Please drink responsibly, and don't drive under the influence

So, we've all been there.  Out with a group of friends having a great time, and someone suggests a drinking game.  Eight shots later you've got less clothes on than when you started, can hear yourself talking but it doesn't sound like you, and fast forward 10 hours you're asking how you got home.  It's not big and it's not clever, but it happens right.

There are hundreds of drinking games out there, some of which are relatively tame, some are too confusing, and some are outright evil!  So I've whittled down the list to present 10 drinking games which I know are fun, hopefully there are some you know and some you don't.  Remember there are not hard set rules and many variations, so you may know some of these as played slightly differently.

1. 21's

This is a counting game.  Everyone is sat around in a circle (at least loosely), and the aim of the game is not be the person who has to say 21.

Whoever kicks this game off starts by saying "1, to my left/right" indicating which way round this game will start, being either to the players left or right.  The person next to them on the chosen side now counts the next number, and so on and so forth around the circle until someone is left with 21.  At which point, they drink whatever forfeit. However, the are some rules to interject and players can say the following:

  • A single number on it's own (e.g. "2") - play continues in the current direction
  • Two numbers in succession (e.g. "2, 3") - the direction of play reverses
  • Three numbers in succession (eg. "2, 3, 4") - the next player in the current direction is skipped

There are some rules around not using any of these statements more than three times in a row by different players as the turns go round the table, but it depends how complex you want to go.  We tend to not bother, and more often than not you've got a good idea of who you want to stitch up anyway so it's all too much to remember :-)

When a player is forced to say 21, play then stops and whoever that person is must drink.  They then kick of the next game.

Right, now for the fun bit.  They player who lost that round is now permitted to invent a new rule for the next, and all subsequent games.  It can be anything!  Here are some popular choices:

  •  Switch two numbers around (e.g. 2 is now 4, and 4 is now 2, so... 1, 4, 3, 2....)
  •  Replace a particular number with a noise, word, or action (e.g. 2 is now cluck like a chicken)

If you fail to remember what has been changed and observe the new rule, you must drink a penalty.  Each time someone loses, they are allowed to create a new rule.  Hilarity ensues.

2. Dirty Pint

Ok, this is a quick and easy one.  Basically all you need is an empty pint glass and any coin.  The objective is to not be the one who has to drink the dirty pint.  So, the premise of the game is you can pour any amount of your own drink into the empty pint glass, you then toss the coin and call which side you predict it will land on.  If you choose correctly, the pint glass moves on and the next person adds to the concoction.  They toss the coin and determine if they have to drink it, or get to pass it on!!

3. Fuzzy Duck

This game is a tongue-twister, which is of course highly effective when you have been drinking.

The person who kicks off the game starts by saying "to my left" or "to my right" and then "Fuzzy Duck".  This starts the game in the desired direction.

The rules.  The next person can say:

  • "Fuzzy Duck" to continue the game in the current direction
  • "Does He?" to switch the direction of play

Once the direction of play is changed the person next (previously before you) has to say "Ducky Fuzz" and the game continues in that direction saying "Ducky Fuzz", until someone says "does he", in which case the direction again reverses and returns to "Fuzzy Duck".

Any mistake made (I'm sure you can guess what the most popular mispronunciation is) and that person has to drink.

4. I have never

Another simple one that's light on rules.

Each player in the group takes a turn to say a statement about themselves which is true (well, if they don't want to have to drink anyway), starting with the words "I have never..".  If the statement does not apply to anyone in the group, then they must drink a penalty.

So for example, "I have never eaten a taco out of the bin".  If this statement is false (i.e they have) then they have to drink.  Or "I have never been to Italy".  If anyone in the group has been to Italy, they would need to drink.

If the statement doesn't apply to anyone, i.e everyone has been to Italy or everyone has eaten a taco of of the bin then the person who made the statement must drink the penalty.

The aim of the game of course is to say things you know will mean a number of people will have to drink!  Beware, you are about to find out a number of things about your friends you probably could have done without knowing :-)

5. Back to the future (or any film)

This is an old classic, and can be played along to any of your favourite films.  Choose a word (or words) that you know are mentioned a number of times in the movie, and decide what drink, or how many fingers of a drink, you must down whenever that word is said.  In this example:

  • When anyone says "Marty" drink one finger
  • When ever Marty screams drink two fingers
  • When ever Doc says "Great Scott" drink three fingers

This can be adapted however you see fit, and you can also add rules to individuals (Person A has to drink three fingers every time someone says "heavy", etc etc).

Perhaps avoid words like "the" or "and" otherwise you're in for a long night.

6. Slap

Ah, slap.  Everyone sits round in a circle and places their hands palms down on the table, crossing them so that their right hand is on the left and their left hand is on the right.  Now move your hands so that they crossover in front of the people either side of you.

To start the game someone calls "to my left" or "to my right" and slaps the table with one of their hands.  The slaps then needs to move in the direction called, creating a wave of slaps around the table.

Anyone who messes up and slaps the wrong hand or not at all, drinks.

As if that wasn't hard enough, if someone doubles tap their hand the direction is reversed.  Enjoy.

7. Card blowing

Nice simple one, and for this you will need a large enough bottle to support a deck of cards (wine bottles are good).

Place the deck on top of the wine bottle, and take turns blowing cards off.  The person who spoils the deck and knocks it off the bottle, has to drink.

8. Checklist

A favourite at stag do's or hen party, the aim of the game is simple.  Who can tick of the most items from the checklist. This is not so much of a typical forfeit game, rather something you would play whilst already drunk (hopefully!) and for a bit of fun - but watching people shame themselves to be the champion is worthy of it being on this list.

The actual checklist can be determined by whoever (best man, etc), and might include some of the following:

  • Get a free beer
  • Get a free shot
  • Get 10 signature on your own
  • Get an item of the opposite sex's underwear
  • Get a condom from somebody (new!)
  • Drink from someone’s shoe
  • Get a girls number somewhere on your body

The possibilities are endless.

9. Name Game/Drink while you think

Usually the subject matter of this game is celebrities, so the concept is that you all sit around in a circle taking turns to name celebrities.

The catch is, the name you choose must start with the first letter of the previous persons celebrities last name.  And you must drink while you are thinking of a name.

So, as an example – someone start the game with "Arnold Schwarzenegger".  The person next to them now needs to come up with a name starting with "S".  "Sylvester Stallone".  Next person, "S" again.  "Simon Cowell".  Next person, "C".  And on it goes.

10.  Centurions.  Not for the faint hearted!

This is a game of endurance and will get you very drunk, so beware before taking it on.

"All" you have to do, is drink a shot of beer every minute.  For 100 minutes.  Sounds easy right, as beer is relatively weak - certainly compared to spirits - and you don't have to do another one for a whole minute.

But minutes pass fast, and the drinking takes its toll quickly.

You are allowed to go to the toilet, but for every minute you miss you must return and drink that many shots.

This game gets messy fast trying to keep up with the clock, you have been warned.

Anyone who manages it, is declared Centurion.

In addition to list, there are also side games or meta games.  These range from only being able to drink left handed (or you do a penalty) to having to pose like a toy soldier whenever a whistle is blown.  These are great fun when out with like minded people, and doesn't restrain you to a table or such.  Here's a small list of ideas:

1. Drinking rules

Can be things like:

You are only allowed to drink left handed

  • No pointing
  • No swearing
  • No using real names (allocate call signs)

And so on.  Be creative.  The punishment for failing to adhere to a rule, is to drink.

2. Pose Master

If someone strikes a pose, everyone has to copy.  Those unaware have to drink.

3. Thumb Master

The thumb master puts their thumb on the table, and everyone has to copy.  Last one to manage it, drinks.


Do you know of any other great drinking games or side games?  Please leave a comment.

Thanks, and please drink responsibly?