Pirate party games for adults

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It's a given that children love pirates. But hosting a pirate-themed party specifically for adults is a fun idea that lets the partygoers set free their playful and youthful sides. Adult parties can include costume contests, speciality beverages spiked with rum and other activities designed for more mature audiences.

Beyond the themed decorations, food and costumes, engage your guests in some games that touch on some of the favourite pastimes of the pirates of yore: searching for treasure, drinking and gambling.

Treasure Hunt

Set up a treasure hunt for your pirate guests. Purchase a small decorative chest from a party supply store and fill it with loot such as sweets, gift tokens, eye patches, gold-foil-covered chocolate coins and single-serving bottles of rum. Hide the chest, then draw a rough map of its location. Have the guests split up into teams and distribute copies of the map. Since the game is designed with adults in mind, you don't have to keep the treasure close to home. Get permission to hide it at a nearby bar or in a neighbour's yard. Just make sure to keep it within walking distance and away from busy thoroughfares, particularly if you're consuming alcoholic beverages.

Grog Contest

Host your very own grog contest. Invite guests to enter either as individuals or in teams of two, then choose several people to act as the judges' panel. Supply the teams with different types of rum, blenders, ice, juice, soda, fresh fruit and any other ingredients you deem necessary. Give the teams 15 minutes to come up with a custom recipe for a rum-based drink, then distribute samples of the drinks to the judges. The judges can choose the winner, who will receive a prize, such as a bottle of good rum or a gift token to a local business.

Liar's Dice

According to "Hoyle's Rules of Games," Liar's Dice is a game that originated on pirate ships but was made popular in army officers' clubs over the years. It's a two-player dice game that is similar to poker. Each player gets a cup that holds five dice. At the beginning of a round, one person is named the caller. Each person rolls his dice, hiding them from his opponent, then the caller announces (or bluffs about) the number and type of dice he has rolled (example, "four fives and one two"). The other player must then determine whether the caller is bluffing. He can claim a higher hand than the caller offered, roll again or ask the caller to show his dice. If the other player can show that he has a higher hand than the caller claimed, he wins. If he chooses to roll again, he may keep any of the dice from the first roll and go for better numbers with the remaining two. If he suspects a bluff and asks the caller to show his dice, both players must reveal their hands. The player with the better hand wins.

The scoring follows standard poker hierarchy, with one pair at the bottom and four of a kind at the top. If neither player has a pair, then the one with the highest number wins. The prize can vary; the players could bet a standard amount of change at the beginning of each round, with the winner taking the money. Using foil-wrapped chocolate coins in place of money would also fit the pirate theme.