Sure there were dice games, card games and old-school fraternity challenges, but nothing has quite taken the college party scene by storm like today’s varied and oh-so competitive drinking games. No matter where you go to college, chances are you’ve either played or heard of Beer Pong, Flip Cup, Power Hour or another game that involves some level of skill and, err, tolerance. Virtually everywhere you look on the Internet, you can find a brief description, basic rules and maybe even some insider techniques to playing (and winning) these popular drinking games. Here are the top 10 college drinking games and their abridged rules:
- Beer Pong
Ten years ago, shooting ping pong balls into plastic cups from across a table may not have caught on at most college campuses, but once it did, beer pong quickly became a staple to the college party scene. From penalties, re-racking, rollbacks to swatting rules, Beer Pong has a myriad of rules that vary between schools, houses and states. One thing’s for certain — the object of the game is to make all of your cups before the opposing team.
- Flip Cup
Like an assembly line of Olympic drinkers, Flip Cup requires quick beer-chugging and cup-flipping skills to beat the opposing team. Flip Cup is arguably the most popular group-based drinking game for college students. With an even number of people, Flip Cup is played by lining up teams across from each other on a long table and pouring a little bit of beer in each player’s cup. On the count of three, the first opponents will chug their beer, place their cup down on the table and try to flip it facing down. In an assembly line fashion, each player repeats this action until the last player flips their cup. Flip Cup really takes the crown for being the most energized, fight-to-the-death group drinking game.
- Power Hour
Power Hour is what you could call an endurance game. The object of the game is quite simple — take a shot of beer every minute for one hour. Of course there are variants to Power Hour, such as drinking 21 shots per hour, or taking one shot per minute for 100 minutes. This may seem like an easy enough game, but it could be a long hour for those who can’t keep up. Depending on your endurance, how well you follow the rules and which version of the game you’re playing, be prepared to drink anywhere from 7 to 9 beers within one hour.
- King’s Cup
Two is “you,” three is “me,” nine is “rhyme” and so on…King’s Cup, also known as Kings, Ring of Fire and Circle of Death, is a popular card drinking game played by a group of two or more people. Before starting the game, players have to establish the rules for each card. Like beer pong, King’s Cup is played by house rules or the group consensus, which can vary depending on where you play. While the rules for each card are subject to change, most King’s Cup games involve placing a single cup — the king’s cup — and surround it with a deck of cards faced-down. One by one, each player takes their turn pulling a card and following its designated rule. It’s common for players who pull a king to pour some of their drink, whether it’s beer, wine or a cocktail, into the king’s cup. Whoever pulls the last king card has to drink the king’s cup, which could be a surprising concoction of drinks.
This game is perfect for college students drinking on a dime…err…quarter. Scrounge up a couple quarters, beers and shot glasses; then clear the table and you’ve got everything you need to play Quarters. The idea is simple: bounce the quarters into a shot glass filled with beer, racing to beat your opponent. Quarters can be played one-on-one, or as a group with an even number of players.
- F*** the Dealer
This isn’t your average guessing game. With three or more people, you start by shuffling a deck of cards and picking a dealer. Going clockwise, the dealer will ask the person next to them to guess the card. If they guess wrong, the dealer will ask them if it’s higher or lower than the card they guessed. The dealer lays down the card face-up, creating a line of cards organized by number and face, and the guesser has to drink the difference from the number they guessed to the actual card. The dealer will repeat two more times and pass the deck to the next person. If the guesser gets the card right, the dealer has to drink for three or more seconds and holds on to the deck until three people guess wrong. The game continues while one dealer inevitably gets screwed by the players easily guessing the card.
- Horse Races
Like Kentucky Derby, these Horse Races also involve lots of gambling and screaming. With a group of two or more, Horse Races is most commonly played by taking the aces, kings and queens out of the deck (12 cards altogether), and arranging the kings and queens to make a straight line. The aces represent the horses, which are determined by the suit each player picks. The aces are lined up in a row at the beginning of the line and with the flip of each card — they’re off! The aces advance whenever their designated suit is drawn and all others must drink. Some versions calculate seconds for the losers to drink, which are given out by the winning suits, and other versions involve betting with money or in exchange for drinks. The first horse to make it to the end of the line wins, and they give out seconds to drink to the losers.
- Never Have I Ever
Ready to discover some dirty secrets about your friends? Gather a group of friends, the beverage of your choice and sit in a circle. The game beings by everyone holding up 10 fingers and one player making a statement beginning with the phrase “never have I ever.” Anyone sitting in the circle that has actually done what the first player says must put one finger down and take a drink. The next player in the circle repeats the process until one of the players puts down all of their fingers. The questions can be as modest as “never have I ever gotten a tattoo,” to more revealing statements, such as “never have I ever had a threesome?”
For those drinking athletes looking for a challenge, Pirate is it. The game starts with at least four players and a deck of cards. The entire deck is dealt to the players at the table, but players are not allowed to look at their cards. One player starts the game by calling a suit and throwing a card. The game proceeds until one person throws a card of the same suit as was initially called by the first player. When that happens, the player who threw the card must drink for the amount of time denoted by the number value of the card. For instance, a jack equates to 11 seconds and an ace equates to 14 seconds. The other players in the game count the seconds for the player, taking as long or as short a period of time as they like. There are two rules during counting: The player drinking must call the next suit before they place their drink on the table. Secondly, if the player finished their drink and slams the empty drink on the table before the next person says their corresponding number, they take over the original drinking time. This game separates the men from the boys and is a great way to get the night started with a vengeance!
This is a game for the Quarters game enthusiasts who are tired of scratching up their hand-me-down table. A group of players sit around an open table and the first player starts the game by spinning a quarter, picking up a previously poured shot of the beverage of your choice with their right hand, drinking it, setting it down and picking up the quarter while it is still spinning with their right hand as well. If the quarter stops spinning before you can pick it up, you must try again. So why is it called landmine? Well, any of the players at the table who finish their drink can use their empty drink vessel to stop the quarter’s spin by slamming the can or cup on the quarter while it’s still spinning. When they do this, the player must repeat their turn and the cup or can remains on the table for all players. Now, when other players spin the quarter, it must not hit any of the landmines left on the table and if it does, they must repeat. This is a good way to ruin your friend’s birthday by placing a land mine 6 inches directly in front of him/her, and watching with pleasure as they struggle to get away from the landmines that surround them.