Quick 2 player games are teh best!
May 21, 2010 1:39 AM   Subscribe

I recently discovered a fun two player game similar to paper rock scissors (which I also love) involving guessing the total number of raised thumbs thrown between the two people playing. My roommate and I are having a lot of fun playing and trying to beat each others mind games. What are some other quick similar games that don't need much more than our physical bodies?
posted by razzamatazm to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (20 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
Rock Paper Scissors Spock Lizard

Scissors cuts Paper covers Rock crushes Lizard poisons Spock smashes Scissors decapitates Lizard eats Paper disproves Spock vaporizes Rock crushes Scissors
posted by iamabot at 1:47 AM on May 21, 2010 [2 favorites]

There's a variety of finger-count guessing games traditional in China called 猜拳 - wiki informs me they're known as morra in English. Like your thumb game but maybe a bit more complex.
posted by Abiezer at 3:14 AM on May 21, 2010

I don't know what it's called, but two people stand facing each other, toe-to-toe, toes about 6" apart. Both put their palms up shoulder height, and proceed to try to push the other over. You can't touch anything but the other person's palms, and you can't move your feet at all. Talk about mind games.
posted by bricoleur at 3:49 AM on May 21, 2010

And you can't grab or pull, only push.
posted by bricoleur at 3:49 AM on May 21, 2010

Spoof's great if you don't mind using coins rather than fingers.
posted by punilux at 4:12 AM on May 21, 2010

Shootout is a quick game and a total blast:
  • Two people face each other, like a western quick draw.
  • Your hands are pistols.
  • Like rock/paper/scissors, you play with a one-two-ROCK, one-two-SCISSORS, one-two-PAPER rhythm. Shootout works best if you play with a strong rythm - I would advise slapping your thighs to count the ones and twos.
  • Like R/P/S, You can choose one of three moves: Reload, Shoot, and Block.
    • To Reload, point your pistols in the air
    • To Shoot, point your pistols at the other player
    • To Block, form a cross with your arms in front of your body
  • The pistols can only hold one bullet.
  • The pistols are unloaded at the start of the game.
Here's a quick example game, left column is P1, right column P2:

1-2-BLOCK | 1-2-SHOOT
1-2-BLOCK | 1-2-BLOCK
1-2-SHOOT | 1-2-RELOAD

P1 one wins, as they shot P2 as s/he was reloading.

You can block indefinitely with an empty gun.

Give me a shoult if this doesn't make sense -- it's much easier to learn through a couple of plays....
posted by Cantdosleepy at 4:50 AM on May 21, 2010 [3 favorites]

Mafia is a super duper crazy good times game, but you'll need at least 6 or more people for it to be any fun at all.
posted by TomMelee at 5:10 AM on May 21, 2010

The Game. (I just lost.)
posted by Wordwoman at 5:48 AM on May 21, 2010

Can anyone explain or post a link to the game with the thumbs? I tried Googling, but only got Heads Down Thumbs Up, which is also called 7up.
posted by surenoproblem at 6:17 AM on May 21, 2010

Nobody's mentioned Thumb War yet.

Chopsticks and other hand games
posted by cross_impact at 6:33 AM on May 21, 2010

The one where you gingerly rest your palms on your roommate's palms and then he tries to slap the tops of your hands, with you jerking away the moment you sense any movement.

Does that game have a name? Do you know what I'm talking about?
posted by hermitosis at 6:48 AM on May 21, 2010

What about evens or odds? You use the same kind of countdown as R-P-S but instead of being a rock or whatever, you use one hand (each) and display however many fingers you want. One of you is predesignated as the even/odd caller (this rotates), and as you show the number of fingers picks even or odd. Add the number of fingers you picked to the number of your opponent, if you guessed even or odd correctly, you win!


P1: *Countdown* Shoot! (Shows 3 fingers)
P2: *Countdown* Odd! (Shows 5 fingers)

The first two steps happen simlutaneously and P2 lost because he picked odd and there was an even number of fingers displayed between them.

It sounds kind of lame but its actually kind of fun.
posted by julie_of_the_jungle at 6:58 AM on May 21, 2010

I don't know what this 2-player game is called...

-Each person extends their finger and thumb and curls all the rest into their palm. (Like a little finger gun.)

-The players put their "guns" together (so that their thumbs are linked).

-All hell breaks loose as each person tries to touch each other with their fingertip without any other body contact.

(Warning, clear the room of breakables before you do this one.)
posted by cranberrymonger at 7:32 AM on May 21, 2010

My wife and I play a chinese drinking name (I can never remember the chinese name for it) that sounds like a 1-1 analog with your Thumbs game, only instead of guessing how many thumbs are up, you're guessing how many hands are open. The game goes basically like this:

There are two people. One starts as the caller. The guesser shouts out a word from the following list:

Closed (zero)
Open (twenty)

Only, we say them in chinese so that there's a one (or one and a half) syllable version for each. At the exact moment that the caller shouts out, both players position their hands, each hand can be either open-palm or closed-palm. Each open palm between the players counts for five points.

If the points total to the callers guess, then the caller calls again. Otherwise, the non-caller becomes the caller. If the caller is right twice in a row, then the non-caller has to drink.

Here's a video of people playing it
posted by 256 at 8:06 AM on May 21, 2010

Morra. I learned to play this in my high school world cultures class. You and another person throw out a number of fingers between 0 and 5 at the same time. At the same time as you throw, you say a number between 0 and 10, which is your guess for the total number of fingers. If you guess right, you get a point.

We played in Italian, which I guess is nice for a high school world cultures class, but that's not necessary.
posted by oreofuchi at 8:11 AM on May 21, 2010

The game you describe is called I (like eeee) se (say) no (no) in Japanese, and can be played with groups. It's a drinking game, and the loser (last hand in) has to drink.

Another drinking/fun game is Three Man. Other than that, the dice game from Pirates of the Carribean is a hoot, if played right.
posted by Ghidorah at 9:22 AM on May 21, 2010

For surenoproblem: You and your friends sit in a circle facing each other, with your hands curled together in front of you, thumbs up (as if you were going to hit a volleyball). On the count of three, the person "playing" calls out a number between 0 and 2x the number of people playing (i.e., the number of thumbs present), while everyone else sticks up 0, 1, or 2 thumbs. If the number called out matches the number of thumbs held up, the player "wins." Move to the next person in the circle and repeat.

When my friends and I play it (our version came from Taiwan also), if you "win" you get to thwack the person next to you on their forearm with two fingers, hard. The number of thwacks = the number you called out.

I know, it sounds like torture. It's deliciously addictive. Very shortly people begin to give tips on how to best inflict pain (start high, make sure to hit the edge of the wrist, follow through with your swing), and unofficial contests break out. We played at a picnic last Saturday and somebody broke a couple of tiny blood vessels in my arm.

... what? it's fun! I swear!
posted by alleycat01 at 11:12 AM on May 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

There is a Korean variant known as mook chi pa, it's a little bit more complicated.

It sounds a lot like what alleycat01 describes. Physical punishment doled out to the loser. Not fun for beginners.
posted by cazoo at 11:41 AM on May 21, 2010

Seconding Muk-Chi-Ba. AWESOME game. I've never played it with physical punishment.
posted by sdis at 4:08 PM on May 21, 2010

Response by poster: For Surenoproblem:
The way we play is someone is chosen to go first and call out how many total thumbs will be extended, 0,1,2,3, or 4. If they are correct, they remove one hand from the circle and the play rotates. If they are wrong then the play rotates and keeps both hands in play. The object is to keep all hands in play. The fun twist is that if you call 0 at any time and are correct, you win no matter what.

Does this make sense?

Tons of fun.
posted by razzamatazm at 6:47 PM on May 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

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