Most published studies, regarding students’ participation in drinking games (DGs), originate from the United States of America (USA). This study extends research to the United Kingdom (UK) and countries of mainland Europe. University students from five countries completed an anonymous online questionnaire which included measures of the frequency of DG participation, along with types, contexts and motives for participation. Responses are compared by the gender, and country of domicile of the participants. The study is based on the results of the questionnaire administered to 306 Social Work students from five universities/countries of which 72.2% are females, with a mean age of 22.6 years. This included students in Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK and the USA. A high proportion of students, irrespective of gender, or country of domicile, stated that they participated in DGs. To ‘meet people’ and ‘to get drunk’ are the most important reasons stated for DG participation. Less benign motives, to ‘control others’ or ‘get other people drunk’, are reported as ‘not important’. The most common types of DGs were consumption and team DGs. The pre-partying involved in DGs and associated consequences show important targets in alcohol harm minimization interventions. Harm minimization/public health messages regarding safer drinking need to recognize that younger students often feel they are immortal and do not fully appreciate risks and adverse effects of DGs and drink to have fun and be sociable.