In honor of drinking week here at CJS, E Dagger’s here to give you a rundown of some of the most popular drinking games out there. CJS has field tested all of these games at length, so trust our expertise. Here is a brief rundown of all your college time favorites. Let the drinking commence!
Beirut / Beer Pong
Basic Game Explanation: Ten (or six) cups are set up on each end of a table like bowling pins. Teams of two alternate turns attempting to land a ping pong ball in their opponents’ cups. Success results in your opponents removing that cup and drinking its contents. The game is complete when one side of the table contains no more cups.
Perfect For… Anyone with a garage, a warm weather zipcode, or anyone who can move a game along fairly expediently. Stop chatting and throw it already, girl!
With one exception (see below), Beirut is the only drinking game that is sort of like a sport. Success in Beirut requires a reasonable level of hand eye coordination, and practice at sports and/or video games will aid a player immensely. Grade A trash talk can also be beneficial as Senor Limon and I derailed a British opponent with constant jabs about the Revolutionary War, came from behind and won the game. Suck it, limey!
Without a doubt, this is my personal favorite drinking game, and since you’ve read enough Beirut articles on this site (here, here, here, and here for starters) to last you for a while, we’ll move right along.
Dagger’s Fun Rating: Texas! Dr. Phil! Shoelaces! (3 of Dagger’s favorite psyche outs)
Basic Game Explanation: Two teams lineup on opposite sides of a table. Game starts with a member of each team chugging a beer and then having to place the cup on the edge of the table and flip it over onto its other side. Once completed, the next person repeats. The first team to accomplish this with all its players wins.
Perfect For… Blowing off steam during a hot summer outdoor BBQ after everyone’s good and liquored up.
Flip Cup is a summer game that only works with everyone sitting on the rosy side of shitfaced. Too sober? Not enough drunken chutzpah. Too drunk? Poor gameplay. Sweet spot of intoxicated? Flip cup madness!
If you’ve ever been unfortunate enough to play this game indoors, you know what a horrific mess it is to clean up. This is strictly an outdoor game because if it weren’t for the mess of flipping beer-stained cups over on a table, you’d certainly annoy anyone within a four block radius on account of the drunken cheerleading that happens during every game. One of the unintended benefits to playing Flip Cup is that no matter who you’re playing with, you’ll spontaneously invent a nickname for them as they try to finish their turn in the relay. Got a friend named Jared? “C’mon J-Rock!” A chick named Lucy? “Go Luce McGoose!” Your brain defaults into retarded fratboy mode during Flip Cup, and hopefully you don’t accidentally call someone “Skidmark” or something during a heated contest. And even if you do, chances are excellent everyone’s hammered anyway. Why else would you be playing Flip Cup?
Dagger’s Fun Rating: Sick, brah!
Basic Game Explanation: Two players at opposite ends of the table have a shot glass and a quarter in front of them. They must bounce the quarter into the shot glass and pass it off to the player to their right. If they make two shots in a row, they’re allowed to pass to whomever they please. The loser is the one with two shot glasses in front of them and must drink the penalty cup of beer in the center of the table.
Perfect For… Annoying your neighbors with incessant clanging and alienating that one friend of yours who inexplicably sucks hard at this.
Say, do you like lots of loud noise and furious action? Do you wish to spend your evening not talking to your friends while incessantly trying to accomplish a seemingly simple task with the focus of the Rain Man? Do you like the sound of someone banging a metal coin off a laminate or wood table over and over? If you do, quarters is YOUR game!
By far the loudest and most obnoxious drinking game available, Quarters combines the absurd focus of a carnival game rigged against you with the evil intentions of dodgeball as you make two shots in a row and decide who you want to screw over. Just like Pictionary, I’ve yet to see a game of Quarters end in a way other than someone angrily leaving the game. In the case of Quarters, it’s usually after having to drink the center cup one too many times. As you get older, loud, repeated noises fall down your list of desirable things to hear on a nightly basis, and causing drama among friends you see less and less falls even further. Quarters combines the irritation of cacophony with the unpleasantness of hurt feelings. Everyone wins!
Dagger’s Fun Rating: Me again? Fuck you for making it twice in a row.
Basic Game Explanation: A deck of cards is fanned out around an empty center cup. Each card has a different function, and each player takes turns drawing one card. They then do the action dictated by the card (e.g. assign drinks to other players, adding to the center cup, making up a new rule, etc.). The game ends when the 4th King is drawn and that person must drink the contents of the center cup. This game is fun with beer only; diabolical when everyone is drinking something different.
Perfect For… That asshole friend of yours who lives to enforce esoteric rules / people who like to get pissed off at slow-witted people for short circuiting a potentially awesome category after a Jack is drawn.
Don’t get me wrong, I love King’s Cup. But finding the right group of people to play with is like trying to find the exact right group of people to take on a road trip. Everyone has to agree on basic code of conduct (i.e. rules of King’s Cup), everyone has to have a similar level of intelligence (Not getting confused when “Questions” comes up or being able to sustain a Category for more than one go-round), and no one can bitch too much (“If I draw the 4th King, someone has to help drink the cup!”). Games either fucking rule, or they play like a round of Catchphrase with a group of senior citizens.
The hardest part is getting everyone to agree on a unified set of rules. I usually deferred to whomever’s house it was that I played in, but some people just couldn’t handle that. Do not play with these people! Anyone who steadfastly refuses to engage in a game of King’s Cup without adhering to their own personal set of rules will make you put that goddamned little man on the table every time you take a drink. And piss on that. That rule’s the worst.
Also, everyone who is reading this is thinking the same thing: “I always draw the 4th King.” No you don’t. Everyone thinks that. That’s what makes the game fun. Fear. Remembrance of a horrible King’s Cup is the flavor of the game. Wear it like a badge of honor, but seriously, no one ALWAYS draws the 4th King. You’re being ridiculous.
Dagger’s Fun Rating: 4s are for whores! 6s are for dicks!
Basic Game Explanation: You place five cards face down in a line. You pull the four aces from the deck and make players wager a number of drinks on one of the suits, or “horses.” The race caller then flips over cards one by one and advances the corresponding suit along the five card track. The first horse to cross the finish line wins causing the winner to distribute his bet of drinks to his opponents while the losers must drink their bets.
Perfect For… Livening up a party with some good-natured shouting.
A dead party is easily fixed. Find a deck of cards, pull the aces, set up a track, explain the rules of Horse Races to whoever’s standing nearby, and do your best Kentucky Derby impression as you flip the cards over. Encourage everyone to cheer for their horses as you build excitement watching the horses inch toward the finish line. Listen as the crowd erupts in divided disappointment and jubilation when the winner claims his prize! Don’t call them “clubs” and switch to “puppy feet” to the delight of the crowd.
Horse Races is guaranteed to get your weak ass dork party into high gear. Gambling, even if you’re gambling mere gulps of beer on a stupid card game, is exhilarating! This game works best to endear people to each other who don’t know each other well. Gambling will bring anyone together. Just ask John Daly. That guy seems happy.
Dagger’s Fun Rating: C’mon puppy feet! YEEAAAHHH!!!
Basic Game Explanation: The cards are dealt to all players. Beginning with the 3 of spades, each player must play a better card until someone runs out of cards. The first to do so is proclaimed “President,” the second claims “Vice President” and so on until the final two spots are “Beer Bitch” (who must get beers for everyone) and “Asshole,” the lowly dealer. You can make anyone of a lower rank drink whatever you want, whenever you want.
Perfect For… A group of friends that know each other well on a night when everyone’s already broken the seal.
Asshole’s perfect for that close group of friends that’s been giving each other shit for the last five years. The reason it works so well after everyone’s broken the seal is because you’re constantly changing places in this game like your damn pants are on fire. The president gets to claim whichever seat he or she desires, then everyone has to accommodate themselves accordingly.
The real fun of Asshole is the karmic implications. While once a President, the next round just as easily could lead to Asshole-dom. Better act as a benevolent leader because if you don’t, paybacks are a bitch and you’ll likely be drinking buckets and buckets and beer during the next round. The fate swings more times in a night of playing Asshole than it does during an entire season of even the most dramatic Mexican Telenovela. Good times!
Dagger’s Fun Rating: I’m an asshole, odey-o, odey-o, odey-o!
Fuck the Dealer
Basic Game Explanation: A dealer holds the entire deck of cards and asks a player to guess the top card. If that guess is right, the dealer drinks 10. If that guess is wrong, the dealer says “higher” or “lower” depending on where it falls. If the player guesses on the second try, the dealer drinks 5. If the player guesses incorrect, he or she drinks the number of cards away from the correct card. If the dealer makes three successful passes without drinking, he or she passes the cards to the next person. Play continues until all cards are dealt.
Perfect For… Combining intense boredom during the first half of the game, exciting and unparalleled gameplay for the next quarter, and extreme pity and/or anger during the final act.
At best, this is a mildly un-fun version of “Classic Concentration.” At worst, this is a game that makes you wish you were cooler in 8th grade so you could take up smoking and join the cool kids outside and not have to play this lousy game that forced you to hold all the cards at the end and drink 65 drinks in two minutes. No one ever does, but still!
This is an awful game that no one actually likes, but everyone plays for some reason that will never be adequately explored. Maybe it has to do with the reason that Russian Roulette scene in The Deer Hunter is so undeniably compelling. You face your drinking mortality every time you play this game, and whenever you’re not the last dealer, you breathe a deep sigh of relief and thank god you’re not sitting where that poor girl with nice cleavage is having to fake drink 10 drinks every turn. Or maybe it’s because you still play any drinking games and haven’t fully embraced adulthood. Yeah, maybe that.
Dagger’s Fun Rating: Just say no! (But I want these new people to like me!)
Basic Game Explanation: For simplicity’s sake, let’s say you have 7 players. Place 7 cards mixed up in the center of the table. Those 7 cards should contain one King (The Cop), one Ace (The Drug Dealer), and 5 numbered cards. Everyone pulls a card and looks at it. Whoever has the Ace must make a drug deal by winking at one of the other players without getting caught by the cop. After receiving a wink, that player then declares “The deal has been made.” The cop then must guess who is the drug dealer. A correct guess on the first try means the drug dealer drinks whatever amount the cop sentences him to, an incorrect guess causes the cop to drink whatever number is on the guessed player’s card. Rounds go on as long as they must.
Perfect For… Advancing sexual innuendo in mixed company.
Drug Dealer always starts out slow, but picks up steam once a few rounds get under everyone’s belt. There’s an air of mystery surrounding this game, a hint of danger, and indiscriminate winking going on that gives this game its sexy undercurrent. Casual drinking and friendly conversation occurs while surreptitious drug deals attempt to get made. It’s almost always easier to spot the cop in each round because he or she is the one watching everyone like your pet dog watching the pork roast get passed around the dinner table.
Drug Dealer often lasts a couple of hours because it’s a fun game with very few rules and a simultaneously relaxed and tense atmosphere. Relaxed and tense? Yep. Basically Drug Dealer is like having sex while high on pot. Which is, as everyone knows, awesome.
Dagger’s Fun Rating: Sexilicious!
Basic Game Explanation: Not so much a game as much as an endurance test. You take 100 shots of beer in 100 minutes, one per minute. This amounts to approximately 8.5 standard beers that you consume in just over an hour and a half. For professional drinkers/college students only.
Perfect For… Testing the limits of your bladder, needling the low tolerance of your smaller friends.
It’s sort of a game in that not everyone makes it to the end. It serves more as a rite of passage for idiot young men everywhere. I’ve done this twice in my life, and both times went exactly the same.
5 minutes: Boring.
10 minutes: Boring.
20 minutes: Boring.
30 minutes: Boring.
50 minutes: Jokes are funny.
65 minutes: Hahahahahaha!!!
80 minutes: Holy shit, we’re drinking again already?
90 minutes: I’ll bet I can make it the rest of the game without peeing!
95 minutes: Fuck, maybe not! Hurry up, clock!
97 minutes: When I get done peeing in three minutes, we should order calzones!
99 minutes: Woo hoo! Dibs on bathroom!
100 minutes: Ahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!
102 minutes: Well, that was fun. Why’s it only 9:40? Let’s go throw stuff at stuff!
119 minutes: Where my ‘zones at, bitch?!
Dagger’s Fun Rating: Do this more than three times in your life, you have a problem. Do not attempt over the age of 27. You’ll be hungover for a week.
In fact, that goes for most of these games. In short, enjoy your youth. As our esteemed friend Keithage says, “It is my estimation that 80% of lifetime drinking should be achieved before one turns 25.” He’s right, but damned if we’re not up for a CJS Beirut challenge. We’ll see you at our next rendezvous, and we’ll keep these games ready.
C’mon, puppy feet!!!
16 Mar 2010 E Dagger