Whether you’re exploring a new city or enjoying your hometown, the most popular pub games can help ensure you have an epic night.
Pub games have been an integral part of socializing and unwinding for ages. Maybe you’re looking to challenge your friends, break the ice with strangers, or simply have a blast. A place with the right selection of pub games can make all the difference.
Below, you’ll walk through a diverse range of 7 popular pub games that are tried, tested, and loved. From traditional classics to modern favorites, this curated a list of games will turn an ordinary night out into an extraordinary one.
So read more below and go have some fun!
CONTENTS — In this article, you will learn about the most popular pub games you can enjoy during a casual night out, including:
- Top Favorite Pub Games
- 1. Cornhole Sack Toss
- 2. Tabletop Shuffleboard
- 3. A Round of Darts
- 4. Play Some Pool
- 5. Brain Tease: Trivia Games
- 6. Classic Video Games
- 7. Old Fashioned Pinball Machines
- Experiment With Tavern Games
- Final Thoughts on Most Popular Pub Games
- Next Steps
Top Favorite Pub Games – Keep Happy Hour Going All Night Long
You can do a lot inside of a pub – aside from drinking of course.
For instance, you can have deep (and often alcohol-fueled) conversations.
You can listen to live music.
And of course, you can play some classic pub games!
Whether you own your own brewery or want to have a party with your friends, you’ll want to have some of the most popular pub games in your back pocket.
Here are some of the best pub games to look for when you’re looking for some great entertainment at the pub.
If you go to a pub with an outside area, Cornhole is a must.
It is easy for pub owners to set up, easy to play, and remarkably hard no matter how sober you think you might be.
To set up a cornhole game for yourself, you’ll need an assortment of bean bags (two colors work best) and some raised pieces of wood with holes in them.
Then, teams or individuals try to toss the beanbag in the hole from 30 feet away. Each player (or team) earns points depending on how close they get to the hole. For the most points, get the beanbag inside the hole.
Cornhole is a very fun game that can become competitive fast. In fact, you will want to play until the last bag is thrown!
If you own a pub yourself, and want some simple and easy happy hour strategies for success, go ahead and turn your cornhole game into a cornhole tournament.
You’ll be amazed at how many players and spectators the tournament will draw!
2. Tabletop Shuffleboard
You don’t need the deck of a cruise ship in order to play shuffleboard. Some space on a table will do just fine.
This simple game is pretty fun, as players compete to slide different colored pucks into a scoring area at the opposite end of the table.
Again, this is another game that can be quite engaging and competitive if done right.
It’s is also another game that lends itself well to team play.
Tabletop Shuffleboard can be even more amusing once you have a few drinks and your hand-eye coordination is off. That’s because it’s definitely a game that played best when all of your senses are at 100%!
Okay… so throwing metal-tipped items around might not be the best idea while you’ve had a few drinks!
But, it’s a lot of fun and is one of the most enduring bar games for a reason!
A game of darts will get you and others at the pub having fun. And, you can either buying drinks to celebrate a victory or soothe a defeat.
It’s also a game that can be played by a lot of people in a limited space.
Plus, a game of darts encourages everyone to get excited and interact with one another.
It creates a great social atmosphere, making it one the best ways to make sure you keep coming back to the pub.
The popular trope of someone smacking someone else with a pool cue during a bar brawl notwithstanding, the game of Billiards (aka “pool”) is still a wonderful bar game.
In fact, it’s an enjoyable experience no matter how you play.
Pool tables are a great addition to any pub that has the space. And if the place has the capacity to set up a few of them, even better.
The space needed not only allows you the clearance for making shots, but it allows you an audience to come around and cheer you on (or needle you)!
Pool can be a very fun game that is easy to learn, but it can be hard to master.
As a newcomers to the game, you’ll be continually coming back in order to improve your skills. And if you’re a veteran player, will continue to enjoy the game and get drinks compliments of the losers!
5. Trivia Games
Another pub game to play while you’re seeking entertainment is a good trivia session. This may cause you and others to wrack your brains to try and prove you’re smart!
You can design Trivia games around a certain theme or an assortment of random questions pulled from the internet.
Trivia games teach everyone a little something that they wouldn’t have known otherwise. And, as the host, it can be fun to see the facts that you know no one else knows.
Of course, it can be just as fun to groan about the answers you’ve gotten wrong.
Then, you can maybe buy a drink to soothe your wounded ego.
6. Classic Arcade-Style Video Games
Looking for a sense of nostalgia while you’re at the pub?
Then look to play classic arcade-style video games.
Who doesn’t like to try their best against the machine? Or, you can opt for a two-player video game for a little friendly competition for the high score.
You may not find them at first, but if the pub has one, it’s likely at the back of the room.
You’ll want to have a stack of quarters at the ready, and indulge in old favorites like PacMan, Space Invaders, Asteroids, and Donkey Kong.
With any luck, you can find like the ones you enjoyed at the arcade or cinema in your youth. That way, you can find out if you’ve “still got it”!
7. Pinball Machines
Enjoying the trip back in time?
Then look for some 80s- or 90s-themed pinball machines at the pub. Think: Twilight Zone, Indiana Jones, Star Trek, and other classics.
Happening upon a vintage pinball machine in a pub will be a rare find. But, you may be seeing more of them in the future, because the pinball machine is making a comeback!
So, have your quarters at the ready.
It takes some coordination and skill to pull and press/flap the all the controls to move the ball through the course and make the console light up.
But, when you score a win, the whole place will know it by the neon song-and-dance the machine puts on!
And for a few short minutes, you’ll be transported back in time to your youth.
It’s hard to beat that.
Experiment With Tavern Games
Tavern games are fun and exciting for all.
If you find a pub with a mixture of some of the classic games, plan to stick around longer to enjoy the entertainment.
The best thing is, the most popular pub games add to the light-hearted atmosphere of a place.
They can turn a local find or your favorite watering hole into a more playful experience, where you look forward to demonstrating your brain power on trivia night or defending your title as the billiards champion.
So don’t be afraid to take part in a few tavern games and see what happens.
At the least, it will certainly keep happy hour going, and the drinks flowing!
Final Thoughts on Most Popular Pub Games
Playing the most popular pub games helps guarantee an epic night out while opening the door to a world of entertainment, connection, and laughter.
Whether you’re a seasoned pub-goer or a newcomer, these games offer a delightful way to bond with friends, meet new people, and create lasting memories.
From classic favorites to learning new techniques, you’ll discover there’s a pub and a pub game for every taste and preference.
So, gather your friends or your travel partner, head to your favorite pub, and let the games begin!
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