People hanging out at a bar

35 Best Bar Games to Keep Customers Coming Back

Want to add an element of fun to your business? Invest in bar games to keep your customers coming back night after night and week after week.

In this article, we discuss the best bar games — everything from a pool table to a pack of cards — so that you can choose the right options for your business.

Table of contents

Best classic bar games

pool table at a bar

1) Darts

Darts is a classic bar game that people can play by themselves or in groups of any size.

And it’s relatively inexpensive and easy to install so all you need is a bit of blank wall space, and you’re good to go.

2) Pool

Like darts, pool is at the top of everyone’s list of best bar games, and people will come from far and wide to play by themselves or with their friends.

The games are easy to learn but tough to master, so patrons will be motivated to return night after night to down a few beers and hone their skills with the cue.

3) Tabletop shuffleboard

Shuffleboard isn’t just for cruises and retirement communities anymore. The tabletop variety is the perfect way to add some fun and competition to your business without taking up a lot of space.

4) Foosball

Soccer without all the running? And you can knock back a beverage or two while playing? Sign us up!

5) Air hockey

Another bar game that converts a physically-strenuous activity into one you can do standing still with a beer in your hand (or at least nearby).

Best drinking games

People playing bar games

6) Beer pong

A staple at every frat party ever held (all the way back to the actual Greeks), beer pong is super simple:

  • Set up 10 cups in a pyramid shape (like pins at a bowling alley)
  • Fill each cup about ¼ of the way
  • Try to toss or bounce a ping-pong ball into a cup
  • If you get one in, your opponent has to drink

7) Quarters

Similar to beer pong, this game follows the same general concept but challenges you to bounce a quarter off the table into a cup.

If you’re successful, your opponent has to drink the contents (minus the quarter, of course).

8) Flip cup

Fill a cup about a third of the way up with the adult beverage of your choice, chug said beverage, set the cup back down on the edge of the table, and then attempt to flip it so the open end is down.

9) Ride the bus

In this bar game, a dealer passes out cards to each player and asks a simple question with a “yes or no” answer (basically, one of two choices like red or black, high or low).

If you get it right, you can tell someone else to drink. If you get it wrong, someone tells you to drink.

10) Jammin’

Put on the song Jammin’ by Bob Marley and take a drink every time Mr. Marley says “jammin’” or “jam.”

11) Never have I ever

“Never have I ever punched a bear.” If you have, in fact, punched a bear, you have to drink. Simple as that.

12) Medusa

Sit in a circle with drinks at the ready. Everyone puts their head down or just looks at their feet. On the count of three, everyone looks up and stares at another player.

If you’re staring at someone who ISN’T staring at you, you’re safe. If you’re staring at someone who IS staring back at you, shout “Medusa!” and you both take a drink.

13) Rock, paper, scissors

A riff on the timeless method of deciding who should go first, this can be played in small or large groups. Pair up, throw your sign, and the loser has to drink.

Best arcade bar games

Arcade bar game

14) Pac-Man

Video games make a great addition to any bar or social environment. Pac-Man is the one that rules them all.

15) Space Invaders

Close on the heels of Pac-Man comes Space Invaders. Easy to play, tough to master, but fun for individual, group, and tournament play.

16) Skeeball

Toss the ball up the ramp and into the hole with the highest point value. Play for pride or fun prizes.

17) Pop-A-Shot

If underhand rolling isn’t your thing, try the overhand fun of Pop-A-Shot and see how many baskets you can make before time expires.

18) Pinball

As bar games go, pinball is still one of the best. Patrons love to drop quarters in themed machines, like Star Wars, Adams Family, Buck Rogers, Kiss, and Batman.

Best table games

Dice bar game

19) Mancala

A mancala board and the right number of marbles or stones can provide hours of fun for bar goers of all ages. Move your pieces around the board, and whoever ends up with the most at the end wins.

20) Spades

All you need for this bar game is four people and a deck of cards. If you want a larger group, organize a tournament for even more fun.

21) Hearts

In Hearts, you have to follow suit if you can, with the goal of having the fewest points in your hand at the end of a round.

22) Euchre

Euchre is another classic card game that’s fun for four players or more.

The rules can be a bit tricky to learn at first, but once you’ve got them down, it’s like riding a bike — you never forget.

23) Uno

Discard based on color or number, yell “Uno!” when you’re down to one, and avoid the dreaded Draw Four.

24) Dominoes

Set out some dominoes, and you’ll be surprised how many different games you’ll see.

25) Yahtzee

Dice are great for bar games, and Yahtzee is no exception.

Try to roll the category on the score sheet and be sure to yell the catchphrase when you get five of a kind.

26) Jenga

Jenga is fun to play whether beverages are involved or not. Want to kick it up a notch? Try giant Jenga instead of the tabletop version.

27) Blokus

Blokus involves placing your shapes on the board to occupy as much space as possible while preventing your opponents from placing theirs.

28) Backgammon

Great for two players or as part of a tournament. Get all your pieces to the end before your opponent, and you win.

29) Clue

Colonel Mustard in the library with the wrench. Enough said.

30) Sorry

This classic competition between four people is a great addition to any list of bar games. Work in a way to involve adult beverages, and you’ve got a winner.

31) Monopoly

A bit on the long side, but if you want to encourage patrons to stay a while, organize a Monopoly tournament and watch the fun (and the beer) flow.

Best outdoor bar games

Two girls playing corn hole

32) Cornhole

Toss a bean bag into a hole from 30 feet away and win the respect of your friends. Lose, and you’ll have to drink.

33) Horseshoes

Place two stakes about 40 feet apart, take turns throwing horseshoes at the stakes trying to get a ringer. Tally the score based on the horseshoes that land closest to the stakes.

34) Axe throwing

Axe throwing is a relatively new addition to the list of best bar games, but it’s popular with the younger crowd and is a fun activity for groups of all sizes.

35) Ladder ball

To play, first set up a three-tier ladder. Stand 15 feet away and toss a bola (a rope with a ball on each end) trying to land the bola on one of three rungs each worth different points.

Run your bar better with Sling

A bar set up

Whether you choose to incorporate large bar games, small bar games, both, or none at all, you’ll still be faced with the task of coordinating your team and keeping everyone working toward success.

Sling can help with that. Sling’s suite of tools helps you run your bar better by reducing the time it takes to satisfy all the variables associated with managing a business that has at least one employee.

For more resources to help you manage your business better, organize and schedule your team, and track and calculate labor costs, visit today.

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This content is for informational purposes and is not intended as legal, tax, HR, or any other professional advice. Please contact an attorney or other professional for specific advice.

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