Qualitative work suggests that young people’s motives for playing drinking games (DGs) extend beyond those assessed in the Motives for Playing Drinking Games (MPDG) measure. Using a mixed-methods approach, we tested whether the 7-factor model of the MPDG would emerge among university students from Australia, New Zealand, and Argentina, and whether their open-ended responses regarding their reasons for playing would map onto the MPDG subscales. Students (N = 895; ages = 18–30 yrs) completed the MPDG-33 measure and an open-ended-question regarding their reasons for playing DGs. We found support for the 7-factor model of the MPDG among students across sites. Open-ended responses revealed that students were motivated to play for a variety of reasons, some of which overlapped with the MPDG subscales while others did not. We present a conceptual model that considers motives specific to alcohol consumption in the context of a DG and reasons/possible motives for playing a DG given its specific features.