls can mean numerous different things depending on the rules you are using. So, it’s not a game you can quickly jump straight into, but if you’re an experienced Backgammon player, you’ll likely enjoy it.
Tavla is another Backgammon-inspired table game with similar rules. Tavla originated in Turkey and is still a popular game today! While it’s very similar to Backgammon, a few crucial differences make it unique.
For one thing, there is no doubling cube used in Tavla, and both Backgammon and gammons count as two points, not one. The game is also generally played with fewer rounds, so it is often faster than regular Backgammon.
The game is very versatile, though, and numerous different versions are played in Turkey so that you can find lots of varying rule sets online. Many involve using dice as you’d expect from a classic table game, but some simpler versions forgo dice altogether.
If you like Backgammon and want to try a new twist on it, then it’s easy to recommend
Tavla. With so many different ways to play, you’re sure to have fun, and you can play the game with a standard Backgammon board.
Depending on who you ask, Chess might not strictly be a type of table game. However, most modern interpretations of the title include Chess, and it’s easy to see why. The game is played on a board, much like Backgammon, and even though it doesn’t use dice, most of the other requirements are met.
You might have noticed already that all the table games we’ve looked at are two-player games, and Chess is arguably the most popular two-player game out there. Chess is a deeply strategic game that is much easier to learn than you might first think.
Sure, you might not be able to beat a grandmaster at the game, but learning the fundamentals is quick and easy. In Chess, each player will have their own “army” of distinct pieces. The aim of the game is to capture the King, which is easier said than done.
Check out our how to win at Chess tips for more information about the rules and tips for building a winning strategy. While it might not be a traditional table game to some, we think it more than meets the requirements and is an excellent example of the different types of table games out there.
Known as Japanese Chess to some, Shogi is an intricate game of strategy. If Chess meets the requirements for a table game, then Shogi does as well. You can read all about the differences between the two games in our Chess vs. Shogi guide.
Shogi is played on a similar board to Chess, and some pieces even share the same names. But despite the similarities, the two games are played quite differently, so it isn’t as simple as jumping from Chess straight into Shogi.
You can learn more about the rules in our Shogi game guide. Like any good table game, it’s very strategic and perfect for two players. If you enjoy Backgammon or Chess, then Shogi is a great table game to try next.
To finish out our look at the top table games to play, we have Jacquet. Although it isn’t quite as popular, Jacquet was a very popular French game like Trictrac. Therefore, this is another Backgammon-style table game played on the classic Backgammon board.
You can still play it, though, and there are even unique game sets for Jacquet available. Jacquet is a much simpler table game that follows many of the same rules and principles of Trictrac and standard Backgammon.
Players move their pieces around the board using a dice roll, intending to remove them when they get to the final quarter of the board. A unique rule to Jacquet is that a piece must be brought to the last quarter of the board before any others can be removed.
So, that is a look at seven different types of table games to play. While many classic table games do share similarities, other traditional games like Chess and Shogi are also considered table games by many people today.
If you’re looking for some good two-player gaming fun, any of these games will make a fine choice.