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Drinking or not drinking while playing

No matter what time of day, the practice of board games almost always coincides with a “meal” phase. The snack and the aperitif also have their role to play. Therefore, the question arises. What about drinking and eating food near our shiny playboards?

Let’s leave aside the food aspect and focus on the drink. Soda, fruit juice, alcohol, mineral water, so many dangers for your cards, your pawns and cardboard trays! So, drink or not drink while playing? Everyone, of course, has a strong opinion on the subject.

The infallible argument

The first (and only) thing we think of is the inevitable bottle of soda which, aided by a clumsy gesture, spills over the entire game table, watering the brand new tray and the cards that were in its way.

Card protectors will save our board games!
“Sleeves 1 – 0 Coca”© C. Caballero – published on facebook

This is obviously the haunting of any player who takes care of his games (others, go your way) and it is legitimate. What can we do?

The solution of the extreme

The first solution is rather extreme and expensive if you do not have the right equipment. This is to protect all elements of the game from water. Just like Chip Theory Games’ Too Many Bones game, you can make your game waterproof by plasticizing the board, game aids, cards, as well as replacing wood or cardboard elements with plastic or metal elements. I told you… extreme!

Solution 2: Offshoring

The second, more logical, is to relocate glasses, bottles and other liquid hazards out of reach of the game table. For this, the kitchen table or counter do the job very well while forcing diners to stretch their legs when they are thirsty. The use of dessert, stools or extra chairs can also serve as resting places, a little more within reach for the most resistant to sport.

Choosing the right accessories

The last solution, for the most motivated (and who have the means) is a game table. Very often these tables have built-in cup holders to prevent accidents. This is one of the essential points in the design of the game tables: should they be on the surface, inserted on the sides, with or without a metal cut for the retention of liquid that could escape? A real subject in its own right. But the investment is sometimes size for such a game accessory.

For the most curious of you (and especially the most English-speaking), a very interesting thread on the subject is available on the BoardGameGeek forum at this address.

At a lower cost, there is a good compromise with theAdapt Ta Table from Fabrik ID. This product designed by French (cocorico) makes it possible to turn his dining table into a game table. But above all, the designers offer a whole bunch of accessories to nestle on, including our dear cup holders! To learn more, a beautiful article is dedicated to this product on the website of Tric Trac ici.

Source: Fabrik of ID

And if you just want a simple accessory to remedy the upturned lenses, there are cup holders that can be adapted to your usual dining table (or living room) via clips or screwing. These accessories are easily found on e-commerce sites from about fifteen euros.


So, is not drinking during a play session a real behavior in the playful world or is it just to give yourself a good conscience?

I asked a panel of players at least as large as the one that elects the laundry of the year… and of the 232 respondents only 22.8% quite forelaw drinks during the game. The remaining 77.2% admit to keeping a cup of tea, coffee or a bottle of beer nearby (but always with great care) during the play sessions. However, it is accepted that generally, if someone reverses, he pays him dearly (and besides is not a Circle of Hell reserved for them?)!

So it seems that the taste for risk is inscribed in our genes of ludists. Besides, on reflection, what would be the drinking-free play bars or the aperitif games without… snorter?

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