Beat Holiday Stress With “Drinking Man’s Chess” as Seen on Cougar Town

 Adam Rose/ABC

While the holiday season brings its share of cheer, 'tis also the season of family stress.

Lighten the load with the help of ABC's Cougar Town and its gang of red wine-swilling friends featuring Courteney Cox. The group eases any tension with the help of fun games like Penny Can, also known as "drinking man's chess," according to the writers.

Thankfully, the writers of Cougar Town have shared with the rules and regulations of Penny Can plus a few different ways to spice the game up.

What you need:  A roll of pennies.  A can of your choosing.  Red Wine. 

Rules of Engagement: Players (or teams) take turns tossing pennies into a can.  If it goes in, you get a point.  If it doesn’t, you don’t.  First to score 1,000 points wins.  Anytime that someone makes a shot, everyone has to sing the phrase: “Penny Can!” (For other phrases that may prove useful, see below under "Penny Talk")  Failure to do so can result in disqualification and/or loss of your friends.

Penny Talk:  “Rim shot” (flick of the ear), “Air Penny” (dance a jig, then kiss), “Tickle Rule” (up to you).

Easy Upgrades on the Traditional Penny Can Game
Truth or Penny Can:  Miss a shot, and you have to answer a personal question.  This version is best played indoors, with close friends, and/or intimate strangers.

Ultimate Penny Can:  A thinking man’s drinking game. Everyone stands far away from the can.  One person (not in the game) asks questions to each player.  Get it right, and they move a step closer to the can.  Make a shot, and they’re eliminated.  Last person left is the loser.

When in Doubt:  Just ask yourself WWJCD (What would Jules Cobb Do?)

VIDEO: Play the Whose Hair? game

And Remember:  Yes, you can!

Get ready for the real game by honing your skills online at

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