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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

Game Night!

It doesn't matter whether you win or lose … just as it doesn't matter whether or not you have vision loss. There's no reason why the exhilaration and challenge of competitive game play can't continue to be part of your life. For more information on any of the products listed below, use AFB's Product Search or view a list of specialty product sources.

"Deal"

Are you a poker player? Or is bridge your game? You can keep up your weekly card game with commercially available braille and large-print playing cards. Or you can adapt your regular playing cards using a braille writer or a slate and stylus to braille the symbols for card values and suits. Another tip: when playing a card game, ask the other players to identify the cards they are putting on the table so that you can play your own cards independently.

large print playing cards

You can use large print playing cards for all your card games.

"Bingo!"

Tactile and large-print bingo cards can enable anyone who is visually impaired to enjoy the game. And there are several ways to keep score. The most common method is to use a pegboard, similar to a cribbage board, which can be purchased or made with simple woodworking tools. You place two pegs at the starting point. After the first round, you count the appropriate number of points and insert one peg. This peg keeps the place of the current score, and the second peg is used to mark the score of the next round. Using this method you can also keep score for your opponent.

"Go Directly to Jail …"

You can also buy braille, tactile, and large-size versions of many popular board games, including Monopoly, Scrabble, checkers, chess, and cribbage. For the serious Scrabble player, The Official Scrabble Player's Dictionary is available in braille.

Games like chess can be adapted to accommodate people with vision loss.

 a chess board with holes and chessmen with pegs that fit into the holes

Your old board games can also be adapted easily. For example, standard checker pieces can be distinguished by a textured surface glued to the center of either the red or black set.

Tactile dice are available commercially, although some standard dice already have dots that can be identified by touch. Dominoes, too.

If you are with a group of friends who want to play a board game and no adapted version is readily available, you can still participate by partnering with a sighted friend. That person acts as the reader, describing what is happening on the playing board and what the other players are doing. Both partners participate equally in strategic decision making.

For More Information:

  • The Hadley School for the Blind. Chess for Beginners. If you've ever wanted to play chess, now's your chance to learn with this course on cassette. Advanced lessons are also available.

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