Board and table games are making something of a comeback, despite the influx of mobile and online gaming. Remember the days you’d have games nights, or that go-to game for when your dinner party guests were over? While it’s wonderfully nostalgic to dust off those boxes and get playing again, so many of those ‘original’ games have evolved with the digital age, offering a newer alternative. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Starting with one of the oldest-recorded games,game favourite Blackjack was founded in Spain in the 17th century. Known as veintiuna, which is Spanish for 21, the game soon reached the rest of Europe and America. While the premise has always remained much the same – to beat the dealer with your hand, without exceeding 21 – the game has also developed. Enter the age of the internet and online game.
You can now play Blackjack online – and there are so many variants of the classic game available, for example in the online game. From Spanish 21 (which uses Spanish decks of cards, omitting the 10s) to Blackjack Switch (which allows you to switch the second dealt card of your hands) and Blackjack Surrender, the adaptations have become established. It means that Blackjack remains popular, even to this day.
We continue with another classic now: Scrabble. Created in the 1930s, the popular game is played on a 15-by-15 square board, with each cell accommodating a letter tile. By the 1950s, four million Scrabble sets were sold and the game is still manufactured by Hasbro (in the US and Canada) and Mattel (worldwide). In addition to the standard game, junior, travel and large-print editions are available.
As well as being able to play Scrabble online, through dedicated websites or social media channels, such as Facebook; there are many variations of the game available too. For example, mobile game Words with Friends. This particular game isn’t associated with Scrabble but is played in much the same vein. The online games can be played against friends (as long as you know their username or email) or other members of the game’s community.
Another game classic that has seen a massive shift and boom in popularity is Poker. Originally played amongst soldiers before it became a saloon staple, Poker has grown dramatically from what was a social game to one that is played professionally. The World Series of Poker is the game’s leading competition, which earlier this year saw its 50th edition take place. The game rose to dominance in the 1970s through the tournament and over time, different variations of the game have become popular, including five-card draw, seven-card stud and more recently, Texas Hold’em.
The second boom in popularity came between 2003 and 2006, which is when Texas Hold’em became considerably more popular and the most widely recognised variation of Poker. There were a few considerable factors for this boom, with one of the main ones, the introduction of online Poker. In fact, in 2003, amateur Poker player Chris Moneymaker was making his debut in the WSOP and actually won the Main Event. Online Poker has made the game more accessible to players of all abilities, with professionals and amateurs battling it out together. With many different variations of the game online, with multiple rooms and the bonus of being able to play multiple hands at once, Poker has never been so readily available.
We finish up with a dinner party classic: Pictionary. The game that often divides opinion, depending on how good you are at drawing and how competitive you are. Involving two teams and just a minute to guess any number of words or phrases, Pictionary has since shifted to advance with the times. No longer is paper and a pencil needed to play.
Pictionary Air uses augmented reality, so all players need to do is download the app, which will project whatever is being drawn. Players then use the air pen to draw their creations in thin air and the other players will see it on their chosen device. It certainly sounds a lot more difficult as those drawing won’t actually be able to see what or where they are drawing, but that is all part of the fun and makes the game even more competitive!