Games and drinking have been in tandem ever since the very beginning. In Greece during the 4th century B.C., for instance, drinkers would play Kottabos where they would throw the lees from wine at targets in the room. Additionally, if drinkers in China during the Tang Dynasty wrongly answered a riddle, they would drink a shot as punishment. Not much has changed since antiquity for millions of drinkers around the world use games to make the social experience as enjoyable as it can be. Below is a list of popular US dinking games that use cards to propel the fun.
Playingcarddecks.com would like to remind everyone to drink responsibly when playing any of these games.
(In Kings, players draw random cards from a ring shaped pile.)
Kings is one of the most popular drinking games. To begin, spread out a shuffled 52 card deck face down around a cup or unopen bottle of beer. Going clockwise, players select random card and must do an action based on the rank of the card selected. The following is a list of card actions.
Ace: Everyone playing must drink a beer until the player who picked the card stops drinking.
2: The player who picked the card choose someone to take a drink.
3: The player who picked the card drinks.
4: Everyone must touch the floor. The last person to do so takes a drink.
5: All men must take a drink.
6: All women take a drink.
7: Everyone must reach for the sky. The last person to do so takes a drink.
8: The player who picked the card and another player of their choosing takes a drink
9: The player who picked the card says a word and everyone says another word that rhymes. A player who cannot think of a rhyming word takes a drink.
10: The player who picked the card says a category (like colors) and everyone says a word that fits into that category (like blue). A player who cannot think of a r word takes a drink.
Jack: The player who picked the card says something they have never done. Any player who has done that must take a drink.
Queen: The player who picked the card asks another player a question. They then must ask another player a question and so on. A player who answers a question or can’t think of a new question takes a drink.
King: The player who picked the card makes up a new rule that everyone must follow. The new rule stays in place until another player picks up a King.
(In Pyramid, you must build the above structure faced down.)
In Pyramid or Ride the Bus, a player builds a 6-5-4-3-2-1 pyramid of cards faced down on a table. Four cards are then given to each player. Players look at their cards once and then set them back down. A player that’s not participating begins flipping over cards one by one, starting with the 6th row and going upwards. If a player has the card flipped over or if they want to bluff, they can call on the other players to take a drink. The number of drinks depends on the row number. For the bottom row players must drink once. For the next row they drink twice and so on.
If a player thinks the caller is bluffing, they can call them out. If the caller was bluffing, they must drink twice the amount assigned. If the caller wasn’t drinking, the other player must drink twice the amount assigned.
Screw the Dealer
Before gameplay can begin, a dealer must be selected. To do so, players must choose a random card from a shuffled deck. The player with the lowest card becomes the dealer. Ties are broken with repeated drawings.
The player left of the dealer has three tries to guess the rank of the top card on the deck. If they guess correctly, the dealer drinks and, going clockwise, the next player guesses. If their first guess is wrong, they drink and then try to guess the rank of the next card. If their second guess is also wrong, they drink again and guess if the third card is either higher or lower than their second guess. If they guess incorrectly for a third time, they drink and become the dealer.
Across the Bridge
In Across the Bridge, ten cards from a shuffled deck are placed faced down in a line. Players then try to “cross” the bridge by flipping over cards. If a player flips over a numbered card, they continue to flip over the next card. If a player flips over a face card, they must drink, remove the face card, and add cards to the bridge (1 card for a Jack, two cards for a Queen, three cards for a King and four cards for an Ace). The turn then passes clockwise. The person who flips over the last card wins and all the other players must take a drink.
Spoons or Pig is a game where players try to be the first to get a four of a kind or not to be the last player to see that someone else has received a four of a kind.
You may see our guide for Spoons here.
In the drinking version of the game, players must drink if they cannot get a spoon or are the last person to put a finger on their nose.
In President, players try to be the first person to get rid of their cards.
You may see our guide for President here.
In the drinking version of the game, players of a higher rank can force a player of a lower rank to drink at any time.
Blind Man’s Bluff
In Blind Man’s Bluff, players have a card stuck to their head and fold based on the likelihood that they have the highest card out of all of the players.
You may see our guide for Blind Man’s Bluff here in the variations section of our Seven Card Stud article.
In the drinking version of the game, players must drink twice if they fold and have a lower card than the winner. If a player folds and they have a higher card than the winner, they must drink their card value. If a player doesn’t fold and loses, they must drink the difference between their card and the winner’s.
Looking for more card games to play? Check out this article:
About the author: John Taylor is a content writer and freelancer through the company Upwork.com. You may view his freelancing profile here. He has a B. A. in English, with a specialty in technical writing, from Texas A&M University and a M. A. in English from the University of Glasgow. You may view his previous articles about card games here and his LinkedIn profile here.