Players. Required: 3+
Players. Recommended: 5+

How to play Twenty-One

The aim of this game is to avoid saying 'twenty-one'.

To begin the first player proposes a game, specifies the initial direction of play, and starts by saying 'one'. For example, 'I propose a game of twenty plus one, to my right, one' (the phrase 'twenty plus one' is used to avoid saying 'twenty-one').

In this example the player to their right would then say 'two', the player to the right of them would say 'three', and so on until a player has to say 'twenty-one'. However, instead of just counting up by a single number a player may choose to count up by two or three numbers.

If a player counts up by two numbers (e.g. 'three, four') they switch the direction of play. If a player counts up by three numbers (e.g. 'three, four, five') then play skips the next player. In addition to this, it is forbidden to 'double a double' (count up two numbers when the player before you also counted up two numbers) or 'triple a triple' (count up three numbers when the player before you also counted up three numbers).

If at any point a player makes a mistake or hesitates for too long they must drink, and the game starts back at 'one'. If the counting reaches twenty-one the player who says it must down their drink and make a new rule.

Rules should be chosen to make the game more entertaining or more difficult, for example 'instead of saying the number ten you have to remove an item of clothing' or 'whenever you say a multiple of three you have to do it in a foreign accent'.

21 image by pre-drinks.com