Delving into the World of Card Games and Board Games in Sheffield

Board games and, particularly, card games have been a part of British culture for decades – even centuries in the case of card games. However, it wasn’t really until the mid-2010s that they exploded as a go-to form of social enjoyment outside of the home. For Sheffield, a turning point can be seen in 2017, when Steel City landed its first board game café, Treehouse.

It’s not surprising that Treehouse continues to deliver entertainment to the public of Sheffield to this day. After all, it’s a gaming city and one that encompasses a huge range of fun-loving venues. In 2022 alone, we saw the opening of Boom Battle Bar, the Roxy Ballroom, Golf Fang, FØRGE, and the Neepsend Social Club. Not everyone always fancies going out and about, though, and just needs something to make a bit of time worthwhile.

Luckily, Sheffield is loaded with businesses that are ready to give you the resources required to brush up on your card and board game skills or give you the game that’ll preoccupy your mind for hours as you try to beat it solo. Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert player of these classic forms of entertainment, here’s what you can find dotted around Sheffield to get your tactical mind flowing.

Playing or practising card and board games at home

Particularly this time of year, the desire to go out of your home to play card and board games is often quite low. There certainly aren’t the sunny days and warm weather to coax us out of the front door. Luckily, whether it’s a card or board game, there are many single-player options and online digital games that emulate the classics or take you to new realms of competition.

For physical classic card games, all that you need is a deck of cards, with the Flag of Yorkshire playing cards, obviously, being a sound choice. With your 52-card deck, you can then challenge the luck of the shuffle in games like clock solitaire, beleaguered castle, cribbage squares, or poker squares. Of those, the beleaguered castle is the most challenging; but if you beat it, you can attempt to best the Streets and Alleys version.

Of course, the playing deck card game that most people think of as the challenge for the players and the one which draws the most heavily on strategy is blackjack. As you need a dealer to beat for this game, many turn to the versions of online and live blackjack that are readily available. You can find live blackjack with the famous 21+3 side bet option, as well as regular blackjack games that aren’t like, like Vegas Single-Deck Blackjack to test your strategies of probability against.

Keeping with the digital approach, one of the best online solutions for card gaming comes in the form of a Tabletop Simulator. The program is loaded with classic and trading card games, from poker to the likes of Magic: The Gathering and Yu-Gi-Oh. You can also use it to load up board games like the sensational Wingspan or use the community-made versions of classics by yourself or with friends online.

The vast majority of board games are made for parties of people, pitting them against each other to find a winner. However, you can find yourself the odd great solo board game. One of the most appealing, due to the IP, is The Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-Earth. Via the app, you can play the physical board game to go on a journey through J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy world. Alternatively, there’s Detective: City of Angels, and the zoo-building strategy game Dinosaur Island.

Going out in Sheffield to flex your card and board game skills

Across Sheffield, you can find several hobby shops that host game nights and tournaments, dedicated gaming venues, and clubs that organise competitive and social play. One such venue is Element Games. The shop expanded from its extensive North West Gaming Centre and store in Stockport to a Sheffield and Nottingham store. Our local store hosts several gaming events, leagues, and tournaments, which they announce on their Facebook page regularly. You can also find events and gaming nights at The Gaming Specialists on Mary Street.

For a selection of over 800 board games, café-style food, and a grand selection of drinks, it’s good to venture down to the Treehouse. Found on Boston Street, it’s advised that you book a table if you’re coming down for a casual session of gaming. Alternatively, you could keep an eye on their list of one-off events that from Dungeons & Dragons to graphic novel reading sessions. Treehouse was also the starting point for this year’s popular free adventure gaming trail, set up by the Sheffield Games Collective.

If you’re looking to get into a kind of club for board gaming and card games, where you can partake in organised play, learn the ropes, and enjoy social occasions with fellow club members, Sheffield has you covered. The Sheffield Go Club is specifically available for social play, to help newcomers through their handicap system, and host an annual tournament for the classic Asian board game. Alternatively, for a very small annual fee of £5, you could join the Card Gaming Society to enjoy playing cards and develop your skills.

If you’re a card game or board game enthusiast, and whether you want to go out or stay in, these are some great options for you to try in the Steel City.


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