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Matthew Krimmel

Best Drinking Card Games: 10 Best Drinking Card Games

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People love getting together to have a few drinks at a social gathering-especially on National Cocktail Day. We also enjoy playing fun and competitive games at a party, whether they're classic board games or the latest video games. And, from high-rise city apartments and suburban homes to college dormitories, people everywhere love to play the best drinking card games.

The upcoming months might be the perfect time to catch up with friends, family, and colleagues. As the pandemic loosens its grip and warm weather approaches, people are more excited than ever to get together.

You might be opening a bottle of your favorite wine or popping a bottle of champagne to celebrate with some friends. Either way, there are drinking card games for every occasion.

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Best Drinking Card Games

Kings Cup

Kings Cup is one of the most popular drinking card games, especially with larger groups. All you need to play is a deck of cards, a cup, and your favorite alcohol. It's one of the best drinking card games to play with a large group of friends.

For a basic overview of how to play Kings Cup, the players sit in a circle with a cup in the middle. They take turns choosing a card from the deck, with a designated action for each card selected. For example, a participant who draws the ace card must start drinking, followed in quick succession by players to their left.

If a player selects a two, they can choose someone else to drink. Three means the person who drew it must drink, and so on. When someone picks up a jack, all players will play "Never Have I Ever." The Kings Cup rules are easy to learn and remember once you've played the game.

President Card Game

The main objective for how to play President card game is to get rid of your cards. You don't want to be the last person holding any cards. The President begins by showing a pair of matching cards. Players take turns trying to beat the President's cards by revealing a higher matching pair or passing their turn.

After all the players have had a turn, remove the cards from the table. The person who played the last pair of cards in the previous round becomes President for the next one. The scum, the last person holding cards in the previous round, gives their best card to the President. They also must get a round of drinks for the table. It's a popular drinking card game for college parties.

Give and Take

Set up two parallel rows of 12 cards on the table, with one row called the "truth" row and the other the "dare" row. Deal four cards to each player and begin with the player to the dealer's left. Each participant takes a turn flipping over a card in either the truth row or dare row.

When someone has a card that matches the flipped card, they must participate in truth or dare, determined by the card flipper. If nobody has a matching card, continue the game with the next person drawing a card.

If a player doesn't complete a dare or refuses to tell the truth, they must drink. The duration of time is according to the position of the flipped card (ex. 10th card in the row of cards means drink for ten seconds). The game finishes after revealing all cards in both rows.

Best Drinking Card Games for 2


Suits is a game that's great for two players. To begin play, shuffle the deck of cards, and lay them face down in a circle on a table. The first player guesses a suit (ex. "Clover," "Diamond," "Heart," or ("Spade"), chooses a card from the circle and turns it over.

If the player's guess is correct, they tell the other player to drink and select another card. If their guess is incorrect, they must drink. The two players continue the game, alternating back and forth until there aren't any cards left to flip. At this point, the player with the higher number of correct guesses wins.

Horse Races

Start this two-player game by removing all four aces from your deck of cards. First, line up 5-10 cards face down in a vertical line. Then, place the four aces in a line horizontal to the other cards and facing up. These four aces represent the horses in the game.

Place an alcohol bet on one of the four horses lined up and begin the race. The dealer takes the remaining deck cars and starts revealing them. If the card the dealer draws is a spade, then the ace of spades moves up one space. It continues until one of the four horses (or aces) reaches the finish line.

If your horse wins, your opponent has to hold up their end of the bet and drink. If your opponent's horse crosses the finish line first, then you must make good on your promise.

Best Drinking Card Games for 3

Higher or Lower Card Game

Higher or Lower is one of the best drinking card games for three players. It tests the players' ability to guess correctly. A player receives a card, then guesses whether the next card will be higher or lower. It's really that simple to play!

If their guess is incorrect, then they choose an opponent to drink. A correct guess means that the player continues to guess higher or lower. Once a player has correctly guessed three consecutive cards, they can try the next card or take a pass. A pass means the next person will start where the previous player stopped.  

The Lady Has The Deck

The Lady Has the Deck is another fun drinking card game for three players- a booze-infused version of Old Maid. To start, remove three of the four queens from a deck of cards, leaving only one. Shuffle the deck and deal it equally between the three players. Each player starts drawing a card in turn until someone picks up a queen.

When a player draws one of the queens, there are three options:

  • Take a shot
  • Perform a dare
  • Drink an awful mixture of alcohol prepared for the game

Best Drinking Card Games for Small Groups

Pyramid Card Game

Pyramid is one of the best drinking card games for a group of 3-5 people. Shuffle the deck of cards and lay them down in the shape of a pyramid on the table. For example, start with four cards at the bottom, then three, two, and one on the upper levels when setting up the pyramid. Then, deal the remaining cards to the participants.

The first player flips a card from the bottom row. If they have a matching card, they can order the second person to sip their drink. If the first player's card doesn't match, they must drink. The game continues into the higher rows, where the number of sips for each row increases.

Once the players reach the top card, the player flips the card. If one of their cards matches, they give another player an entire drink to finish. If the cards don't match, the player who flipped the top card must finish their drink.  When all cards are flipped, the players shuffle them and create a new pyramid. The second player in the first game gets to begin the new game. That's a basic overview of how to play pyramid card game.

Across The Bridge

To start this drinking card game, shuffle the deck and place ten cards face down in a line. It represents the bridge in this game, and the objective is to cross it. The first player should flip over a card included in the bridge.

If it shows a number between two and ten, the player flips the next card. If it's a jack, queen, king, or ace, the player must drink. They also add more cards to the bridge (one for a jack, two for a queen, etc.).

The goal is to try and avoid adding cards to the bridge. The game continues until the participant flips the last card in the bridge and is declared the winner. Once this happens, all the other players must drink.

Spoons Card Game

Players of the Spoons card game begin by taking a position somewhere around a table. Go through the deck of cards and leave in one set of four-of-a-kind for each player in the game. Next, place enough spoons in the middle of the table for all but one player. Then, deal out the deck of cards, with four cards for each player.

Players will take turns selecting a card from the deck. In the first and ensuing rounds, there is a "caller" who shouts "pass." The caller sends a signal that players must pass a card to their left (unless "right" is specifically directed).

The goal is to collect four-of-a-kind. Once this happens, that player grabs a spoon from the table with all other players also rushing to get one. The person who doesn't get one has to drink. If two participants grab the same spoon, whoever holds the large part is considered its owner.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Best Drinking Card Games

Have some questions about the best drinking card games? Here are some frequently asked questions and their answers!

How Many Players Are Typically Needed for Drinking Card Games?

The number of players can vary depending on the game, but many drinking card games can accommodate anywhere from 2 to 10 or more players.

Are Drinking Card Games Suitable for Everyone?

No. Drinking card games are typically designed for adults of legal drinking age who are responsible drinkers. It's important to play these games responsibly and know your limits.

Can Drinking Card Games Be Modified to Be Non-Alcoholic?

Yes! Many drinking card games can be modified to be non-alcoholic by using alternative drinks such as water, soda, or juice. Additionally, you can create your own rules to fit the preferences of your group.

Are There Any Safety Tips to Keep in Mind When Playing Drinking Card Games?

Yes. Make sure everyone is aware of the rules and feels comfortable participating. It's also a good idea to have non-alcoholic drinks available and to never pressure anyone into drinking more than they want to.

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A Drinking Card Game For Every Occasion

You might be staying inside on a rainy night with your partner or meeting a group of friends at a party. Either way, there's a great drinking card game that will suit the occasion.

Remember to drink responsibly and arrange to stay overnight or grab an Uber or Lyft to get back to your place. It could be the perfect evening for having fun and creating memories with friends, family, or colleagues.

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