24 BBQ Games for Adults: Sports, Knowledge & Drinking Games

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Spark up the grill and gather your friends as we get into the best BBQ games for adults!

From sports to trivia, there’s something for every party goer – even the ones who don’t like to break sweat will be keen to get involved.

We’ve included party games for large groups of adults too, so you can keep everyone entertained, and if you prefer a more intimate afternoon, there are suggestions that only require two or three guests.

We get it, some outdoor celebrations should end by 9pm…

However, since we’re talking backyard BBQ games for adults, a handful of the following features/require liquid courage, so pack the cooler full of beers and let’s get this party started.

You may also like our beach games, pool party games, tea party games, and football games.

BBQ Party Games Ideas For Adults

Cornhole

Cornhole has become the go-to backyard game for the whole summer.

If you are looking for fun BBQ games for adults, Cornhole is often the most popular and one of the most accessible.

The board is a simple plank of wood extended upward at an angle with holes scattered around the board.

The goal of the game is to either land bean bags on the board from a distance, or better yet get the ball to go through one of the holes.

The teams are usually two against two, with one person from each team on a given side.

Defense is also a consideration with this game, as you can attempt to knock off the other team’s bean bags and thus remove one of their points in the process.

Cornhole is the perfect combination of a considerable challenge but also an incredibly simple gameplay that anyone can join in on.

You can buy Cornhole boards and kits at Walmart and Amazon.

This activity also features in our Friendsgiving games.

Cornhole Board on grass.

Horse Shoes

The game of horseshoes is so simple that it isn’t surprising that it dates back to Ancient Rome over 2,000 years ago.

The goal of the game is straightforward, you throw horseshoes at a standing pole, collecting points based on how close you were to ringing the horseshoe around the pole.

The game can be made more complicated by extending the distance between poles, or establishing unique scoring rules with more ways to score.

One of the draws of the game, though, is its beautiful simplicity that can welcome kids and adults alike.

Lake Ostego Fenimore Art Museum, metal horse with scenic backdrop

Limbo

The game of limbo is one of the oldest recorded games, testing your flexibility, or testing how much personal injury you can commit to at this backyard barbecue.

A fun outdoor BBQ game for adults and kids alike, Limbo can bring out the goofy and the competitive out of everyone.

There is one stick that is held by two people horizontally at about shoulder height.

All players take turns bending backwards so they don’t touch the stick in any way.

If a person falls over or touches the stick, they are out of the game.

As should be expected, with every new round the height of the stick will be lowered, adding to the difficulty of the game.

Alternatively, you can invest in a limbo kit like this one.

If you are looking to make Limbo more interesting, play it with roller skates or, better yet, incorporate the slip n’ slide and see if you can slide under the Limbo stick.

Friends Dancing Limbo dance at beach

Relay Race

If you have access to a track, or just want to section off a large portion of your backyard, set up a relay race!

Relay races are a great way to involve a larger group of people, while also incorporating teamwork into the competition.

Each team breaks up into their portion of the race, in various places around the designated track.

The starting racers line up with batons in hand, and their job is to run until they reach the next person on their team.

At that point, there needs to be a seamless transition, handing the baton from one racer to the next.

While this is a test of speed, there is also an important element of strategy and teamwork.

Each position of the race has its own unique role, and so each person needs to be assigned appropriately.

Whether you are interested in strategy or not, a relay race is a great way to tire everyone out and let off some steam on the racetrack.

You can also mix things up by adding different types of challenges during the race such as the two-legged race, egg and spoon, or blinded folded!

This relay kit has everything you need.

Woman running yellow background

Pinochle

Pinochle is an old Italian card game that has a pretty steep learning curve, but can become a heated adventure once people get invested.

The game is fast-paced and exhilarating, involving either two or four players at any given time.

The purpose of the game is to utilize different combinations of cards to score points, with each card having a unique value.

It should be emphasized that Pinochle is not something that everyone can jump in on, and if you are interested in playing you may need to sit and watch for a few rounds before you understand the rules.

Kan Jam

For the frisbee marksmen, Kan Jam is an exercise in extreme precision.

For the casual barbecue attendee, Kan Jam is a fun way to sling a frisbee across the field and hope for a miracle.

Kan Jam is a fun change of pace from some other games because it is a cooperative game of teamwork that requires a high amount of skill when played at a serious level.

The equipment includes two plastic tubs the size of trash cans, with a horizontal opening in the side that could fit a frisbee through, and not much space to spare; check out this kit.

One player is responsible for trying to throw the frisbee into the can, while the other stands above that can and attempts to help when possible.

If the player makes contact with the can in any way, the team gets two points.

The teammate is allowed to hit the frisbee so that it would then hit the can, and the team would still be awarded with one point.

If the teammate is able to assist so that the frisbee enters the can, either through the top or through the side hole, the team gets three points.

What can make the game especially interesting is that there is a special play where, if the thrower is able to get the frisbee through the side slot without teammate assistance, they win the game instantly.

Disc Golf

Keeping with the frisbee (ish) theme, Golf Frisbee merges two popular sports, golf and frisbee, to create a tricky and competitive backyard game!

This recreational game uses discs and a net on a pole, instead of a ball and club.

The aim is to get the disc in the net but it is way harder than it sounds!

Love golf? Check out our Golf Trivia!

Disc golf net in garden with fall colors

Ladder Toss

This game may have a range of different names and an unclear history, but the rules are simple and anyone can get in on the fun once you get started.

The equipment involved is a bit complicated, including a ladder with three wooden tiers and ropes with plastic balls on either side; you can purchase a set on Amazon.

The ropes come in two different colors, with each color belonging to a team.

Each player throws the rope at the ladder, with the goal of wrapping the ladder around one of the wooden horizontal poles.

If you wrap the rope around the top tier, you get three points, the middle tier is worth two and the bottom tier is worth one.

With only a few pieces of equipment required, Ladder Toss is a great cookout activity for adults that can get everyone involved.

The game may seem simple, but once you near the end of the game and you are down five, the game suddenly becomes highly strategic and intense.

Lawn Darts

Test your precision without any risk of injury with lawn darts.

Lawn darts are exactly like the traditional game of darts, except the dart board is on the ground and the darts themselves are oversized.

Each person attempts to throw the oversized darts on the board and test their precision skills, and the person who scores the most points wins.

Score calculation varies by product, but the general rule is that there are a series of rings of varying size, and getting your dart into each ring has a unique score based on the size.

The whole group can toss darts from three feet away for a good laugh, or the intensely competitive neighbors can move the rings fifteen feet back and play for the last slice of pie.

Lawn Bowling

Bowling has always been a go-to outdoors activity that everyone can get involved in.

That is even more true on the lawn, where big inflatable bowling pins can be lined up in the grass and knocked over with an oversized bowling ball.

You can make the game more difficult by extending the distance between you and the pins, but for a standard barbecue it’s best to keep them close and let everyone in on the fun.

To take this game to an extreme level, take out your slip and slide, put the bowling pins at the end, and make yourself the bowling ball.

Bocce Ball

Bocce ball is a slightly more involved game that requires space and equipment, but it is an incredibly enjoyable game that anyone can join in on.

The sport of bocce ball dates back thousands of years, with recorded history of the sport in ancient Egypt, ancient Rome and throughout Asia dating back two thousand years ago.

You do not need exceptional skills to participate, which is a great feature for a backyard barbecue.

One ball, called the ‘pallino’ is thrown into the field of play and serves as the marking point that the rest of the game is played around.

The purpose of the game is to throw other, larger balls as close to the pallino as possible.

There is a small learning curve and limited skill requirements, which makes bocce ball a great, highly accessible game for all ages and skill levels.

If you’re familiar with the winter sport, curling, you’ll excel at this BBQ game!

Bocce also features in our beach games guide.

People playing patanque in park

Badminton

A more approachable and easy to set-up version of tennis with a lower learning curve, badminton is a great backyard activity for any barbecue.

Badminton has ancient origins in Asia, originally gaining modern-day prominence in Europe during the late 1800s.

The layout and scoring structure of badminton is similar to tennis, with players on either side of a net hitting a ball back and forth with rackets.

The rackets are very light, and the net is very easy to set up anywhere at all, which makes the game very approachable in terms of set up and accessibility for anyone hoping to join in on the fun.

Spikeball

Spikeball has quickly become a very popular sport among school playgrounds and beaches everywhere throughout the summer.

All that is required to play is a small net and a ball, which makes it very easy to set up at a BBQ with barely any lawn space required.

The game is usually very high-paced, with the objective of keeping a ball from ever hitting the ground.

One player knocks the ball down so that it bounces off of a net that is situated on the ground, and from there another player is required to do the same without the ball hitting the ground at any time.

While easy to set up and quick to learn, this game does require heavy cardio and flexibility, so whoever wishes to participate should be aware of that consideration.

Tug of War

Tug of war is timeless, often the premier contest in any elementary school field day.

The rules are incredibly simple: there is one rope, and a team on each side attempts to pull it towards them until they reach a designated spot in the grass.

The game is a test of will and strength, with the only strategy involving specific stance and the physics involved in working as a team.

One big highlight to the game is that, when it is all said and done, the losing team often ends up sliding forward into the dirt, and even the winning team can fall backwards in a big pile of bodies.

Watch your peers turn into kids again during this BBQ game!

Tug of War with friends in garden.

Dizzy Bats

The specific rules around Dizzy Bats will vary, but the one common rule is that each player gets incredibly dizzy by spinning around a baseball bat 3-5 times as fast as they can.

In some versions of the game, Dizzy Bats is a race to one end of the field and back.

When a racer gets to the point where they need to turn around and run back, they must spin around a baseball bat a designated amount of times.

In other versions of the game, drinking is also involved to make things even more chaotic.

In an extreme variation, Dizzy Bats can also just be a baseball game, except before every swing the batter needs to spin around the baseball bat five times.

Kickball

You will need a significant amount of space to play kickball, but if you have a field then it can be a great sport that allows everyone to participate at the same time.

The rules of kickball are very similar to baseball, except instead of a baseball you hit with a bat, there is a kickball that you kick with your foot.

The kicking of the ball is much easier than hitting a baseball with a bat, which makes it one of the more accessible sports in terms of skill level requirements.

Fielding and base-running may require skills and athleticism, but the kicking of the ball is easy and anyone that doesn’t feel comfortable running can be a pinch kicker.

While it does occupy significant physical space, a benefit is that the only equipment needed is the ball itself.

Kickball is a great party game for a large group of adults, involving two large teams and not requiring advanced skill beyond general athleticism.

You may also find our football games for adults guide useful.

Five multiethnic friends talking and smiling together

Giant Jenga

Jenga is a game of patience and strategy, extracting small blocks of wood from a tower of blocks as if you were a surgeon in the operating room.

If the tower falls over while you are attempting to pull out your piece, then you lose the game.

When it comes to the backyard variety, the Jenga pieces are extremely oversized, which makes for a more interactive experience and a more dramatic crash when all of the pieces inevitably tumble to the ground.

Giant Checkers

One popular in-house game brought outside is giant checkers, often played on a large rug designed to look like a checkers board and comically large checkers pieces.

The game of checkers has a small learning curve, although there can be more strategy involved if there are more experienced players involved.

The original rules of checkers still apply, with each player starting with all of the red or all of the black checkers on their side of the board.

From there, you move your pieces around the oversized board while trying to capture the other team’s pieces and not giving any of yours away in the process.

Giant checkers on green grass

Flip Cup

Flip Cup is one of those games that can be found at every college party, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t any less fun at a backyard barbecue.

The setup is relatively simple, although you will need several plastic cups, a long table and a beverage of your choice.

The teams line up face-to-face across the table, with the same amount of people on each side.

The first person then starts chugging their drink, and once they are done they need to flip the empty plastic cup over onto the table.

The first team to get all cups flipped over wins, which can make things highly competitive and intense as you near the end of the table.

Slip and Flip

Slip and Flip is an extreme variation of flip cup, and one that only the physically durable should participate in.

The original rules of flip cup still apply, where you need to chug your beverage, then attempt to flip the empty cup over onto a table so that the top is facing down.

The twist is that each player begins at a slip n’ slide, holding their full drink.

Each person goes through the slip n’ slide with a drink in hand, then gets up at the table to compete in flip cup.

There are now multiple variables involved: you have to go through the slip n’ slide quickly so that you can start chugging sooner, but you also need to be able to keep your drink stable while you tumble down the slide.

The game is sure to produce plenty of laughs, but make sure you have more than enough space to house the slide and table, which will at least partially aid in preventing injuries.

Cropped view of friends toasting plastic cups on black — Photo

Beer Pong

If you have attended college or even just watched a movie about kids at college, you have assuredly seen the game of beer pong.

While most common at college parties, beer pong is also one of the more fun BBQ party games for adults, even if it does involve drinking.

In order to set up a game of beer pong, you will need about twenty cups, a long table, a set of ping pong balls, and the beverage of your choice.

Each team can organize the cups in various shapes, with the goal of throwing ping pong balls into the other team’s cups.

If the ball goes into the cup, that team has to drink from that cup and set it aside.

The first team to run out of cups loses, and it doesn’t help that the more cups the other team sinks, the more you have to drink.

Try next: Cocktail Party Games for Adults.

Scavenger Hunt

A scavenger hunt is a great way to get the whole party involved, with no barriers to entry beyond the willingness to compete.

A premade list of items is produced with vague clues that teams attempt to solve before anyone else.

The clues should direct teams to specific items or places hidden around the yard.

The rules can either be inclusive, allowing each team to make note of what they found, potentially with photo evidence, or the first person to find said item has to take it, and the team with the most items at the end wins.

Etsy has hundreds of pre-made scavenger hunt packs which save time and brain power!

Many are themed such as July 4th and Father’s Day.

Trivia

Classic and easy to be a part of, trivia can include the entire party and has endless opportunities for creativity.

The general rules of trivia are universal: a set of questions are prepared ahead of time, and teams or individuals compete to see who can get the most answers correct.

The details are up to you.

The theme can be whatever you prefer, whether it’s movies, TV, music, sports, or even facts about the family around you.

The beauty of this game in a BBQ setting is that there is no limit to how many people can participate.

If the crowd is getting too rowdy, switch to written answers that are submitted at the end of each round or calculated at the end.

If you are looking for party game ideas for adults at your barbecue, consider setting up a quick trivia game and encouraging everyone to participate.

Another bonus is that we’ve made up lots of trivia quizzes for you already!

Here’s our summer quiz, which has five rounds.

Check out our trivia catalog.

We also have this useful article on quiz rounds, some of which are pretty unique.

Games Trivia Quizzes Feature Image image of quiz sheet

Truth or Drink

As the BBQ fire goes out and the night draws in, it’s time to use that liquid courage to get to know your friends better through a game of truth or drink!

Players decide between answering a truth question or taking a drink, where that be one finger or three fingers worth!

We have a list of truth or drink questions that you can choose from here.

Another option is to add dare to the mix!

Here’s the ultimate list of dares for friends.

Four multiethnic friends happily talking with each other.

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