When it comes to tabletop gaming, it can seem kind of intimidating for a newbie to get started. But have no fear, because I am here to give the 101 on how to become a tabletop gamer extraordinaire. 

First things first, what exactly is a tabletop game? To keep it simple, it is any game that can be played on a table or flat surface. These games are furthered defined into different categories as follows:

Board Games– think Monopoly, Clue, and other classic games that include a board and moving pieces.

Card Games– games that primarily use cards for gameplay. Uno is a well-known card game.

Cooperative Games– these games are where all players play as a team against the game. Many strategy games are also cooperative games. Shadows Over Camelot is a good example of cooperative gaming.

Dice Games– Dice games use dice as the primary gameplay device and scoring system. Yahtzee is a popular dice game.

Role-Playing Games– sometimes referred to adventure games, RPGs use storytelling by a game master to drive the game, while all players create a character they play with to perform actions to complete the challenges presented in the story. Dungeons and Dragons is the most well-known RPG.

Strategy Games– strategy games involve logic and planning in order to win. These games can either be players versus players or players versus the game. Pandemic is known for it’s strategic cooperative play.

Tile-Based Games– these games use placing tiles in certain patterns and order to earn points to win. Dominoes is a common tile-based game.

Many games combine multiple categories, so there can be strategy card games or RPG board games. These combinations lead to a massive amount of games out there for the choosing, and not every tabletop gamer plays every type of game, so find which type suits your entertainment needs the best.


You’ve investigated the types of games and have found what you want to play, so now what? Well, it’s great to find a group to play with. Most tabletop gamers have a set group that meets regularly to play their favorite games. Some groups play long campaigns of a single game (D&D groups especially). It’s all in what you want to play.

Finding a group is actually pretty easy. You can got to local comic shops, libraries, or game stores and see if they host any groups. Checking online and asking around is also very helpful, because many gamers will happily share their gaming group details. If you find other newbie gamers, make a group for you all, so you can learn together. There are many options when it comes to finding groups, it just takes some searching.

Image Source: Geek and Sundry

Image Source: Geek and Sundry

You have your group, you have your games, now what? Enjoy yourself! Playing games is supposed to be fun and entertaining, even when another player gives you another mandatory quest for the third time or you keep rolling last for initiative. Feel free to ask questions of the more seasoned gamers and game masters. As long as you’re willing to learn and keep the environment fun, they will definitely help you out. So grab your 20-sided die, your character stats, and your enthusiasm, because it’s time to play some tabletop games.