King’s Cup, Circle of Death, or as I know it, Ring of Fire. Almost everyone’s go-to drinking game to start off a night for its uncanny ability to get you good and wasted. This game is usually better played with 5 or more drinking buddies present and more fun when every member has a different drink.
Just in case you live under a rock, let’s go over the basic rules of the game before we get into the alternatives: A cup is surrounded by a ‘ring’ of playing cards face down. Each card has a designated rule assigned to it, and players take it in turns going around the table picking up cards and obeying the agreed upon rules. Simple, right? That’s why it’s fun!
Like any classic game there are a ton of alternate rules created. Usually it’s by groups of friends that play this game way too often (you know who you are) and eventually they get swept up on the internet and popularised. Some rules stick as good as the originals, other fade. And others need way more publicity! Here’s a list of 5 of my favourite alternate ring of fire rules I’ve had the pleasure of playing with my friends.
1. The ‘Goblet’ Of Fire – Harry Potter Rules!
Ever pretended you were a wizard when you were a kid? Well now you can as an adult too! Goblet of Fire is a creative alternative if you ever get bored of the original rules to ring of fire. It puts a wacky wizarding twist on things, and is best played with best Potter-heads.
The first thing you going to want to do is assign a house to everyone. This is easily done by assigning houses to suits and getting everyone to pick a card blind. Hearts is Gryffindor, Spades is Slytherin, Clubs is Hufflepuff and Diamonds is Ravenclaw. These houses become important throughout the game as you learn the rules for each card.
Props are needed for this game, so be warned this alternate rule takes a little prep time.
My personal favourite is “Expelliarmus”, replacing the classic “Seven: Heaven”. When the seven appears, all players must grab a wand and shout “Expelliarmus”. The player without a wand has to dirnk.
Click here for a full list of alternate ‘Goblet’ of Fire rules, brought to you by The British Student!
2. Love Hearts – Kiss The Person To Your Left If You Pick Up A Heart
This rule is as a sweet as it sounds, but I’ve found it works better once you’ve already had a bit to drink, otherwise it might just be awkward. Maybe save it for the second or third round?
In this ring of fire alternative, an entire suit becomes a new rule on its own. The basic rule is if you pick up a heart then you have to kiss the person to your left, but like many things, the fun leaves when the pressure piles on. So don’t feel the need to press on if it isn’t fitting your idea of ‘fun’.
That being said, a peck on the cheek from a friend when your just a little tipsy always lives a warm feeling in your stomach. Or maybe that’s just the alcohol?
3. The Beer Can – Whoever Breaks It, Downs It
I think we can all agree that the worst part of ring of fire is that god awful s*** mix that hangs over everyone’s heads. I swear every time I see someone else downing it instead of me, so much tension drains from my shoulders.
So why not use a beer instead? This is a great rule for those who can’t stand downing a cocktail of everyone else’s drinks. Take a can of beer and use it as the centre cup. As cards get picked up, slowly start to slip them under the can’s tab. The person whose card causes the tab to finally give way and make that satisfying ‘tsssk!’ noise has to down the whole thing.
If you’re a beer lover like me then you’ll have no complaints.
4. The D Word – Triple D Threat. You Can’t Say Drink, Drank or Drunk
The D word is a fun rule that’s commonly been used when a jack comes up and you have to come up with a new rule on the fly. But Why not take it to the next level?
Have this rule going on throughout the entire game from start to finish and watch as you and your friends descend into drunken anarchy. This is a good rule if your interested in getting drunk fast before heading out for the night. Me and my friends once tried this out and it worked like a charm. A little too well actually. We never made it out the door in the end, and our club night turned into a house party. Regardless, it was still legendary.
5. I’m Bilingual, Jack! – Pick Up A Jack, Pick Up An Accent
Crikey mate! That quite the rule you got there! This ring of fire rule is fairly simple. Instead of the jack being its usual ‘new rule’, it becomes the designated accent setter and the other players have to pick an accent for your to try and mimic. If you’re like me, it’s more like try and fail.
Watch the ridiculous hilarity unfold as the friend to your left is suddenly from American southerner, while the friend to your right is from the Australian outback.
Rules like this can be hard to implement. When all you want to do is chill with your friends, you don’t want to have to worry about talking in a weird accent the entire time. If this sounds like you, you could try adding this rule in on the second or third round. See if you feel more open about it after you’ve had a few.