Kentucky Derby Party Ideas

Kentucky Derby Party Ideas

The Kentucky Derby is the marquee horse racing event in North America. It’s at least the most prestigious race, with the Running for the Roses the only horse race that a lot of people pay attention to during the year.

The Kentucky Derby parties might be what you’re most interested in for this weekend. If you’re tasked with hosting a Kentucky Derby party, TheSportsGeek has you covered with the best Kentucky Derby party ideas.

Like the Super Bowl, having an excuse to get together with friends and throw a party is what the Kentucky Derby is about. I’m a horse racing nerd, so no, this isn’t what I look forward to on Derby Day, but I do know something about Kentucky Derby party ideas.

There are some Kentucky Derby party games that you should know about if you are throwing a Kentucky Derby party with your friends. There is a wide array of different types of Kentucky Derby party games, including Kentucky Derby drinking games and Kentucky Derby betting squares pools.

There is a flavor for every taste when it comes to Kentucky Derby party ideas. Kentucky Derby drinking games might not be your thing, but I’m positive you will find something on our Kentucky Derby party games list. For Kentucky Derby online betting, we have the best sites for you and your friends.

Kentucky Derby Party Games

The best Kentucky Derby party games don’t require much horse-racing knowledge. That’s the best part.

If you’re intimidated by playing Kentucky Derby games at a party, don’t be because you don’t have to be a professional handicapper at the racetrack to win and have fun.

The Derby Hat Draw

This is probably the simplest Kentucky Derby party game and one that everyone should consider if your party doesn’t have much horse-racing knowledge.

The rules are easy, which includes putting the names of all 20 horses in the Kentucky Derby and putting them in a hat, and drawing names. It’s pure luck and requires no brainpower.

Kentucky Derby Draft

If you are willing to do your Kentucky Derby homework, you could be the life of the party for this game. This will require more effort than the Derby Hat Draw, but getting lucky is part of having success in the Kentucky Derby.

Are you familiar with fantasy drafts? If so, a Kentucky Derby draft will be in your wheelhouse. How many people are at your party will impact the number of rounds in your draft.

For instance, if there are 20 people at the party, each attendee can select one horse. Five or six people, you can stretch things out and maybe have a few rounds to select multiple horses for your Kentucky Derby barn.

You can pull your names from a hat with the first lucky name having the first pick.

Kentucky Derby Auction

For this Kentucky Derby game, your party can auction off the horses in the Kentucky Derby. It’s up to you to set the price, depending on if you want to go with a high or low-roller pool.

This is different than a Kentucky Derby draft, but is another game in which you can improve your chance of winning with some research and horse racing knowledge.

To determine the prices for reach horse, check out the Kentucky Derby odds to win and assign the highest price to that participant. For the 148th Kentucky Derby, Epicenter and Zandon are currently the favorite to win, with Zandon the favorite on the morning-line at racebooks.

Winner and Last

The last-place team in the Kentucky Derby doesn’t win any money, but you could if you select the horse that finishes last. To make it more interesting and tricky, the pool winner must pick the winning horse of the Kentucky Derby, too.

For a tiebreaker, have party-goers write down how long they believe the winning horse will complete the Kentucky Derby. For reference, the Derby typically takes around 2 minutes to complete.

My Old Kentucky Home Time

Super Bowl prop bettors know all about playing the Over Under for the Star-Spangled Banner. You can play a variation of it at your Kentucky Derby party as well.

My Old Kentucky Home is a yearly tradition performed immediately before the running of the Kentucky Derby. For this pool, you can have attendees write down how long they believe the song will take to be completed. The closest guess wins the pool.

Kentucky Derby Drinking Game

Bourbon is the shot of choice for the Kentucky Derby. It isn’t required, but recommended that shots of bourbon are used for this Kentucky Derby party game. Feel free to use your drink of choice if you’d like, though.

For each instance during the Kentucky Derby, take a shot of bourbon. There are no losers or winners, just ensure that you aren’t driving after shoveling bourbon down your throat because this could get messy.

  • Take a shot when Bob Baffert is mentioned during the broadcast
  • Take a shot if American Pharoah is mentioned during the broadcast
  • Take a half shot when a pink hat is shown
  • Take two shots if Tom Brady is at the Kentucky Derby
  • Take a shot if any of the panel of experts or NBC hosts pick Epicenter to win the race (one for each)
  • Take a shot if any commentators or presenters mention the mint julep drink
  • Take a shot if the winning horse wins by less than one length
  • Take three shots if a horse with odds of 10/1 or greater wins the Kentucky Derby (according to the morning-ling odds)

Kentucky Derby Betting Squares

If you don’t like any of the Kentucky Derby party ideas yet, you’ll probably like this fun and random Kentucky Derby party game that takes a page from Super Bowl parties.

The Derby Squares needs a section of its own because it’s the highlight of the Kentucky Derby party games, in my book, anyway. Super Bowl squares pools are always popular at Super Bowl parties, so why not the Kentucky Derby?

This is an exacta square contest, with the top-2 horses coming into play to determine a winning player. There are 20 or fewer horses expected to run in the Kentucky Derby, barring any scratches there will be 20 at Churchill Downs in the gate.

On the X and Y axis, write out the numbers for reach horse in the Derby. The X-axis represents the winning horse, while the Y-axis represents 2nd place.

For example, if the No. 5 horse wins and the No. 8 is 2nd, then the player who had this spot on the squares chart wins the pool.

The entry fee for your Kentucky Derby betting square is entirely at your discretion. There is typically a fee for one spot on the board. You can play more to improve your chances of winning or go with one lucky spot.

Kyle E / Author

Kyle is a veteran of TheSportsGeek and has spent nearly a decade providing accurate sports picks and writeups here. He has been a sports handicapper for 10+ years and started sharing his picks and thoughts in 2011 at TheSportsGeek. His expertise spans across multiple sports, including the NFL, NCAAF, MLB, NHL, and horse racing. Prior to writing for TheSportsGeek, Kyle was a fantasy football expert, who ultimately parlayed it into a successful sports betting career. You can find his picks daily only at TheSportsGeek.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.