How to Pick Prizes for Game Night

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How to Pick Prizes for Game Night. A little healthy competition makes games more enjoyable, and you can enhance the fun of game night if you provide prizes for the winners. A little pre-planning can help you pick prizes that fit the mood of the evening and make your players feel like they have some cool stakes for which to compete.

Things You'll Need

  • Pencil
  • Paper

Decide on a price range for your prizes. They need to be fairly inexpensive, but still desirable enough to get people into the spirit of things. Prizes that cost too much may make the players unduly competitive, while "worthless" prizes don't add anything to the proceedings.

Determine a scoring system for game night. This doesn't need to be complicated. Simply figure out what is required to win a prize and how many people are likely to win one each night. You might want to give one big prize to the person who wins the most games over the course of the evening, or give out a number of prizes at the end of every match.

Count the number of prizes you will need, based on your scoring system. One prize for the entire evening means you only need to purchase one item (though you may want to consider consolation prizes as well), while giving prize for every type of game played means counting the number of games you intend to use for game night. Giving a prize for each individual match means that you should estimate how long each match will take and select a number of prizes based on how long you believe game night will last.

Decide whether you want to pick prizes that reflect a specific theme. Some types of prizes may fit well with the tone of the games you're playing, while others may feel tacked-on or awkward.

Purchase your prizes based on the criteria you have decided.

Present your prizes to everyone at the beginning of game night. Be clear about which prize goes with which game so that the players know what the stakes are.

Keep track of who has won what throughout the night with a pencil and paper.

Award your prizes at the end of the evening, saving the biggest for last.

Tips & Warnings

  • Candy bars make a good stand-by as prizes for game night. They're inexpensive, easy to carry and everyone enjoys them, which provides competitive incentive without turning the games into a "win at all costs" slugfest.
  • Consider giving out smaller prizes for second and third place winners, or even "participation" prizes for everyone who comes to game night.
  • Consider the age and the temperament of your players when you pick prizes for game night. Children will respond to different prizes than grown ups.
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