7 Unique St. Patrick’s Day Drinking Games

Top ‘o the mornin’ to ya! If you’re looking for some unique drinking games to spice up your St. Patty’s Day shenanigans, then look no further. Now that you’ve completed your Valentine’s Day plans, it’s time to celebrate your Irish heritage with a little day drinking. Finding new and creative St. Patrick’s Day drinking games to chug your green beer, or slam shots of Irish whiskey with friends can be hard.

However, I’ve compiled a list of brand new drinking games. That’s right, these games are Giftasaurus originals! Feel free to pass these onto your old college drinking buddies, but whatever you do, enjoy these this Saint Patrick’s Day.

1. Luck O’ The Irish

Number of Players: 4 or 6
What You Need: Deck of Cards
Who’s The Winner: Last Bloke with cards!

How To Play:

“Luck O’ The Irish” is an Irishman’s take on the classic card game “war.” The difference is, you can play with either 4 or 6 players, and you’ll need green beer to participate!

Begin by dealing out a full deck of 52 cards among all four players. Each player should have 13 cards in their starting deck. Keep the cards face down. Add a couple of Leprechauns (a.k.a. jokers) to the deck to expand the game for 6 players. Then each player will have 9 cards in their starting deck.

Two’s are the lowest, and aces the highest (unless you add jokers). Each numbered card is equal to it’s value. Jacks have a value of 11, Queens are 12, Kings are 13, and Aces are valued at 14. If you added in the jokers, they have a value of 15.

Each round consists of flipping over the top card of your deck. The person with the highest card value wins the round. The losing lads (or lasses) must drink the difference between their cards value, and the value of the winning card. For instance, if the winning card is a Jack and you flipped a 4–you must drink 7. The winner scoops up all the cards and puts them on the bottom of their pack.

Deciding The Tie

In the event that there is a tie for the highest card, any player with a lower value card must drink the difference between their card and the original winning cards value.

However, the two winners go to a tie breaker, and flip an additional 2 cards. The person with the highest sum of card values wins. The loser of that match must drink the difference between the combined winning cards values and the combined losing cards values. If there is another tie, repeat the process. The final winner gets all the cards on the table.

A player is considered knocked out of the game when they are required to play a card, and can no longer do so.

However, if two players run out of cards at the same time during a tie breaker, they collect all cards they’ve played that round (including the first) shuffle them up, and continue the tie breaker until a winner emerges.

But, if only one person runs out of cards during a tie breaker, that person is eliminated and the other person is the victor (and they get the spoils!)

2. Seamus’s Pot of Gold

Number of Players: 4+ (Add an extra pitcher for every 4 players beyond the first 4)
What You Need: Shot glasses, quarters, pitcher of beer
Who’s The Winner: Last man standing

How To Play:

Here’s a unique spin on the classic game of quarters. Each round is an elimination round, so distribute shot glasses to each player. The best way to do this at the bar is to order a round of shots to kick things off.

You’ll need a pitcher of beer, or as the name implies, Seamus’s Pot of Gold. Each person starts with a full glass of beer as well. This game is a snipers game, one shot one kill style. The goal of each round is to bounce a quarter off of the table and into your shot glass.

Before you try to bounce your quarter into your shot glass you have to take a sip of your beer. If you miss, you’re out of the round and have to finish your beer. All players take their shot at the same time. This continues until there are only 2 players left.

These two players continue until only one is left. The winning player has to bounce their quarter into the pitcher. The winner only gets one shot to do this.

If that player misses, they yell “I Lost Seamus’s Pot Of Gold” and have to take a shot of Irish whiskey. Use that pitcher to refill everyone’s cup and order a new “Seamus’ Pot Of Gold” to restart the game.

However, if they make the shot into the pitcher, they exclaim “I Found Seamus’s Pot of Gold, Drink Up My Friends!” All of the eliminated players must split the pitcher(s) and chug. Order up another pitcher and start a new game.

To add a degree of difficulty, get the tall thin double-shot glasses to play with!

3. The Luckiest of Charms

Number of Players: 3+
What You Need: Dice (one of which is a different color than the rest) and Beer
Who’s The Winner: Everybody Wins

How To Play:

Each player gets their own dice, one should be a different color than the rest. You’ll need to choose a player to begin as the “leprechaun” and this person gets the colored dice. Whatever the leprechaun rolls, becomes the lucky charm. The players roll their dice at the same time as the leprechaun.

Any player who rolls a different number than the leprechaun must take a drink. For each player who rolls the same number as the leprechaun, the leprechaun must drink. After each round, the person to the left of the leprechaun becomes the new person to decide the lucky charm.

However, if all of the players roll a number less than the lucky charm, the last person to touch the table (or floor) must chug their beer. If everyone rolls higher than the lucky charm, the last person to put their hands in the air must chug their beer. If everyone rolls and matches the lucky charm, the leprechaun must chug their beer.

4. Irish Drinking Tree

Number of Players: 2
What You Need: Ping Pong Balls, 5 Red Solo Cups, Masking Tape, Beer and Water
Who’s The Winner: Last Man Standing

How To Play:

This is a heads up game (1 v 1), and it’s pretty straight forward. Mark 3 lines with the masking tape 4-6 inches apart. Fill 5 Solo cups with water and put them in a row on the center line. The players stand on either side of the table and are given one ping pong ball each.

On the count of 3, players bounce their ping pong ball off of the table, and try to get it in one of the 5 cups. Ping pong balls must bounce behind the line on that players side of the table. Once a player makes a cup, they move that cup to the line on their side of the table. The opposing player must drink before they are allowed to continue shooting.

In this image, the game is just starting, players can shoot at whatever cup they want, but must bounce behind the line on their side.
In this image, the bottom player has made the middle cup, and the top player missed their cup. Before the top player can shoot again, they must drink. They top player does not need to try to make the same cup. The bottom player has moved over one cup to the right for their next attempt.
The bottom player is still on the second cup from the right. The top player has decided to cut their losses and try to win back the middle cup. In order for the top player to win the game, they will eventually have to make the middle cup on the far side of the table. This shot is more difficult so it’s best to save this until the end.

The game ends when one player has all 5 cups on their side of the table. Therefore, even after a player has made a cup and moved it to their side, the opponent can steal it from them. However, the difficulty increases once a cup reaches the opposing players side of the table.

5. Boston Bank Heist

Number of Players: 4 players (multiple decks allow for more players)
What You Need: Deck of cards
Who’s The Winner: Cops or Robbers!

Object of the Game

The object of this game is to crack the bank safe, and get away successfully. Your only problem is the Boston P.D. (a.k.a. the dealer) is looking to foil your plans. This is a good starter drinking game, and a fun one to kick off the St. Patrick’s Day festivities.

Setup

First, separate out all of the face cards into their own pile (Jack through King). This pile is known as the “role” pile. The remaining pile (Ace through 10) is the “codex.” Select one player as the dealer, they represent Boston Police. The remaining players are the bank robbers.

First, shuffle up the codex. Place three cards from the top of the codex face down in the center of the table, these three cards represent the “vault”. Next, deal out 3 cards face down to all participants (including the dealer).

Each player needs to look at and memorize their cards. Do not share these cards with any other player. Once you have your code book memorized, place the cards face down in front of you.

For the bank robbers, those three cards are your “code book”. As for Boston’s finest, their cards represent the “silent alarm”.

Next, shuffle up the face cards. Deal one card face down to each player, including the dealer. This card is their role card, and will be important later. Nobody should look at this card. You can have players put this card under their beer so that it doesn’t get mixed up. This happens more often the more drunk the players get!

Playing the Game

Begin the game by flipping over the first card in the “vault.” The player to the left of the dealer has the opportunity to flip over 1 card to try and match the number (no peeking, you have to remember your cards!)

Rounds go quick, so get your St. Patty’s Day big boy (or girl) pants on, because this can get out of hand quickly.

  • The robber can pass the turn if they know they don’t have a matching card. They must take a drink and play passes to the next robber to try and match.
  • If the robber flips a card and it DOES NOT match, all of the robbers have to take a drink. Then that player replaces the revealed card with a new one from the codex.
  • If the robber flips a card and it DOES match, the police (the dealer) has to take a drink. Return that card to the “codex” and take a new one to replace it. Shuffle the remaining codex after each vault number is revealed.
  • After all of the robbers have gone, it’s the dealers turn. Should the dealer be able to match the bank vault number, then all of the robbers have to drink. Otherwise, the dealer takes a drink. If the card matches, return that card to the “codex” and the dealer replaces with a new card.
  • Whenever a player gets a new card they can look at that card only, and place face down among their remaining cards.
  • If the dealer reveals an incorrect card they must drink 3 for following a false lead.
  • Should the dealer be able to match the vault number, and no robber could, the “alarm is tripped” and all robbers must drink 3.
  • If the “alarm is tripped” twice in a game, the robbers lose and must chug their beers.
  • If no player, including the dealer is able to match the vault card, flip over a card from the “codex” to replace it. Start with the first bank robber again. Repeat as necessary.
  • Continue this for the remaining vault cards.

The Twist

After the vault has been cracked (a.k.a. all cards revealed) each player must announce their 3 face down cards and reveal them. For each card that was not announced incorrectly, the player must drink.

Remember the role card that’s been sitting idly by? Well it’s time to reveal it. First, the dealer flips over their role card. Then the first bank robber turns over their role card after stating “I ain’t no snitch!” This continues on to the other players.

Any player who has a role card that matches the dealers, is an informant and must chug the rest of their beer. If none of the robbers have a face card that matches Boston P.D., the heist was successful and the dealer must chug their beer.

6. Irish Name Game

Originally, this game was going to be titled “Murphy, Mickey, Mary, Margaret.” However, I opted for the “Irish Name Game” because it’s much simpler than the aforementioned. The premise of this game is that it’s a trivia type game with a Celtic twist.

Number of Players: 3+
What You Need: Your minds…though a smartphone will help
Who’s The Winner: Everybody wins

How To Play:

Basically, one person is designated as the game master, though you can pass this responsibility to whoever wins the round, or at your leisure. To begin a round, you’ll need to think of 3-4 common names. Ideally, 2 will be female and two will be male. However, you can make them all one sex if you like. Using unisex names definitely makes things more difficult.

The idea behind the game is to give the participants a multiple choice option by listing off several names. For instance, “Is it Peter, Paul, or Patrick?” Next, provide them a clue to a famous person (or fictional character) who has one of those names. The chosen person or character can have your choice as their first or last name.

A player rings in by slamming the table. If they guess the chosen name correctly, then they get to hand out a drink. Should the person answer incorrectly, they must take a drink and are eliminated from the round. At any point if the game stalls, you can provide additional clues until someone buzzes in. Increase the difficulty by setting a limit on the number of clues the game master can give.

Furthermore, if someone selects the correct name from the provided list, they have the option to guess the person’s full name you are thinking of. If they correctly identify the person, then all other players must take a drink. Guessing the wrong name means they must take a drink.

Example

Given the Irish community’s’ affinity for Catholicism, we’ll take some biblical names. Ideally, the names you choose will be popular in the Irish community, though the identity you choose does not need to be Irish. Below is a mock round:

Game master: “Is it Peter, Paul, Patrick, or Ruth? This famous baseball player was known as the ‘Sultan of Swat’.”

Participant: *buzzes in* Ruth

Game Master: Correct, give out 1 drink. Which Ruth is it?

Participant: Babe Ruth (George Herman Ruth)

Game Master: Correct! Cheers everyone.

Obviously, this was an over simplified version. However, this is the concept of the game. The game master will need to make the clues progressively easier to ensure players can get the answer. If all of the players give up, they take a drink and the person reveals the secret identity. With a little knowledge, and the help of your smartphone this can provide lots of entertainment.

Here’s a list of some names to get you started:

  • Murphy (Eddie Murphy, Brittany Murphy, Daniel Murphy)
  • Mickey (Mickey Rourke, Mickey Mouse, Mickey Rooney, Mickey Mantle)
  • Kate (Kate Beckinsale, Kate Hudson, Kate Winslet)
  • Sean (Sean Bean, Sean Connery, Sean Penn, Sean “Puffy” Combs)
  • Catherine/Katherine (Katherine Hepburn, Katherine Zeta-Jones, Kathy Ireland)

7. Diffuse The Irish Car Bomb

Number of Players: 3+
What You Need: Glass of Guinness, Lots of Coasters, Shot of Baileys
Who’s The Winner: Whoever doesn’t get bombed!

How To Play:

Alright, here’s a fun drinking game based on the timeless drink, The Irish Car Bomb. You’ll need a bunch of coasters. The thin ones work the best and the ingredients for the Irish Car Bomb itself.

Get a pint of Guinness, and add your 1/4 shot of Irish Whiskey on top. Next, put 1/4 shot of coffee liqueur and a 1/2 shot of Bailey’s (Irish Cream) into a shot glass. Setup the coasters on top of the pint glass, with the shot glass centered above the pint.

I’ve found that using 3 coasters to make a triangle opening for the shot glass to sit on makes the best base. I recommend making this opening as wide as possible, so that any other coaster could tip the shot into the Guinness.

Add additional coasters to make the game last longer. Make sure the shot glass stays centered over the pint, as players take turns removing the coasters. Whoever causes the shot glass to fall has just set off the Irish Car Bomb and must chug the drink.


Final Thoughts

Hopefully, you and your friends will get some enjoyment out of these St. Patrick’s Day drinking games. However, if you’re not into drinking games, check out this article about sober St. Patty’s Day activities. If you found these ideas entertaining, please feel free to check out the rest of the site.

I hope you’ll leave some feedback about how these game turned out for you, and any ideas to make them better. Just remember, make sure that any drinking games you play are accepted at the pub you choose to frequent. Also, don’t be an idiot — drink responsibly.

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