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Drinking to excess is stupid. The author is not encouraging anyone to harm themselves by consuming too much alcohol. And please, if you have to drink too much, do the world a favor and stay out of your car. The drinking games discussed in this article are for entertainment purposes only. I can't stress this enough – moderation is the key to having a good time with alcohol.
Card games and drinking – the two have always gone together. The two activities are such social events that it is only natural to combine the two. A number of fun drinking card games have appeared over the years, popping up from college campuses and bars all over the country and all over the world. Most of these games require only a few friends, a few drinks, and a standard deck of 52 cards.
Part of the reason for drinking card games popularity is the lack of special equipment. This isn't your older brother's beer pong we're talking about, you don't need cups and ping pong balls and a million drunken friends. You don't even need special drinking games cards – all of the games mentioned can be played with a standard deck and either beer or liquor.
By the way, the word "drinks" used throughout this article refers not to entire beers, but long gulps of beer. This way, you have the chance of remaining within the limits of moderation. Feel free, however, to substitute your own penalties, such as drinking for amounts of time (requiring a stopwatch) or be creative and make up your own penalty.
Cannonball - Drinking Card Game
Some games involving drinking and cards are less card-oriented, using the cards more as props than anything else; for instance, the game Cannonball, which requires two decks of cards and any number of players.
First, the dealer deals each person one card at a time, face down, asking a different question with each card dealt. The penalty for getting the first question wrong is two drinks and the question is "Is the card red or black?" The player offers the guess, and the card is then revealed – if the player is right, that player is allowed to hand out the drinks to other players. If the player is wrong, that player takes the drinks. This rule goes for every other card in the 4-card setup, only the next card will be for 4 drinks, the third for 6 drinks, and the last question for 8 drinks.
The questions change per round too – in the second round, the question is "Is your second card higher or lower?" meaning higher or lower than the card the player already has in his hand. The third round asks the player to guess if the third card will be in between or outside the two cards the player already has. The brutal last round, remember, 8 drink penalty, asks the player to guess the suit of his card.
If at any point a player is dealt a card they already have -- that is considered a double burn and that player has to drink double of whatever round they are on.
High Or Low Drinking Card Game
Though games of chance like Cannonball are fun, the standard drinking games involving cards are simple High-Low or matching games:
In fact, one of the most basic games is called High or Low. You only need a friend and a standard deck. Before play starts, determine by vote if equal cards are a loss or correct guess.
1. The first player is dealt a card. The player then attempts to guess if the next card dealt will be higher or lower. If wrong, the player drinks once for each card showing. If correct, the player guesses again. Each card is laid face-up on the last one.
2. After taking guesses on at least three cards, the player may choose to continue or pass. If the player passes, the next player starts where the previous left off.
3. When a player guesses incorrectly, they drink for each card showing. Your standard strategy is to build up a large number of cards and pass it to the next player.
Drink, Bitch! - Drinking Card Game
Drink (also known as "Drink, Bitch") – the most basic beer drinking card game, and the one the author personally learned to play first, and where he most likely developed his taste for beer. 3 or more players and one deck of cards are all you'll need.
1. Deal a card to each player. Place the rest of the pile in the center.
2. Each player takes turns flipping through the deck, and if one of the cards flipped from the deck is the same as the player's card the player must take two gulps. Cards need only be similar and, obviously, not identical. For example: you possess a king of spades and a king of diamonds appears from the deck . . . you still drink. If the card is ranked next to your card you take a single gulp. For example: your king of spades lines up between any queen or any ace – see one of those two and you're drinking.
3. The game can be repeated at will -- when the deck is done, simply shuffle and start over.
Across The Bridge Drinking Card Game
Across the Bridge – a 2-player beer drinking game requiring a single deck of cards.
1. Lay ten cards face-down in front of you. Keep the rest of the deck handy, face-down in a stack. The ten cards in a row are considered the Bridge.
2. One player flips over the first card. If this card is not a face card, it becomes the next player's turn.
3. Once a player turns over a face card, that player must do two things: one, drink a certain number of gulps based on the face card's value and two, place a certain number of face-down cards at the end of the Bridge, extending its length by a certain number.
The number system for face cards is as follows:
Jack – 1
4. The goal is to get "Across the Bridge" so to speak – to clear the Bridge by flipping all the cards over or going through the entire deck.
California Kings Drinking Card Game
These games are fun, but are less complicated and more likely to bore you over time. For this reason, more complex social games exist. In these games, cards drawn by players initiate new rules, rules changes, identities for players, or even specific commands. These games generally play slower and encourage conversation and participation – in other words, these are games meant for men and women to play. You know, together. Here are some examples.
Kings (also known as California Kings) – This is less a card game than a drinking game for friends involving cards. The more the merrier here, though it seems to be best with between 4 and 8 players. You need: one deck of cards, a large glass or bowl in the center of the table, and various drinks for everyone. Some say it is best to have different drinks: beer, liquor, wine, etc. You'll see why at the game's wicked conclusion. Warning – please for the love of God gather up your friend's keys before you start to play this game. You will find it leads to much joy and spreading of good cheer . . . as well as a good bit of drinking. So be careful.
To start California Kings, spread the deck of cards face-down around the large cup or bowl at the center of the table. Draw cards from the pile in clockwise order. A "drink" is a normal sip – trust me, you'll have plenty.
The game play changes based on what card is drawn. The ultimate "goal" of Kings is to find all four Kings from the deck – and a stiff penalty is imposed on the player who discovers that mythical "last King". Here are the card rankings and instructions for what to do after drawing them:
Ace – "Social" – The player who draws this card proposes a toast and everyone drinks.
2-6 - Black (Clubs & Spades) – The player must consume the card's value in drinks.
2-6 - Red (Hearts & Diamonds) – The player must assign the card's value in drinks. The total may be split-up between multiple players, as in "3 for Bill, 2 for Sandra" etc.
7 – "Waterfall" - Everybody begins to chug their drink. No one can stop until the person to their right has stopped. The player who draws the 7 is the only player who can initiate the stop.
8 – "Thumb Master" – The player who draws the 8 puts his/her thumb on the table. The last player to place their own thumb on the table must drink.
9 – "Rhymer" – The player who draws says a sentence. The person to his/her left must come up with a sentence that rhymes with the last word in the original sentence. This continues in clockwise order around the table. Rhyming words may not be repeated. Those players who repeat rhymed words or can't think of rhymes shall drink.
10 – "Trivia" – The player who draws 10 thinks of a category, such as "Lord of the Rings Characters." Then that player gives the first answer -- like "Gandalf." The person to his/her left must think of another answer and on and on in clockwise order. If you repeat an item or can't think of one, you drink.
Jack – "Guys drink" - Self-explanatory. Go ahead, be bold, include a toast!
Queen – "Ladies drink" – See above.
King – There's plenty of good reason behind the name of the game. The player who draws the first, second or third king pours some of his/her drink into the large cup or bowl at the center, and comes up with a rule that must be obeyed for the rest of the game, such as "no smiling" or "no saying 'drink,' 'drank' or 'drunk'." Anyone in violation of any rule drinks. Unfortunately for one of the players, whoever draws the fourth king must attempt to guzzle the contents of the "large cup." Drawing the fourth king marks the end of the game, and usually the end of the night for your new King. I can't stress enough the need to collect car keys prior to Crowning a King.
Cops and Robbers Drinking Card Game
Cops and Robbers (also known as Drug Dealer) – another highly social game requiring a minimum of six players sober enough to read a card's face. You'll also need a single deck of standard cards.
Get a group of people to sit around a table. Take a number of cards out of a deck that is equal to the number of people playing -- one of the cards must be a king and one of the cards has to be an ace. The other cards can be any combination of numbers the people playing decide on before the game. Warning -- the higher the number decided upon now, the greater the chances of getting drunk quickly. Read on and find out why:
1 - Pass out a card to each player. This card determines their identity in the game. Whoever is dealt the ace is the robber. Whoever is dealt the king is the cop. The other players are innocent bystanders. It is important that players not reveal their identity.
2. Once all of the cards have been passed out, everyone stares at everyone else around the table waiting. The robber (the player who is in possession of the Ace) should find someone to secretly wink at. Once winked at, a player must say "Help! I've been robbed!"
3. The player who was dealt the King (the cop) is on alert to try to see who the robber is. He/she wants to catch the robber winking at someone. Once the crime has gone down, the cop throws over his card and tries to guess who the robber is (the person who winked). This is the meat of the game, and when the drinking happens:
a) If the cop guesses wrong, the player has to drink for an amount of time based on the number that the cardholder turns over – example, if the player holds a 7, the cop must drink for a full 7 second count.
b) This game, cops and robbers, continues on until the cop guesses who the robber is
4. If the robber happens to wink at the cop, the robber is automatically busted and has to drink for the amount of time held on the cards of the innocent bystanders. If this should happen, be a pal and collect the poor robber's car keys. You'd hate to put one of your friends in actual jail.
31 Drinking Card Game
Finally, for the highly cerebral kid who still likes to tie a few on, there are the Addition or Math based card games. Think of it like studying after hours. All you need is the drink of your choice, a deck of cards, and any number of smart friends.
You'll need a deck of cards, people, and beer. The game follows the same premise as Black Jack, but with a few important game play differences.
The object of the game is to get as close to 31 points in your hand without going over. Aces are valued at 11 points while all face cards are worth 10 points. As usual, the remaining cards hold their face value.
1.Each player is dealt three cards, two face-down, and one face-up. The play rotates, like in Black Jack, for additional cards.
2.At any point in the game, if you think you have a high enough hand to beat your opponents (usually around 28 or so) you can "knock" which means everyone else has one last draw to add to their hand's point totals.
3.After everyone plays their last card, the hands are laid down and the person with the lowest point total has to drink an entire beer before they lose again in an ensuing hand.
4. If the person who knocked has the lowest point total, that player must also drink an additional penalty beer for poor play.
5.If someone does not finish their beer before losing again, they must drink yet another penalty beer. Finally, anytime someone has a total of 31 in their hand, they immediately place their cards down and EVERYONE else is a loser. Fast play is the thing that will do you in, so pace yourselves, and as always GATHER YOUR FRIEND'S KEYS. Get the point, yet?
Bringing gaming into your social drinking is a quick way to start (or
sometimes end) the party. Be sure to follow my myriad warnings against
heavy intoxication – it isn't a great party if everyone's sick or passed
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