Five Finger Fillet Game | All You Need to Know about this Knife Game


If you have seen popular American cowboy movies, you would have probably come across the five-finger fillet game. In this, the palm of one hand is placed on the table with the fingers stretched apart. Then, using a knife or a sharp object is used to stab the space between the fingers back and forth and try not to hit the fingers.

Five Finger Fillet Game – Knife Game Guide for Beginners

Five Finger Fillet Game

History of The Five Finger Fillet Game

Yes, that exactly is the Five Finger Fillet game. Depending on the region, this game is also called a rusty cage, knife game, stab scotch, etc. The origins of the game are still obscure and unclear although some of them argue that it was created by the US cowboys in the 1800s. 


#Disclaimer: Please do not try playing this game. It is highly dangerous as the knives can hurt the fingers when played and the consequences can be severe. Do not encourage others to play this game as well. 

Stabbing Order

Depending on the version of the game, the order of stabbing the space between the fingers varies. The space behind the thumb is marked as 1 and the next spaces are marked in the same sequential order, 2, 3, 4, etc. 

In the simple form of stabbing, the player stabs in the same order starting from behind the thumb and to the space behind the little finger and back. There are more complex orders which are also followed by some players.

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Five Finger Roulette As a Gambling Activity

Five Finger Fillet Gambling

One of the most famous features of this game in pop culture is in the popular games, Red Dead Redemption and Red Dead Redemption 2. The players can access the game regardless of their position on the map, by simply clicking on the ‘hand’ symbol on the map. 

In the game, it is played competitively, and depending on the outcome, the cash is wagered. As the bet amount increases, the difficulty of the game increases. 

So, how does the model work?

Depending on the bet amounts, the game uses four different patterns. Each opponent gets two rounds which have five attempts each. If you as a player, hit the buttons too slow or hit the wrong button, it results in the loss of an attempt. One trick that experienced players use is, they write down the patterns on the paper so that they do not have to look at the game while playing out the pattern. 

Skip all the cutscenes if you are aware of the game well, and note that this is a timed activity so you need to be good with your speed as well. But again, the speed cannot be too fast, in fact, it has to be at an optimum speed. 

Depending on the console you are playing in, the buttons and controls may vary. But both the Xbox and the PS3 have four patterns. 

  • Pattern 1 For $1 to $4 bets
  • Pattern 2 For $5 to $9 bets
  • Pattern 3 For $10 to $24 bets
  • Pattern 4 $25 to $100 bets

Note that each pattern has a pattern of buttons that you need to know or play when the game time starts. 

Depending on the version of the game, it appears in different places on the map. In the first edition, the game can be found in Armadillo, Thieves Landing, Manzanita Post, Torquemada, and Escalera. 

In the second edition of the game, it can be found in Valentine, Strawberry, Van Horn Trading Post, and Camp (sometimes).

Responsible Gambling

Responsible Gambling

Since this is a gambling game as well, it is important to be responsible as a player. It can be highly addictive and therefore, you may end up losing out on a lot of money. So, please have a game plan before you start with any gambling activity. Keep the amount of money you keep in the game in such a way that you would not mind losing all of them. Also, keep emotions out of the game. Play it for the leisure and enjoyment it provides among your friends and family. 

So, this was about the Five Finger Fillet game which is highly controversial and harmful. Please do not try this game in real life. But you can find online versions of the game in popular video games as discussed above. 

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