How to Play Drown the Penny

Drown the Penny will keep you amused for hours, yet it is very easy to set up, can be played almost anywhere with no training and almost any number of people. A penny is a small coin, so choose any small coin from your local currency if you don't have pennies.


  1. Image titled Play Drown the Penny Step 1
    Fill a glass with water and place it in a bowl.
  2. Image titled Play Drown the Penny Step 2
    Take a paper napkin and unfold it. Secure a section of the napkin to the glass using a rubber band (elastic band). Place a penny on top of the napkin.
  3. Image titled Play Drown the Penny Step 3
    Using a pen or pencil, take turns poking holes in the napkin.
  4. Image titled Play Drown the Penny Step 4
    Call the game over when the penny drops. The person who pokes the hole that causes the penny to fall into the glass is the loser.


  • An alternative version of this game: It can be played with exactly the same rules, except using a lit stick of incense to burn holes in the tissue. If you choose this version water should be used. At the end of this version, the loser has to answer a question asked by the other participants, no matter how embarrassing.
  • In some variations of this game, the pen must touch the water under the napkin.
  • Don't fill your glass all the way to the brim, since the napkin will get wet faster, making it more delicate.
  • Make sure that the glass is wide enough to allow for as many holes as possible.
  • A little moisture around the top of the glass will hold the napkin in place if a rubber band is not handy.
  • You can make your game more interesting by making strange combinations in the glass like milk and ketchup, and have the loser of the game takes the penny out of the glass.

Things You'll Need

  • A glass
  • A bowl (optional, to catch the drips)
  • A paper napkin
  • A rubber band or tape
  • A penny or other small object
  • Pens or pencils

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