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fun and games
Fun and Games

(see the original article in the Dec/Jan 20/21 issue  at

We found some traditional parlour games and thought they could be interesting this year!


How’s your poker face?  You will need a good one for this centuries old Welsh bluffing game.  The idea is that the “hiders” make the “guessers” choose the wrong hand when finding a hidden coin.  So tom-foolery, misleading looks and verbal banter are definitely the order of the day, steering them in the wrong direction.

Two teams of two or more face each other across a table (or tables if online).  A coin toss decides who goes first and the hiders secretly move the coin between their hands under the table.  When ready, the team captain knocks the table three times and the hiders place their clenched hands on top (one containing the coin).  One by one, the guessers say either:

  1. “Left/right hand away”. If there’s no coin the hand is no longer in play and the guesser goes again. If it’s there, the hiders win a point and it’s their turn to hide.
  2. “Tippit left/right”. If the coin is revealed, the guessers have won and they become the hiders.

The winning team is the first to reach a pre-determined score of at least 11.

fun and games

A to Z

This is so simple but it will have you laughing out loud, regardless of your age.  Simply select a category such as animals, vegetables, makes of car, cooking implements, etc., and, one after the other and in alphabetical order, name something in that category.  If you can’t you’re out (or could face a forfeit) but will the others recognise the word you just made up?

Juice Pong

This could be really messy fun and games so is best played outside or where the floor can be mopped!  Place 6 or 10 plastic cups at each end of a table, in a triangle.  The teams take turns in throwing ping pong balls into the opponent’s cups.  If successful, the opposing team drink the (remaining) contents and the cup is removed.  The first team to eliminate the other team’s cups is the winner.  You can make up your own rules about whether bounces and swatting away bouncing balls are allowed, and the order of play.  Are you sure you are leaving the best ‘til last?  Of course, as well as juice, this game could be played with beer or wine but, as they say, please drink responsibly!


Tune Up

Traditionally you would play the first few bars of a tune and have people guess the name or the next line, but you could also try clapping the tune out (don’t forget syllables and length of notes), or humming it instead.   Or why not give a kazoo a go!  It could be a song by a 90s girl band or a Christmas carol, pick something that lets you pick up the beat and stay true to your inner music mogul!


Piñata Surprise

Piñatas are a lot of fun and games on their own but they can be combined with other games too.  As well as tiny treats, why not stuff them with Pictionary cards, jigsaw pieces, “who am I” cards, etc?  Blindfolded one at a time, players are turned three times before smashing the piñata, the “smasher” keeping what they release, ready for the next game.


fun and games

Up Jenkins

This is another bluffing game with a coin in a clenched fist, passing it along under the table as in Tippit.  However, when the guessers shout “Up Jenkins” the hiders place their elbows on the table, clenched fist towards the ceiling.  On the command “Down Jenkins” their palms are slammed face down on the table.  The idea is to hide the clink of the coin and be “the last palm standing” as the guessers try their best to locate it.  Commands such as “Creepy Crawlies” require hands to be curled and moved like a crab and “Open Windows” mean that selected fingers are opened to reveal a gap.   Last palm standing results in a forfeit for the guessers (could be a drink or a task) or, if it is revealed, the hiders take the forfeit.

fun and games

First published in the Dec/Jan 2020/21 issue of The Local Buzz

Images: Shutterstock