Deciding Who Gets to Go First in a Board Game

firstThere are many methods of deciding who goes first in board games; from the youngest to the oldest to even the sickest.  Whoever gets to go first in a game is sometimes believed to have a bit of an advantage over others on ultimately being the winner.  Whether that is entirely true or not, or even if there may only be the tiniest bit of an advantage, there should be a way to decide who gets to go first in a game.   To avoid any competitive issues right from the start, most games will provide in the directions the method for choosing the player which will seemingly be the lucky one.

In many games, the player to go first is often decided by whoever gets the highest number.  How to get this highest number is determined in a variety of ways.  These ways often depend on the mode of movement for the game.  In the board game of Sorry, the players pick a card; since cards are what they pick in order to move their pieces on the board.

For the game of Life by Milton Bradley, the highest number is given by the spin of the wheel.  For Monopoly, it is simply the roll of the two dice.  Whether by the spin of the wheel, roll of the dice, or pick of the card, this method of choosing who goes first is left to pure chance and players must abide by it.

In the game of Clue it is a bit different.  Whoever is the character of Miss Scarlett goes first.  How exactly that is chosen is a mystery. It must be similar in choosing who goes first in Mousetrap. Players in that game are instructed to just pick a player.  This may be easier said than done as competing for who goes first can get touchy at times.

Anyone who is a new player to Blokus will quickly realize why they were left with the color green.  The directions in Blokus for going first are that the color blue does; then yellow, red, and finally green. Scrabble has players pick a letter.  The letter nearest to the beginning of the alphabet gets to go first in that game.

It is understandable that the method for choosing who goes first is often associated with the game.   This holds true for the award winning game of Ticket to Ride.  Since the game is about travel, the person who is the most experienced traveler begins the game.  In Pandemic, a game about the spread of dangerous diseases, the person who was sick the last goes first.

Other games, like Jumanji, provide instructions for the game to begin with the player who suggested playing the game.  That sounds reasonable enough.  No matter what way, or under what circumstances the decision to go first is made, this is one of the basic rules.  A player wants to know ‘What’s the object of the game?’ or ‘How do I win?’ and ‘Who goes first?’  Once these two things are known, most players are ready to go.  They will learn the finer details of the game as they play.


Jenny Kile

Admin. of All About Fun and Games. Along with being an avid collector and player of table top games, I am a writer, researcher, treasure hunter, and Founder of Kardtects ( ) I believe fun is everywhere and you are welcome to visit my other sites: (which explores mystery, adventure and the search for treasures) and (which takes building card houses to completely new levels. Kardtects is the next generation of card house building!) Email:

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5 Responses

  1. Interesujący tekst. Multum sytuacji, o jakich tutaj można przeczytać, jest na prawdę niesamowicie wymyślne oraz ekscytujące. Będę kierować na Twoją stronę regularnie, ażeby poznać Twoje zdanie na następne wątki.

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  1. July 18, 2012

    […] first person who rolls an ‘explosion’ on the explosion die begins the game. (In the article, deciding who gets to goes first, other methods of going first in games are shared, if […]

  2. August 26, 2015

    […] will have a blast attempting to become the winning Mad Scientist. They certainly will have a blast trying to decide who goes first. The person who cries, ‘It’s Aliiiiveeee’ most convincingly goes first in Frankendie. This […]

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