How to Play the Drinking Game Viking

Updated February 21, 2017

Why play a drinking game that requires card counting or point adding when you can play one that only takes quick reflexes? Minimize the use of functioning brain cells by playing Viking. It's similar to childhood clapping games, but you don a Viking persona and drink beer instead of chanting "Duck, duck, goose!" Get a bunch of friends together or a bunch of strangers. Viking really helps break the ice.

Level the playing field by having everyone drink the same kind of beer. This is where a keg comes in handy.

Explain the rules of the game clearly, especially if you have some dyslexic players. Viking involves quick recognition of left and right directions.

Play by having your drinks at the ready and choosing someone to go first. The player forms "wiggly Viking horns" by placing thumbs on or inside the ears and wiggling the rest of her fingers. She then claps her hands together and points them at any player in the circle.

Play passes to the "pointee," who becomes the Viking. Meanwhile, the players on either side of him begin to steer the boat. These players pantomime rowing to whichever side of the Viking he is sitting on. The Viking makes wiggly ears, claps, then points to a new player. If any of the 3 players involved errs, penalty is imposed.

Drink if you fail in your Viking duties (making horns, clapping, or pointing), or miss a rowing cue or steer in the wrong direction. Whoever drinks becomes the new Viking.


Sitting in a circle to play makes the action move the fastest. Get to know the players sitting on either side of you. Do they respond to the proper cues, or do they try to fake you out? Anticipate Viking action by knowing your neighbors. You might want to watch the 1989 comedy "Erik the Viking," starring Tim Robbins.


Norwegians are fiercely loyal to their heritage--avoid offending any Norwegian players during any drinking game! Drinking alcohol can dull your reflexes, and Viking is a game that's all about reflexes and coordination. Pace yourself. Know your limits, be 21 or over, and get someone who isn't drinking to drive you home.

Things You'll Need

  • A bunch of people
  • A bunch of beer
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