Daes Dae'mar, or the Great Game in the Old Tongue is the maneuvering that noble houses do to try and promote their own interests (TGH, Ch. 21). It is played all over the south, but is especially entrenched in Cairhien, with only the Borderlands avoiding it (TGH, Ch. 21), though it is weak in Andor (TFoH, Ch. 19). It is said that it was invented by the White Tower (TGH, Ch. 32). It has led to the Cairhienin having a suspicious nature, often ascribing deeper meanings to even the most trivial of actions, especially where the nobility is involved. Nothing in Cairhien is spontaneous (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 29). Daes Dae'mar is also why Laman cut down Avendoraldera, thus causing the Aiel War.
"The nobles and the noble Houses maneuver for advantage. They do things they think will help them, or hurt an enemy, or both. Usually, it's all done in secrecy, or if not, they try to make it seem as if they're doing something other than what they are." (Loial, The Great Hunt, Chapter 21).
"I am not playing Daes Dae'mar" (Rand, The Gathering Storm, Chapter 25).
"Tairens might not play Daes Dae'mar, the Game of Houses, the way Cairhienin did — that lot read volumes in a glance and heard more in a sentence than you ever meant to put there — but they still schemed and watched one another, suspicious of schemes, and they believed everyone else did the same." (Rand, Lord of Chaos, Chapter 4).