Best Ways to Throw an Awesome Game Night Party

Most people really love to play games. Some families have a game night on a set night to help get their family together to bond. The same can be done with friends, but with a party atmosphere. There are lots of things that you can do to liven up a game night party and to keep everyone from becoming bored with a game. Try a few of the following suggestions or brainstorm a few of your own.

Plan to have everyone dress up as someone else or a character. Make the party have a certain theme. Asking everyone to dress up as superheroes, animals, or celebrities is a great way to get people talking and having fun. Game nights do not have to be quiet nights spent indoors. They can be anything you want them to be. All you need to do is determine where everyone would be most comfortable.

Match the food to the theme. If, for example, your theme is zombies, then you should make your food and snacks reflect that. Concoct brains out of gelatin or other food mixtures. Make cookies from Halloween cookie cutters. Hang decorations if you are really ambitious. People will be surprised and entertained with the extra things that you have done to bring the game night theme all together.

You can always make up a game of your own. You don’t have to stick to rule books or any game at all. Use your imagination and make up a game that can include everyone. Ask your friends for ideas and jot down the best ones. Make your own rule book if you need to remember the details. You can do this at the party or beforehand. Everyone can give you some input on what they would like to do.

Make sure you have game stations or a plan to play a variety of games. If you are going to have a lot of people at your party, the chances are that only a few games would be able to incorporate them all. Set up other tables with a few other games for people to play. Having a variety keeps the night going and keeps people from getting bored too easily.

You know your friends better than anyone else. Think of some games that everyone can benefit from and make sure you are not excluding anyone. Nothing is worse than being left out at a party. Make sure everyone is able to play certain games together. Take into consideration any disabilities that may impact a friend’s ability to play games that include certain physical activities, but try not to draw any unnecessary attention to that fact. You don’t want anyone to feel like they are holding everyone else back.

At the end of the party or a certain game, have small prizes for winners available. You don’t have to spend lots of money on prizes. Prizes could be a treat bag filled with candy or other goodies, small gag gifts found at cheap dollar stores, or you could print out silly awards to be given to your friends. These little gifts will be something that people will remember and be fond of when they think of your party.

Remember that you don’t have to plan everything out exactly to have a great party. When good friends, food, and games come together, everything else is just a bonus. As long as everyone is having a good time and no one feels left out, your game night party will be a great success. Soon after the first party, everyone will be asking you when your next game night party is going to take place.

The Difference Between Acol Bridge And American Standard Bridge

You’ve decided that you want to learn to play bridge. Every year thousands of people take up playing bridge – it’s fun, it’s sociable, it’s a challenge. But there are several different bridge systems. How do you decide which system to learn and what are the obvious differences?

There are two main systems that are played. Acol bridge and American Standard bridge. As a general rule, Acol is the system that is played in the UK, Ireland and Australia, whilst American Standard bridge is widely played around the world.

A wee aside – when I started learning I was convinced that Acol was an acronym and that each letter must mean something. It isn’t and they don’t! It’s named after the road in London where it’s originators used to meet and where they developed the system.

Many people learn to play bridge by attending classes. If you are going to join a class, then you probably won’t have a choice of which system to learn. If you then progress to joining a local bridge club, again you probably won’t have a choice and your club will play whichever system is widely used in your country.

It gets a little more complicated if you want to learn to play bridge online – and if you intend to join an online bridge playing community. Some sites offer a choice of systems. Some don’t. So it might be worth doing a little research and identifying the site where you want to play before signing up for your online lessons.

So what are the main differences?

The most obvious difference, lies in one part of the initial bidding. This makes it easy to decide which system is being played. It’s the point range required for an opening bid of 1NT (one No Trumps). In Acol bridge an opening bid of 1NT means you hold a balanced hand with 12 – 14 points. In American Standard bridge the same opening bid would mean your hands is balanced but contains 15 – 17 points.

The points are worked out in the same way. Before the bidding commences each player adds up the points in their hand. They count 4 points for each ace they hold, 3 points for each king, 2 points for each queen and 1 point for each jack.

The next difference comes if a player wants to make an opening bid of 1 of a major suit. There are four suits in a pack of cards, spades, hearts, diamonds, clubs. They are ranked in that order, with spades and hearts being the major suits and diamonds and clubs being the minor suits.

In Acol bridge a player will make an opening bid of 1 of a major suit if they hold 4 (or more) cards in that suit. So an opening bid of, say, 1 Heart, tells your partner than you hold at least 4 cards in that suit.

In American Standard bridge it is most common to play 5 card majors. In other words, an opening bid of 1 of a major suit tells your partner than you hold at least 5 cards in that suit. If a player only holds 4 cards in either major suit they will commonly make a minor suit opening bid – which just tells their partner that they don’t hold a 5 card major.

In AS bridge it is common to include length points when valuing your hand. This means adding one extra point for each card held above four in a suit. Acol bridge players rarely include length points. Both systems offer the opportunity to add shortage points (additional points for short or void suits) for some bids. AS players would then count shortage points instead of length points.

How to Hold Your Cards So Others Don’t See Your Hand

I’m a bridge player and one of the problems that I’m asked about is how to hold your cards so that other players can’t see them.

Sounds obvious and easy if you are an experienced bridge player, but do you remember the first time someone gave you 13 cards and asked you to hold them in one hand? Do you remember how hard it was?

Unfortunately, I can’t add pictures to this article, so I can’t show you how to do it using illustrations. You’ll have to bear with me while I describe the process – and also offer an alternative solution for those who cannot manage to reliably hold 13 cards in one hand.

Most card games are played with four players – bridge certainly is a game for four players. So I will assume that four players are sitting around a table, at 90 degrees from each other – ie North, East, South and West.

Keeping your cards private from the player opposite you isn’t usually an issue, but keeping them private from the players either side of you is more difficult.

You don’t want these players to see your cards as it can give them an unfair advantage if they have seen any of the cards in your hand. It may also be embarrassing for them as knowing the composition of your hand can’t fail to influence their game play and they may not be confident enough to let you know that your cards have become visible.

At the start of the game you will have been dealt 13 cards, face down on the table in front of you. Pick them up and start by sorting them into their four suits. At this stage there is no need to fan out the cards, so you can grab them all in one hand and sort them with the other. Make sure the cards remain facing you. Once sorted into suits, further sort each suit by numerical order, with Ace being high, followed by king, queen, jack, 10, 9 down to 2.

Once your cards are properly sorted, gather them all together in one block, as if they have just taken a chunk of cards from the original pack. Now place these cards in one hand, with your thumb in front of the pile and your other fingers behind.

Then use your other hand to gently fan out the cards. How far you fan them out is a matter of personal choice and dexterity. If you’ve never done this before, you might find it easier to fan them out by the minimum needed to see the denomination of each card. This is why playing cards have a mini version of their suit and number at each top corner, so that they are easily visible when hand held and fanned out.

Now, make sure that your fanned hand is held facing you and that you don’t turn them to face either of the people sitting to your right or left. If you have never played cards before, it might be helpful to buy a pack and practice holding them. It’s a basic skill for card players, but like all skills it takes practice.

If you find holding the cards difficult between turns, simply unfan them and place them face down on the table. When your turn is approaching, pick them up again, place them between the thumb and remaining fingers of one hand and fan them out again.

Many people are unable to hold cards. There are a whole variety of reasons for this – amputation, arthritis, reduced strength or feeling, shaking being just some. This doesn’t mean that you can’t still take part in card games, or that you can no longer keep your cards private. Purchase a card holder. They aren’t expensive and come in a few different types, so you’d need to take a look and see which type suits your needs.

Most holders are straight, but for added privacy you can buy curved card holders. These are placed on the table in front of you and you can add the cards one at a time. They are readily available for purchase online, just use your favourite search engine to find them.