Lake and Sumter Style Magazine
2:19 am EDT
Thursday, August 13, 2020

A game player’s paradise


Cards and board games keep Villagers sociable.

Although many Villagers still golf, swim, ride bikes, and play pickleball, age does push us toward more sedentary activities such as cards and board games. There are so many to choose from that Villagers have formed 486 clubs devoted to playing America’s most popular games: poker, bridge, pinochle, chess, mahjong, pan, Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit, and some strange sounding games like euchre, samba, Infected, and the new rage called Joker. It’s a deep-strategy card and board game that also includes marbles played with a sophistication that far exceeds Chinese checkers. 

Game playing often is a major activity at the more than 380 social clubs in The Villages. Sometimes each table at these meetings will play a different board or card game. I’m not an avid game player, but I enjoy playing Joker in a monthly, very social game, and a favorite in my Village of Hacienda North. It’s easy to learn and lots of fun when played just for fun—no cutthroat players allowed.

Villagers are known for an early-to-bed, early-to-rise lifestyle. And TV watching doesn’t keep many of them up at night. But, when traveling through any village after dark, those houses with lights on usually are the ones playing a game with friends. Villagers are gamers morning, noon, and night.

Adding to the popularity of games is that Villagers come from diverse parts of the country and even from overseas, and they often bring with them new varieties of games for neighbors to enjoy.

Games help newcomers get a quick start on making friends in The Villages. It’s easy when they join a social club and then get “on board” at a game club featuring an activity they enjoy. And, unlike Las Vegas, nobody “loses their shirt” playing games in The Villages.