Picture this: it’s Sunday afternoon, you have two of your friends over, and yet there’s nothing to do. Your internet is down, your phones are charging, and frankly, you don’t want to stare at a screen for several hours. In that case, you can try and play some games. However, you’re not sure what games to play with 3 people in the room; the number is not quite big enough for a group activity, but not quite small enough for chess or tic-tac-toe.
Luckily, I’ve been where you were, plenty of times, and thanks to years of experience, I always come prepared when there’s a total of three people in my room with nothing to do. So, if you need some help, here’s a handy list of 28 fun and easy games to play with 3 people. You’ll be surprised at the variety that the list has to offer (and so will the couple of friends right there beside you).
Interestingly, there are plenty of outdoor games to play with 3 people. Of course, these types of games will come in handy when it’s nice and warm outside, during either late spring or summer. More importantly, they will keep you and your friends active, which can help shed a few extra pounds and stay in good shape.
Obviously, ‘sports’ is a huge category, so it’s instructive to break it down to every single sport or outdoor activity that you can play with two other people.
1. Three-way Football
Yes, while football might be a team sport, you can still adapt it for three people. It’s actually a little more challenging that way, and you can literally set up the goals easily. It just takes a few rocks for goalposts and a ball to kick about.
Twenty-One is a version of basketball in which any number of players can participate. The rules are easy to learn and readily available online.
Cornhole is technically just an outdoor game, but since there are actual tournaments, it also counts as an official sport. And luckily, it’s a sport that three people can easily play, with the right gear available for sale in both regular and online retail.
4. Frisbee Tossing
There are tons of interesting frisbee games to play with 3 people, so many that you can find entire lists of them online. Most people tend to avoid tossing the frisbee, since it’s usually thought to be a beach activity. However, you can have just as much fun chasing after this tiny, flexible disc in the park or by the river, and it’s equally fun to do for people of all ages.
5. Relay Racing
Relay races are extremely fun, especially if you try to compete in one within your backyard. That’s when anything, from that garden hose you named Jeffie to that old cart without wheels, can become a race obstacle. You can even spice things up by including other elements to the race, ex. running without spilling any water or dropping eggs.
Of course, you might not have the great weather to enjoy some of the games listed above. It might be the middle of winter, with howling winds and two feet of snow on the ground. Incidentally, that’s also the perfect weather for internet lagging and electronics being on the fritz, i.e. the best time to do some indoor activities.
The market offers plenty of board games to play with 3 people and more. In fact, there are so many out there that listing them would require a whole new text. Instead, I will only list some of the most popular options out there which you can try.
Monopoly has been a fan-favorite for decades now because of how challenging it can be. If you and your two friends want to dabble in the world of high finance, you might give this one a try.
Are you not interested in high finance, but prefer some good, old-fashioned warfare? A few games of Risk might do the trick, then. In fact, 3 players might just be the best number possible for this game; it’s not as crowded as with 6 players, and not as dull as with 2.
8. Settlers of Catan
Compared to Monopoly and Risk, Settlers of Catan is a relatively new game. Instead of waging war or handling mortgages, your goal is to…well, settle. And with two additional players trying to do the same, that task won’t be so easy, but it will provide you with hours of fun.
Not all board games have flashy figurines and complex rules. Sometimes, a simple game of testing your vocabulary can be quite engaging. That’s why Scrabble remains one of the most popular family-oriented board games to this day.
Sometimes, a deck of cards is all you need to pass the time. And depending on what age you are or what your tastes might be, you have plenty of different card games out there to choose from.
10. Standard Deck Games
Go-Fish, Old Maid, Poker, Rummy, Crazy Eights — there are so many choices with the standard 52-card deck. And the best part is that more than a few of those games can be played by 3 people.
Most people will recognize Uno, and at least one in two households will have a deck ready. Needless to say, this game is fun for all ages, so if you’re stuck babysitting two kids for the evening, feel free to whip out a deck and start playing.
12. Cards Against Humanity
Now, Cards Against Humanity is, decidedly, NOT a good option for the whole family. However, if you have two adult friends who don’t mind getting a bit raunchy, take a deck out and play a few rounds. You will all be in hysterics in a matter of minutes.
Yes, Yu-Gi-Oh!, the Guinness World Record holder with over 25 billion cards sold worldwide, definitely deserves a spot on this list. Now, you might point out that Yu-Gi-Oh! is a game for two players, and you would be right, at least when it comes to tournaments. However, you can actually adjust the rules for any number of players, and either play it as a team or as a free-for-all where everyone is an opponent.
14. Dice Games
If you don’t have any cards in handy, all you need is some dice and a few pieces of paper. Games like Yahtzee and Farkle are perfect for that cold evening at home, and more importantly, they are a part of a long list of games to play with 3 people.
Some of my older viewers will grin as soon as they read the subheading. Yes, the charades are possibly the best game that doesn’t involve any props like cards or dice. All you need is a vivid imagination and, well, keeping your mouth shut. However, if you plan on making it interesting, you can add a scoreboard (both for kids and adults) and even get some alcohol involved (adults only).
The following games can be played both outside and inside, by kids and adults alike. More importantly, they are easy to learn and incredibly addictive if you play them with the right crowd.
Darts is one of those games which both professional athletes and regular Joes at the bar love to play. It’s also one of the best options where 3 is the perfect number of players. And although there are different sets of rules, you will get the hang of them in just a few minutes of playing.
Just like darts, dominoes tend to be a fan-favorite among gentlemen who attend bars frequently. Naturally, you can always get yourself a pack and learn one of the many different rulesets for this game. Most of them are games to play with 3 people, so if you get tired from one ruleset, simply move on to the next one and mix things up.
18. Rock, Paper, Scissors
Whether you play the official three-option game or the monstrous RPS-101 variant, you will have fun with this classic gem of a game. The best part of it is, in order to play it, all you need is a hand with functioning fingers.
19. Would You Rather
You know you have an amazing and insightful game on your hands when all you need to play it is…well, some imagination. Would You Rather is an excellent game for 3 people, since it encourages you all to think about the questions. In addition, you will get to learn a bit more about your two friends, and vice versa, just by the answers they provide. And if you can’t figure out a good question to ask, don’t worry, the internet will provide you with the right boost.
Ghost is an interesting word game with a simple set of rules:
• One player starts with a letter
• The next player adds a letter in an attempt to form a word
• The players must not finish the word; the one who finishes gets the letter G
• Players keep playing until one of them spells out the full word GHOST, prompting them to lose
Interestingly, Ghost isn’t as popular as some other party games on this list, which is a shame. Its rules make it quite challenging and the results can be hilarious. The game is also a good opportunity to test your spelling abilities and expand your vocabulary, and it’s a great learning tool for children.
21. 20 Questions
20 Questions is a bit like charades, but with words. You think of an object, and then your friends ask you Yes or No questions about it until their 20-question limit is up. And since the variety of objects you can choose from is literally limitless, you will never feel bored playing this game.
There’s also a more intimate variant of this game, called 21 Questions. However, I would suggest that you only play this game with extremely close friends or companions.
22. Spin the Bottle
Obviously, Spin the Bottle is a party classic, and most of the time adults play it with saucy results in mind. However, you can adjust the rules and play it with anyone, making it as safe and clean as you want it to be.
Before I list off all the children’s games to play with 3 people, I should point out one thing. Adults can (and should) absolutely play these games as well. In fact, I would suggest that you try and play them with your children as often as possible. They are a perfect way to pass the time during the pandemic, when you’re locked down and can’t go outside, and they’ll help you bond with your kids in the most fun way possible.
23. I Spy
I Spy is a classic game that has you guess objects around the room. Depending on who’s playing, it can be incredibly easy or mind-numbingly difficult. In addition, it’s also a neat way of keeping an inventory, if you happen to be a forgetful person.
Hangman is one of those games that sounds really morbid, but is actually a lot of fun. When playing it, children have the opportunity to learn new words and revise old ones. In addition, adults can make the game suit their tastes with complex words and phrases.
25. Hide and Seek
There isn’t a corner on planet Earth where children don’t like playing Hide and Seek. After all, it’s one of those games where you have to be clever, fast, and crafty and STILL have a chance of losing because the seeker had an odd stroke of luck.
26. Musical Chairs
Musical Chairs is a game that’s quite easy to set up. All you really need are two elements: the music and the chairs.
Obviously, this game works better if you have more than 3 people playing it. However, with some craftiness, you can make it work with just you and your two friends. For instance, all three of you set your music software to pause after a number of seconds while you spin about the chairs. The person who is out will then manually pause the music during the next turn.
27. Balloon Games
A single balloon can make your afternoon go from dull to fun in a matter of minutes. Really, there are so many things you can do with it: balloon volleyball, balloon tennis, balloon catch, balloon keep away…the possibilities are endless. In addition, if you have some long balloons around, you can have yourselves a few mock sword fights.
Playing catch is usually presented in movies as something that parents play with their children, usually involving a father and a son. However, this is one of those games that 3 people can play easily. In fact, you can spice up the rules and make the game a little more exciting, ex. you have to pass the ball in less than two seconds. What’s more, you can add a scoreboard and deduct points based on how many times someone drops the ball during the game.
28 Fun and Easy Games to Play With 3 People: Final Thoughts
As you can see, there are plenty of games to play with 3 people out there that don’t require a joypad or an internet connection. They range from fun and challenging to insightful and stimulating, and anyone from ages 7 to 77 can enjoy them. So, next time when you have a couple of friends over, give one of these games a try.