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What Games to Play With Your Family This Holiday Break

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Virginia Tech chapter.

The break can get boring after the first week or two. If you are looking for something fun to do with your family (or friends) over the holidays, I have compiled a list of games in no specific order of games I love to play with my family. These games will get you off your screens and get you to spend time with your family. 

  1. Spades:

This is one of the most fun games you can play with your family in my opinion. It’s pretty fast-paced and all you need is a deck of cards and a piece of paper and something to write with. You can play individually or in teams, teams can be more infuriating but the stakes are higher this way. In Spades, you start off with each player having to decide how many tricks they want to play (this is how many rounds the player is going to win). The player to the dealer’s left will bid their tricks first. How you win a trick is by playing the highest ranked card, spades always are the trump card but you cannot play a spade without using up all the suits that got placed down. The first player to 500 points wins (or 200 if you want to play a shorter game). 

  1. Uno: 

Most of us have played Uno at least once in our lives and there is a reason for it, it’s a fun game that you can play with all ages. So, your little siblings or cousins can join in too. All you need for this game is a deck of Uno cards. If you haven’t played Uno, the object of the game is to play all the cards in your hand. You are dealt seven cards, like Spades the person to the left of the dealer starts the game. You start off by taking a card from the top of the unused card pile and you play either the same color or number as that card. Remember, you must say Uno BEFORE you set down your second to the last card or you’ll have to pick up four more cards. 

  1. Clue: 

This is my favorite board game of all time. If you’ve ever seen Knives Out, this is like that, it is a whodunit game. You’ll need to buy the game for this one. This game takes a bit of time so make sure not to start this one too late at night. You’ll also need at least three people for Clue. The winner of the game is the first one to figure out who the killer is. One person has to shuffle the cards and they have to take out one suspect card, one weapon card, and one room card and put them in an envelope. Then they will deal the rest of the cards out for the rest of the players and place one weapon in each room. Then you can start the game and rule out weapons, rooms, and characters until you figure out who did it, with what, and where. 

  1. What Do You Meme:

This is a game that will get your whole family laughing. You’ll need to get the game to play this too. For this game, you can play with up to seven players. I like to play this game differently than the instructions say to so I’m going to tell you how my family plays. Each player will get seven cards. You’ll start the game by one player placing a picture card on the little easel it comes with, then one by one everyone else will play a reaction card face down. Then the person who placed down the photo card will choose the best reaction to the picture (like in Cards Against Humanity). You’ll go until you get tired of it (like in my family) or you can set a limit on how many cards it takes to win. 

  1. Phase 10: 

Warning, this game might start fights within your family. Phase 10 is a fun game but it’s a long game. You need at least two people to play this game and you’ll need the Phase 10 deck of cards. Each player will get ten cards and the rest of the deck will be placed down for you to pull from every turn. On your turn, you will either draw a card from the pile or draw the card from the discarded pile that the player had before you set down. Then you’ll choose a card from your hand to add to the discard pile. Each round comes with a goal you need to achieve. 

Here are the rules for each phase:

  1. 2 sets of 3
  2. 1 set of 3 + 1 run of 4
  3. 1 set of 4 + 1 run of 4
  4. 1 run of 7
  5. 1 run of 8
  6. 1 run of 9
  7. 2 sets of 4
  8. 7 cards of 1 color
  9. 1 set of 5 + 1 set of 2
  10. 1 set of 5 + 1 set of 3

You need to get each one down in order to move on to the next round. You just continue going until someone completes all the rounds and wins. 

So, there you have it, a few games that you can play with your family. I highly recommend it, they’re a lot of fun!

Emily Barber

Virginia Tech '23

I am a senior at Virginia Tech majoring in English and Creative Writing. If I'm not reading a book, I'm usually crocheting or tending to my plants.