How Many People Die From Playing Russian Roulette Per Year?

How Many People Die From Playing Russian Roulette Per Year?

We don’t know – very few people ‘play’ Russian Roulette (for obvious reasons) and the way it would be recorded on a death certificate wouldn’t state Russian Roulette as the cause. Most likely the cause stated would be suicide by firearm.

Why We Don’t Have Reliable Statistics On Russian Roulette

Here are the reasons we can’t give a specific and/or reliable number of deaths from Russian Roulette:

  • Hardly anyone is stupid enough to play Russian Roulette – i.e. it’s a very niche activity with therefore limited statistics to make informed commentary on
  • If someone plays it on their own and dies, it would be assumed they intentionally killed themselves rather than they were playing a ‘game’.

What We Do Know About Russian Roulette Statistics

There are a select few studies which give us some insights:

  • A 2010 study looked at young people who died from Russian Roulette. They found 50% of the victims were positive for marijuana or alcohol, but interestingly none had any known psychiatric history.
  • Deaths seem to be heavily weighted towards males. A study in 2008 showed most were male and under 30 (a mean age of 24.8). Again drugs or alcohol were prevalent
  • A 1992 study relating to risk taking in cocaine use showed it being found in 64% of Russian Roulette fatalities and usually young and unemployed.


  • Hopefully stating the obvious, but Russian Roulette is a highly dangerous and silly ‘game’
  • The worst case scenario is a bloody death, the best case is you prove some kind of bravado
  • Russian Roulette playing is associated with young males
  • Drug and alcohol is usually present
  • It’s nearly impossible to make a robust estimation of deaths each year from it.

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