Cleodhna posts about board games, and I have my tuppence to add.
I agree that there's a difference between two-player games (object: beat the other person) and three-or-more-player games (object: deal with the other people so you win, or at least don't do that badly). In social games, you're mostly there to have a good time, observe how the game goes, and ideally win without shafting everyone.
Or at least, that's how I play games.
In two-player games, you're out to win. If there's any skill involved, you're out to beat the other guy. (I thought of correcting this, but I think it's true that confrontational two-player games are mostly male-male.) So it depends on what your attitude is.
I like to play Knightmare Chess; it's chess with cards. The cards mean that you can't think 4 moves ahead, because by that time you may have gained 3 queens (your opponent, the fool, only gained 2), because you rotated the board by 90 degrees; you also deliberately imprisoned your king because your opponent can't fight through the wall, only to discover that your opponent swapped the corners of the board to move your King out, and also bounced his bishop off the edge of the board to put it in a position to not only check your King, but also to check the second King that you brought into play a few moves ago. Your response may well be to move your piece next to his, and then make it explode, capturing all the pieces around it at the same time as it's removed from the board.
Rules-lawyering really kills this game.
There are so many standard rules, plus things that the cards say, that you can easily pick a stupid fight based on hidebound jesuitical reasoning based on an unreasonably pedantic understanding of what the card wording actually means.
I've played Knightmare Chess regularly with a couple of people, for sake of argument I'll call them Mark and Josh, and while Mark was an absolute pain to play against, because he thought it was fun to claim that he'd found a way where he was right and I wasn't (note that you can't resolve this in a sensible way, not even by dicing off), Josh played in the spirit of the rules - we know that, the nature of the card draws being as they are, that the underdog at some point of the game tends to bounce back and gain the upper hand later on, so it doesn't particularly matter what the cards actually say as opposed to what we agree that they mean.
Face it: we're playing a version of Chess that has nonsense bolted on; the last thing we want is over-serious debates on what the cards mean ("I don't care about the spirit of the cards; if they had properly thought about what I, me with my mind, could do with that card, they wouldn't have written it that way. I win, at least until they come out with an errata. Ah! They haven't! They suck. I win." I paraphrase.)
It's for this reason that I mistrust two-player games. Many-player games are inherently social; you can't go far wrong with them. Two-player games, well, you need to choose your opponent carefully.