15 FUN POOL PARTY GAMES FOR ALL AGES



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 15 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 of games, including classics and ones you may have never heard of, here’s a game out there for everyone!

So, without further ado, let’s jump into the 15 best pool party games of all time!

1. 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! To play, one player closes their eyes and counts to number 10 while standing in the middle of the pool. The other players scatter around the pool.

The player who is It will call out “Marco” as the other players reply loudly with “Polo”. The goal of the player who is It is to catch another player with their eyes closed. Absolutely no peeking allowed!

If the player who is It manages to tag another player, then they switch places, and that player becomes It! The next It then closes their eyes and counts to 10 before resuming the game once again.

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

WHAT YOU NEED

While you don’t need a specific item to play Marco Polo, the game is always more fun with some fun floaties around – making the game more difficult to play! Here are some items you should consider:

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2. 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 in the heat of the summer!

Adults and children alike will enjoy Sharks and Minnows, building their suspension and adrenaline. To play this game, one player plays the Shark while everyone else plays the Minnows. The Minnows must practice their sneaking skills. All Minnows start at the shallow end of the pool, and the Shark stalks the deep end with their eyes closed. The Minnows will slowly creep up towards the deep end, with the goal of reaching the other end of the pool in order to be safe. And remember: Minnows can only go forward, not backward! The Shark, on the other hand, must try to catch a Minnow.

To make the game even more interesting, the Shark must chant, “Here fishy, fishy. Come and play!” throughout the game.

As easy as it sounds, this game will get you disoriented and confused super quick! If you’re the Shark, don’t be disheartened if you don’t manage to catch a Minnow – you’ll get another chance!

WHAT YOU NEED

While there are no requirements for materials when you play Sharks and Minnows, as with any other pool game, the game is only more fun with floaties and other obstacles in the pool! These materials can add a lot of dimension to the game:

3. CHANGE CHAMPION

Change Champion is an awesome game 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 to collect as much money as possible!

Where is the challenge, you ask? The players are only allowed to pick up one coin per hand per dive! So, the faster you are, the better!

Once all the change is collected, count the money. The player who collects the most money wins the game. If you want to up the stakes a little bit, announce to the players that everyone is allowed to keep the collected change afterward!

WHAT YOU NEED

While you can certainly use real money to play this game, another option is to buy some fake coins. That way, you don’t risk losing any of your coins.

4. MOTHER DUCK

Want a game that will keep the kids occupied for a while? Mother Duck is the game for you! Your kids will definitely be out of breath before long. Ready to start the game? First things first, all players must get out of the pool.

Then simply dump a whole bunch of ping pong balls into the pool. Make sure to swirl them around the pool with a net or other long object to ensure the balls are evenly dispersed. Place buckets for each player or team at one end of the pool’s edge. At the signal, all players jump into the pool and collect as many ping pong balls as possible into their bucket! Just like a mother duck would collect her ducklings.

Sounds too easy, right? Well, here’s the catch. Players cannot touch the ping pong balls! Instead, they must blow them or manipulate the water in order to get the balls to the bucket. Each ball that touches the side of the pool with the buckets is a point won, and that ball can now be picked up and put into the player or team’s bucket! The player or team with the most ping pong balls, or ducklings, wins the game!

WHAT YOU NEED

Of course, the main thing you’ll need to play Mother Duck is a whole bunch of ping pong balls. The best part is that a ping pong ball can come in super useful in a variety of party game scenarios, so you can reuse them for more adult games like Beer Pong as well!

5. H-O-R-S-E POOL GAME

Horse is an awesome pool-based basketball game for those who love sports but 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 on reading! Horse incorporates pool basketball and extreme competition into one single competitive game.

To play Horse, all players must take a shot from the same place. Players take turns to choose a place from where to take a shot. If they make it, every other player must try to make that same shot. If a player misses, then they earn a letter, slowly spelling out the word H-O-R-S-E. Players are slowly eliminated after five missed shots. The last player standing wins!

WHAT YOU NEED

To play this fast-paced basketball pool game, you’re going to need, you guessed it, a basketball hoop. Set up this hoop in one end of the pool, and get ready to have the time of your life!

6. HUMAN RING TOSS 

Human Ring Toss is a game that requires very little preparation, and most of the materials you’ll need to play can be found at your pool already! With this game, take two pool noodles tape them together to form a ring. Once you’ve got that set up, you’re ready to play Human Ring Toss, a game perfect for any age group, as it can be played in the shallow end or the deep end of the pool.

After making 5 rings, the players must stand in the pool. Like a game of Ring Toss at the fair, the players must orient themselves in a triangle, or they may stand in other shapes to make the game more challenging – it’s totally up to you! The players that are farthest away will be worth more points than those that are closer.

All players take turns throwing the giant pool noodle 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. Calculate the points based on what ring tosses were successful. The player with the most points wins the game.

WHAT YOU NEED

While most pools may already have some pool noodles, you’re going to need a minimum of 10 to play this game! Here are the materials you’ll need:

7. SPIKEBUOY 

If you love playing Spikeball at outdoor gatherings, then Spikebuoy is the perfect game for you. As the water version of Spikeball, this game requires a lot more diving, leading to a whole lot of more fun for everyone involved – especially during a hot summer day!

Put the Spikebuoy net in the middle of the pool to get started. Divide the players into two teams of two. All players must circle the net. Then, Team One starts the game by spiking the ball into the net. Team Two gets up to three hits before they must spike the ball back into the net for Team One. Continue rallying in this manner until one team is unable to legally return the ball.

The first team to get to 21 points with a 2 point difference wins the game!

WHAT YOU NEED

To play Spikebuoy, you’ll need to purchase a Spikebuoy set, which consists of the Spikeball Standard Kit and the Spikebuoy Accessory:

8. HYDRAPONG

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, don’t worry, you can easily replace the alcoholic beverages with water or soda.

Have you ever played Beer Pong? Hydrapong is essentially the same game but with the added twist of playing this classic drinking game on water. Set up all the plastic cups filled with your chosen beverage on the Hydrapong board. The two players must stand at opposite ends of the board. This game can also be played with four players, with two teams of two.

Players take turns to try to sink a ping pong ball into their opponent’s cup. Each time a player manages to sink an opponent’s cup by landing a ping pong ball inside, the cup is removed from the triangle, and the losing player must drink it!

The game ends when a player or team manages to get rid of all of their opponent’s cups!

WHAT YOU NEED

To play, all you need is the Hydrapong board, plastic cups, and ping pong balls. Set this all up in the pool and you’ll be splashing around before you know it!

9. 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 it is a super simple game that anyone can play!

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. But don’t be fooled; this sounds much easier than it is. Throughout the game, you will have players diving to save the ball while others may completely miss their shot!

WHAT YOU NEED

If you don’t already own an inflatable beach ball, here are our two top picks that you can buy with just a few dollars.

10. CHICKEN

Chicken is a pool game classic that is perfect for all ages. Break up the players into teams of two, with one person sits on the shoulders of their other team member. Once the teams are ready, the chicken fight begins!

The players on top attack each other, attempting to push their opponents over and into the pool. The person on the bottom must attempt to keep the team attached and not fall. 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 in elimination style! The only word of caution is to stay closer to the middle of the pool to ensure that nobody accidentally hits the side.

WHERE TO BUY

The best thing about Chicken is that you don’t need any materials to play this game! However, if you want to play this game with a twist, one option is to use pool noodles as jousts!

11. OBSTACLE COURSE

Everyone will have played some kind of Obstacle Course at some point in their lives. And on an especially hot day, why not burn some energy setting up and playing an Obstacle Course in the pool! To play, first of all, you’ll need to set up the course. Setting up the course will require some creativity, but once it’s set up, get ready to have the time of your life! Players take turns one-by-one to complete the timed Obstacle Course.

An example Obstacle Course could look like this:

  1. Cannonball into the pool
  2. Swim across the length of the pool
  3. Do a handstand
  4. Swim through the Swim Thru Rings
  5. Climb up the ladder
  6. Slide down the pool side

The player who completes the Obstacle Course fastest wins the game!

WHAT YOU NEED

Let your imagination run wild when it comes to a Pool Obstacle Course! You can set up anything throughout your pool using your existing pool accessories, or buy some of our top picks for pool accessories that would make a fantastic Obstacle Course for you and your family.

12. POOL FISHING

Fish for some treasure with a game of Pool Fishing! In this game, all you need is one net per player and some toys to throw into the pool. You can get a designated treasure box of dive toys easily on Amazon.

To play, throw all of the toys into the pool. The goal of the game is for the players to catch all of the toys before they sink to the bottom! Players must use their nets to catch as many toys or treasures as they can. The player who manages to catch the most in their net wins the game!

WHAT YOU NEED

To play Pool Fishing, you’ll need a net to fish and some pool toys to fish for! Here are our top picks for this game:

13. POOL BASKETBALL

Basketball is one of the most popular professional sports in the United States. So, why not bring this fun game into the pool at your next pool party? Pool basketball essentially involves setting up a basketball hoop inside your pool and, well… playing basketball! The rules for pool basketball are the same as normal basketball, albeit with a few differences:

  • There are no free throws or 3-pointers
  • Each successful basket is worth 1 point
  • Out of bounds is the edge of the pool
  • You cannot walk with the ball; instead, you must pass it to a teammate to advance the ball

Other than this, the game is essentially the same as standard basketball. You can either play for a set amount of time or for a set amount of points. Most commonly, the first team to 21 points wins.

WHAT YOU NEED

So, what are you waiting for? Grab a pool basketball hoop set and live out your Lebron James dreams by shooting some hoops while cooling off in the water!

14. WATER GUN BATTLE

Waterguns are an essential item for your pool party! And a water gun battle is a fun game to get everyone in the pool area involved. This game is simple: get a water gun for everyone at the pool party, separate everyone into teams, and go to war! Alternatively, you can organize a free-for-all water gun fight where it is every man for themselves!  

Another game that you could play with water guns is water gun tag. In this game, only one player is given a water gun and must try to “tag” other players by squirting them with the water gun. If a player is “tagged” they become “it” and are given the gun.

WHAT YOU NEED

It’s a no-brainer that you need water guns in order to play a water gun battle! Here are our top picks for water guns if you don’t have some in your pool shed already.

15. INFLATABLE RING TOSS GAME

Another easy and fun pool party game to set up is an inflatable ring toss. All you need for this game is a simple inflatable ring toss set. Kids and adults alike can then compete with each other to land rings on the inflatable ring toss set. This game, as simple as it may seem, can take some practice to master.

Inflatable Ring Toss is SUPER easy to play. Simply inflate the rings and the target, place the target in the pool, and attempt to make the rings loop around the protruding targets. You can either play this game in teams or individually, and there are many different rules that can be customized. Here are some examples of rules that can be customized in an inflatable ring toss:

  • You must throw with your eyes closed
  • You have to announce which color target your ring will loop around
  • You must throw the ring while jumping into the pool.

WHAT YOU NEED

So, what do you need to play this awesome game in the pool? Thankfully, it doesn’t require much. All you need is an inflatable ring toss, which can come in all sorts of shapes and fun animals!

SO, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

Pools can always be fun on their own, but bringing in some pool games to your next pool party will turn the fun up a notch! These 15 games are fun for kids and adults, so you can get the whole family involved at your next pool party! Always remember to keep safety in mind when playing in the pool, and of course, have fun!

Ellie Phillips
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