Top 5 Card Based Drinking Games

Drinking games are a great way to start off any night, with new people you want to break the ice with as well as with old friends you want to ramp up the night with.

Before we get to the top 5 though, we had to throw in a link to our iOS card-based drinking game, Card Twister, which adds another level of variety to any drinking game. https://apps.apple.com/us/app/id1525276104/

5. Screw your neighbour

The aim of the game is to not end up with the lowest card (Ace being the lowest, King being the highest).

  1. Each player is dealt a card.
  2. If any player has a king, they should reveal this to the room and place it face-up on the table, this card cannot be swapped for.
  3. The player to the left of the dealer begins.
  4. This player can swap their card with the player to their left, or pass and keep their card. They cannot swap back if they decide to swap.
  5. This continues round in a circle with each player being able to keep or swap with the person to their left.
  6. When it reaches the dealer, they can either keep their card or swap their card for the top card on the deck.
  7. At the end of the round, all players must flip their cards. The player with the lowest card drinks.

4. Ride the bus

There are several ways to play this, but I have always preferred the simple way.

Shuffle the deck and place cards into a diamond, going through 1, 2, 3, 2, 1 upside down on the table.

The aim of the game is to get from one side of the diamond to the other without turning over a picture card.

You will start by turning over the first card on either side of the pyramid, then a card from the second row, then third and so on until you reach the other side.

If at any point you turn over a picture card, you must drink as many sips as cards you have cards turned over.

If you have uncovered a picture card, re-cover all of your steps by placing new cards face down over the top of all of the cards you had turned over, and start from the first card again.

3. Higher or lower

Games don’t get much simpler than this but this game gets the drinks flowing fast and everyone involved.

The dealer will place one card face up on the table.

They will ask the player to their left ‘higher or lower’.

This player will decide if they think the next card will be higher or lower than the last one placed face up on the table.

If they are correct, they can give a sip to another player, otherwise they must take one.

This continues for each player in the circle until all cards have been dealt and the game is over.

2. Horse Race

If you have a rowdy group of friends and want something to pair perfectly with that, this is the card game for you. Each person shouting for their ‘horse’ really sets the horse track day vibe.

To set up

  1. Place all four aces in a line face up. These are the horse.
  2. To the side, place 4 cards face down making an L shape. This is the race track.

Each player now chooses a suit. They must choose a bet (i.e. 3 sips) on this suit, and must drink their bet to lock it in.

Cards are then revealed one at a time from the top of the deck. Each card revealed, the Ace with the same suit may take a step forward.

When every horse has reached or passed a step on the race track, the face down card in this step can be turned over. The Ace matching the suit of this turned over card must go one step backwards.

The game continues until one horse passes the end of the 4 cards and finishes the race.

Those who bet on the suit of the Ace that wins the race may give out double their bet as sips to other players.

1. Ring of Fire.

This list and most nights out would be incomplete for me without Ring of Fire.

  1. Set a cup in the centre and place a deck of cards in a circle around it.
  2. Each person sits around the circle with their drink of choice.
  3. Each player will take a turn to draw a card from the circle until the last king is drawn, each card drawn has a meaning below.

A - Waterfall, you will love it or hate it. The player who picks the card begins to drink, followed by every other player. No player can stop drinking until the player who picked the card has stopped.

2 - You. You get to pick a target to drink.

3 - Me. You must drink.

4 - Whore’s. All girls must drink.

5 - Thumb master. When you place your thumb down every other player must follow, the last one to do this drinks. You can do this as many times as you choose until another person picks a 5, and becomes the new thumb master.

6 - Dicks. All boys must drink.

7 - Heaven. Point to the ceiling, last to do so drinks. You can do this as many times as you choose until another person picks a 7, and becomes the new heaven master.

8 - Mate. Choose a drinking partner, everytime you drink due to the cards, they must also drink.

9 - Rhyme. Pick any word (that is possible to rhyme with) and say it aloud. The person to your left must then rhyme with the word. This continues in a circle until one person repeats what has already been said, or cannot think of a rhyme within 5 seconds.

An example would be ‘Bat’...’Cat’...’Hat’...

10 - Categories. Pick a category and say it aloud. The person to your left must then say a word fitting this category. This continues in a circle until one person repeats what has already been said, or cannot think of a word within 5 seconds.

An example would be ‘Shapes’...’Circle’...’Square’...

Jack - Make a rule. You can make up any rule you would like, which must be followed until the end of the game by everyone including yourself.

An example would be ‘every time you laugh, you must keep your lips together. If you open your mouth whilst laughing, you must drink.’

Queen - Everyone’s favourite - question master. You may ask any player a question. If they reply to you with anything other than a question, they must drink. This continues until another player draws a queen.

King - Fill up the cup in the centre by ¼ with your drink. If you pick the final king, fill the final ¼ of the cup and drink the central cup.

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