The matchbox game is a drinking game played at a table with a matchbox and pints of beer. It is played in turn, clockwise around the table.

In turn, each person must take a matchbox and hold it between two fingers, their thumb touching the table between themselves and their pint of beer. They must then throw the matchbox over their pint without taking their thumb off the table. Where and how the matchbox lands decides what happens next.

If the box lands on its long narrow side (the striking side) then two fingers of beer are added to the current forfeit. If the box lands on its short side, four fingers of beer are added to the current forfeit. If the box lands flat on its side. The player must drink whatever forfeit has accumulated in one. The turn then passes to the next player.

This is the basis of the game, other rules have been added to spice it up a little.
  • If the box does not make it over the pint, the player must down their pint in one and go and buy another.
  • If the box does not land on the table, the player must down their pint in one and go and buy another.
  • If the box lands in the player's pint, they must fish it out, down their pint in one and go and buy another. Play continues with the same box until it disintegrates.
  • If the box lands in another player's pint, the player must fish it out, down the other player's pint in one and go and buy them another.
  • If a player is unable to drink their forfeit in one - ie they come up for air - they must carry out some other forfeit as decided by the rest of the group.

A matchbox game for jugglers, magicians and other highly dextrous people is played as follows.

The Easy Part

  • Take two matches out of the box.
  • Use one match to push a hole through the large face of the box.
  • Leave the match sticking out with the head furthest from the box.
  • Strike the second match.
  • Light the first with the flame from the second.

The Hard Part

The challenge of this game comes from the fact that the entire feat must be performed in the air with one hand. No parts of the apparatus may touch any other object, or part of the body.

If you drop the box, or any matches, you're out.

It is exceedingly difficult, but certainly possible.

Hints

  • Take two matches out at the start, and leave one sticking through the gap between the drawer and the box. It is then easily accessible for the second part.
  • Safety matches are much easier - they require less force to strike.
  • Don't forget that once you strike the first match, you will effectively be being timed. Rehearse your next move before striking.

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