But there is a whole new category of bar games that deserves some attention: mini bar games.
Basically, we’re talking about smaller versions of classic games shrunk down to a tabletop or desktop version.
These games are portable and, in many cases, ingenious.
It’s not simply a smaller version of the original games; some of these mini bar games are re-creations in a totally new format – one that requires a different set of skills and techniques.
Plus, and most importantly, they’re really fun to play.
The convenience and pure fun of mini bar games games explains why they are becoming so popular.
In fact, you’ll now see mini bar games as some the most popular non-tech gaming items on many retail and gift websites these days.
In this post we’ll look at 10 of the best mini bar games to check out today.
Why “Mini” Bar Games?
You might be wondering why anyone would want to try a “mini” version of their favorite bar game. Why not just play the real thing?
While we also would usually opt for the full size version of a bar game, there are several compelling reasons why these new mini options deserve a serious look.
First, a full-size game table is expensive. If you can’t swing it, or aren’t ready to make the investment, these mini versions let you play some really fun games at a significantly lower price point.
Different Skill Set
Unlike their full size counterparts, playing a round of mini cornhole or mini beer pong is all about finger dexterity and precision. It requires a different level and type of control and accuracy.
You can sit while playing (lazy man’s version)
With many of these games you don’t even need to get off the chair or couch. You can sit at a table and play just like any other tabletop game.
These games are easily portable and don’t take up much space at all. They’re perfect to include in your arsenal of games at home or at the bar.
They’re new and different
We’re always looking for new bar games here. If you’re tired of the same old thing, these mini version are definitely worth a look.
10 Mini Bar Games to Check Out
1. Mini Beer Pong
The board is handcrafted from quality hardwoods and features 10 recessed cup holders, two tethered balls, and ball launchers.
So, instead of throwing the balls, you are catapulting them with your fingers.
And you don’t have to worry about chasing them down since they’re attached to the board.
You also don’t even need to stand up when you play mini beer pong.
That’s why, along with several other games on this list, this is the perfect game for a relaxed pub setting.
The Scienz mini beer pong set also comes with 50 reusable mini cups, which are slightly smaller than your standard shot glass.
2. Mini Flip Cup
Flip cup is one of the best party games for larger, beer guzzling groups, often in rowdy college settings.
But if you want a more refined version that won’t have you puking your guts out, you can try mini flip cup.
In this game, you use finger flippers to flip mini solo cups on their tops. And, like mini beer pong, this game can be played sitting down.
The board is about 2 feet long and includes 20 cups. The version featured here is also made by Scienz Games.
3. Desktop Skee-Ball
Skee-Ball has been making a big comeback in the bar and “barcade” scene lately. So it’s no surprise that we now have some mini versions of this popular game to choose from.
This one is perfect for placing on your desk. Instead of finding your distraction online during the working hours, try taking a break from the screen to play a few games of skee-ball.
The kids will also love this one.
The mini skee-ball set comes with two stainless steel balls and a built-in ball launcher.
It features high-quality hardwood construction and an automatic ball return.
4. Tabletop Cornhole
Cornhole is the perfect outdoor leisure game for just about any crowd these days.
And it’s not hard to find a nice full size version of cornhole to keep at home or take on the road for some tailgating.
But if you can’t get enough of this game, or your just sick of playing the same card games over and over on a rainy day, you can try out this mini cornhole set.
These also make a great indoor option for kids when you want to reduce their screen time a bit.
There are a bunch of mini cornhole sets available these days.
A typical tabletop version will come with two boards, each a couple feet or more in length, with foldable legs and, like the standard game, eight bean bags.
And there is an even smaller desktop version in which you can use finger launchers and get set up pretty much anywhere.
5. Tabletop Shuffleboard
Like skee-ball, shuffleboard is another classic bar game that has seen a resurgence in recent years.
But an actual shuffleboard table ranges in length from 9 feet to 22 feet, so it’s a pretty large piece of gaming equipment even at its smallest size.
Now you can play this classic game in a smaller format on just about any table or flat surface.
These tabletop shuffleboard units are great fun for families. You can store it in a closet or take it with you on vacation. It would also make a fun tabletop option for bar patrons.
A quality tabletop shuffleboard game is made from hardwood and keeps the original scoring layout intact.
6. Mini Foosball
Another miniaturized version of a classic bar and home rec game, mini foosball can be a lot of fun when simply plopped down on a coffee table or something.
These tables come in a wide variety of sizes and configurations.
For those who aren’t ready to invest the space or money in a full size foosball table, these mini versions are a great compromise.
The key is to find a mini foosball table that is sturdy enough to withstand vigorous play, similar to a game of actual foosball.
Be sure to read our full article about mini foosball tables if you are interested in learning more.
7. Mini Billiards
Mini pool tables are the perfect way to introduce younger players to the game of pool.
And pocket billiards is one of the best and broadest bar game categories. But not everyone can afford a full size or even a smaller (i.e. 7 foot) pool table for their home.
Luckily, these mini pool tables allow you to experience the real thing and learn the basics of the best and most popular game formats, including 8-ball, 9-ball, and a fun 3-player game like cutthroat.
Mini tables also come in a wide range of sizes, from tabletop versions to larger portable versions with foldable legs.
Either way a mini pool table will save some space and dollars compared to a full size table..
8. Desktop Ladder Golf
Ladder golf (aka ladder toss or ladder ball) is a hugely popular backyard game. It’s fun for all ages and, if you’ve played a few times, you know it’s one of those games that you just want to get better at.
As for the mini version of ladder golf, there are a couple different options available.
First, we have what is basically just a smaller version of the original ladder toss.
This smaller version can easily be placed on a tabletop indoors, and then you can play from whatever distance you choose.
The other option is this mini re-creation of ladder golf known as the Ladder Launch. This one is perfect for the desktop. It has a built-in finger launcher that propels the mini bolas onto a series of rungs.
You can add more rungs or re-position them to change things up. Plus, you can add a custom engraving to the solid wood base.
9. Desktop Basketball
Here’s a solid, minimalist little basketball game you can play on your bar table or on your desk at work. It’s made from solid wood and hardly takes up any space at all.
This unit includes a finger catapult that’s separate from the hoop, so you can move it around and take shots from different spots.
Like the other games from Scienz, it requires finger dexterity and precision.
The cool thing about his one is that you can move the launcher around; perfect for a little game of horse.
Also, the set includes micro bean bags that won’t bounce off the table (or rim).
10. Retro Mini Arcade
I know we mentioned that these are typically non-tech games, but we think this one still qualifies due to its retro nature.
And retro arcade games are some of the most popular bar games.
Loaded with 360 classic games, this small portable game console lets you dive back into the nostalgic world of 8-bit gaming on a 3.0” color TFT screen.