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Up Jenkins

Up Jenkins is a very silly game that kids just love. It's great for kids' birthday parties or even small adult parties (that depends on what you and your friends are into). College kids have been known to play this game late on a Saturday night at the student union while some adults might have the best time playing the game at home with their kids and their kids' friends. However you play, or whomever you play with, the game is somewhat addictive and is good for an hour or two of good, rowdy fun.

If you decide to play with a group of kids, be prepared for some shrieking because kids really get into it, which makes it all the more fun for the grown-ups. You can play in small or large groups—but you have to sit around a table to play, so play with as many people as you have chairs.

Three Strikes

When playing Up Jenkins, the person who has the coin should not give the “stop” signal—that would be a dead giveaway.

All you need for the game is a coin, a table, and some chairs. Divide the players into two teams. The teams should sit across from each other at the table.

Play starts with everyone's hands under the table. Team 1 starts the play by passing a coin under the table from hand to hand, back and forth, amongst their own team. It is the goal of team 2 to figure out where the coin is at a given time. Because the coin is passed under the table, team 2 can't see where it is as it is passed along. The coin will finally rest with one person. Where it stops nobody knows (at least on team 2).

After about 15 seconds the coin passing should stop—it doesn't matter with whom it stops, but you should give it enough time to confuse the opposing team. On a given signal (which your team can agree to before play begins) the coin stops and everyone on team 1 starts to bang their hands, palms-down—on the tabletop. One person will have the coin and the coin must stay in his or her hand—even as the banging is happening.

High Score

To save time and chaos, you might want to pick team leaders before Up Jenkins begins. Team leaders can give the signal to stop the coin and start the hand banging and they can be the one to call “Up Jenkins.”

Now team 2 has to guess where the coin is. They do so by pointing to a player saying “Up Jenkins.” Each time a player lifts an empty hand, team 2 scores a point. Why? Because the object of the game is to leave the palm containing the coin to the very end. If team 2 guesses the hand containing the coin before the very last hand is revealed, team 1 scores a point and gets to hide the coin again. If team 2 chooses all the empty hands and finds the coin in the very last palm, they get a chance to hide the coin.

You'll need to concentrate and keep a very straight face during this game. If you have the coin and you so much as smirk, you could give away the whole game! It's all about the art of the bluff.

More on: Games

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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Family Games © 2002 by BookEnds, LLC. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


August 30, 2014



Keep it hot (or cold)! No one likes cold soup or warm, wilted salad. Use a thermos or ice pack in your child's lunch box to help keep his lunch fresh until it's time to eat.


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