How to make a drinking game

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Drinking games are dumb, including the ones in this article. They still rely on that “deteriorating skill level” and “punish” players by making them drink. They take advantage of the reduced inhibitions to encourage behavior that would not otherwise be engaged in or condoned. They encourage over-consumption as opposed to mindful imbibing. They open the door for predators and don’t promote “intimacy” at all.

Play a game. Drink. But don’t play a drinking game. .


I’m not sure “mindful imbibing” is actually a goal at any time… Imbibing is generally meant as a temporary reprieve from all the mindfulness.

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Re:speed fist… The rules don’t make any sense to me (if you’re both holding your fists out, it isn’t really guessing, is it? And if you can change it as soon as the guess is said, how do you know if the guess was correct or not?), but it does seem possible that with a minor tweak someone has invented… quantum drinking! You dont know the state of the fists until someone drinks :wink:

I personally am a fan of sexually based drinking games between two partners. First you are already in a consensual position for sex. Second adding a modicum of alcohol can lead to a more relaxed and fun time between two partners (again a modicum…throwing up drunk is not a good thing). Third adding a game to the mix can bring flare and spice to something that may have taken a turn into mundane and routine.

Something simple like the body shots game or flip/sip/strip or I Never can be rewarding and fun for the two of you and allow yo to perhaps learn something you may not have known or explore something you hadn’t considered before.

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I think it would work best as a form of evens/odds. That is: you can either guess “even” (0 or 2 open hands) or “odd” (only one open hand). Then both players open/close fists at the same time, and have to guess what the other person is going to do.

As it is, I can’t see any reason for calling out “0” or “10” because the other person can reflexively prevent a correct guess (0 by opening their hand, 10 by keeping it closed). I don’t see any reason why you wouldn’t just call out “5” and then open your hand as close to directly under the other person’s hand as you can manage (blocking their access to the shot glass and facilitating your access to their cup if you’re wrong).

The only time I used my computer programming skills to design a drinking game was when I invented the Recursive Drinking Game. It had one rule: Anytime someone else drinks, you must drink.

It wasn’t a very good drinking game.


I’m one of the designers of Speed Fist. We wrote the rules down after playing a lot of Speed Fist, which probably wasn’t the smartest idea…

Speed Fist is a faster version of the Chinese game 15-20. We made it be one handed so that it could end quicker, but it’s still probably fun with two hands. I’ve never seen sufficiently descriptive written rules for 15-20, it’s the sort of game you learn “on the job” because it’s very real-time, so that made our task extra hard! Here’s some people playing on youtube.

And then we added a good second phase to it that was inspired by competitive rock-paper-scissors where you have to figure out if you won or lost fast enough to either protect your head or hit your opponent on the head. Previously when playing drinking game versions of 15-20 it usually ended with something lame like “loser drinks.” We wanted to bring the drinking more into the game rules.

Sorry they’re written so unclearly! I blame it on the a-a-a-a-a

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There’s also an easy adaptation of many gambling games to drinking games - it reverses the goal of the game, such that rather than ‘punish’ a failure by forcing the player to drink their own booze, they reward victory by allowing the player to drink their opponent’s booze.

Replace coins or tokens with small glasses and have betting involve filling each glass wagered from your own supply, and winning involve drinking the contents (optionally, allow the winner to offer the glasses to friends to drink). Depending on how fast stakes move in the game, it might be suitable to use shot glasses half full of spirits, or all the way full of wine / beer / not very strong mixed drinks.

To avoid things getting out of hand, the betting pool is limited (to, say, two bottles of beer per player). The end condition comes when one or more of the players runs out of booze to wager.


As someone who was heavily involved in the cocktail culture for many years and have both seen and experienced the negative effects of long term heavy drinking on the body I think we have enough cultural mechanism to promote both drinking and over drinking.

A more interesting problem would be to come up with some games for cannabis that are both fun and help people get a bit more comfortable with it’s growing use.

This makes me wonder if there’s multiple rulesets of 15-20 floating around out there.

The version I used to play was a rapid string of a hand gesture and simultaneous guesses by both players. Because players don’t take turns guessing, but guess every single time, cheating is pretty much impossible to plausibly get away with for all but the quickest thinking of drunks. (Basically, if both players are wrong, go again. If both players are right, go again. If one player guesses right, and one guesses wrong, we have a winner.) And it also lends the game most of its strategy – both players are trying to guage the pattern the other player is using, and simultaneously throw off the other person’s guesses while avoiding any exploitable patterns themselves. (Basically, strategy centers on the fact that people are really bad random number generators.)

I bring this up because it sounds as if you were playing a version were players take turns guessing until someone gets it right, which would cut out a lot of the fun in the game. (There’s nothing like twenty rapid fire rounds.)

I always hated playing drinking games. I don’t need to play a damn stupid game to make me drink, I’ll do that just fine on my own.

Agreed. The most gamified version of drinking I can take goes thusly:

A: You finished your beer? You win!
B: I win, really? What do I win?
A: Another beer!


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