20 Bar Games to Keep Your Customers Entertained (and Drinking)
December 03, 2019
Thinking about adding an element of fun to your bar? Investing in bar games for your establishment can be a great way to create an exciting and unique experience for your patrons.
You don’t have to go straight for something big and expensive like billiards or skeeball. Smaller-scale games like board games or even Jenga can make a big impact for your bar promotion strategy. If you’ve got the space, you may be able to add an entire room full of games or host game nights and competitions.
Best Bar Games in 2020
Billiards, or Pool, is a classic bar game that encourages customers to get up and socialize a bit, maybe even get a little competitive. Pool tables are expensive and take up a lot of space, but they can really add an element of coolness to yo your bar. You can make your pool tables coin-operated, or charge by the hour.
2. Dice Games
A few dice and some cups can be all you need to give your patrons hours of fun. Dice are very cheap and can be used to play hundreds of different games. You can provide simple cards to show players the rules to a few of the most popular games to give them a head start.
3. Air Hockey
Air hockey has been a popular game since the 1970s and has become a beloved game across the United States. This one is also a bit of an investment and can take up a lot of space but can definitely be worth it if it’s the type of game your customers like to play.
Another inexpensive crowd favorite is bingo. It’s got all the social benefits of a game like trivia with a little less intensity. The secret to hosting a great bingo night is choosing a lively host calling the numbers. You’ll have to replenish your supplies from time to time, but funding a regular bingo night into your bar event schedule shouldn’t break the bank.
While a regulation Shuffleboard court is likely too big for your space, tabletop versions are becoming wildly popular in bars all over the US. Table Shuffleboard encourages competition and fun – this game could be just what your bar is missing.
Skeeball is a game that reminds a lot of us of our childhoods. It’s a quick and fun game for patrons to play, and you can make the machines coin-operated so each round makes brings your business a bit of revenue.
Cornhole, sometimes called Bags, is a great game for sports bars. It’s become increasingly popular over the past several years but has existed in different forms for over one hundred years. This game is low-cost and you can even build your own boards. They take up a good amount of space to be played, but are portable and can be easily stored.
8. Cards Against Humanity
This game is sure to have your patrons laughing nonstop and won’t cost you a ton to get going. Definitely Rated R, Cards Against Humanity has plenty of themed expansion packs you can buy to host fun and exciting play nights as often as you please.
Pinball machines have gone through many evolutions and became a mainstay in taverns and drug stores in the 1930s. Because they were considered a game of chance rather than skill, pinball machines were outlawed in many places including New York City between the 1940s and the mid-1970s. Today we’re seeing a revival of pinball machines in bars and other types of establishments all over the world.
10. Board Games
Bringing board games like scrabble or trivial pursuit into your establishment is a simple and inexpensive way to incorporate games into your business. They are popular with millennials and don’t take up a ton of space in your bar.
Possibly the most classic of bar games is darts. Patrons have been playing this game in bars and pubs since before World War I. Dartboards and accompanying equipment can be relatively inexpensive and give you the opportunity to start leagues and encourage people to become repeat loyal customers.
Foosball is an exciting and competitive game that’s a great option if you have space for the table and enough money to spend. You can make the table coin-operated or charge by the hour.
You may not have heard of this one before, and that’s because it’s a Danish game mainly popular in Europe, but it’s gaining traction in the US as well. The Klask setup consists of a tabletop magnetic board that very loosely resembles Air Hockey, several magnets, and a small round ball.
14. Big Buck Hunter
A great game for any bar’s game room is Big Buck Hunter. It’s a straightforward game that taps into many bargoers’ more primal nature, allowing players to hunt deer and ducks by pointing their plastic rifle at the game screen. It’s so popular, they will be hosting their 13th annual World Championship competition in 2020.
15. Buzztime Tablets
A high-tech option for offering games in your bar is investing in Buzztime Tablets. These tablets can be used at the table so patrons can use them to play digital games or participate in live events, check out your menu, or they can be used behind the scenes to manage marketing efforts. If you’ve got the budget and a tech-savvy customer base, this might be the game solution for your bar.
16. Hook and Ring Toss
This game is simple, and that’s what’s made it such a fun and low-maintenance game in bars and pubs for hundreds of years. It’s gone by a number of names throughout its history, like Bimini Ring or Ring The Bull but hasn’t changed much at all over the years. It’s a tried and true staple.
This childhood favorite is becoming increasingly popular in bars. You can get it in a standard or super-sized version and your customers are sure to be playing non-stop. Gameplay can get a little loud but it is a simple and cheap way to get people having fun.
18. Bocce Ball
Bocce is an Italian ball game with its roots in the ancient games of the Roman Empire. In more recent history’ it’s become a popular game for bargoers. It takes up a lot of space, but it gets patrons moving around and socializing, which can be great for your business.
If you have the funds and the space to accommodate them, old-school arcade games like Pacman can give your bar a cool nostalgic feel. People love Pac-Man. From its creation in 1980 to 2016, Pac-Man generated over $14 billion in revenue and is recognized as the highest-grossing arcade game of all time.
Trivia can be held regularly and gives patrons a reason to keep returning to your establishment. It’s a fun and competitive game sure to keep attendees spending money in your bar all night. The best part? Aside from promotion and a modest PA system, trivia is a relatively low-cost endeavor. You can also use trivia nights to cater to different demographics or reinforce your bar’s reputation by choosing specific themes.
21. Beer Pong
The ultimate college game, beer pong has now made its way into bars, college dorms, startup offices, and even homes. As tech advances, so does the innovation of beer pong tables. An LED or customized beer pong table is sure to attract more customers to your bar.
Benefits of Adding Games to Your Bar
Bar games are can bring in new business, encourage customers to have fun and socialize, and they can make any experience at your establishment memorable. Patrons playing games are also more likely to stay longer and spend more money in your establishment. Some games even cost money to play, allowing you to really increase your profits.
Before choosing the best games to add to your restaurant or bar’s environment you’ll want to take some time to consider the interests of your patrons, how much you can afford to spend, and the atmosphere of your business.
Next Steps for Your Bar
We know you want your customers to have a great time in your establishment. The better the experience, the longer they’ll stay, the more they’ll purchase, and the more likely they’ll be to return. Incorporating games into the mix can be a fantastic way to create exciting and memorable experiences for your guests.
Now that you’ve read more about all the different options on the market and know what to take into consideration as a business, you’re ready to get started!
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