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The Best Pool Game - 2021

Last updated on July 12, 2021
Best Pool Game

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Our Picks For The Top Pool Games

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Our Take
  Best Overall

Watermelon Ball Underwater Pool Game

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval

Watermelon Ball

Underwater Pool Game

Overall Take

Cute Watermelon DesignA patented filling adapter is provided with this pool game for fast and easy use.

  Volleyball Pick

heytech Inflatable Volleyball Pool Game

heytech

Inflatable Volleyball Pool Game

Overall Take

Best for Pool PartiesIn addition to the steamship design, this pool game is also available in a rocket pattern.

  Underwater Obstacle Course

Water Sports 81055-7 Swim Thru-Pool Rings

Water Sports

81055-7 Swim-Thru Pool Rings

Overall Take

Helps with Swimming LessonsMake swimming lessons fun and challenging with these inflatable swim-through rings.

  We Also Like

GoSports Splash Hoop PRO Swimming Pool Basketball Game

GoSports

Splash Hoop PRO Swimming Pool Basketball Game

Overall Take

Poolside Basketball HoopSet up a stable and sturdy basketball hoop next to your pool with this pro-level pool game.

Guide written by Stephanie Faris
Last updated on July 12, 2021

Anyone who’s ever been fortunate enough to have a backyard swimming pool — or a friend with one — knows that things get a little livelier when a game (or two) is involved. There are, of course, standard pool games like Marco Polo and freeze tag that don’t require any props or toys. But there are also some accessories you can buy to add a little extra fun. Pool game accessories come in all shapes and sizes, from targets for diving after to water guns and balls.

For younger kids, simple games with floating items like basic beach balls offer safe fun. Slightly older kids who are learning to swim can play games that will help them hone their skills. If you can create an obstacle course that will challenge children to stay underwater longer (closely supervised, of course) you can make learning more exciting.

Then there are the older kids and adults. One pool standard for more skilled swimmers is the poolside basketball hoop. With a basketball hoop, all you’ll need is a water-friendly basketball for hours of competitive fun. There are also floating pool games like tic-tac-toe boards and ring toss sets, which can be fun for swimmers of all ages.

For adult pool parties, there’s always beer pong! With a floating version of the classic game, you can create a fun party in your very own swimming pool.

The Best Pool Games

1
  Best Overall

Watermelon Ball Underwater Pool Game

Encourage your kids to stay active with this fun pool game. The watermelon-shaped ball is designed to sink to the bottom of the pool, and then slowly rise up toward the surface. Kids can bounce, dribble or pass the ball in a variety of exciting underwater games.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Watermelon Ball
Model
2
  Volleyball Pick

heytech Inflatable Volleyball Pool Game

If you have a love for volleyball, you'll want to go with this pool game. The set includes a floating volleyball net in the shape of a steamboat and a beachball with an anchor image on the front. The game can be played by up to six players for several hours of fun in the sun.

Features


Specifications

Brand
heytech
Model
3
  Underwater Obstacle Course

Water Sports 81055-7 Swim Thru-Pool Rings

These swim-through rings let you create a fun underwater obstacle course. The rings unfold easily and collapse for quick, convenient storage. The inflatable air chambers let you adjust their depth, and the chambers are decorated with fun aquatic characters.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Water Sports
Model
4
  We Also Like

GoSports Splash Hoop PRO Swimming Pool Basketball Game

This basketball hoop comes with a water-weighted base to hold it firmly in place while you play. You'll get two inflatable basketballs and a ball pump with a needle for keeping them inflated. The backboard measures 31 by 23 inches with a rim of 14 inches, and is specially engineered for water play.

Features


Specifications

Brand
GoSports
Model
5
  Also Consider

Hoop Shark Swimming Pool Basketball Hoop Set

This inflatable basketball hoop lets you set up a game on any body of water, whether it's your home swimming pool, a hotel pool, a nearby lake, or the ocean. When fully inflated, the hoop is 40 inches tall and the base is 46 inches in diameter. A basketball is included so you can start play immediately.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Hoop Shark
Model
6

GoPong Pool Lounge Inflatable Floating Beer Pong Table

Your summer pool parties just got a little spicier with this floating pong game. The float itself is 6 feet long, with cup holders all around, six pong balls, and four tethering grommets. Best of all, between parties, you can use it as a standard pool lounger.

Features


Specifications

Brand
GoPong
Model
7

Poolcandy Inflatable Jumbo Tic Tac Toe Pool Game

If you like the game of tic-tac-toe, this floating pool version will be a blast. You'll get a 4 foot by 4 foot board with 10 reversible X's and O's, each easy to inflate and deflate. You can also use this game on the lawn or any flat surface to set up an outdoor game anytime.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Poolcandy
Model

Our Pool Game Buying Guide

Anyone who’s ever been fortunate enough to have a backyard swimming pool — or a friend with one — knows that things get a little livelier when a game (or two) is involved. There are, of course, standard pool games like Marco Polo and freeze tag that don’t require any props or toys. But there are also some accessories you can buy to add a little extra fun. Pool game accessories come in all shapes and sizes, from targets for diving after to water guns and balls.

For younger kids, simple games with floating items like basic beach balls offer safe fun. Slightly older kids who are learning to swim can play games that will help them hone their skills. If you can create an obstacle course that will challenge children to stay underwater longer (closely supervised, of course) you can make learning more exciting.

Then there are the older kids and adults. One pool standard for more skilled swimmers is the poolside basketball hoop. With a basketball hoop, all you’ll need is a water-friendly basketball for hours of competitive fun. There are also floating pool games like tic-tac-toe boards and ring toss sets, which can be fun for swimmers of all ages.

For adult pool parties, there’s always beer pong! With a floating version of the classic game, you can create a fun party in your very own swimming pool.

DWYM Fun Fact

Marco Polo is named for the 13th-century adventurer whose stories entertained Europeans for years, though the game itself doesn’t have a direct connection to Polo. Its origins have been traced back to the 1960s, but it’s very similar to a land-based game called blind man’s bluff, which was wildly popular in the 1500s.

With both games, one player is “it,” which means that player tries to catch other players while blindfolded or with eyes closed. In the pool version, the player who’s trying to find everyone shouts “Marco,” while the moving players shout “Polo” in response until the one who’s “it” tags someone. The tagged person then becomes the new “it” player.

The Pool Game Tips and Advice

  • Most swimming pool games are inflatable. Before you buy, check into how easy or difficult the items will be to inflate. If a pump is required, make sure it’s included. If not, check that you can easily find one that’s compatible.
  • The best thing about inflatable pool toys is that they can often be easily collapsed into a compact design. This makes stuffing them into your suitcase or storing them in a pool closet easy.
  • Carefully measure any basketball hoop to make sure your participants will be able to reach it. You might want to upgrade your hoop as your little ones grow to make it more challenging.
  • When it comes to playing hoops in the pool, you can purchase either an inflatable, floating game set or an actual backboard and hoop that’s heavily weighted for placement next to the water. If you go with the weighted option, make sure it’s sturdy enough that it won’t topple into the pool, possibly injuring a player, if someone grabs onto the edge of the hoop and pulls down.
  • Poolside hoops are designed specifically to stand up to water exposure. You’ll also want to make sure your basketballs are designed for water use.
  • Mixing alcohol and swimming can be dangerous. Make sure a responsible adult stays sober and monitors the situation closely to quickly spot someone in danger.
  • Safety is a top priority with children. For children who aren’t yet comfortable in the water, a simple game that requires minimal movement can be better. Look for a game that lets kids stand still and toss or move items around. As they get more comfortable, you can progress to more active games.

About The Author

Stephanie Faris 

Stephanie Faris is a novelist and business writer whose work has appeared on numerous blogs. She worked for the State of Tennessee for 19 years, the latter six of which were spent as a supervisor. She has written content for entrepreneurs and marketing firms since 2011. In addition to her online content, she is also the author of eight novels for Simon & Schuster, including the Piper Morgan chapter book series.