Who Goes First in Games? Our Favourites

31 January 2024
Deciding on the first player is an important part of any game night. Often there’s a willing victim ready to hop in and ask the first silly question about what something does on the board, but other times you want something a little bit spicier. This is where the humble ‘choosing the first player mechanism’ comes in to play. If you’re like me you’re always a bit disappointed when the rulebook just says ‘select a player’ or ‘roll a dice, the highest rolling player goes first’ when it comes to who starts a board game. Why not then, instead, use one of these 20 ways to pick the starting player. And hey, if you’re not sure which one to pick, you can always roll a 20 sided dice.

Words by Christopher John Eggett


Dragon Farkle

Dragon Farkle is played in turns, going clockwise, starting with the one who brought the most snacks.”


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Mint Works

“The Starting Player Token goes to the player with the freshest breath.”

Ticket To Ride: Europe

“The player who has visited the most European countries in his lifetime begins the game.”

Snow Tails

“The player with the huskiest voice is the starting player.”


“Choose a starting player by taking turns telling a love story – tragic or heart warming – from your personal experience (or, in a pinch, someone else’s). If everyone agrees you told the most romantic or moving love story, you get to choose who goes first.”


“The player who most recently visited a farm goes first!”


"Give the Starting Player Marker to the player who has spent the least time on planet Terra, in the Sol system”


“The player who last read a history book receives the start player card.”


“The person with the least amount of hair goes first”


“Whoever last visited Ireland starts the game.”

Champions of Midgard

“The player who has most recently earned glory in battle receives the First Player Marker.”

Betrayal at House on the Hill

“The explorer who has the next birthday goes first.”


“The player who has visited the most continents is the start player”

Ice Flow

“The player who proves best able – by general consent – to do a polar bear impression becomes the starting player.”

Savannah Tails

“The player with the longest neck is the 1st player.”

Camp Grizzly

“The players must choose a counsellor to take the first turn. If no decision can be made, we suggest picking the player with the most tattoos.”

Metro X

“Whoever most recently took a ride on public transit is in charge of flipping over the top card of the Transit deck each turn”


“Whoever most recently took a ride on public transit is in charge of flipping over the top card of the Transit deck each turn”

The Bridges of Shangri-La

“Whoever has last reached the peak of Mount Everest using nothing but blue and white checkered stilts carved from the wood of a Mammoth tree is declared the Starting Player. In case of a tie, the wisest player of the group begins the game.”

Pirates Vs Dinosaurs

“The player that looks most like a pirate”


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