Top 6 Games to Play on St. Patrick’s Day

Sláinte mhaith! We called upon the luck of the Irish to come up with six board games suggestions for you on this St. Patrick’s Day!

St. Patrick’s Day, that time of the year when everyone seems to be Irish for a day!

While that might seem like hyperbole, St. Patrick’s Day is more widely celebrated around the world than any other national festival. It’s an official holiday in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Newfoundland, and Montserrat. It’s also celebrated in the US, Canada, Brazil, the UK, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.

Some of this is due to the Irish Diaspora, and some of this is undoubtedly because it’s the one day during Lent when restrictions on drinking alcohol are lifted. That, alone, has turned the day into a proper Irish cèilidh, or a gathering with dancing and Gaelic music.

To help you celebrate the day with your friends, we’ve put together a list of six Celtic-inspired board games for your consideration.


St. Patrick

Where better to start a list of games to play on Saint Patrick’s Day than a game named after Ireland’s Patron Saint himself?

This St. Patrick is a trick-taking card game where players work to not take tricks—or, specifically, any cards displaying Snake Bites. Players start by claiming relic cards that will protect them from Snake Bites, but lose points equal to the number of relics in their hand when the last relic is claimed. Then, everyone passes their hand to the left and the bidding process starts all over again.

With exemplary artwork and spot printing with metal foil, St. Patrick is a thing of beauty.

Read our review of St. Patrick.


Keltis is Reiner Knizia’s shamrock-studded take on his well known design, Lost Cities. Played just like Lost Cities, this Spiel des Jahres winner has players placing colored cards into ascending or descending rows in an effort to progress their pieces along several different paths. The further along their pieces move, the more points they’ll score when the game is over.

The trick, though, is that each path is represented by a different color, and players may not always have the cards needed in order to progress. Players have the ability to discard a card to draw a new one, but their opponents may just be looking for the card that they just threw away. So, do they hold onto a card they don’t need in order to deny it to their opponents, or do they toss it into the trash for something better? Keltis ramps things up considerably by increasing the player count to 4 players instead of 2. It also adds various Bonus tiles that affect the game state in surprising ways when players’ pieces encounter them.

Keltis is a wonderful game for newcomers and experienced players alike.

Read our review of Keltis.

Irish Gauge

An elegant introduction to train and investment games, Irish Gauge is set in 19th Century Ireland during the boom of railway construction. Players take on the roles of investors, each trying to influence and capitalize on the new railway expansion across the land.

Play centers around a shared stock market. Players bid on shares belonging to five different train companies and the winner of each bid builds part of the railway for that company. In a given round, players can build tracks, place train stations, or build up their companies. The challenge for players is to know when to invest in a company, to create greater dividends for investors, and when to expand a route and pocket the profits.

Irish Gauge combines elegant gameplay with strategic thinking, both in investment choices and in building the developing railway system of Ireland.

Read our review of Irish Gauge


Taking players to a mythical, ancient Celtic Ireland, Inis is a game where players vie to become King of the land through any one of three winning conditions.

Played on a modular board and cleverly combining area control, card drafting, and bluffing mechanics, Inis’ strategic depth comes from the dynamic interplay between card drafting and tactical decision-making. Alliances will be forged, betrayals will crush them. For a deeply engaging board game experience set amidst the rich tapestry of Celtic mythology and warfare, look no further.

Read our review of Inis

Green Team Wins

This is a party game where players win by knowing their friends better than everyone else. Let me explain:

Each round starts with someone choosing one of the 210 cards in the box and reading aloud the contents of the card. Cards will either be a Fill In the Blank; This or That (e.g., “Strawberry or Vanilla?”); or Best of Three (“Which donut is usually left for last?” Chocolate, Powdered sugar, or glazed?) Everyone, including the first player, writes their answer on their dry erase board, keeping it hidden.

There are, of course, no right or wrong answers to any of these questions. Instead, when everyone’s answers are revealed, anyone who has the majority answer is considered to be on the Green Team and scores a point. Everyone else is on the Orange Team and does not score. If you remain on the Green Team for two consecutive turns, you’ll score two points instead of one.

At the end of 15 questions, the one with the most points wins.

Read our review of Green Team Wins

So Clover!

In So Clover!, players each get a four-leaf clover board and a dry erase marker. You’ll then be given four cards with a single word on each side. After randomly placing them  onto your clover boards, you will look at the pair of words at the top of each side. In the space above them, you’ll write a single word that somehow connects the two words below.

Then, each person in your group will read the word they wrote for one pair of words. The rest of the group will then try to guess the two words. They can do this individually or, for the most fun, as a group. Group guessing is where the fun and laughter of So Clover! lies.

So, grab a clover board, some cards, and give Some Clover! a try!

Read our review of So Clover!

Honorable Mentions

St. Paddy’s Day is obviously about so much more than drinking, as it is often misjudged, especially in America. But for those who stumbled into this article looking for games that mix the cocktails with the cardboard, we’ve got you covered.

Red Dragon Inn

A drinking card game where the only drinking takes place in a deck of Drink cards, cards that may force you to add a chaser to your drink card. There’s also (not) drinking with other players, gambling, and cheating. If your (not) drinking catches up with your fortitude, you pass out and your gold is divided between the bar and the other players.

Read our review of Red Dragon Inn

Heroes of Barcadia

A dungeon-crawler where you and your rivals companions fight your way to rescuing all the stolen drinks from the town of Barcadia. To give you some idea of the type of game this is, your character tokens are actual pint glasses, your health is measured by how much you have left in your glass, and you take damage by drinking your drink. Add to this, the shifting dungeon is made up of hex-shaped drink coasters.

If there was ever a tabletop drinking game for pun-tastic Adventurers, this is it.

Read our review of Heroes of Barcadia


A strategic card game where players will be trying to distill the best beverages. By managing resources, upgrading your distillery, and creating prized spirits, you’ll earn the money necessary for even finer tipples. Add two parts push-your-luck mechanic, one part hand management, a dash of set collection, balance of ingredients, shake, and strain over ice, and you’ve got a perfect cocktail for a good time.

Read our review of Distilled

Whatever your taste in gaming, or liquid refreshment, we hope you have a safe and happy St. Patrick’s Day. If you play a game on the day, why not let us know in the comments?

And may the luck of the Irish be with you today and always.

About the author

Tom Franklin

By day, I'm a mild-mannered IT Manager with a slight attitude. By night I play guitar & celtic bouzouki, board games, and watch British TV. I love abstracts, co-ops, worker placement and tile-laying games. Basically, any deep game with lots of interesting choices. 

You can find my middle grade book, The Pterrible Pteranodon, at your favorite online bookstore.

And despite being a DM, I have an inherent dislike of six-sided dice.

About the author

Will Hare

I didn't know what to write for this, so I asked an AI to make a bio for me.

Will Hare is a board game enthusiast who dares to ask if life itself is just a series of dice rolls with no winner or loser. When he's not busy reviewing board games, he works in digital marketing, honing his skills selling products and services he'll never use. He'd discovered the secret to happiness, but you'll have to solve three riddles before he'll tell you.

About the author

David McMillan

IT support specialist by day, Minecrafter by night; I always find time for board gaming. When it comes to games, I prefer the heavier euro-game fare. Uwe Rosenberg is my personal hero with Stefan Feld coming in as a close second.

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