Looking for some new pool games to try out during your next pool party? Do you just need a refresher on the classics like Marco Polo or Chicken? Then you’ve come to the right place.

Check out our list of 10 fun pool games that can spice up any pool party or get together. These games include pool games for kids or swimming pool games for adults. With a variety including a classic game, a tag game, and a number of other pool games, this list includes something for everyone!

With any of these games to play, caution should be taken when involving younger children. Some of them require diving, continuous swimming, or fast swimming. Remember to always exercise caution and use swim safety, regardless of ability level.  

From HORSE and Shark and Minnows to Pong and team challenges, there’s something for everybody here: 

Marco Polo 

Marco Polo is a classic swimming pool game that kids love. If you have never played Marco Polo, boy are you missing out! One player will close their eyes and count to number 10 while standing in the middle of the pool. The other players scatter around the pool while they are counting to 10. The goal is to avoid the other player that stands in the middle of the pool as much as possible, or else you may become It! 

The player who is It will call out “Marco” as the other players reply loudly with “Polo”. If the player who is It tags another player, then they switch places, and that player will begin calling out “Marco, attempting to tag another player.  

This game is perfect for younger kids. Players can use a pool float or pool noodle to maneuver themselves around the pool while playing.

Sharks and Minnows 

Sharks and Minnows is a fast-paced pool game that has long-lasting popularity, originating in the fifties. This game is perfect for any age group, allowing everyone to have a safe, fun time without there being cause for a lot of concern!  

Adults and children alike will enjoy Sharks and Minnows, building their suspension and adrenaline. As players practice their sneaking skills, quiet as little Minnows, the Shark attempts to tag one of them when they reach the deep end while keeping eyes closed, before they make it to safety! The first player that gets tagged becomes the new Shark. 

To keep the spirit of the game, the players must chant when they are playing the role of the Shark. That is the punishment of being a Shark. When the chanting begins, the game starts, and the shark attempts to tag other players. The Minnows may move in a single file like, or they may swim spread around the pool in an attempt to avoid getting tagged.

As easy as it sounds, this game will get you disoriented and confused super quick! Don’t be disheartened if you don’t get anyone on your first time.  

Change Champion 

Change Champion is an awesome game those players who love to take a dive. It is also the perfect time for players to be money hungry, as that is the point of the game, after all. Toss a handful of change, ensuring that there are all different types of coins, into the pool. Once the change sinks, the players will jump off the edge of the pool into the water to begin thier collection.

Where is the challenge at, you ask? The players will swim around the bottom of the pool collecting the change, but they are only allowed to pick up one coin with each hand per dive.

Once all the change is collected, the winner is determined. The winner is the player who collected the most money on the dive. The best part of the entire game is that players are able to keep the change after! 

Mother Duck  

Want a game that will keep the kids occupied for a while? This is the game for you! They will be out of breath before they get their bucket full. With this game, everyone must begin by getting out of the pool.  

Someone will dump a lot of ping pong balls in the pool, swirling them around to ensure that they are evenly dispersed. When they say “Go” everyone will jump in and collect as many ping pong balls as they can!  

Does it sound too easy? Players are not allowed to touch the ping pong balls. Instead, they must blow them or use the water to get them closer to a certain side of the pool. With each ball that they get to touch the side, they win a point. The player with the most points, wins!  

H-O-R-S-E Pool Game 

Horse is an awesome pool based basketball game for those who love sports, but they also want to enjoy a hot summer day in the pool. There’s no lounging with this game, so if that is what you are looking for, keep scrolling! Horse incorporates pool basketball and extreme competition into one game.  

With horse, all players must take a shot from the same place. If you miss, then you earn a letter, spelling out the word H-O-R-S-E. Some of the shots may be trick shots or shots from dry land, but once a player chooses where they are shooting from, then every player after them must take the same shot. After five missed shots, you are out of the game. The last player standing, wins! 

Human Ring Toss 

Human Ring Toss is a game that requires little preparation, and most of the things that you need can be found at your pool already! With this game, take two pool noodles, and using tape, tape them together to form a ring. It is perfect for any age group, as it can be played in the shallow end or the deep end of the pool. 

After forming 5 rings, the rest of the players will stand out in a pool. Like a game of Ring Toss at the fair, the players mays orient themselves in a triangle, or they may stand in other shapes. The players that are farthest away will be worth more points than the players that are close up.  

Each player will take a turn throwing the giant rings at their friends. This will quickly lead to lots of laughs as players get knocked in the head with pool noodles! The game ends after every player has had a chance to throw all five rings at their friends.  


If you love playing Spike Ball at outdoor gatherings, then Spikebuoy is perfect for you in the summertime while you are cooling off in the pool. As the water version of Spike Ball, this game requires a lot more diving, leading to a lot more fun for everyone involved. To play, the materials must be purchased.  

This game is perfect for any age group, but it is typically harder to play if there is a large age discrepancy amongst the players. The younger ones may not enjoy it as much. Played to 11 points, Spikebuoy can have everyone up and moving instead of burning on their floats! 


Hydrapong is the perfect combination of beer pong and pool parties. It is a fun, alcohol filled game that can quickly lead to a buzzing good time. If younger players want to be involved, water or soda may be used in place of alcoholic beverages. After all, everyone wants to have a good time with this awesome game! 

All that you have to have is the Hydrapong board, plastic cups, and Ping pong balls. Most, if not all of these, are found at a college student’s house. Set it up in the pool and get to splashing before you know it!  

There’s nothing like a pool without a classic party game, so why not do both? The best part of this game you ask? This game can be played across the pool, at just an end of the pool, or even on the side of the pool.

The floating board keeps the players’ drinks from getting water in them, and the use of Ping pong balls requires very little diving since they float as well. This game is great for adult parties, but it can be quickly modified for any age participation.  

Ball Up 

Ball Up is a game that many of you have probably already played without even knowing it. This game only requires two things, a beach ball and a lot of energy. Ball Up is perfect for families with younger children, as the rules are very simple to understand and put into practice.  

There are only two rules to the game. One, keep the beach ball in the air. Two, you cannot hit the beach ball two times in a row or you are out of the game. The players will stand in a circle, in or out of the pool, and bat the ball around.  

The goal is to ensure that the ball never hits the ground. It sounds much easier than it is. You will have players diving to save it, while the rest of the players may miss their shot completely.  Beach balls are the perfect pool toy as players do not get hurt when they get hit with it, making it one of the perfect games to play with younger players.


Chicken is a pool game classic that is fun for any participant. The players will break up into teams of two. One person will sit on the shoulders of their other team member. Once both teams are ready, the chicken fight will begin!  

The players on top will attack each other, attempting to push their opponents over. The person on the bottom must attempt to keep them attached, ensuring that they are not attacking the other bottom. Players are permitted to use whatever force necessary to remove the other players! 

After a team has won, they may face other teams in a chicken fight, depending on how many players there are. The only word of caution is to stay closer to the middle of the pool to ensure that nobody accidentally hits the side.  


While pool parties are always fun on their own, implementing swimming pool games can keep everyone active and stimulated for a long-lasting fun-filled day! These fun games will keep everyone entertained, from the little five-year-olds to the adults that are watching them.  

Pool games should always be played with safety and caution, ensuring that safety gear is used with younger children that are at a higher risk of injury or drowning. Many of these games can be modified for swimmers that are less experienced, ensuring that they still have a great time.

Ellie Phillips