Twenty One

By: The Rulemaster

Do you not have any cards, dice, quarters or ping pong balls but still want to play a drinking game? Well it's all good, the game "21" needs none of those items. Twenty-One is a word game and all you need is your bodies and the beer of course. The drunker you get the harder it will be to concentrate and remember the rules so have fun with it!

What You Need

  • Three or more People
  • Beer for Everyone
  • Area to Sit in a Circle

Basic Rules

All the players need to sit in a circle preferable around a table or coffee table. In this game all the players will be counting from "1" to "21" in a sequence going around in a circle. The game starts with one person who is elected to start with the number "1". Then it goes to the right to the next person in the circle who then say "2". This continues with the following person saying "3" until you reach "21". This might sound way too simple so far but those are just the basic.

What makes this tricky is that each player has the option of saying more than one number is the sequence and depending how many numbers they decide to say it changes the pace of the game. If the player just says one number the game keeps going as normal but if the player says two numbers in a row then the sequence reverses back to the person that just went before the current player. Also, if the player says three numbers in a row then it stays in the same direction but the person after the current player is skipped.

For Example: It is currently your turn and the person before you said one number the number "5". If you decided to say just one number the number "6" the game goes on as normal to the person after you but if you decided to say "6", "7" then it goes to the person who was just before you and they are now on the number "8". If instead of those two options you decided to say three numbers in a row "6", "7", "8" then it skips the person who was after you, goes to the next person after them and they would be on the number "9". Got it?

Now you are probably wondering, when do I get to drink? Well in "21" there a number of ways you will have to drink as punishment. The first way is the individual who's forced to say "21" at the end of each round has to finish their drink. The second way you have to drink is if you say a number out of turn or out of sequence. The game restarts when someone messes up and the person on the right of the person who messed up will start with the number "1". The third way you will have to drink is if you too long to respond typically that is determined as more then 3 seconds.

Extra Rules

Once you play a few rounds and you all think you have the game figured out you can start adding on to the basic rules. The person who ends the game with 21 gets to add a new rule or cancel an old rule each round. Here is a list of some popular rules to add on to the game.Changing a Number

You can change a number to a different number for a word. For example if the new rule was to say "2" instead of "3" then every time you are supposed to say "3" you have to say "2", the sequence would look like this (1, 2, 2, 4, 5"). Another example is if the new rule was to say "hore" instead of the letter "4" then the sequence would go (1, 2, 3, hore, 5, 6").

Illegal Actions, Words, Gestures

Another rule you can add is making certain actions, words or gestures not allowed anymore. Popular examples of this rule are you can"t say "drink", you can"t point or you can"t drink with your dominant hand otherwise you will have to drink.


A rule similar to one from kings cup is that you can make the person who looses the round by ending on "21" the "Thumb-Master" or any other thing you can think of. The way this works is that every time the "Thumb-Master" puts their finger on the edge of the table the last person to put their thumb also on the edge of the table has to drink.

Question Master

By adding the rule of the question master the person who looses can pick someone or themselves to be the "Question Master". Throughout the rest of the game the "Question Master" can ask questions to people and the person needs to respond with another question. If the person answers the question instead of responding with another question then that person has to drink.


One basic thing to remember is never stop on "18". If it is your turn and it is on "18" always say "18", "19" or "18", "19", "20". If you don"t the next person can just say "19", "20" and it'll be back on you and you'll loose being stuck on "21". Then you will have to chug that beer and you will get wasted fast.

If you are starting the game a way to mess other player up right away is starting with multiple numbers. If you say "1", "2" then the person to your left has to say "3". It will always throw them off on the first try especially if you look at the person to your right of you. Most times they will screw up and both people on both sides of you will have to drink.


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