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Pubs with board games

The Sydney pubs providing old-school fun. By Vy Hoang

Monopoly, Scrabble, or a humble deck of cards... each is an ace way to pass the time between rounds at your local. Here’s where to get your game on.

Australian Youth Hotel

As the name suggests, there is serious nostalgic fun to be had by the fire at this cosy Glebe establishment. Upstairs boasts enough nude portraits to deck out a boys' dormitory, along with a treasure chest that includes Chinese checkers, Connect Four, Jenga and Rummikub. Grab one, curl into a red velvet chair and prepare to play.

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Glebe

Cricketers Arms Hotel

In addition to one of the city’s most perennially packed courtyards, the ‘Crix’ has amassed a grand collection that included Scrabble, Boggle, backgammon, chess, cards, Connect Four, and even Twister – though we've no idea where you’d find the space to play. If you like your pub games public and competitive, gather your people for rock’n’roll bingo every Tuesday.

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Surry Hills

East Sydney Hotel

There's a strict no pokies, no plasmas policy in place to ensure the atmosphere remains as old school as possible – a convict time traveller wouldn't know they'd made a quantum leap. You’ve got an open fire, creaky wooden floors and live music on Sundays and Wednesdays. And for low-key fun there’s Scrabble, Monopoly, Uno, chess, checkers or backgammon boards behind the bar.

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Wooloomooloo
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The Henson

A stretch, sure, but darts technically involve a board so we’re including the Henson in this list – it’s so rare that people let you throw pointy things indoors in the same space you can buy a beer. Set up your own game, or head down on Tuesday nights for a proper competition.

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Marrickville

The Lord Dudley

Cosy up by the fireplace at this backstreet British pub and challenge your mates to Jenga, Scrabble or Monopoly. Try your hand at the timeless fun of Connect Four or commit to a full game of 500. Loser buys a round of pies and craft brews from the bar. 

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Paddington