The greatest Irish drinking games

OK, OK, we know this is old, but it is consistently one of our most searched articles on this site. Apparently the Internet really wants to know how to throw down really inauthentically on St. Patrick’s Day.

St. Patrick’s Day is always the right time to pull this classic piece out of the RVANews archive!

Original — March 12, 2008

I’m no dummy. I know that people out there are excited about “getting their drink on” this weekend for the early St. Patrick’s Day celebration. And I also know that many of you so-called revelers are secretly sad inside.

Why? Because consuming alcohol can sometimes feel like a chore. Swallowing so much fluid gets to be real work. After a while, the boredom and stress begins to take its toll and the next thing you know, you’re sitting in a crowded bar full of happy people with a sad sack expression and a woe-is-me attitude.

Not this year. No sir. This year, your St. Patty’s day drunk routine is going to be anything but routine. I’ve scoured the internets for an authentic collection of Irish drinking games guaranteed to liven up your shameless shamrock celebrations.

Read up. Follow the rules. And knock a few back for me!

McNickels – This is much more than the Irish version of the popular “Quarters” game (where drunks try and bounce dirty coins into perfectly good glasses of alcohol). In this version, if you bounce your nickel into the glass you actually drink the nickel too. And in this case it pays to win, because if you hork it all up… you get enough change for another drink! Genius!

Fisty Kisses – Up to five people can play and the rules are real easy. Everyone applies a heavy coat of lipstick (men included) and drinks from a communal pitcher in a clockwise fashion. The last person to get the pitcher pretends to be angry and yells, “Hey! There’s lipstick on my glass! Who did this?!” The first person to laugh gets punched in the mouth. Socko!

Seamus Heaney Trivia – One person is designated “Quizzer,” the rest are “Quizzees.” There are twenty questions per round, twelve rounds per game. After the Quizzer has asked a question, the first Quizzee to consume an entire beer and then answer correctly wins another beer. Anyone who guesses incorrectly is designated an intellectual inferior and asked to leave. Anyone who professes ignorance of Seamus Heaney or his poetry is asked to leave. Anyone who pronounces his name “See-muss” is ridiculed… then asked to leave. In the event that only two players remain (Quizzer and Quizzee), a lightning round of Indian leg-wrestling will determine the winner. Complicated!

Bono O’ Bingo – This game is exactly like Bingo, except when you win, you yell “Bono!”… and take a drink. Lame!

Blarney Ball – Bring a green softball to your favorite drinking spot. Keep drinking until you have the courage to throw the ball at somebody. Head shots are worth 100 points. Bar mirrors are worth 1000 points. And off-duty police officers will get you 5000 points. Whoops!

The Belfast and The Furious – After drinking heavily, challenge someone to a one block “drag race” in the street. But instead of using a car, you race on foot. If you’re a man, you must borrow a pair of high heels. Action-packed! See Also: “Too Belfast, Too Furious” and “The Belfast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift.”

Shamrock Paper Scissors – Now that I think about it, this Irish variation of “Rock Paper Scissors” was invented by the IRA and is actually more of an interrogation technique than a drinking game. Sorry.

Leprechaun Lawn Bowling – This game is exactly like “Midget Bowling” except the designated little person is dressed in all green and you have to toss them on the grass. Instead of bowling pins, your goal is to knock over bird fountains, mail boxes and yard gnomes. The game is easy, but finding a midget may take some time. Using children instead is discouraged. Magically delicious!

Colin Farrell vs. Liam Neeson – Best played in the parking lot after last call. One player is Farrell, the other is Neeson. No eye gouging, groin shots or sharp objects. Accents must be utilized at all times. Last player conscious is the winner. Bloody hell!

Pot O’ Gold – This game is best played at home with several friends. At the beginning of the night, one of the house toilets is designated as a “Number One Only/Non Flush” toilet. Consume drinks as normal, celebrate and urinate frequently. At the stroke of midnight, the partygoers meet at an agreed upon location to vote on the most annoying person of the night. That person’s keys are thrown into the toilet. Hilarious!

Fobber Me Shupshaw! – The classic Irish nonsense game! Two players sit at a bar and take turns consuming alcoholic beverages. Once both have downed four apiece, they begin arguing about sports and politics. The arguments continue, growing more heated as the empty bottles pile up. By the tenth round, each is listening closely to the drunken babbling of the other because as soon as one utters the phrase, “Fobber Me Shupshaw,” he or she is forced to pick up the tab for the evening. In the event of a Vomit Forfeit or Blackout Foul, a tie is declared. Exciting!

Angela’s Ashes – Stay home and rent the movie “Angela’s Ashes.” Watch it with some close friends and a bottle of Irish whiskey. Every time a poor, hungry child cries, you drink. Angsty!

Disclaimer: These suggestions are in no way meant as encouragement for you to drink irresponsibly. Do what’s right. You know what’s right. Let’s not pretend otherwise. Do I have to say it? Are you going to make me say it? Really? Okay… Please Drink Responsibly. How embarrassing.

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Pete Humes

Pete Humes is a husband, father and writer who lives in Richmond’s North Side. He enjoys coffee and owns way too many records.

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