How to

How to Play Marco Polo: A Fun and Engaging Water Game

Are you looking for a thrilling and interactive water game to enjoy with your friends and family? Look no further! Marco Polo is the perfect game to make your summer days memorable and exciting. In this article, we will guide you through the rules, strategies, and frequently asked questions about how to play Marco Polo. Let’s dive in and discover the joy of this timeless classic.


Marco Polo is a popular water game that has been enjoyed for decades. It is a game of tag played in a swimming pool or any other water body. One player, who is designated as “Marco,” closes their eyes and tries to locate other players by calling out “Marco!” The other players, known as “Polo,” respond with “Polo,” while trying to avoid being caught. The blindfolded seeker uses sound and movement to track down the hidden players. Now, let’s explore the rules of this exciting game.

Friends enjoying a game of Marco Polo in a swimming pool.
Friends enjoying a game of Marco Polo in a swimming pool.

Rules of Marco Polo

To start playing Marco Polo, gather a group of friends or family members in a swimming pool. Make sure the pool is safe and everyone is comfortable in the water. Here are the basic rules of the game:

  1. Number of Players: Marco Polo can be played with a minimum of three players, but it is more enjoyable with a larger group.
  2. Playing Area and Boundaries: Determine the boundaries of the playing area before starting the game. It can be the entire pool or a designated section.
  3. Initiating the Game: Designate one player as “Marco” and have them close their eyes or wear a blindfold. This player becomes the seeker. The other players are the “Polo” and scatter within the playing area.
  4. Taking Turns: Marco calls out “Marco!” while the other players respond with “Polo!” The seeker uses their hearing and touch to locate the hidden players.
  5. Catching Players: When Marco suspects a player’s location, they can tag them. The caught player becomes the new Marco in the next round.
Using pool floats as a strategic hiding spot during a game of Marco Polo.
Using pool floats as a strategic hiding spot during a game of Marco Polo.

Strategies and Tips

To become a successful player in Marco Polo, consider these strategies and tips:

  1. Master the Art of Silence: As a Polo, staying quiet can help you avoid detection. Move stealthily and minimize splashing sounds to confuse the seeker.
  2. Use Evasive Maneuvers: When Marco gets close, change your direction swiftly or dive underwater to throw them off.
  3. Create Distractions: Make splashing or noise in a different area of the pool to divert Marco’s attention from your location.
  4. Listen Carefully: As Marco, pay attention to the sound clues given by the other players. Use their voices, movements, and echoes to narrow down their hiding spots.
  5. Take Advantage of Obstacles: Utilize pool features like ladders, steps, or pool floats to create barriers and obstruct Marco’s path.

Implementing these strategies will increase your chances of winning and make the game even more thrilling. Now, let’s address some frequently asked questions about Marco Polo.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How is the winner determined in Marco Polo?

The winner of Marco Polo is usually the person who catches the most players during a specified time or until everyone has taken their turn as Marco. However, you can modify the rules to suit your preferences and declare the winner differently.

Can Marco use any aids to locate others?

In traditional Marco Polo, the seeker relies solely on their hearing and touch to locate other players. However, you can introduce variations to the game by allowing Marco to use aids like pool toys or goggles to enhance their search.

Are there any variations of the game?

Yes, there are several variations of Marco Polo that can add excitement and variety to the gameplay. Some popular variations include Reverse Marco Polo, Fish Out of Water, and Sharks and Minnows. Each variation introduces unique rules and objectives to keep the game fresh and engaging.


Now that you have learned the rules, strategies, and answers to some common questions about how to play Marco Polo, it’s time to gather your loved ones, jump into the pool, and start the fun! This classic water game guarantees laughter, excitement, and lasting memories. So, grab your swimsuits, get ready to splash around, and let the thrilling adventures of Marco Polo begin. Enjoy!


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