Does Your Bar Have Game? Level Up with 8 of the Latest, Greatest Bar Games

Some of America’s most successful bars have discovered the secret to increased profitability and guest loyalty. And it’s all one big game. Bar games are the perfect way to create a lively social scene at your venue. Up your game even more by offering bar games enhanced by the latest technology. In fact, in a 2016 survey of over 1,000 restaurant patrons, 79 percent said that technology improves their experience. Raise the bar on your guest experience and draw a crowd with these 8 popular bar games.

1) Digital Arcade Games

Traditional arcades pull patrons away from the bar to a separate space. But today’s arcade is tableside – and handheld on touchscreen tablets provided by companies like Buzztime. With on-tablet arcade games, you’ll keep guests at the bar where your bartenders can upsell. In an independent Arbitron study, Buzztime players spent 21 percent more per table check. Plus, did you know that most arcade games are strategically designed to encourage repeat play – and visits to your bar? Patrons are challenged to beat their previous score or advance to a new level.

2) Party Games

There’s a reason games like “Cards Against Humanity” and “Catch Phrase” are so popular right now. They bring everyone together through laughter and social entertainment. Why not bring the party to your place? Offer the latest party games at your venue so game night moves out of their living room – and into your bar.

3) Interactive Trivia

In a perfect world, every night could be live trivia night. But you can still give guests access to on-demand trivia 7 days a week through the Buzztime network. There are dozens of trivia games in categories from sports to movies that are nationally scheduled every day. Some games even incorporate questions from the previous week! Plus, your guests can compete across the bar – and with players at the 2,700 venues that carry Buzztime across North America. Their goal? A spot on the local and national Buzztime leaderboards. By tapping into the competitive spirit of your guests, you’ll bring them back for more action. In an independent Arbitron study, over 56 percent of Buzztime players returned more often than the average guest.

4) Cornhole

This bean bag toss game has taken college campuses and backyard barbeques by storm. So, bring the action to your bar! All you need are the bean bags and the cornhole boards (you can make your own or purchase them for about $100 per pair). When the weather gets cold, host a winter blues beater tournament. Clear an area of your bar for an indoor cornhole tournament.

5) The Art of Darts

Dart leagues are a perennial favorite bar game for older crowds, but what about millennials? Get them in the game by offering free dart lessons from an expert once a month.

6) Shuffleboard

From retirement communities in Florida to the hottest Brooklyn bars, shuffleboard is a big hit with millennials right now. If you’ve got the space, consider investing in a shuffleboard court. Serve cans of hipster-approved Pabst Blue Ribbon and Miller High Life and you’ll attract millennials in droves.

7) Poker Tournaments

Bring the live action of the casino into your bar with a Texas Hold ‘Em poker tournament. Up the ante even more by going digital! Handheld tablets can turn into virtual card decks, and the “dealer” is automated and shows up on your bar’s TVs. Plus, by using a company like Buzztime to go digital, you’ll simplify tournament play and scoring. NOTE: Gaming laws vary by state, contact Buzztime or check with your state’s gaming authority before launching poker at your bar.

8) Competitive Karaoke

Yes, investing in a karaoke setup can be very pricey. But if you can afford it, bring “game” to karaoke night by creating a competition. Bring in a local musician or select a panel of 3 guests to provide feedback on each karaoke performer just like American Idol. Reward the winning performer with a gift certificate and a chance to be a judge at the following week’s competitive karaoke.

Whether it’s a retro classic like shuffleboard or on-trend trivia night, now is the time to prove to your guests that you’ve got game. 

Catch the Buzztime Effect

Looking for a fresh, fun way to bring more guests to your bar– and keep them coming back? Join the Buzztime nation of nearly 3,000 venues like yours serving up fun, games, and good times on touchscreen tablets. Buzztime’s social gaming solution brings everyone together at your place for trivia, live events, predictive sports, card tournaments, and arcade games.


This article was created in collaboration with the sponsoring company and our sales and marketing team. The editorial team does not contribute.