The term is used to distinguish these types of games from sports and video games. The term is also used to distinguish role-playing games from role-playing video games and LARPs, although role-playing games may not necessarily require a wide playing surface. Another related term is a hobby game.
Tabletop games can be classified according to the general form, or equipment utilized:
|Game category||Game examples|
|Board games||Backgammon, Chess, German-style board games, Go, Reversi|
|Card games||Card Solitaire, Collectible card games, Hanafuda, Tarot card games|
|Dice games||Bunco, Craps, Farkle, Generala, Poker dice, Sic bo, Yahtzee, Zombie Dice|
|Paper and pencil games||Battleships, Connect 5, Dots and Boxes, Hangman, Sprouts, Sudoku|
|Role-playing games||Call of Cthulhu, Dungeons & Dragons, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay|
|Strategy games||Board wargames, Government simulation games, Miniature wargames|
|Tile-based games||15 puzzle, Anagrams, Dominoes, Mahjong, Mahjong solitaire, Tangrams|
Games like chess and draughts are examples of games belonging to the board game category. Other games, however, use various attributes and cannot be classified unambiguously (e.g. Monopoly utilises a board as well as dice and cards).
For several of these categories there are sub-categories and even sub-sub-categories or genres. For instance, German-style board games, board wargames, and Roll-and-move games are all types of board games that differ markedly in style and general interest.
As an alternative to classifying games by equipment, they can also be classified according to the elements of chance involved. In game theory, two fundamentally different elements of chance can play a role:
Examples of the chance classification for some well-known tabletop games are given in the table below.
|Full/perfect information||Partial/imperfect information|
List of organizations that sponsor events featuring tabletop games:
Numerous independent, local groups run by gamers exist to play tabletop games. Additionally, many colleges have student run organizations pertaining solely to table top gaming. The Collegiate Association of Table Top Gamers is one such organization that has a few chapters at different schools.