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How to Play the 10 Greatest Drinking Games

Madison enjoys a good drinking game at a party and is happy to share the rules to several of the best games she's played.

These are just a few drinking games that I like playing. There are obviously so many more games out there!

10 of the Best Drinking Games

  1. Drinking Jenga
  2. Boat Race
  3. Ring of Fire
  4. Buzz
  5. Shot Roulette
  6. Drinking Task Cards
  7. Switch
  8. 21
  9. Pyramid
  10. Flip Cup
A homemade set of Drinking Jenga.

A homemade set of Drinking Jenga.

1. Drinking Jenga

This, I believe, is a fairly new drinking game. You can buy a ready-made one from B&M, but it is so much fun making your own set.

  1. Firstly, all you need is a set of Jenga blocks. If you haven't already got the traditional family game, then a new game is about £2.50 on eBay.
  2. Now this is the fun part! Amongst you and your friends, you can decide punishments/tasks for each block. For example: "All girls drink", "Do a shot" or "Play rock, paper, scissors . . . loser drinks."
  3. Once each block has a task, build the tower up. Then, take it in turns to select a block and push it out. Once the block has been removed, the player must complete the task written.
  4. However, if a player knocks the tower down, then they will be forced to complete a punishment. This is decided by the other players.
Boat Race should be played with eight people or more.

Boat Race should be played with eight people or more.

2. Boat Race

This is a great game if there's loads of people round! All you need is 8+ people.

  1. Firstly, everyone must decide on how full everyone needs to have their glasses.
  2. Next, split yourself into two equal teams (if possible) and sit parallel.
  3. Count down from 3.
  4. On 1, the first person in each row begins to "down" their drink. Once they have finished, they should raise their glass in the air so the next person can begin. This continues until the last person in the row has finished.
Ring of Fire requires a deck of cards and an empty glass.

Ring of Fire requires a deck of cards and an empty glass.

3. Ring of Fire

This, I imagine, is a very popular student game. All you need for this is a deck of cards (jokers removed) and an empty glass.

  1. Place the glass in the middle of the table and arrange the cards in a circle around the empty glass.
  2. Each player then takes it in turn to select a card; however, each card holds a task/punishment (some of which may leave you feeling a bit wobbly once the game ends!).

Most tasks rhyme with the number of the card. For example:

  • 2. You. You must choose someone who must drink.
  • 3. Me. You must drink.
  • 4. "Whore". Not very politically correct, but I believe people reach out for a rhyme for these types of games. This means all females drink.
  • 5. "Thumb master". Until another 5 is pulled, you can place your thumb, at any time, on the edge of the table. The other plays must then follow your action; the last player to do so will be forced to drink.
  • 6. "Dicks". Every male must drink.
  • 7. "Heaven". This is similar to 5, but with a different action. Until another 7 is pulled, at any time, you can raise your hand in the air. All players must follow this; the last player to do so must drink.
  • 8. Mate. Choose someone to drink with you.
  • 9. Rhyme. Starting with the person who pulled this card, each player must choose a word to rhyme with the last one said. If a player repeats, hesitates or cannot think of a word then they should drink.
  • 10. Categories. Starting with the person who pulled this card, each player must associate a word with the previous. For example: "fruit", each player must name fruit, or something associated with fruit. If a player repeats, hesitates or cannot think of a word then they should drink.
  • J. Make a rule. The player who pulled this card must decide a rule that should be followed until the next Jack is played. Anyone who breaks this rule/anyone who this rule applies to, must drink.
  • Q. Question master. Until another Queen is played, this player must ask the other players questions. If a player replies they must drink, however, if they reply with "Fuck you Question Master" then the player whom asked the question must drink.
  • K. Each player who pulls a King must pour some of their drink into the empty glass. This continues until the last King is pulled; in which case, the player who did so must drink the entire contents of the glass.
  • A. Waterfall. Starting with the person who played this card, each player must begin to drink. This can go on for quite a while as you can only stop drinking until the player on your right stops.

4. Buzz

This is a fairly short game—one that doesn't include anything other than yourself, friends and a drink. You can play this with a big or small group (depends how challenging you like your nights to be).

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All you do is count up.

For example, someone begins at 1 and then, going clockwise, the next person would say 2, then 3, etc.

This is the twist:

Once a player reaches a number ending in 7, or a multiple of 7, they must shout "Buzz". Once they have shouted this, the order of play is reversed and will now be played anti-clockwise until the next time "Buzz" is shouted and changes again.

If a player fails to say Buzz or hesitates, they must drink.

5. Shot Roulette

I'm sure you're familiar with the game of roulette, or the idea that this is famous amongst the big Vegas Casinos. How about changing things up and adding shots? This is a great starter game for pre-drinks and getting to know how far you can push your friend's before their liver cries out in a bid for you to stop.

Personally, I hate spending money on things I know I can recreate.

  1. To begin with I used a large A1 card (A3 will work just as well) I then drew round a circular washing basket for the outer circle and then a plate for the inner circle. However, the old string and pen trick will work just as well!
  2. I then drew equal sectors onto the board and painted them alternative colours (except for the 3,6,9 and 12 as you would see on a clock) these were painted in gold to infer that this sector should be a spirit (i.e Vodka, Jack Daniels, or a straight Jagermeister - or the cheap, yet identical alternative, Messer Shmidt etc.)
  3. Obviously the main part to this game is shot glasses. I use plastic ones that can be bought in Thing me Bobs for a pound, or two, for twenty glasses.
  4. Finally, the spinner, thankfully there is an app for everything on the App store! Simply download a spinner and place your phone in the middle. This works much better than creating a spinner.
  5. Now, you have your very own roulette table that has cost next to nothing to create but looks amazing and creates great fun.

6. Drinking Task Cards

This has been one of the slightly longer tasks I have completed in order to make an evening a barrel of laughs, but I think it's safe to say the outcome is fab!

All you need is A4 white Card (several sheets depending on how many you want to make), coloured paper, colouring pens, scissors, and a great mind for how to get your friends drunk!

  1. I split each card into eighths so that each playing card is a generous size for writing but isn't too big to hold.
  2. I then started writing, and drawing pictures, onto the cards for my friends to perform. This is a game using your actual drink and not shots; which should allow those with a weak stomach to last longer than they usually would. These were then backed onto coloured paper so that the pen wouldn't show through.
  3. Also, I created miniature "Immunity" cards which makes a player exempt from one round that they don't feel comfortable performing.
  4. Personally, I finalised my cards by laminating them. This is entirely optional as laminator pouches are expensive! They look great either way for how little they cost to make.

I have posted some examples above.

Switch is another card-based drinking game.

Switch is another card-based drinking game.

7. Switch

Each player is dealt 7 cards. The rest of the pack then becomes the deck. One card is overturned, and placed in a new pile by the dealer, which starts the game. The player to the left of the dealer must then place a card on top of the overturned card.

The basic rule of the game is that the next card must always be either a card of the same suit or the same number. For instance, if the top card is a 4 of hearts, the next card played must either be a heart, or a 4.

However, the game isn't as simple as that; there are certain numbers that hold consequences when played:

  • 2 (of any suit): The next person must take 2 drinks. But, if the next player has a 2 this then moves the punishment onto the next person and adds two drinks (meaning the next player has to drink 4) if they also have a 2, then the player after them must drink a total of 6 drinks etc..
  • 7 (of any suit): Change direction. The person who was meant to be next prior to the change must take 2 drinks, the game then reverses order.
  • 8 (of any suit): Miss a go. The person who was meant to go next is forced to miss their turn. They must also take 5 drinks.
  • J (of any suit): A jack is the only card that can be played on any card, despite the number and suit. By playing a Jack, this then allows the player to change the game play to a suit of their choice.
  • Q (of any suit): Waterfall. When the Queen is played, the drinking sequence begins. Everybody must start to drink, but can only stop drinking once the person to their right has stopped.
  • A (of any suit): This card has the same rules as a 2, but when an Ace is played the next person has to drink 4.. 8... 12.. etc..

If you find that you are unable to play a card when it is your turn, you will need to pick up a card and take a drink.

When somebody wins the game, all other players have to finish their drink.

This is without a doubt one of my favourite drinking games, despite the fact that it does leave you feeling extremely wobbly!

8. 21

This is a number game that doesn't require any cards—just yourself, a group of friends, and a drink in hand.

  1. The first player elects the direction e.g "1 to my left..."
  2. Players then continue counting. If anyone says two numbers ("3,4") the game changes direction, if someone says three numbers ("5,6,7") then a player is skipped.
  3. Anyone who screws up drinks.
  4. Whichever player ends up as "21" must take 3 drinks.
Pyramid requires a deck of cards.

Pyramid requires a deck of cards.

9. Pyramid

For this game, a deck of cards is needed.

To start, lay out some cards face down to create a 5-4-3-2-1 pyramid. Then, deal out the remaining cards to the other players. Each row is worth a certain amount of drinks:

  • Cards in the first row, containing 5 cards, are worth 2.
  • Cards in the second row, containing 4 cards, are worth 4.
  • Cards in the third row, containing 3 cards, are worth 6.
  • Cards in the fourth row, containing 2 cards, are worth 8.
  • The cards in the final row, containing 1 card, is worth 10.

Cards are overturned individually, one at a time, starting with the first row. If the first card overturned in the first row is a 5, any player holding a 5 can place their card on top of the overturned 5 and then allocate 2 drinks to another player. If a player has two of the same card then they are allowed to place them both down and either choose one player to drink 4 or two people to drink 2 each.

Ultimately, the aim of the game is to get rid of all of your cards; whoever has the most left at the end of the game will be punished by finishing their drink.

Illustrated instructions for Flip Cup.

Illustrated instructions for Flip Cup.

10. Flip Cup

This game is similar to Boat Race, but with a slight twist.

Again, two even teams are needed. Each player must have their drink in a plastic cup.

  1. Players should line up, facing their opponent. All cups should be placed on the table and filled to an agreed level.
  2. The first opposing players must drink their entire beverage as fast as possible. The empty cup is then placed face down on the edge of the table.
  3. The player who drank it must flip it so that it lands face down. The next player cannot start until the cup is flipped.
  4. The winning team is the first to finish.

Which do you prefer?

I haven't included every game I've ever played because I'm sure people are familiar with other typical student drinking games.

Although, if anyone has any unique drinking games that they particularly enjoy, I would love to hear about them and how to play them!

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