How to Play The High Jinks Drinking Game

This game originates from mid 1600s in Scotland (Sometimes spelled High Jinks, and traditionally spelled Hey-Jinks). It was a dice game in which someone would cast the dice and have to perform a task if their score was too low, such as chugging a glass of liquor.  Most people know the term to mean getting in trouble or being mischievous but it actually came from this drinking game. What happened is that the dice game got so wild that “High Jinks” now came to refer to the crazy actions that came out of the game instead of the game itself.

How to Play the High Jinks Drinking Game

Since this game is so dated in history and there’s many interpretations of how it should be played, were going to go with a somewhat modernized version of how it could be played. What we do know is the game involves people coming up with a task and then the caster who got a bad score would have to do the task or be eliminated from the game. So with that in mind here’s our interpretation of the rules.

Before each round the roller who starts it off will come up with the task at hand. This task can be anything imaginable but the crazier the better. This can be vetoed by the other players if they hate it too much. Once agreed upon everyone at the table takes turns rolling two dice in a clockwise order.

The goal is to get a higher roll than the player before you. The score of your roll is equal to the high number, then the low number. So a roll of 4 and 6 would be a score of 64.

If someone fails to roll higher they must perform the agreed upon task. If they refuse they are eliminated from the game. However if they succeed they get to start the next game and start the rolling.

The game continues until all but one player is eliminated or everyone at the table is too drunk to continue.


If you liked our interpretation on how to play the High Jinks drinking game you might want to check out another ancient drinking game by the name of Kottabos which came from the 4th century and is considered one of the oldest drinking games ever.