From a quick round of Never Have I Ever to dinner party quizzes to drinking games, we love organised fun. And while Ring of Fire is a reliable choice, there are truly only so many times you can force people to drink from the King cup. Plus, your cards are probably so sticky they’re essentially unusable now. Right? Knew it.
Which is why it’s a non-negotiable that you’re familiar with other drinking games, like these 30, so you can mix up said organised fun. So, whether you’re looking for something short and sweet while you’re waiting for your cab into town, or you’re looking to break the ice with your new housemates during Freshers’ Week, we’ve got you covered.
But remember to drink responsibly and safely!
The best drinking games
Back to back
Two people in your group stand back to back, drinks in hand. The rest of the group ask them a ‘Who’s the most likely to….’ question, and whichever member thinks they’re the most likely to, drinks. If one of them drinks, you ask the next question. If they both drink, they both have to drink again. If neither of them drink, they also both have to drink again.
This one is great if you’re looking for something simple and easy to explain. Quite literally you play the song ‘Roxanne’ by The Police and drink every time you hear the word “Roxanne”.” It’s as simple as that.
Others songs this game works well with include ‘WAP’ by Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion, ‘Girl on Fire’ (drink when you hear the word ‘girl’) by Alicia Keys, and ‘Hey Ya’ by Andre 3000.
A classic one. Pennies is the reason you constantly hear the song of coins lingering in the back of your mind on day sessions at the pub. The game is super simple, essentially you take turns trying to bounce a penny of the table into a short glass. If you miss you pass the coin onto the next person, if you get the penny into the glass you get to nominate someone to neck their drink. If you get a whopping three pennies in a row you can make up a new rule. The power!
Paranoia might not make you many friends, but it will make everyone nice and merry, quicker than you’d think – and you’ll be surprised how nosy you really are too. Players take it in turn to whisper a question to the person on their right. The person answering the question must say their answer out loud, bearing in mind the rest of the participants haven’t heard the question. E.g. the question might be ‘How many people in this room have you kissed?’ and the answer said aloud could be: ‘Two’.
If one of the players can’t take the suspense and wants to know what the question was, they have to drink to earn the knowledge. Even the most laid back of people generally crack at least once!
A more savage twist on Paranoia is ‘Person Paranoia’, where the answer to the question has to be a person in the room, and the person answering the question has to point at their answer. Want to know what the question was? Drink.
An oldie but a goodie, this game is a good one for a low-maintenance household, as it requires literally no equipment but your own voices. Sit everyone in a circle, and say ‘fuzzy duck’ to the person on your left.
Continue the pattern until someone chooses to say ‘does he’, to which the player on their right has to respond ‘ducky fuzz’, and then the game continues in the opposite direction with everyone saying ‘ducky fuzz’ until someone says ‘does he’ again and the direction switches and it’s back to ‘fuzzy duck’ again. Got that? Whenever someone fluffs their lines, they have to drink. It will happen surprisingly quickly.
Put lots of stackable cups in the middle of a table (say double the amount of people playing), all with a couple of inches of alcohol in, apart from two cups. Everybody stands around the table, with two ping pong balls placed equidistant apart (so if there are ten of you, player one and player five has a ping pong ball).
Starting with player one and player five (who also have the empty cups), take it in turns to bounce the ping pong ball on the table and into the cup (one bounce and then it has to go into the cup) before passing the cup and ball clockwise onto the next person to do the same thing. If one cup catches up with the other, the person who gets the ball in must stack their cup in the other cup, and pass it on – so the person who was too slow to bounce their ball in must drink from the middle, to create another cup in circulation. Keep going until there are no cups left in the middle – and the cup stacks going around the outside are about 10 cups high.
Where’s the water?
If you can handle your tequila and bluff like a champ, this is the game for you. It’s a roulette style situation where you line up a selection of various shot glasses, and fill some with clear spirits (vodka and sambuca also work well) and others with water. Each player then has to take it in turns to choose and drink and a shot, and say ‘mmm, water!’ in their most convincing voice. If you call them out and say they’re lying, and you’re right, they drink another – but if you’re wrong, the shot’s on you.
This is Twister, the adult version. The only rules are that you have to be slightly tipsy before you play, and every time you fall over, you have to take a drink. There’s absolutely nothing more hilarious and chaotic than playing this after a few wines with your mates, trust.
So, next time you’re planning on having a girly night in, dust off your old mat from the loft or grab a cheap one from Amazon.
Of course there’s a drinking game app, it’s the 21st century. Free to download, there’s standard Picolo, or a more intense version. If you want the latter, you’ve got to pay to download the harder levels.
Whilst the standard version is similar to Ring-of-Fire style tasks, like categories and rhyming, the paid version takes things to a new level, with waterfall and the floor is lava style drinking games.
When you download the app, each player’s name is added to the game, and it basically tells you what to do – perfect for indecisive groups on a night out.
Another excellent premise that requires no set-up whatsoever, the only rule to this tricksy little game is that you must add the name Bob to anyone’s name whenever you address them – for example, instead of saying ‘Sarah, can you pour me another glass?’ you would have to say ‘Bob Sarah, can you pour me another glass?’
It might sound basic, but we bet you good money you’ll slip up at least once – and your forfeit for forgetting? A set amount of fingers of your drink (you can decide how brave you’re feeling!)
The name game
Whilst we’re on the subject of names, here’s another game to add to your repertoire, and it’s all based on your celeb knowledge, which is probably why we ACE this one every time. To start, one player says the name of someone famous, and then the following person has to say the name of someone else famous whose name starts with the first letter of the other person’s surname (okay, we’ve said the word ‘name a lot, are you still with us?)
So, if player one says Taylor Swift, you could follow up with Seth Rogen, and the next person could say Reese Witherspoon. The drinking part? If you can’t think of a name immediately, you have to drink while you’re thinking.
This is the perfect drinking game if you’re at a house party with people you don’t know or pre-drinking in halls. To start the game, play a round of rock, paper, scissors to decide who is going to be the ‘task master’. Once they’re appointed, the task master can challenge someone in the group to do something. Rule; the more awkward and cringe, the better.
For example, the person giving the orders could challenge someone to pull in a random accent, and not break the facade all night. If the person appointed the task refuses, they have to drink. If the task goes ahead but goes wrong, they drink half their drink. If the task is a success, everyone has to drink, and the challengee becomes the challenger, and so on.
Note; the more drunk people get, the funnier it gets.
Do we even need to explain beer pong? No? Well we’re going to anyway. Create a triangle with 6 half-full (of vodka, gin, wine, Ribena – whatever your poison) cups at opposite ends of a table, in a 3-2-1 formation, and then split into two teams, each taking an end.
Players then take it in turns to throw a ping pong ball into one of their opponents cups – if it lands, you have to drink the contents and remove the cup from the table. If your team runs out of cups first, you’re the losers. Soz about that.
You’ll need a dice and six different cups of differing sizes, ranging from a shot all the way up to that ridiculous oversized novelty mug that you need to use two teabags in. Each cup corresponds with a different number on the dice – players roll the dice, and then have to drink the contents of whichever cup they’ve been assigned.
A word to the wise: be kind and put something with a mixer in the bigger glasses or you won’t last long!
Grab a glass, fill it with beer, wine, or whatever floats your boat, and place it in the middle of the table. Then grab an empty shot glass and place it in the glass so that it floats. Each player must then pour a small amount of their drink into the shot glass. Whoever sinks the shot glass (or boat), has to drink the whole thing. Nice.
You know those red plastic cups they have in every American teen movie ever? They’re called Solo cups, you can get them here now, and they’re perfect for a game of flip cup. This is a team game, where two opposing groups stand on opposite sides of a table or counter, with a full cup in front of each player.
The games begin, and the first players in line race to down their drinks, and then place their empty cups upside down on the edge of the surface. They then have to successfully flip their cups the right way up – not so easy once you’ve had a few – at which point the next player in line has to do the same. It’s a relay, so the first team to get to the end wins!
Never have I ever
A staple of Fresher’s dorms the land over, Never Have I Ever is a great way to get to know a lot – probably too much – about people in a short space of time. If you’re not familiar with the rules, you basically use ‘Never have I ever’ as a prefix to a sentence for something you’ve never done, and everyone who has done it has to take a sip of drink.
Start tame with subjects like food or travel, then move on to the more ‘interesting’ stuff (sex acts, basically).
Okay, so it’s a lot, and we’d never actually advise you to do it, but we had to tell you about this game, because the concept is hilarious. It basically requires you to consume any drink that comes in a can, and then tape the cans together to create your very own – you’ve guessed it – Wizard Staff, a.k.a the source of all of your drunken power.
The person with the biggest staff wins, but if anyone gets to ten cans (again, we stress, don’t try this at home), they automatically become the White Wizard, and anyone else who reaches ten after them has to duel them – or essentially, whack their staffs together until one of them breaks – to fight them for the crown. In summary, Harry Potter ain’t got nothing on this.
Invest in a Jenga set (there are loads of cheap ones on Amazon), and write a different rule on the top of each wooden block. Things like ‘drink two fingers of your drink’, ‘have a shot’ or ‘kiss the person to your right’ work well, or you can go as wild or lowkey as you want. The more you play, the drunker you’ll get, and the more clumsy your game will be.
Higher or lower / Screw the dealer
Sit in a circle with a deck of cards, faced downwards. Take it in turns to be the dealer of the cards, who holds the pack of cards in their hands. The dealer turns one card face up, and reads the details out to the group. E.g. Seven of hearts. The person to the left of the dealer must now decide whether the next number is going to be higher or lower than a seven (Jack, Queen, King, Ace are high).
If they get it right, the dealer drinks, and the next person to the left picks higher or lower. The game keeps going – with the dealer drinking each time someone gets an answer right – until someone gets it wrong, and the person to the left then becomes the dealer.
Ride the bus
Another game which involves sitting in a circle and using a pack of cards. This is quite a similar set up to ‘screw the dealer’, except this time the person doing the higher or lower guessing has to do the drinking.
Lay 15 cards out in a triangle shape on a table (one at the top, followed by two below it, three below that, four below that and then finally five). The player turns one of the bottom five cards over, and then must choose one of the four above it at random, saying whether it will be higher or lower. E.g. they first turn over a five and say ‘higher’, before picking a card from the row of four.
If it is higher, they repeat the pattern until they get to the one card at the top. If they guess correctly, they don’t have to drink. If they get one wrong, they have to drink as many fingers of their drink as rows left. E.g. if they guess wrong on the fourth row, they have to drink two fingers.
Replace the cards used with ones from the pack, and move onto the next player. Keep going until everyone has finally won (or, er, is drunk enough not to have another go.)
If you’re a fan of drunk Jenga, this is one for you, too. The best bit? It’s super simple. Just place an empty glass in the middle of a table where every player can reach it and fill it with a drink of your choice. Then, lay out a deck of cards face down around the cup. When it’s your go, all you need to do is grab a card and place it on the glass, making sure at least the corners are hanging off. If you touch someone else’s card in the process – drink; if your card falls off – two sips of your drink; if three or less cards fall off the stack – that’s three sips. If you really fluff it up and knock six or more cards off, you’ve lost the game and the forfeit is downing the drink in the glass in the middle.
A new twist on an old classic – wink murder. We’re sure everyone knows the standard rules but let’s recap. In each round, one person is secretly assigned the role of murderer. This person has the ability to “kill” other players by making eye contact and winking at them. When you’re winked at, you have to feign sudden death. Except, in this version, you take a sip of your drink instead. Genius, huh?
Truth or drink
Again, a take on a house party game we all know and love (unless you find it super awkward, that is). The options are simple, you choose to give an honest answer to a question posed by one of your fellow drinkers, otherwise – instead of doing a dare – you take a drink.
A super easy option that doesn’t even require cards – perfect for last-minute pre-drinks. To start, every player chooses a hand motion for themselves, think peace sign, Madonna Vogue hands, let your imagination run free. When everyone thumps at the table, the game is in play and the starting player does their own hand action, then someone else’s, while the others continue thumping. The person whose hand action was done repeats this pattern, and so on. Whoever gets mixed up with the gestures or takes too long to react takes a drink.
Ever tried to keep yourself from laughing when you’re a bit tipsy, only to find that makes things 100x funnier? This game taps into that exact feeling. Players write sentences on pieces of paper, with the aim of making others laugh at the contents. Mix up those scraps of paper, chuck them in the middle, and players then take it turns to pick one out and read it aloud, while trying to keep a straight face. If you can’t manage it, you guessed it, it’s time to drink.
International drinking rules
If you’ve completely exhausted every drinking game possible, but you still fancy a bit of organised fun, this is the perfect way to go. Whilst it’s not necessarily a game, it still requires skill and memory – something that’s slightly harder when you’re a bit tipsy.
All you have to do is carry on socialising as normal, but with a few added rules that can mix up the night a little. Essentially, if you break the rules, you drink, and if you don’t break the rules, you stay sober all night. Which one would you prefer?
You can also customise the rules to meet the theme of your evening, but the standard ones are as follows:
- No swearing.
- No pointing.
- You can’t put your drink on the table – you have to either keep refilling all night or keep carrying your empties. Unlucky all you tinny drinkers.
- No calling people by their first name.
- No saying the word drink.
Think you can do it?
This is one of the easier games. So you’d think, it would be the simplest one to play when you’re a little too drunk. Ha! No chance.
To play, each player starts counting a number and says it aloud, except 7 and its multiples. If someone says any of these numbers, you say buzz. If you, don’t, you drink!
Bite the Bag
This just sounds hilarious, and it’s a version of the cereal box game. Basically, put a paper bag on the ground and take turns with your pals to lean and pick it up using just your mouth. If you can’t get it, you have to take a shot. Every round, an inch gets cut off the bog until the last people standing can’t reach it anymore.
Disclaimer: It’s harder than you think!
Friends and Enemies
This is a super simple drinking game but it’s also one of the most fun. The game uses a 52-card shuffled deck, and cards are dealt out evenly to everyone playing.
The dealer starts the game by playing a card face up to the centre of the table. They then have to choose someone to take a drink. The chosen player must take a number of drinks equal to the number on the card. So for example, 1 = 1, 2 = 2, etc. When it comes to Jack, Queen, etc. here are the values:
Jack = 11 drinks
Queen = 12 drinks
King = 13 drinks
Ace = 14 drinks
However, if the chosen player can play a matching card, they can deflect the drink to someone else – hence the title, friend and enemies. So, if the dealer plays a 4, and the chosen player also has a 4, they can play it and choose someone else to take four drinks. This is known as deflection.
But if the chosen player doesn’t have a matching card, they can also ask for help. If someone else has a matching card, they can play it and choose someone else to drink. If no one offers to help, the OG chosen one must drink.
The player that has to drink then plays the next card, and play continues until all of the cards are played. Obviously, 52 cards is a lot, so *please* drink and play responsibly!