Shot roulette, the russian roulette drinking game

Number of players
Recommended age
Competition type
all vs. all
Playing time
-2 min
Very easy
Cost or investment

Brief description of the game

Imagine the gun’s chamber as a bunch of shot glasses on a table. The empty chambers are shots of water, and the bullet is a shot of high-proof liquor… Keep reading if you like the idea!”
Shot Russian roulette
Table of contents
Friends playing Shot russian roulette

How to play: Shot roulette rules

Drinking a lot or drinking too quickly is very dangerous. Please, read the Drinking Game Warnings before playing any drinking game.

Set up for the 'Shot Roulette' game

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It’s a game for three or more players.

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  • Shot glasses, one per player.
  • Water.
  • A high-proof clear liquor.
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Shot Roulette is played in rounds. During each round, someone will be taking a shot, so let’s not go overboard. Decide on a reasonable total number of rounds.

Goal of the game

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The player who scores the most points by guessing which player took the liquor shot in each round wins.

Mechanics and rules of Shot Roulette

These are the steps to play a round:

Shot roulette rules: serve drinks


One of the players or an external person fills all the shot glasses with water, except one to which they will add the chosen liquor.

The liquor must be 100% transparent so that it is impossible to distinguish from water.
Shot roulette rules


Randomly, each player is assigned a shot. We can think of several ways to do it:

Method 1 – External person:

If an external person has prepared the shots out of sight of the players, then there is no problem. The shots are served, and in order from youngest to oldest, each player chooses a glass.

Method 2 – Tray or rotating stand:

This method is the most fun and exciting because all the shots are assigned at once, and the rotation of the tray resembles the spin of a gun’s chamber in the authentic Russian roulette.

The players gather around the table, the shots are placed on the tray, and it is spun. Each player will drink the shot closest to them when the tray stops.

Method 3 – Random draw:

A number is associated with each shot, for example, by writing the numbers 1, 2, 3… on pieces of paper and placing them next to each shot. Then, in an opaque bag, an equal number of pieces of paper with numbers, as there are shots and players, are added. In order, from youngest to oldest, each player draws a piece of paper that assigns them the shot they must drink.

Shot roulette rules - drink


Each player takes their glass with their arm extended—smelling the contents of the glass is not allowed—and at the shout of “three, two, one!” everyone takes the shot at the same time. 

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Each player points to the person they believe drank the liquor, based on any reaction that might give away who’s feeling their throat burn and who will try their best to conceal it and remain impassive.

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Once everyone has placed their bets, the player who drank the liquor reveals their identity. if necessary, because if they’ve teared up, everyone has probably figured it out!

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Players who correctly guess who drank the liquor earn one point. If no one guesses correctly, the player who drank the liquor and managed to keep a straight face earns TWO points.

Smelling the shot is enough to determine who’s telling the truth.

Tips for playing "Shot Roulette"

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We’re not going to tell you when to stop playing ‘Shot Roulette,’ but we do want to say that if any of the players have such bad luck that they’ve already had two in a row or have downed more than 4 shots… maybe they shouldn’t play anymore, or at least not in the next two or three rounds.

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For the game to be fun, the chosen liquor should have a high proof so that the loser can’t help but show it.

And remember, the purpose of drinking games is not to get wasted, but to merge two timeless social activities – playing and having a few drinks with friends – into a single experience. It’s a perfect two-in-one if done smartly and responsibly.

More drinking games

Vasos de chupito

In Drinking Games, you’ll discover:

  • General information about drinking games.
  • Basic rules for all drinking games (to keep things organized and add more fun).
  • Various tips.
  • More drinking games: Jenga, Uno, Glop, Shot roulette

Check it out!

More about drinking games

Warnings about drinking games

The drinking games described on this website are intended for adults of legal drinking age only

It is illegal to consume beer and alcohol if you are under the age of consent in the state/country/ territory you are in. So DON’T do it.

Drinking and driving is seriously dangerous and deadly. Alcohol messes with reflexes and judgment. Risk your license, hurt yourself, or others. Same goes for biking, machinery, and troublemaking while drunk. Legal limit doesn’t matter; don’t mix drinking and driving. Have a sober driver, grab a cab, or bus if playing drinking games.

Everybody’s got their own tolerance level; you know yours, and even if someone try to push you, don’t to go beyond it.

Drinking too much and too quickly can result in injuries or even death, and ongoing excessive use can lead to alcohol addiction. So, please avoid it to prevent harm.

Neither the author nor the publisher takes any responsibility for any injuries that might occur from playing these games.

Please, drink and play responsibly!

More drinking games

You should definitely check out and give these drinking games a try as well, they’re a blast!

logo loodens

LOODENS rating

It’s thrilling and incredibly fun. Try it at your next party or get-together with friends, and the laughs you’ll share will likely be an unforgettable memory that will endure in every future gathering. If played responsibly, it’s the perfect choice for a drinking party game.

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