Among patients with later stage hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), only 1–12% manifest obstructive jaundice as the initial complaint. Endoscopic retrograde biliary drainage (ERBD) and percutaneous transhepatic biliary drainage (PTBD) are the two main non-surgical treatment options for obstructive jaundice in patients with HCC. ERBD is usually the first-line treatment because of its low hemorrhage risk. Some have reported that the successful drainage rate ranges from 72 to 100%. Mean stent patency time and mean survival range from 1.0 to 15.9 and 2.8 to 12.3 months, respectively. PTBD is often an important second-line treatment when ERBD is impossible. With regard to materials, metallic stents offer the benefit of longer patency than plastic stents. The dominant effect of biliary drainage suggests that successful jaundice therapy could enhance anti-cancer treatment by increasing life expectancy, decreasing mortality, or both. We present an overview of the efficacy of endoscopic and percutaneous drainage for obstructive jaundice in patients with HCC who are not candidates for surgical resection and summarize the current indications and outcomes of reported clinical use.