Spanish Phrases: Playing games in Spanish

This page lists some useful Spanish vocabulary that will be relevant for various board games and card games. (Since many board games actually contain cards, the two haven't been split up.) Certain vocabulary will of course be specific to a particular type of game. Chess, which has some special vocabulary of its own, is given a separate section below.

Reinforce your vocabulary: play an on-line Spanish crossword on the topic of games.

Names of some common games and types of game

un juego de mesa-a board game
un juego de azar-a game of chance
un juego de estrategia-a game of skill, strategy game
damas-draughts, checkers
damas chinas-Chinese checkers
Calabozos y Dragones-Dungeons and Dragons
el juego del Monopolio-Monopoly
Scrabble, Escrable-Scrabble
batalla naval-battleships
solitario-patience, solitaire
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Items used to play games

un tablero-a board
un tablero de ajedrez-a chessboard
un dado-a dice
un cubilete-a shaker
una ficha-a token, marker
una dama-a draught, checker
una pila de cartas-a pile of cards
un domino-a domino
un comodín-a joker
una pieza-a piece
el banco, la banca-the bank
una casilla-a square, space (on the board)
un reloj (de ajedrez)-a timer, (chess) clock
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During the game

The following phrases are useful for describing game play and for use during a game.

jugar (al) ajedrez-to play chess
jugar (a las) damas-to play draughts/checkers
jugar backgammon-to play backgammon
jugar Monopoly/Monopolio-to play monopoly
jugar dos partidas de Monopoly-to play two games of Monopoly
¿quien comienza?-who's going to start?
¿a quien le toca?-whose turn/move is it?
¿qué color quieres?-what colour do you want?
¿quien va?-whose go is it?
¿me toca a mí?-is it my turn?
es tu turno-it's your turn
jugar-to play, move
tira el dado/los dados-roll the dice
ganar un punto-to earn a point
toma una carta-take a card
pon la carta...-put the card...
...boca arriba-...face up
...boca abajo-...face down
...encima (de la pila)-...on top (of the pile)
...hasta abajo de la the bottom of the pile
moverse dos casillas (hacia adelante/atrás)-to move two spaces (forwards/backwards)
ganar en diez jugadas-to win in ten turns/moves
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As in English, there is some Spanish vocabulary and phrases largely specific to playing chess.

el rey-the king
la reina-the queen
el alfil-the bishop
el caballo-the knight
la torre-the rook, castle
el peón-the pawn
las blancas-white
las negras-black
tengo las blancas/negras-I'm white/black
¡(jaque) mate!-checkmate!
el enroque (corto/largo)-(kingside/queenside) castling
enrocar (corto/largo)-to castle (kingside/queenside)
dar jaque a alguien-to put sb in check
dar (jaque) mate a alguien-to checkmate sb
dar mate en X turnos-to reach checkmate in X turns
un mate de torre-checkmate by the rook
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You may also be interested in:
Spanish translation of Starship Catan

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Page written by Neil Coffey. Copyright (c) Javamex UK 2014. All rights reserved.