Drinking games are games which involve drinking alcoholic beverages. The point is either simply to drink, or to make your opponent drink more than you do, so that they become drunk and drink even more, and so forth. Cottabus is an ancient game involving skill in pouring a swig of wine into a large vessel. A modern variant of Cottabus, known as Arrogance, has players take turns to add as much beverage as they like to a central jug before correctly calling a flip of a coin. Failure to call the coin correctly (or dropping it, a real possibility during the later stages of the game), means the unlucky (or clumsily drunk) player must drink the entire contents of the central jug.
It is not immediately obvious whether the person with the highest intoxication level at the end of the game is actually the winner or the loser or both. It largely depends on whether each player has to provide their own beverages or if they share beverages from a common pool.
Common drinking games
Perhaps the simplest drinking games are the ones in which players compete to out-drink each other. Players take turns taking shots, and the last person standing is the winner. Some games have rules involving the "cascade", which encourages each player to drink constantly from their cup so long as the player before him doesn't stop drinking. Such games can also favor speed over quantity, in which case players might, for example, race to drink a beer the fastest.
Numerous drinking games are based on popular movies, television shows, and even books. The rules for these usually instruct the players to drink when some event occurs, such as a character speaking a catch phrase in comedies, or the use or mention of a particular technology in science fiction. Typically the size of the drink is inversely proportional to the frequency of the event — an event that happens rarely can call for finishing one's current can/bottle. These games might have simple, easily remembered rules, or they might have detailed rules, often available on the Internet.
A generalization of the above can apply to other circumstances in which the participants are observing a situation in which certain predictable events occur, such as a movie, a football game, or other people at a party or in a bar. For example, each player may be assigned the name or number of a football player, and must drink when that name or number is mentioned by the commentators or shown on the screen. Events such as the State of the Union address, the Oscars, and the Eurovision Song Contest (for example) have become targets of such drinking games, often as a means of relieving the monotony of a long event.
Some drinking games, such as Quarters, involve performing certain skills, which become more difficult as the level of intoxication increases. Other drinking games rely on memory; each player must repeat a series of events, and then add to it. If a player repeats the series incorrectly, he or she must take a drink. Another variety is a game that is played constantly throughout a night of drinking, for example, only drinking with your other hand (left hand if you're right-handed, and vice versa). If a player accidentally picks up their glass with the wrong hand, they have to finish their drink. Such games start off simple, but become much more challenging as the game continues, the players get more drunken and their coordination and memory deteriorate.
Other drinking games
President (aka Asshole, Presidents & Assholes)
- Drink your face off
- Pub Crawls
- Sheps Deal
Skill, memory and repetition
Movies, television, music, etc.
Games to decide who buys the next round
Other party and pub games
Conversion of other games
Almost any game of skill or chance that does not traditionally involve drinking can theoretically be converted into a dinking game. In some games, conversion could be as easy as letting the winner distribute shots to the other players, while in more complicated games, shots can be forced upon players for specific events in the game.
For example, in the game of chess, players may have to take drinks when one of their pieces are captured (or perhaps the opposite, where they have to dink upon capturing a piece). In a popular variant of baseball called Beer Ball, players have to drink some beer every time they reach a base.
Players should exercise caution before choosing to add drinking to any sport that could be dangerous under intoxication.
Last updated: 07-31-2005 00:29:16
Last updated: 10-29-2005 02:13:46