You will never ever have an idle and boring party with these several party games for adults showcasing the instructions on how to play them along with things you can buy to help along.
Party games may bring to mind playing Pin the Tail on the Donkey as a kid or spin the bottle as a teen, but there are plenty of adult versions that can keep you entertained for hours! And we don’t just mean drinking versions of classic board games.
Party games are not just for children. They can be even more fun for adults, as often, not only luck but strategy come into play as well. Whether it’s a dinner party, a birthday party, or a house party, there are plenty of games that will keep adults entertained for hours.
So whether you’re planning a birthday, a holiday or weekend away, or just some activities for a weekend night with friends at home, we’ve got you covered. Some involve drinking, and others include cards, a specific game set or preparation with household items, and others no props whatsoever. If entertainment ideas are what you’re after, read on for some exciting ideas!
Types of party games for adults
Where to start, there’s a whole load of games and so much fun waiting to be had.
Great minds think alike
This is a game that works better with a group of people who know each other, as it involves guessing what the others will think, choosing what you think other people will choose. The more correct choices you make, the more points you’ll win. There are free printable versions of this, but you can also make up your own questions to be passed around.
Murder mystery games
Not just for Halloween, these can be a great way to get everybody involved in a common goal. With many mysteries to choose from, this game can be adapted for different numbers of players for an evening of intrigue with friends or family.
Who Am I?
There are many variations of this game, which is a little like Pictionary. Players draw the name of a person out of a hat without showing anybody and then have to draw that person on a sketch pad for everyone to guess who they are meant to be.
Never Ever Have I Ever
There is a card version of this classic game, but it is not necessary to play with, and players can get creative and come up with their own scenarios. Players each get a turn to say “never ever have I ever…” and come up with an ending. There are drinking versions of this game, as well as non-alcoholic versions.
All those who have done the action that the player whose turn it is finished the sentence with then have to drink, gain or lose points, depending on the version you’re playing.
Truth or Dare
It works equally well for adults and younger age groups alike, and almost everyone will know it. While the adult version can contain some more outrageous truths or dares, this game can be just as fun as it was when you played as a kid and is a great way to get to know people, as well as being very entertaining.
How tame the game is depends totally on your guests, and there are various suggestions that can be found online if the crowd is struggling with ideas.
Played with a deck of cards and spoons (one less than the number of players you have), this game is a classic that can be played with anywhere from three to thirteen people. However, in larger groups, it is possible to have multiple games simultaneously.
Kiss Marry Kill
In this game, players are presented with three names, celebrities or known people, by the other players. They have to select which of the three they would kiss, marry and kill, and explain why. It can end up being hilarious, especially when using names or people that are known to the group of players.
Two Truths and a Lie
This game can be played by people of all ages and can be a great icebreaker for parties where not all the guests know one another, as it provides talking points for later on. Players state three facts about themselves, two of which will be true, one of which is a lie, and the other players need to guess which is a lie.
Don’t Say Yes
Another game with different variations, but this is more of an ongoing game for the party than one everyone sits down to play. In this version, players are forbidden from saying the word yes, or any variation of it (the extent to which this applies can be decided by players when establishing the rules at the beginning).
Those who are caught saying yes can get an elastic band or string necklace, for example, and the competition will be on to find the most decorated person by the end of the party. Of course, the game can be played with other words besides yes.
The player in the hot seat is hosting a press conference, answering various questions from members of the press, the other party guests. This person does not know who they are meant to be responding to, while the other players do, and needs to guess during the press conference based on the questions being asked.
Bite the Bag
A drinking game that sees players try to pick up a paper bag or a cereal box with only their mouths, without touching their hands to the floor or any supporting furniture. Each time the player fails, they need to drink, and the turn moves on to another player.
After each round of everyone has had a turn, the bag gets cut shorter by an inch until one winner is crowned. A paper bag can, of course, be substituted with different items.
Starting with the beginning of a story, the rest unfolds as each player adds a word, phrase, or sentence as turns are moved through. With often hilarious and unexpected results, this game can be as tame or outrageous as your group of guests makes it.
This is an app, which means it’s excellent for updates to the game and for being accessible on someone’s phone at parties when you need it. You pick a category, such as animals or superstars, and the phone will generate a word you need to hold up to your head for others to see.
Your teammates then try to describe the word within a time limit, and you have to guess what it is. Once you have guessed correctly, you nod your head forward for the next term to appear. The team with the most correct guesses at the end of the game wins.
This is fantastic to get going from the beginning of the party, but it is more for a dinner party context, or where everyone is sitting have one conversation. Everyone writes down the name of someone at the party, as well as a ridiculous phrase, separately.
The bags are then passed around, and players then need to work the phrase they picked out into conversation with the person they’ve picked without being called out for it. It can have everyone on high alert and yield some hilarious stories.
This is a fun, real-life twist on the classic board game. Ideally played over a weekend, at the start of the game, you’ll have three bags, one with all the players’ names, one with as many objects from the house, and one with as many locations. Players then pick one from each bag, so get a name, an object, and a location.
At some point, they need to give the object to the person in the location they picked. Once someone does this to you, you are out or dead, and the game goes on until there is a winner—lots of fun for the holidays or weekend parties.
Cards against humanity
This is a classic, albeit very inappropriate, a card game that usually comes out at parties, hand in hand with some alcoholic drinks. Everyone is dealt ten white cards containing single words or phrases. One black card is flipped, which has a sentence that needs completing.
Everyone plays a white card to complete the black card phrase, face down. The person who turned the black card then picks a winner, which they deem the funniest. That person keeps the black and flips next.
Wildly comical at times, there is also an element of strategy involved in knowing your audience’s sense of humor.
There are many variations of this popular game, but the basics remain the same. Each person playing puts a few nouns onto pieces of paper and into a bag. The game is played over four rounds. During the first, players each pull a word out and need to articulate it without saying it for the other players to guess.
In the next round, each player pulls out a different word and has to act it out. In the third round, players use only one word to try and describe their word. And finally, in the fourth round, players mime the word from underneath a sheet. Yes, like a bedsheet. It gets pretty ridiculous.
Another classic, this game involves placing six plastic cups in a triangle at either end of a table. Played by as few as two, or in two teams of numerous people, opponents use a ping pong ball and aim to throw it, having it land in the other team’s cups. At this point, the other team has to drink the cup with the ball in it, and this is repeated until one team has no more cups and loses the game.
A fun alternative for non-beer drinkers is prosecco pong. Played with plastic prosecco glasses, this adds a twist in the shape of the glass that’s being aimed for!
This doesn’t necessarily need a board game version to be played. Instead of cards, you can have everyone write down a number of phrases and place them into a bag from which players draw.
With a pen and paper, or for technologically advanced players, even a tablet and pencil, and a timer, players can then draw and guess in teams, racking up points from their own original words and phrases. The team that has the correct number of guesses within the time limits are the winners.
The Chocolate Game
It’s just as fun, and ridiculous, and tasty as an adult as it was as a child. Starting with a wrapped bar of chocolate, players roll a die until someone rolls a six. When a six is rolled, that player puts on a hat, scarf, and a pair of oven gloves and, using a knife and fork, starts to eat the chocolate.
This player continues until the next six is rolled, and the game is over when the bar of chocolate has been eaten.
Everyone plays with slightly different rules for this classic game of cards, but it’s a great drinking game. Each card number has a different rule attached to it, and the cards are spread out around a cup in the middle.
Throughout the game, alcohol is poured into this, the king’s cup, which is then emptied by whoever draws a king, an unlucky card to draw.
This is great for larger groups and for those who like making lists! Create one least for each round, typically the number of players minus one. Each list will have a theme and contains words, phrases, or titles that all relate to the theme, except for a few curveballs that don’t fit.
Players are divided into two teams, with a wooden spoon in the middle of them.
A neutral player reads the list out, and as soon as someone thinks that a word does not fit in the list, they need to run and grab the wooden spoon. If they are correct, they can pick someone from the other team to be out, but if they’re incorrect, they are out, and their team loses a player. The winning team is that with most players left standing!
How Do You Do
This sounds like a simple game but feels more challenging when you’re put on the spot and your team is counting on you! Teams compete in singing a song, the title of which is drawn from a bag, using only the word “doo.” Other teammates need to guess the title of the song currently within a specific time limit.
At the end of the game, the team that has collected the most correct guesses wins. This is a great game to play in the holidays, for example, with a list of Christmas songs.
Name That Tune
This is a fun option that anyone who enjoys music will have a good time playing. Players can play individually or in teams to guess the name and artist from a playlist when they hear it aloud. The first person to guess (by shouting out) correctly gets the points, either for themselves or for their team.
You can mix it up by adding a category to title and artist, such as the movie or Broadway it was featured in, for example. You can decide before starting whether you want to make the points a group package or individually collected.
In other words, you may want to say that to get the points, you need the song title and artist correct; otherwise, you get none, or you can allocate one point for the title and two for the artist, for example. This is an excellent game to play at themed parties, as you can tailor your playlist to the theme.
This is a classic for any age group, which can be played in teams of as few as two. Whether it’s from a proper set of cards or paper in a bag that you’ve written yourself, players take it in turns to act out a word or title on their paper for their teammates to guess, without saying anything.
This is, of course, a timed activity, and the group with the most points, or correct guesses, at the end of the game wins.
There is another version of this game for those wanting to mix it up a bit: Reverse Charades. This works similarly to charades, but instead of one person acting out the word, there is one person guessing, and the rest of the team acts together.
This can be an exciting act of teamwork, especially given that no words are used, so there is a lot of impromptu guessing which approach your fellow actors are taking to explaining something!
Played either individually or as teams, this is a good game for those who don’t necessarily know one another, as it is pure general knowledge, and there is little strategic advantage that comes from being familiar with a group.
Players take it in turns to choose a category, and then everyone has to name something from that category within five seconds, until someone can no longer add to the list, at which point they are out, or lose points, depending on how you’re scoring the game.
Everyone needs to be sitting around a table with their heads down. On the count of three, everyone needs to look up and at someone. If you make eye contact (i.e., you’re looking at each other), then you’re out.
If the person you’re looking at is looking at someone else, then you’re safe. Multiple rounds are played until everyone is out. This could also be made into a drinking game, with a drink being taken instead of being out.
Would You Rather
This is just a fun game to pass the time and doesn’t really involve winners or losers. Everyone can sit in a circle, and you go around the room, each person taking turns to ask their neighbor, “Would you rather…” and presenting two scenarios.
The other person answers, and this can be pretty entertaining if the question asker asks tricky enough hard to choose between scenarios.
Most Likely To
This works best in groups of good friends or family members who know each other well. Sitting around together, each person takes a turn asking a scenario of who is most likely to…? On someone’s count, everyone points at the person they think best fits that scenario, and some of the results can be very surprising!
The person with the most fingers pointed at them after each round is out until there is just one victorious winner left standing!
I’m Hosting a Party
This game is aptly named. Each person can take a turn being the host of the party in different rounds of the game until players have all gone or are tired of playing. As the host of a party, you need to make up a secret rule that you don’t tell anybody.
Others are invited to join the party based on whether their contributions fit into your rule or not. For example, the rule could be only items starting with a certain letter, or of a certain color, etc.
Players then go around the circle, saying what they would bring. Based on your secret requirements, you will either extend an invitation to them or not. Players then need to try and figure out what the rule is based on the items people who have been invited are bringing.
Everyone plays until each player has figured out what the rule is. You can shake this up by having your secret rule be something that the players are physically doing, too, such as sitting with crossed legs or based on their posture. This adds a twist that’ll really get people thinking!
This is a game for sneaky players, where stealth is key to winning! Purchase a roll of stickers and give each player five. Throughout the evening, they need to try and stick their stickers on others without being noticed by the player.
If they are caught by the person they are trying to stick, they have to accept a sticker. The player who gets rid of their stickers first is the winner!
Place chairs in a circle, with one less than the number of players. Everyone takes a seat, and the player in the center gets creative, saying “mail call for everyone…” wearing black or with an earring, for example.
Those players all need to stand up and try to find a new seat, along with the player from the center. The person left standing then takes over.
You’ve probably played this before. One person thinks of a public figure, movie, animal, or item which they decide to be. The other players are only permitted to ask questions to which the response is yes or no. Players have twenty questions during which they need to try and guess what that player is thinking of.
Each person comes up with their own signal or movement with their hands (or a leg motion if the game is being played standing). The group members all need to be visible to one another, and everyone starts a steady clap or thump on the table.
Then the player who starts makes their own motion followed by the motion of someone else. That player then has to make the motion of their own followed by that of a third player, so it continues, with everyone needing to be on the ball. The first player to mess up is out. This continues until there is a winner.
Games where you need the game
Unlike games that you can play with very few props, there is also a number that are fun but which require a physical game. Examples of these types of games that are lots of fun to play at parties include:
- Giant Jenga
- Giant Connect Four
- Kubb, or Viking Chess
- Ladder Golf
There are many others that fall into this category, some of which are played outside too, so they are great for summer or garden parties and can make an excellent focus activity that attracts the guests who need a break from mingling.