22 of the Most Popular Board Games in the US and the History Behind Them

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Risk
> Players: 2 to 6
> Skill(s) needed: Strategy, tactics, negotiation
> Goal: To conquer the world

Risk is a complex military strategy game in which players are battling each other’s troops with the goal to conquer the world. The game was invented during a family vacation in the early 1950s by Albert Lamorisse, a movie director who won an Oscar for best writing for “The Red Balloon.” Lamorisse called the game “La Conqueste du Monde,” which is French for “conquest of the world.”

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Rummikub
> Players: 2 to 4
> Skill(s) needed: Strategy (and luck)
> Goal: To get rid of all tiles by making groups or runs

Rummikub was invented in the 1940s by Efraim Hertzano. When card games were banned in Romania, Hertzano came up with the idea of substituting the cards with tiles. Creating each tile by hand, by the 1960s, he was hosting people over at his house every Saturday night to play the game. A World Rummikub Championship has been held every three years since 1991.

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Scrabble
> Players: 2 to 4
> Skill(s) needed: Vocabulary, spelling
> Goal: To earn more points than other players by forming interlocking words

The board-and-tile game’s origin can be traced back to 1933, when Alfred Mosher Butts, an out-of-work architect, invented the game under the name “Lexiko.” He used his passion of analyzing games to create a new word game, to which he added a scoring system. He renamed the game to “Criss Cross Words” in 1938. He pitched the game to many publishing companies but was turned down. “Scrabble” as we know today was first published in 1948.

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Sorry!
> Players: 2 to 4
> Skill(s) needed: Tactics, counting
> Goal: To be the first to get all four pawns from start to the “home” space

Sorry! Was trademarked in 1929 by William Henry Storey, an English game designer. The game was based on an Indian cross and circle board game called “Parcheesi.” The game was first published in the U.S. by Parker Brothers in 1934.

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Stratego
> Players: 2
> Skill(s) needed: Tactics, memory, bluff
> Goal: To find and capture the opponent’s flag

The spy board game was created by Jacques Johan Mogendorff during World War II, and it was trademarked in 1942 by a Dutch company. Stratego can be traced back to China and a traditional Chinese board game called “Jungle” or “Game of Fighting Animals” or “Animal Chess.” Jungle has pieces of animals (instead of soldiers as is the case in Stratego), and they are not hidden from the opponent.

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