Roman Numeral 21s

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The rules of this game are the same as for standard 21s, but roman numerals are used instead.

How to Play

The first player in the circle starts by saying: “To my left (or to my right) I” and then play continues in the direction to that player’s left (or right) around the circle with players counting upwards (II, III, IV etc).

Players can choose to say one of the following combinations of numbers, in which case play is affected as shown below:

  • A single number on its own (e.g. “III”) – play continues in the current direction
  • Two numbers in succession (e.g. “III, IV”) – the direction of play is reversed
  • Three numbers in succession (e.g. “III, IV, V”) – the next player is skipped out

A combination of numbers may not be repeated three times in a row. That is, 3 numbers in succession must not be said 3 times in a row by different players, nor may 2 numbers in succession be said 3 times in a row, and nor may a single number. If this occurs, the offending player drinks a penalty of 3 fingers, and the phrase “3 in a row” is sung repeatedly as an accompaniment to this.

Play continues until either someone makes a mistake (such as speaking out of turn or saying the wrong number), or the number XXI is reached. If a player makes a mistake, they must drink 2 fingers as punishment. They then start the game again from I.

When a player is forced to say XXI, play stops and that player downs their remaining drink.

Alternative Version

A variation on this version of the game is played in the same way, but with any three words replacing the letters I, V and X. For example, I could be replaced with beer, V with whisky and X with gin, so a game could start “To my right, beer”, and continue from there. As an example, the number 16 (XVI) in this game would be “gin whisky beer “.

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