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36 Fun Games To Play With Three People

by Lily Morgen
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Fun Games To Play With Three People

Ever found yourself in a small group of three, wondering how to make the most of your leisure time? Well, you’re not alone. Whether it’s a cozy family gathering, a casual hangout with friends, or simply staying at home playing online, finding the perfect game for three can be fun. 

From card games to board games, outdoor activities to other fun-filled games, we’ve listed 36 fun games to play with three people, each with a video explaining how to play so that you can learn quickly if that’s suitable for you. 

Card Games

Card games have always been a classic choice for group entertainment. They’re easy to carry, versatile, and can be played almost anywhere. Here are some of our top picks:

1. Cards Against Humanity 

Cards Against Humanity is a popular party game. It’s like a funny, adult version of “fill in the blanks”. In each round, one player asks a question from a black card, and everyone else answers with their funniest white card. The player who asked the question picks the funniest answer, and that person gets a point.

The game is known for its humor and can be a bit naughty, so it’s best for grown-ups. It’s a great way to laugh and have fun with friends.

Here is how to play Cards Against Humanity:

2. Uno 

Uno is a timeless classic card game that uses a specially printed deck of 108 cards and the objective is to be the first player to score 500 points, achieved by being the first to play all of one’s own cards and scoring points for the cards still held by the other players. It’s a game of strategy, luck, and the ability to keep a poker face.

Here is how to play Uno:

3. Crazy Eights 

Crazy Eights brings excitement to the table as the game’s goal is to be the first one to have no cards left. The game can be played with a standard deck of 52 cards and is suitable for 2 to 7 players. 

Each player starts with 8 cards. When it’s your turn, you put down a card that matches the top card on the discard pile. It can match by suit (like hearts or diamonds) or by rank (like 8 or king). If you can’t match, you draw a card. The special card is the 8, which can be played anytime and lets you choose the next suit. If you run out of cards first, you win.

Here is how to play Crazy Eights:

4. Go Fish 

Go Fish is a popular card game often played by children, which is usually played with a standard deck of 52 cards. The goal is to collect sets of four cards by asking other players for them. It’s a game of memory and strategy, you can play with to spend a lazy afternoon. 

Here is how to play Go Fish:

5. Gin Rummy 

To win Gin Rummy, you need to be the first player to get rid of all the cards in your hand. You do this by forming ‘melds’. A meld can be either a ‘set’ (three or four cards of the same rank, like three 7s) or a ‘run’ (three or more cards in sequence of the same suit, like 4, 5, 6 of hearts).

Here is how to play Gin Rummy:

6. Old Maid 

Old Maid is all about luck and memory. You use a standard deck of 52 cards, but with one card removed, usually a Queen, which leaves an odd number of cards. The player’s goal is to avoid being the player left holding the “old maid” at the end of the game. It’s often played by families with children as it’s simple and fun.

Here is how to play Old Maid:

7. Golf 

The game is usually played over nine or eighteen rounds (like a game of golf), and the player with the lowest total score at the end of all rounds is the winner, so you want to get rid of high-value cards and keep low-value ones.

At the end of the round (when a player thinks they have the lowest score and knocks, or when the draw pile runs out), everyone reveals their cards and adds up their scores. Cards are worth their face value (so a 2 is worth 2 points, a 10 is worth 10 points, etc.), while face cards (King, Queen, Jack) are worth 10 points. Aces are worth 1 point.

Here is how to play Golf:

8. Sergeant Major 

Sergeant Major is a trick-taking card game for three players. The goal of the game is to win as many tricks as possible. A trick is a round where each player plays a card, and the highest card of the initial suit wins. The player who wins the trick then leads the next one.

Sergeant Major is also known as “8-5-3” because of the points each player aims to win in each round. The game also uses a standard deck of 52 cards. Each player is dealt 16 cards, and the last 4 cards are placed face down in the middle of the table.

Here is how to play Sergeant Major:

9. Skat 

Skat is a three-player game that uses a deck of 32 cards, from 7 to Ace in each suit. Each player is dealt 10 cards, with two extra cards placed in the middle of the table. These two cards are known as the “skat”.

Players then bid to decide who will be the “declarer” for that round. The declarer is the player who tries to score points against the other two players, who team up against them.

The declarer can choose to pick up the skat (the two extra cards) and discard any two cards from their hand. They also decide on the trump suit (the suit that is more powerful than the others) for that round. The game then proceeds with each player taking turns to play a card. The aim is to win tricks (rounds where each player plays a card) by playing the highest card of the leading suit or a trump card.

After all the cards have been played, the points in the tricks each player has won are counted. The declarer wins if they have at least 61 points. If not, the other two players win.

Here is how to play Skat:

10. Slapjack 

Slapjack is a quick, fun card game. The goal is to win all the cards. Players take turns flipping a card into a center pile. If a Jack is flipped, the first to slap the pile wins those cards. If you slap at the wrong time, you give a card to the previous player. If you run out of cards, you’re out. The game continues until one player has all the cards. It’s all about speed and quick reactions.

Here is how to play Slapjack:

11. Palace 

Palace is an exciting card game where the aim is to be the first to get rid of all your cards. Every player gets nine cards. Three are placed face-down (known as the “palace”), three are placed face-up on top of the palace, and the remaining three are held in the hand.

Players take turns playing a card equal or higher than the last played. If unable, they pick up the pile.

When hand cards are gone, play your face-up cards, then your palace. But you can’t see your palace cards until you play them.

Here is how to play Palace:

12. Let It Ride 

Let It Ride is a casino style card game based on poker. Each player makes three bets and receives three cards. Two community cards are dealt face down. Players decide whether to “let it ride” or withdraw their first bet, then one community card is revealed. Again, players decide on their second bet, then the final community card is revealed.

Players win if their five-card hand (three personal, two community) forms a pair of tens or better. The higher the poker hand, the bigger the payout.

Here is how to play Let It Ride:

Board Games

Board games are tabletop games that typically use pieces moved or placed on a pre-marked surface or “board”, according to a set of rules. They involve strategy, chance, or a mix of both, and range from traditional games like chess, checkers, or backgammon, to complex modern games with elaborate rules and pieces.

Here are some board games that are perfect for three players:

13. Monopoly 

Monopoly, the classic property trading game, where players buy, trade, and manage properties to build wealth. Each player rolls dice to move around the board, buying properties they land on, or paying rent if someone else owns it. Players can build houses and hotels on their properties to increase rent.

If you can’t pay rent or a fee, you may have to sell or mortgage properties. The game continues until all but one player goes bankrupt. The last player standing is the winner.

Here is how to play Monopoly:

14. Scrabble 

Scrabble is a word game where players earn points by creating words on a game board using lettered tiles. Each player draws seven tiles to start. During a turn, a player forms a word using their tiles and places it on the board. Each letter has a point value, and there are special squares on the board that multiply the value of a letter or word.

After playing, the player refills their hand from a bag of tiles. The game ends when all tiles are used and one player has played all their tiles. The player with the highest score wins.

Here is how to play Scrabble:

15. Ticket to Ride 

Ticket to Ride, a railway-themed board game, challenges players to strategically collect cards and claim railway routes on a map. Each player starts with destination tickets, showing two cities to connect. On your turn, you can draw colored train cards, claim a route on the board by matching the color and number of train cards to the route, or get new destination tickets.

Each route scores points based on its length. Completing a destination ticket scores extra points, but failing to complete one deducts points. The game ends when a player is nearly out of trains, and the player with the most points wins.

Here is how to play Ticket to Ride:

16. Sorry! 

Sorry! is a classic board game combination of luck, strategy, and determination. Your goal is to get all their pawns from a start area to a home area. With each turn, players draw a card and move their pawns according to the card’s instructions. Some cards allow players to move their pawns forward, backward, or switch places with an opponent’s pawn.

If a player’s pawn ends up on a square where another player’s pawn is, the other player’s pawn must return to the start. The game gets its name from the many ways to sabotage opponents, often leading to players saying “Sorry!” The first player to get all their pawns home wins.

Here is how to play Sorry!:

17. Risk 

Risk is a popular board game where players aim to conquer the world. It’s like a big game of strategy and luck. Each player starts with armies and tries to capture territories on the map. The more territories you control, the more armies you get. You use dice to battle other players and take over their lands.

The goal is to be the last player standing, controlling all territories. It’s a fun game that tests your decision-making skills and can take a long time to finish. 

Here is how to play Risk:

18. Catan 

Catan invites players to become pioneers, settling on a resource-rich island. The island is made of hexagonal tiles, each representing resources like wood, brick, wheat, sheep, or stone. Players collect these resources to build roads, settlements, and cities.

You get resources based on the roll of two dice, and if the number rolled matches the number on a tile you have a settlement on, you get that resource. Trading resources with other players is also a big part of the game. The goal is to reach 10 points first, which you earn by building things. 

Here is how to play Catan:

19. Candy Land 

Candy Land is a colorful adventure through a world of sweets and treats. Players pick cards and move their piece to the next space that matches the color on the card. There are no decisions to make, so it’s perfect for young kids. Along the way, you might land on a special space that sends you forward to a yummy landmark or backwards to a previous spot.

Your goal is to reach the end of the path, the Candy Castle, before everyone else. It’s a simple, fun game that turns into a sweet journey for players.

Here is how to play Candy Land:

20. Game of Life 

Like our life facing many chances and choices, the Game of Life is like playing through a person’s life in a board game. Players spin a wheel to move along a track filled with life events. You make choices about your career, marriage, and family, just like in real life. Some spaces on the board give you money or make you pay money, representing the ups and downs of life.

There are also special tiles that let you experience big life moments, like getting a job or having a baby. The player with the most money at the end, when all players have reached the ‘retirement’ space, wins. It’s a fun way to pretend to live different lives.

Here is how to play Game of Life:

21. Rapidough 

Rapidough is a creative and fun board game that’s all about molding and guessing. In this game, players split into teams and each team gets a lump of dough. One player from the team picks a card with a word on it and tries to sculpt that word out of dough. The other team members must guess what the sculpture represents.

The first team to correctly guess the word wins the round. But there’s a twist: the losing team has to give some of their dough to the winning team. 

Here is how to play Rapidough:

22. Boggle 

Boggle is a word game that challenges your vocabulary and speed. You shake a box filled with 16 dice, each with a different letter on each side. When they settle, they form a 4×4 grid of letters. Your task is to find as many words as you can in this grid within a set time, usually three minutes.

You can form words by connecting letters that are next to each other in any direction, but you can’t use the same letter cube twice in one word. When time’s up, players compare words. You score points for words that no one else found. It’s a fast-paced, brain-teasing game.

Here is how to play Boggle:

Outdoor Games

Outdoor games are a great way to enjoy the fresh air and have some fun. Here are some games that are good for three players:

23. Simon Says 

Simon Says is a simple and fun game often played by kids. One person is chosen to be “Simon” and they give commands to the other players. The trick is, players should only follow the command if it starts with “Simon says”.

Let’s say Simon tells you, “Simon says touch your mouth.” In this case, you should touch your mouth. However, if Simon only says, “Touch your mouth,” without starting with “Simon says,” you shouldn’t do it.

If a player does the action when they’re not supposed to, they’re out of the game. The last person remaining becomes the new Simon. It’s a game of listening carefully and quick reactions.

Here is how to play Simon Says:

24. Three-way Football 

Three-way Football, also known as 3SF, is a unique twist on traditional football (soccer) where three teams play against each other at the same time, instead of the usual two. The game is played on a hexagonal pitch. The interesting part is that the winner isn’t the team that scores the most goals, but the one that concedes the fewest.

It’s a fun and strategic game that requires teams to both attack and defend more than in regular football.

Here is how to play Three-way Football:

25. Musical Chairs 

Musical Chairs is a fun game often played at parties. You start with a circle of chairs, one less than the number of players. Music plays while everyone walks around the chairs. When the music suddenly stops, everyone must quickly find a chair to sit on. But since there’s one less chair than players, one person won’t find a seat and is out of the game.

Then, one chair is removed, the music starts again, and the cycle repeats. The game continues until only one chair and two players are left. The player who sits on the last chair when the music stops is the winner. It’s an excellent choice for a lively outdoor gathering.

Here is how to play Musical Chairs:

25. Tag 

Tag is a simple and energetic game that often played outdoors. It starts with one player chosen as “it”. The goal of “it” is to touch, or “tag”, another player, who then becomes the new “it”. The other players run and try to avoid being tagged. There are no turns, and the game continues until the players decide to stop. Sometimes, there are safe zones where players can rest without being tagged.

Tag is a game of speed, agility, and strategy as players try to outmaneuver “it” while also staying alert to avoid becoming “it” themselves. It’s a fun way to get moving and enjoy some friendly competition.

Here is how to play Tag:

26. Capture the Flag 

Capture the Flag is an exciting outdoor game that involves strategy and teamwork. Players are divided into two teams, each with its own territory and a flag. The aim is to quietly enter the other team’s area, snatch their flag, and return to your own area without being tagged.

If you’re tagged by an opponent in their territory, you’re usually frozen or sent to a ‘jail’ area. Teammates can free you by tagging you without getting caught themselves. The game continues until one team successfully captures the other team’s flag. 

Here is how to play Capture the Flag:

27. Twenty-One 

Twenty-One is a popular basketball game that’s played with two or more players. Each player plays for themselves and scores individually. The game starts with a player shooting the basketball from a free throw line. If they make the shot, they get two points and can shoot again from the same spot. If they miss, the ball is free for anyone to grab.

Players can shoot from anywhere on the court, and each made shot is worth one point. The first player to reach exactly 21 points wins. But if a player goes over 21, their score resets to a lower number, usually 11 or 15.

Here is how to play Twenty-One:

28. Cornhole 

Cornhole is an enjoyable game played outside. Players take turns tossing bean bags towards a raised board that has a hole at the far end. When played with three people, one common way is to have two players compete against each other, while the third player waits to play the winner of the round.

Points are scored when a player’s bean bag lands on the board (1 point) or goes through the hole (3 points). The game continues until a player reaches or exceeds a set score, typically 21. 

Here is how to play Cornhole:

29. Relay Racing 

You may have heard of Relay Racing, which is a team-based game that involves players passing a baton while racing against time and each other. 

Here is how to play Relay Racing:

Other Games

There are plenty of other games that don’t fit into the traditional categories but are just as fun for 3 people. Here are some:

30. Pictionary 

In Pictionary, players draw pictures and others guess what they are. It’s like charades, but with drawing instead of acting. You don’t need to be a great artist, just able to sketch simple things. 

Here’s how to play Pictionary with 3 people:

  1. One person becomes the designated drawer, while the other two are guessers.
  2. The drawer picks a card or word and starts drawing. The other two players compete to guess the word first.
  3. The player who guesses correctly first gets a point.
  4. After the round, players rotate roles so everyone gets a chance to draw.

31. Twenty Questions 

Twenty Questions is a fun guessing game. One person thinks of something, like an object, animal, or person. The others have to guess what it is by asking up to 20 yes-or-no questions. For example, “Is it alive?” or “Can you eat it?” The person who thought of the thing can only answer “yes”, “no”, or “sometimes”.

The game continues until the thing is guessed or all 20 questions are used. It’s a great way to test your detective skills and have fun with friends or family.

Here is how to play Twenty Questions:

32. I Spy 

“I Spy” is a fun game often played by kids. One person picks an object around them and says, “I spy with my little eye, something that is…” and then gives a clue. The clue could be a color, shape, or a hint about what the object is used for. Everyone else tries to guess what the object is. The person who guesses correctly gets to pick the next object.

It’s a great game for car trips or waiting times because it helps pass the time and doesn’t need any special equipment.

Here is how to play I Spy:

33. Yahtzee 

Yahtzee is a fun dice game for any number of players. Each player gets a turn to roll five dice up to three times, trying to get specific combinations like a full house (three of one number and two of another), a straight (five numbers in a row), or all dice showing the same number (which is a Yahtzee). Each combination has a certain point value. After 13 rounds, the player with the highest total score wins.

Here is how to play Yahtzee:

34. Truth or Dare 

“Truth or Dare” is a party game where players take turns picking “truth” or “dare”. If you pick “truth”, you have to answer a question truthfully. If you choose “dare”, you have to do something that the other players tell you to do. The game is a way to learn more about others and create exciting and memorable moments.

It’s all about honesty, bravery, and lots of laughter. Remember, it’s just a game, so keep the questions and dares friendly and respectful.

Here is how to play Truth or Dare:

35. Never Have I Ever 

“Never Have I Ever” is a fun party game often played in groups. Here’s how it works: Everyone sits in a circle. The game begins with one person saying, “Never have I ever…” and then mentioning something they’ve never done before.

For example, “Never have I ever been to Paris.” If anyone in the group has done that thing, they must do a predetermined action, like take a sip of their drink or put down a finger.

The game continues around the circle, with each person sharing something new. It’s a great way to learn surprising facts about your friends!

Here is how to play Never Have I Ever:

36. Charades 

Charades challenges players to act out a word or phrase without speaking, and others try to guess what it is. It’s like a silent performance! You might act out a movie title, a book, or even a famous person. The game is usually played in teams. One person from a team acts out the clues, and their team tries to guess the answer within a certain time.

It’s a great game for parties or family gatherings, and it can be a lot of fun trying to guess the answers from the silent clues!​​

Playing Charades with three people is easy and fun to get everyone a turn to act and guess. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Player 1 is the actor. They think of a word or phrase to act out without speaking.
  2. Player 2 and Player 3 are the guessers. They watch Player 1’s performance and try to guess the word or phrase.
  3. If one of the guessers gets it right, they become the actor in the next round. If no one guesses correctly, Player 1 continues to be the actor.

Here is how to play Charades:

Conclusion

So there you have it – a list of fun games to play with three people. Whether you’re into card games, board games, outdoor games, or other types of games, there’s something for everyone. So if you find yourself in a group of three, just pick a game from this list and let the fun begin!

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