Challenge coin rules: Practice Proper Challenge Coin Etiquette

Written by Robin Brown on January 24, 2021
Are you curious about what the “challenge coin” is and how to display proper etiquette? There a lot more to challenge coins than you might expect. In this post, I am going to go over all the rules of using challenge coins. Don’t wonder any longer. Start reading this post so you can find out.

1. What is the Challenge?

what is the challenge coin image
The “challenge” coin started during WWI when soldiers used the coin as a drinking game.
During this time, each soldier received a unique coin that symbolized which unit or division in the military they were a part of.

The game’s basic idea is that if you are “challenged” to produce your coin and you can’t, you need to buy drinks.

The same is simple, but there are rules.

2. Always Explain the Rules of challenge coins

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The first rule of the game is to explain the rules to any new members.So whether it’s a new cadent joining the squad. Or it’s a new member joining your team.

You need to explain the rules of the game.

They can’t be initiated or challenged until they understand the rules of the game.

3. Carry your challenge coin at all times

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Did you think that the challenge only happened at the bar? That would be far too easy.You can challenge someone at any time. This means that you need to carry your coin at all times.

According to the rules, the challenge can happen anywhere and anyplace. Whether you are in the middle of a workout or driving to get groceries. There is always a risk of the “challenge.”

The rules remain the same regardless of where you are. If you are challenged, and you can’t produce the coin, you owe the challenger a drink.

If you are playing the game, this rule should be exercised with caution and discretion. For example, challenging someone while they shower is not the best idea.

However, it is fair in terms of the rules of the game.

Remember, the other members of your group can challenge you as well. So, targeting people when they are most vulnerable is not always a good idea. This can turn the challenge into a game of revenge. Watch out for payback.

4. State the conditions

One major part of the game is that the reward of the challenge must be clearly stated. For example, if you are challenging someone to produce their coin, they need to know what’s on the line.

The reward is not always a single beer. You can make this exciting. Maybe it’s a round of drinks for the entire group.

The important this is that the conditions must be clear before the challenge is either complete or failed.

5. The Challenger is at Risk

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Don’t think you can go around challenging everyone in your group until you get some free beer. That would make the game too easy.

The real twist is that if you challenge someone and pass, you must reward the other person.

So if you challenge someone for a round of drinks and they pass. Guess what? Now you owe everyone a round of drinks. This keeps that game exciting, and people are more cautious.

6.  Only One Challenge

Don’t think you are going to take advantage of one person because they don’t have their coin. Every person can only be challenged once in a single day.

So once the person without a coin is exposed, they can no longer be challenged. As a challenger, you can challenge as much as you want.

7. Respect The Coin

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The coin represents loyalty to your group. Treat the coin with respect as you would the members of your group.

This means that the coin can’t be altered in any way. You can’t turn it into a belt buckle, so you never forget it. Or don’t think of drilling a hole and turning it into a necklace or some earrings.

The coin must remain a coin, and it should not be treated differently.

You can carry it in your pocket, in a bag, or pouch, but you can not alter the coin itself to make it easier to hold or carry.

8. Don’t Hand Your Coin Away

The possession of your coin is not forever. If you give your coin to someone else, they don’t need to return it.

Keep your coin to yourself at all times.

The standard way of proving your coin is showing it in your hand or placing it on the table. Once you have placed your coin on the table, it acts as a safe zone.

If someone takes your coin from the table, they must return it. This is not an acceptable way to transfer possession.If you drop your coin and someone picks it up, they don’t need to return it. They can keep your coin and claim it as their own.

9. Don’t Lose Your Coin

duble challenge coins image
Don’t lose your coin. If you do lose your coin, you need to replace it.

Don’t think just because you lost it that the game stops. The challenge is always active. So if you lose your coin, you are putting yourself in a position to lose every challenge.

If you lose your coin, your best bet is to keep it a secret and replace it as quickly as possible.

10. Rules the rules are set in stone

There are no exceptions to the rules. The rules can not be changed or altered for any reason. For example, if you lose your coin, you can’t call a timeout.

With that said, there are reports that groups outside of the military have changed the reward.

If the rules are changed, it’s no longer following traditional military rules.


There’s probably a lot more to challenge coins than you expected. But, now you have everything you need to make sure you follow proper etiquette.

Now get out there and give some challenge coins to your team and teach them how to play.
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Article written by Robin Brown
Robin Brown is part of the content team at Vivipins where he develops resources to help customers start and grow their own businesses.
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