7 Drinking Games Every Student Should Know!

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Written By David Ellis September 2013

Oh, drinking games.  As essential to university as lectures and textbooks.

On further thought – scrap that. Drinking games are far more essential to university than lectures and textbooks.

After all, is there a more efficient way to go from this…

…to this?

…and I’m not talking about the hair, or the make-up, or the time travel.

There are, of course, hundreds upon hundreds of games, many virtually identical but with different names. In fact, by week three, pretty much everyone knows someone who claims to have invented a drinking game, which usually turns out to be ‘Ring of Fire’ masquerading under an assumed name. Still, we’ve collected our favourite seven, which just so happens to be one for every day of the week.

(Just a word to say – drink responsibly. After all, it’s a poison. Drink wrong and it’ll kill you. There, warning over. Bottoms up.)

1. INTERNATIONAL DRINKING RULES

So international that they need explaining to anyone who didn’t spend their late teens sat in wet British parks imbibing White Lightening. They’re a game in themselves but are perhaps most potent when mixed with the other amusements below.

It’s perhaps a stretch to compare the British Constitution and the International Drinking Rules, but one similarity is that neither is formally written down. Consequently, there are many interpretations of what the drinking rules really are. This can be great fun – a convincing straight face and a creative imagination can bring all sorts of hilarious ‘rules’ into play – but it does mean there’ll usually be someone just a little too into their artisan beers who is rather a bore about things. Use these for reference to shut him (it’s always a him) up:

  • No first names or well known nicknames. If you need somebody’s attention, it’s civility all the way: ‘I say, Miss Hughes, could you…’, ‘Why, Mr Stevenson, of course…’ and so forth.
  • No swearing. So unfortunately, ‘Oi, dickhead!’ can’t replace your mate’s name.
  • No mentioning the word ‘drink’ or its incarnates. This includes drinking, drank, drunk, drunken. You do not have a drink, you have a ‘beverage’, or your ‘sweet amber nectar’ and you certainly don’t drink it, you consume it, or imbibe it, or gulp down every drop.
  • You may not point with either the finger or the thumb. Elbows, heads and ankles instead please. Or any other body part one would use to point, depending on how drunk sloshed you are.
  • One must hold their glass with their left hand only. Vice versa for lefties.
  • A glass may never sit on the table empty. It must be refilled before it is put down.
  • All glasses must be one finger from the edge of the table.
  • …although you can’t mention fingers. Digits all the way.

More conditions than this and things get wearisome.

If any rules are compromised, the standard punishment is to drink two fingers (digits!) of your chosen beverage.

2. RING OF FIRE

Obligatory Johnny Cash picture. No-one has ever looked so good chewing gum.

Another hotly (boom boom) contested set of rules. Here’s how we do it:

Set up the game by placing a pint glass on a table and spreading a deck of cards around it in a circle. Everyone grabs their drink and sits around the glass and the deck in a circle, with no gaps between people. From here on in, if anyone breaks the circle, they have to immediately down their drink. Yes, toilet breaks count.

Choose someone to begin. They pick a card from the pile, which determines what everyone must do. The play moves clockwise and everyone must pick a card, until all the cards have been taken from the ring. You can choose what the cards mean, or follow these suggestions (which is the way we play):

  • Ace: Waterfall. Begin drinking. Everyone else must follow. The second person can only stop drinking once you have stopped drinking and the third person can only stop drinking once the second person has stopped drinking. You get the idea.
  • Two: For You. Pick someone to drink two fingers.
  • Three: For Me. Drink three fingers yourself.
  • Four: Whores. Girls drink.
  • Five: Thumb Master. You can now put your thumb to your forehead at any point during the game. The last person to copy the move has to down their drink.
  • Six: Dicks. Guys drink.
  • Seven: Heaven. Point to the sky. The last person to follow suit drinks.
  • Eight: Choose Your Mate. Pick a friend to drink with you… every time you drink, they drink.
  • Nine: Busta Rhymes. Choose a word and in turn, everyone must say a rhyme. Whoever hesitates or fails has to drink.
  • Ten: Word Up. Choose a word. From here on in, every sentence has to begin with it. Anyone who forgets to preface their remarks with the word has to drink.
  • Jack: Jack the Lad. Make up a rule for the Jack card, which must be adhered to for the rest of the game. The more outrageous, the better.
  • Queen: Dancing Queen. Do a dance move that can be copied. The last person to bust the move has to drink.
  • King: Dirty Pint. Pour a little drink into the pint glass. Everyone else must follow suit as quickly as possible. The last person to add their drink has to down the pint. A repulsive classic.

3. 21S

Counting hasn’t been this much fun since Sesame Street. The aim is, obviously, to count to 21 as a group. Form a vague circle and…

  • The first player chooses a direction of play. S/He begins by saying – you guessed it – “One.”
  • The counting continues. If anyone says two consecutive numbers, the direction changes.
  • If anyone squeezes in three numbers, the direction stays the same but a player is skipped.
  • Anyone who makes a mistake, which includes talking over someone else, pausing too long or speaking out of turn must drink two fingers.
  • If it reaches 21 (pretty unlikely), then the person who says it must down their drink.

4. BEER PONG

American as it may be, Beer Pong is referenced in so many television shows and songs that it’s hard not to be a little curious about it. Turns out it’s pretty fun, too.

You will need: a big table, ping pong balls, plastic cups, lots of booze and more than four players.

  • Split into teams of two or more.
  • Find a big table and in each half (across the middle, not along the middle), set up plastic cups in a triangle. Fill them with beer and spirits and all sorts. A variation in the drinks makes it all the better.
  • Each team stands one end of the table. Flip a coin to decide who goes first.
  • Everyone from the first team tries to throw their ping-pong balls into their opponents cups.
  • If any successfully land, the opponents must down the contents of the cup.
  • Play resumes vice versa.

That’s the basics of it – there are a million more rules, though. If your drunken brain can handle them, here is the official guide to beer pong.

5. I HAVE NEVER…

This is the game that when it’s suggested, most people go…

…or make like Sherlock:

It’s fun, it’s revealing, you get to know everyone… just don’t be the one to bring it up.

The premise is simple: everyone sits around and takes turns saying something outrageous they have never done. If anyone in the group has done that thing, they take a drink.

6. THE CENTURION

100 shots of beer in 100 minutes.

Wait, 100 shots of beer? That’s just over 4 pints, in an hour-forty. Not so bad.

…Just try it. No toilet breaks, no eating anything else, no drinking anything else.

Done that?

Change your beer. Try it again with Special Brew. Go on, I double dare you.

7. NAME GAMES (VARIOUS)

There are so many variations of these games, but here are two main favourites:

  • Drink-alongs: pick a song or a TV show and drink along every time a word is mentioned. For instance, put on Bob Marley’s Jammin’ and take a shot every time he sings the title. Or split into teams and play Roxanne by The Police. One team drinks on ‘Roxanne’ and the other for ‘Put on your red light’. Or watch Anchorman and drink every time Ron addresses San Diego, or tries to seduce a lady, or whenever the characters drink.Note: for those tee-total, download Twilight and take a shot of whiskey whenever Kristen Stewart smiles, laughs or visibly experiences emotion.
  • Around the world: This can be done with places and countries, but works well with celebrities too. The first person names a place (such as England) and the second person must name somewhere beginning with the last letter of the previous place name (in this example, Denmark), and the third person must name somewhere beginning with the new last letter (such as Kazakhstan). And so on.

Just once more for luck – have fun, but drink safely.

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