There are a plethora of tailgating games out there. The most popular ones can entertain a whole group of people, while also requiring minimal set up time or equipment. We’re focusing on tailgating games that fit that description; simple supplies and set up time so you can focus on having fun ASAP. Here are the tailgating games we have come to know and love, from old-fashioned corn hole and beer pong to the newest Euro-variations.
20 Fun Tailgating Games For Everyone
- A new game is sweeping Scandinavia and the rest of Europe: “Molkky”. The game’s unique name hails from the icy shores of Finland. Molkky is essentially a mixture of bowling and cornhole. The ultimate goal is to knock over the twelve thin, wooden pins that you can set up on a lawn, or living room carpet. It can also be played just as easily in parking lots, dirt lots and the like.
- This one is as simple as it comes; playing cards. If you are tight on space, pull out a deck and teach the younger generation some rummy. All you need for this game is the playing cards and a surface to play on. Rummy 500 is the simplest tailgating game on the planet.
- Cornhole is probably one of the most well-known tailgating games out there. With a little bit of time and energy, you can build your own cornhole boards at home. But if you’re not the handy type, they are also readily available for purchase online, at toy stores, and at most large retail stores as well. This one is fun for kids, adults and every age in-between. We will also be mentioning several variations of cornhole below, so you can try those out for a fresh twist on the classic tailgating game.
- Maybe you’re already a cornhole veteran, and you’re itching for something a little different. Try “Pocket Passer”, which uses footballs instead of bean bags. The football flies through, you guessed it, football-shaped holes in a wooden board. Players toss at high or low levels for different point values. This game requires that you build or buy a Pocket Passer specific board. But just like cornhole, the boards can either be made at home or easily purchased online.
- Flimsee is a disc/frisbee game that is known by several different names, depending on where you're from or the specific rules you play with. Regardless, every variation of the game that we know about has very simple rules that are quick to learn. Sticks or rods (bamboo is a common choice), two frisbees, and a pack of red plastic drinking cups is all you need. To play, throw the disc at either of the two rods and try to knock a cup (placed upside down) off of the rod or stick. If the opposing team member(s) catch the flying cup before it hits the ground, you don’t score and the cup is placed back onto the rod. A point is only earned when the plastic cup is knocked off the rod and lands on the ground.
- Here’s another disc game that is similar to Flimsee. This fun tailgating game usually goes by the name “Bottle Bash” or “Poleish”. To play Bottle Bash you’ll need to be on grass or dirt, and you’ll need to get two wooden posts that are flat on the top. Place the posts 20-40 feet apart in the ground, deep enough that they’ll be able to stand vertically on their own. Then finally, balance a plastic bottle or cup on the top of the post. The goal of the game is to throw a frisbee and have it knock the bottle off the post. You can throw at the post itself or directly at the bottle on top. If the bottle falls and hits the ground, the throwing team gets 2 points. If the frisbee hits the ground, the throwing team gets 1 point. The non-throwing team is 100% focused on catching the bottle and the frisbee before either one is allowed to hit the ground. The defending team must stay behind their post at all times.
- Tumble Tower is synonymous with a giant version of “Jenga”. Nearly any number of people can play this game. It can be set up when you arrive at the tailgate and people can play it periodically throughout the day. It’s a calmer game option that’s easy to travel with, and easy to set up. Plus, it requires zero athletic ability!
Next, we delve into more “tossing” games—and there are dozens.
- Ladder Toss is a familiar tailgating game staple. The ladder is easy to transport and is super quick to set up. Sometimes known as “monkey ball” or “ladder golf”, this game uses two weighted balls that are held together by a length of rope. To play, you throw your rope balls at the ladder, with the goal of getting them to land (and remain hanging) as high up on the ladder as you can. The higher the rung you land on, the more points you earn.
- Washer Toss (or simply “washers”) is often seen as a smaller version of cornhole. Players toss metal washers, which can be bought very inexpensively at any hardware store, into a small pipe that is fixed to the center of an open-top box. Generally speaking, if the washer lands in the box it’s worth one point, if it lands leaning up against the wall or pipe it’s worth three points, and if you land the washer inside the pipe it’s worth five points. Some people know this game by yet another name, Portuguese Horseshoes. But regardless of what you call it, it’s an excellent tailgating game, and DIY versions are super cheap to build.
- Quoits is fun to say, and fun to play. Others may know this game simply as “ring toss.” It is a ridiculously simple tossing game, where you are given a number of rings that you throw at a board, trying to get them to land on wooden pegs. The more rings you land on the pegs, the more points you score.
And now for the drinking games …
- Beer pong, what else? For a tailgating game of beer pong, having a table is a necessity. Beyond that, all you’ll need is some beer, ping pong balls, plastic cups and at least two people.
- Flip cup is another super popular tailgating game, which is also known as tip cup. Guzzle beer from a cup, place it on the edge of the table, and then in a single motion, use one hand (or a couple fingers) to flip it over and get it to land perfectly upside. There are actual US tournaments for this.
- Pong Slap Cup is a variation on beer pong and flip cup. The rules are decidedly more complex than beer pong or flip cup, but it’s gaining popularity at tailgates nationwide. If you’re interested in trying it out for yourself, you can find a full explanation of the rules (and a video of it being played) here.
Next, we get back to tailgating games not involving cups and beer.
- For a break from activity (and possibly beer) there is one football trivial game we recommend: NFL trivia. It’s best for adults or teams. Requirements include a table and the ability to hear. Trivia cards can be purchased online or at most large retail/toy stores.
- If you love games like tennis or badminton, but don’t want to lug around (or have space for) a full-size net, then try Speedminton. It is a simpler version of badminton that doesn’t require a net, just rackets and shuttlecocks. Although, you will need a good amount of space to play, so you can reserve this one for bigger tailgaters.
- Kan Jam is another throwing game where 2-player teams earn points by getting their discs into a narrow slot. It’s essentially just a frisbee game; but even though this one is quick to learn, it does take some time and practice to master. Like Speedminton, supplies for the game are easy to find online.
- Urban Bocce is a game of bocce ball with fabric balls suitable for parking lots, played the same as you would on grass on a Bocce Court. Easy, fun and kid-friendly.
- It sounds like a tossing game where you earn points for hitting a target. However, RingStix is more of a pastime than a competition with winners and losers. It’s like throwing a frisbee or a football back and forth with friends. But RingStix uses specific handheld sticks to launch a ring up to 50 yards. You’ll need a little bit of practice time to become comfortable throwing and catching the ring, but once you learn, it’s a super-portable game that the whole family will enjoy.
- An old classic that is as simple as it gets, and requires just one item to play. Snag yourself a sand-filled footbag for a game of hacky-sack. Yes, you can even play this game if you are employed and sober. Such versatility!
- Fluxx is back to basics, another card game that requires only a table. You can easily combine it with drinking, but it’s also a great tailgating game for kids.