26 Pool Games for Adults That Make A Big Splash With Guests

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Stock the cold beers, find the fun floaties, and gather your friends; it’s time to play the best pool games for adults!

From sports on the sand to relay competitions, there’s something for every level of fitness – even the ones who just like to top up their tans by the poolside will be eager to participate.

So you can entertain the full crew, we’ve included pool games for large groups of adults, as well as some games that only require two or three players for smaller, more intimate settings.

A few of our fun adult pool party games can feature alcohol, so be sure to drink plenty of water if you choose to make this addition!

You may also like our beach games for adultsBBQ games for adults and football games for adults guides.

Now let’s dive in…

Poolside Party Games For Adults


To kick off our pool games for parties, we’re going to get the blood pumping and test team camaraderie with sports water based activities.

Water Football

Grab a water football of your choice and head into the pool, organizing for a traditional game of football played in the water.

The traditional rules of football apply, with one team playing offense with the goal of making it across the pool to a designated ‘end zone.’

It should be emphasized that the end zone should not be up against the edge of the pool, since that could end in injury.

One quarterback holds the ball while the receivers swim around the pool hoping to get open, while the defense swims in stride with the offense attempting to block a pass or get an interception.

Football fans will find this game highly entertaining, along with anyone looking for some intense competition as competitors work against the water’s current to create some space between them and their defender.

This can be played with a water specific American football, a soccer ball, or a light beach ball.

Football or soccer ball by water

Pool Basketball

Set up a poolside basketball hoop and take turns shooting the ball into the net, with the extra factor of playing in the pool making for a fun additional challenge.

There are plenty of ways to make a game out of pool basketball, from a traditional shoot-off, H-O-R-S-E, or if there are enough people you can play an actual traditional game playing to a certain score.

This game is a great option among all pool party game ideas for adults, appealing to larger groups that are willing to compete in some athletic activities, or basketball enthusiasts who want to showcase their skills in a unique setting.


Volleyball is a great option for the pool, the net and general layout applying nicely to a pool setup.

As the traditional rules of volleyball go, teams on each side try to get the ball over the net without letting it touch the water.

Regular volleyball rules apply, but allow for some adjustments due to the pool setting.

This game is a great option for energetic competitors who are looking for some intense sports and cardio.

Racing and Chasing Games

The next section will focus on adult pool party games that require some thinking and strategy while still providing lots of fun entertainment!

Some involve teamwork, while others are each wo/man for themselves.

The Movie Game

The Movie Game is a great way to combine creativity and agility, while reliving all of your favorite films.

One person sits at the edge of the pool, while everyone else is holding to the other side.

The lone person then begins to explain the plot of a movie of their choice with as vague and nondescript a synopsis as possible.

For example, if the person picked Star Wars, their description could be ‘an orphan meets up with his long-lost father with a complicated past, eventually working with a team of outcasts to take down his father’s business.’

Once someone can guess what the movie is, they swim at a rapid pace to be the first person to reach the other side of the pool.

The first person that reaches the other end of the pool gets the chance to guess the movie, and the first person to guess correctly wins a point and gets the chance to be the person describing their movie next.

The Movie Game is a great pool game for parties, allowing for a large group of contestants and involving everyone in the action at the same time.

Big screen with audience.


Colors is another rapid-fire guessing game, with high-intensity chases across the pool and a game of stealth mixed in.

One participant stands at the edge of the pool facing away from the pool, while everyone else is perpendicular to this person, going back and forth across a set distance.

Each person has a color in mind, and the participant takes turns guessing colors.

When your color is chosen, you have to try to get across the pool before the participant jumps in and gets you.

The trick is to try to be as stealthy as possible so the participant doesn’t know you’re crossing, or finds out too late.

If you are looking for ideas for pool party games, Colors is a great option for parties looking for something involving intense swimming and strategy.

Saguaro colorful hotel in Palm Spring, California.

Watermelon Relay Race

A favorite game of swim clubs around the world, Watermelon Relay Race incorporates high-speed intensity with a sizable challenge.

Players organize into teams, with the objective of moving a watermelon from one end of a pool to the other.

The catch?

The watermelon is greased up using petroleum jelly, so it is slippery.

A referee drops the watermelon in the middle of the pool and the two teams try to get the greasy fruit to either end of the pool, using their hands and feet.

Hugging the watermelon is not allowed.

Watermelon Relay Race is one of the most classic pool party games, engaging competitive adults in a game of silliness and watermelon juice.

Water melon on wooden table.

Marco Polo

Marco Polo may be a humorous game when played by children, but with adults it can become a hilarious sight of grown men and women wandering around the pool with their eyes closed screaming out the name of an old explorer.

One player (Marco) closes their eyes and tries to tag others by calling “Marco,” while the other players respond with “Polo” and attempt to avoid being caught.

Once tagged, the new Marco continues the pursuit.

This game is a great option for adults who enjoy classic pool games and want to add some childlike excitement to their pool party.

Freeze Tag

Freeze Tag is similar to a standard game of tag, except that teammates work together to cooperate by unfreezing each other through a touch.

Combining the cardio-intensive race of tag with teamwork and collaboration, Freeze Tag makes for a great strategic edge to the original game.

Of all of the swimming pool games for adults, Freeze Tag incorporates all adults who enjoy a mix of swimming and light-hearted competition.

Chicken Fight

Chicken Fight is a classic game that combines a test of coordination with the strength involved in wrestling.

Two teams of two players each, where one player acts as the “chicken” and sits on the shoulders of their teammate (the “carrier”).

The objective is to knock down the other chicken into the water while protecting your own.

This game is a great option for groups of four adventurous adults seeking some friendly competition and physical fun in the pool.

Happy woman on man shoulders in pool.

Inflatable Derby

In Inflatable Derby, each player gets on an inflatable pool toy (e.g., unicorn, flamingo) and races to the other side of the pool and back.

Both flamboyant and competitive, racers can exercise some silliness while also testing the speed limits of an inflatable flamingo.

This game is a great option for playful adults who want a hilarious race that’s equal parts wobbly and entertaining.

Multiethnic friends riding floaties on a pool.

Pool Hunts

Pool Hunts feature “go find” games and traditional card games with a twist.

Underwater Poker

Players sit on the pool bottom and try to gather the best poker hand by collecting cards scattered underwater.

This game is a great option for card game lovers who are up for a breath-holding challenge with a poolside twist.

Poolside Scavenger Hunt

A poolside scavenger hunt is a great way to use some imagination and send a whole party on a detective chase for all of the secret items around the pool.

An anonymous member hides various items around the pool area, creating a list of clues for teams to find them.

The first team that can find all of the items on the list is the winner.

Items could be things that already exist in the poolside like plants, items that have been added to the area, or themes such as something blue or something that smells sweet.

Teams can retrieve items or take photos of them as evidence that they have been located.

If you are looking for pool party game ideas, this game is a great option for groups of adults who love solving puzzles and exploring the poolside environment without too much physical exertion required.

Scavenger hunts also feature in our guide to beach games for adults.

Floating Treasure Hunt

A floating treasure hunt is a fun twist on a traditional scavenger hunt, with diving and cross-pool swimming mixed in.

The items tossed into the pool are not secret, they are tossed in generous quantities all over the pool, from the shallow end to the deep end.

Players must swim and collect as many items as possible within a given time frame, with deep-diving mixed in with scouring the shallow end with your feet.

This game is a great option for a group with energy, who enjoy diving and rapid swimming.

Front view of friends sitting at pool

Poolside Activities

This section of pool party activities for adults does what it says on the tin!

Games are played at the side of the pool, but that doesn’t mean players won’t get wet…

Water Balloon Toss

Test your coordination with the risk of a big splash with an old-fashioned water balloon toss.

Divide into pairs and stand facing each other, one person holding a water balloon.

The one holding the balloon tosses to the other, each person taking a step back after each successful catch.

The game goes on, with the distance between the throwers growing steadily until there is only one unpopped balloon left.

This poolside party game is a great option for adults who enjoy a refreshing challenge and don’t mind getting wet in the process.

Poolside Charades

A little more reserved with additional back-and-forth exchange, poolside charades combines social gaming with a poolside theme.

Each team takes their turn using a chosen word and trying to get their teammates to guess the word in the process.

This game is a great pool party activity for adults, appealing to social and outgoing adults who may not be looking for an overly-energetic pool activity.

Poolside Trivia

Who doesn’t love a quiz to test their friends’ knowledge on topics they love?

Create a set of questions around a theme such as movies, TV, music, sports, or even facts about the friends at the pool party for the quizmaster to ask then tally up the scores to see who knows the most about the topic.

The beauty of this game in a pool setting is that there are no limits to the number of participants.

Another bonus is here at Games & Trivia Quizzes we have our trivia catalog already made for you!

We also have this nifty guide to quiz rounds, including picture rounds, music, and unusual rounds your guests would never think of.

Games Trivia Quizzes Feature Image image of quiz sheet

Limbo in the Pool

Limbo in the Pool is a watery twist on the classic stretch-to-the-floor game.

Participants hold a pool noodle across the pool and challenge players to limbo under it while in the water.

This game is a great option for flexible and fun-loving adults who enjoy testing their limbo skills while on a day at the beach.

Limbo also features in our BBQ games for adults guide.

Slip ‘n Slide

Set up a long water slide leading into the pool, and participants slide down while trying to reach the farthest point in the pool.

Slip ‘n Slide makes for a hilarious showing of complete lack of style and grace as everyone in the party stumbles to the finish, usually covered in grass and mud as they make their way toward the pool.

This game is a great option of all fun pool party games for adults looking to relive childhood memories and enjoy some carefree fun in the water.

Poolside Karaoke

Set up a poolside karaoke station and take turns singing your favorite tunes while others enjoy from the water.

If you are looking to make the game competitive, set up a team of judges to determine who put on the best show.

If any of your guests play an instrument, get them to play while others sing along.

This game is a great option for music enthusiasts who aren’t afraid to sing their hearts out and entertain the crowd, and may be looking for something less competitive.

Group of cheerful seniors by swimming pool outdoors in backyard, party concept


The following games to play at your pool party are geared up for the most competitive members of the party.

These fast paced activities will challenge even the most talented members while still providing giggles and good times.

Splash Contest

The splash contest is a classic game that has been around as long as there have been diving boards.

Contestants take turns doing their most impressive and creative splash into the pool, with different contestants unleashing cannonballs as large as they can possibly get.

Judges score based on the size of the initial splash, the following waves, as well as the style and technique of the cannonball.

This game is a great game to play at a pool party, perfect for those who pride themselves in their cannonball technique, as well as those who love the chance to sit back and judge their friends.

Belly Flop Contest

In the belly flop contest, participants take turns performing their best belly flop into the pool, unabashed and bold.

Judges score each flop based on style and splash, with special marks with those that show utter fearlessness in their pursuit of the master flop.

This game is a great option for the spirited adults who don’t mind a bit of temporary discomfort for some big laughs and applause.

Smiling woman underwater close up portrait in swimming pool.

Drinking Games

Now it’s time to crank up the heat and introduce some booze to the pool party!

From traditional drinking games to lesser-known, the following are sure to keep conversation flowing.

Remember to stay hydrated while playing these drinking pool party games.

Why not incorporate drinking water into a game?

Poolside Mixology

Poolside Mixology is a win-win across the board when it comes to games to play at a pool party, for the mixers who get to compete and everyone that gets to taste their creations.

Set up a poolside bar area with all of the ingredients required to make some delicious cocktails.

Each participant creates their signature poolside drink, and judges rank them by taste and creativity.

This game is a great option for adults who enjoy mixing and sipping delicious beverages while basking in the sun, with a bit of competition and a lot of refreshment mixed in.

Note: milk-based cocktail ingredients will require a reliable cooler.

You may also like our tea party games for adults featuring a mixing game like this.

Beer Pong

Set up a beer pong table by the poolside and take turns attempting to get small balls into red solo cups.

If a ball lands in an opponent’s cup, they drink the beer.

This game is a great adult pool party game for adults who enjoy drinking games and friendly rivalry, perfect for a pool party with a fun atmosphere.

Floating Pong

Similar to beer pong, but with a floating beer pong table in the pool.

Players must make shots while in the water, adding an extra challenge to the classic game.

This game is a great option for those who enjoy the classic beer pong but want to make it more exciting by playing in the pool.

Flip Cup

Go back to college for the day with a game of flip cup by the pool.

Form two teams and have each player drink from a cup, usually a red solo cup, before attempting to flip it over with their fingers.

The team that finishes first wins.

Flip Cup is a lighthearted pool drinking game for adults who want to enjoy some fun and laughter by the pool.

Try next: Cocktail Party Games for Adults.

Cropped view of friends toasting plastic cups on black — Photo

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