Business requires all kinds of skills and abilities, but if you think mastering them requires hours of seminars, training, classes or a bunch of expensive technology, well, you missed the memo: Board and card games can be a powerhouse for shaping your intellect, with lessons and practice that easily transfers to the office. Try these best games at home or stock up the break room (or both!).


1. Risk

This warfare game requires you to take over and fortify territories and, in the process, form and dissolve alliances. You have to think logically, make decisions fast and consider whether the unions you've made make sense as you go. The nice combination of luck with strategy helps you remember that not everything in business is in your hands.

2. D'ohdle! What's That?!

The goal here is simple--just sculpt an object or living thing from modeling clay and have other players try to guess what it is. The perk is that you have to be creative without going so far out of bounds that people can't see what you're trying to do, combining both concrete and more abstract ways of thinking. That could be could be the very definition of innovation itself. Plus, sculpting offers some good tactile feedback that can be really soothing.

3. Agricola

Here, you play a farmer with the objective of producing lots of different foods. That includes acquiring more land to work with. But like real farming--and just about every other business--the game throws tons of variables at you that force you to adapt, try to think ahead and figure out where resources will work best. Despite having a big focus on strategy and problem solving, the goal of feeding your family teaches you that people feel the consequences of everything your company does.

4. Pandemic

Players are dispatchers, medics, scientists, researchers and operations experts. You must all work together to keep deadly diseases from unleashing their wrath on the world. Surprisingly difficult, the game involves problem solving and strategy. But because everyone has to combine their ideas and skills, it's also a fantastic game for honing cooperation and team building.

5. Settlers of Catan

In this popular game, you're a settler on Catan, an island. You gather resources like wood and grain to build roads, cities and settlements and, ultimately, get as much power (think market share and industry influence) as possible. You have to analyze what the other players have done, negotiate for resources and allocate what you've got wisely for success.

6. Cashflow 101

Any business requires you to be financially literate. This game takes you through jobs like evaluating deals, purchasing real estate or other assets, creating a basic income statement and balance sheet and basic allocation and management.

7. Set

This solo or group game features cards with four features, including color, shape, number and shading. You must create sets of three cards each based on how those features are different or the same. It thus teaches you to see patterns and hones your ability to make predictions. The better you are at seeing patterns and predicting, the better you can spot market trends through statistics or behavior, judge the resources you need and work proactively.

Board games are fantastic for your brain and can help you develop everything you need to stand out. What's more, they give you a chance to break out of your bubble and relax with others, which is as good for your sense of connection and well-being as it is for the company results. Give these a shot or, if you want, leave your own favorite game in the comments.