Guys, I’m tired of Never Have I Ever. It is beyond time that it is dethroned as one of the most popular party drinking games. Sure, yes there are tons of things I’ve never done, but I have such a hard time thinking of them in the moment and then you have to figure out the right balance of something weird enough that you haven’t done it, but not so weird that no one in the group has, and someone always ends up getting targeted. It’s just a worn out drinking game that kills the mood with too much time spent thinking and not enough time spent drinking. That being said, here are 10 party drinking games waaaaay more fun than Never Have I Ever and totally worth trying out at your next shwasty shindig.
1. Ride the Bus
Ride the Bus is one of my basic go-to party drinking games for getting a party jumpstarted. It’s easy, anyone can join in at any point, and it’s for the most part low-involvement, so people can chat while they play. All you need is a deck of cards, and it gets people drunk fast.
How to play:
The basic rules are online and different groups play different ways, but basically there are three rounds. First, you go through your group of people one at a time dealing them each a card. For the first card, you ask each person red or black. If they guess right about the color of the card you flip over for them, they’re good. If they guess wrong, they have to drink. You do this for each person. Once every person has been dealt the first card, you start with the second, asking each person up or down (meaning higher or lower than the first card they were dealt). Same deal. If they guess right, good job. If they guess wrong, drink. You deal a third card to each person and ask inside or outside, meaning will the number be inside the two numbers they already have or outside–like a 9 would be “inside” a 3 and a jack or a 2 would be “outside” a 5 and an 8. Numbers that are the same as one of the cards already dealt are treated as an inside call. The last round is the same thing, but each person has to guess the suit. Each player should now have four cards that will become their hand.
The second round is a speed game. The dealer sets out 8 cards, face-down in two rows or columns. You flip them over one at a time and players race to lay their card down if they have the same number in their hand. Only the first card laid down gets to count. You want to get rid of your cards. The dealer says either “give” or “take” as they flip over the card, meaning if you lay down your card on that option you either have to give or take a drink, depending on what was called. The cards go “give 1,” “take 1,” “give 2,” “take 2,” and so on so forth. Once all of the cards have been flipped over, everyone who has less than four throws in their cards. They’re free. If multiple people still have four left, you continue to flip over cards for them (just simplified in a pile from the deck saying take 1, take 2, take 3…) until only one person is left. That person is riding the bus.
This is the final and best round of the game. Whoever was stuck with the most cards at the end of round two is the fateful loser. They now have to play a game similar to the second round, but all on their own and they don’t get to stop until they call all the cards correctly. Just like in the second round, one card at a time, they have to guess red or black, up or down, in or out, and suit. Every time they get a guess wrong they have to drink and the process starts over again at red or black. The madness either ends by them calling all the cards correctly or the deck running out and them surviving, just hella drunk.
Hockey is a great game to play if you like something more active, everybody on their feet, paying attention, getting competitive. You gather around a table with all your drinks set down on it and grab a quarter. People will take turns spinning the quarter and trying to hit it into other people’s drinks to then make them chug, which really is the goal of all good party drinking games.
How to Play:
Like I said you need a table, everyone gathered around it, their drinks set down on it, and a quarter. One person starts by spinning the quarter into the middle of the table. They then call the name of someone at the table, making it their turn to try and hit the quarter into someone else’s drink. If they’re successful, the quarter is respun and the person whose drink was hit then has to chug for the duration of the spinning, which can be kept going as long as other players can continue to flick it without stopping it. If the shooter misses the cup, the game keeps going with whoever picks up the quarter next. The game can continue this way for as long as you want, or as long as everyone is drinking and having fun.
Other rules are 1) Each person can guard their drink with only two fingers on one hand, typically the pointer and pinky finger. 2) You can call “open net,” which means you aren’t going to guard your cup so it’s an open goal, but it also means that if the person shoots for your cup and misses, they have to do the chugging. 3) If while chugging the person finishes their drink before the quarter stops spinning, they can slam their drink on top of the quarter, making whoever hit their cup with the quarter then also have to chug while the quarter is spun again. 4) If while the quarter is spinning and someone is chugging, another player manages to stop the spinning quarter without knocking it flat (placing a finger on the edge of it upright), the person chugging has to finish their entire drink.
3. Drink While You Think
Drink While You Think is another one of the party drinking games great for keeping people attentive, invested in the game, and, of course, drinking. But it’s a bit easier ’cause you can play it anywhere, since you don’t need people to be so formally gathered around a big table. As it implies in the name, it’s a word-based thinking game where players are punished for not being quick on their feet. The longer you have to sit and think, the longer you have to keep drinking.
How to Play:
This one is easy. Fashion some kind of circle, each person with a drink in hand. Whoever wants to start comes up with the name of a celebrity, for instance George Clooney. The next person then has to supply the name of another famous person, but whose name starts with a C, the first letter of the last person’s last name–C for Clooney. So they could say Cate Blanchett, since her first name starts with a C, and the next person could say Bernie Sanders, since his name starts with a B, on and on. But if it takes them awhile to come up with a name, they have to be drinking their drink until they can answer. If they finish their drink, the turn passes on to the next person. If a player names a famous person whose first and last name start with the same letter like Amy Adams, the rotation of play reverses.
4. Most Likely To
This game is only for the savage at heart. It’s another easy to manage game where all you need is a drink for each person and everyone gathered round. People take turns saying “Most likely to…” and then everyone points to the person they think best fulfills the superlative. Examples are “most likely to get married first,” “most likely to get divorced,” “most likely to hate their job,” “most likely to live in a big city,” “most likely to have a lot of kids,” “most likely to accidentally kill someone.” Really you can be as tame or as crazy as you want. Like all great party drinking games, you get out what you put in.
How to Play:
The one is simple. People take turns sharing a “most likely to…” superlative. Everyone in the group then points to the person they think is “most likely to” do that. For every person who is pointing at you, you take a drink. 1 person = 1 drink, 5 people = 5 drinks, etc. Hopefully no one storms off insulted.
Titanic is a fun, heavy-drinking game for a smaller group of people looking to get drunk fast. It is one of the party drinking games that really needs to happen before the party itself. It takes a little more equipment (beer, liquor, a tall glass, and a shot glass) and is typically only played with two people, but there’s no reason you couldn’t play with as many as four. Having more people just makes each round end faster.
How to Play:
You fill a tall beer glass up with beer and then balance a shot glass in the liquid on top, not letting any of the beer spill into it so it floats. You preferably need a lighter shot glass so it can hold more liquor without immediately sinking down into the bottom of the glass. This is the game: players take turns pouring some amount of liquor (it has to be at least a drop to count) into the shot glass balanced in the beer. You go in turns, filling the glass up higher and higher until the shot glass finally gets too heavy and sinks to the bottom. Whoever was responsible for the pour that sunk it, or the last pour before it sunk, has to quickly finish off the whole thing, liquor and beer combined. You can play as many rounds as you prefer or are able to handle.
6. Cheers to the Governor
Cheers to the Governor is one of my favorite party drinking games. You can sit around anywhere and play it casually, but it still involves being mentally present in the game and lots of drinking. Again, it’s one of the easy ones that only requires some kind of circle and a drink in each person’s hand. The goal is to count to 21, each person saying a number, without anyone messing up, but as the rules and drunkenness increase, things only get harder and harder. All the best party drinking games snowball in this way.
How to Play:
Basically you’re counting to 21, each person saying one number in a row until you get there, but there are rules and the rules increase as you play. The first rule that every game starts off with is that 7 is 14 and 14 is 7. This means that when you would say 7 when counting, you actually have to say 14, and when you would say 14 when counting you have to say 7. So to start the numbers will go like this 1 2 3 4 5 6 14 8 9 10 11 12 13 7 15 16 17 18 19 20 21. When the group makes it to 21, everyone says “Cheers to the governor!” and takes a drink. The round has successfully been completed.
If someone messes up one of the rules, in this instance says 7 after the person before them said 6, they have to drink and the round starts over. When 21 is reached each time, whoever 21 landed on makes up a new rule. Rules need to be related to the counting, but other than that they can be whatever you want. Classic ones are switching numbers, like you say 5 for 10 and 10 for 5, or replacing the number with some other word or sound, like instead of saying 8 you have to make an animal noise. Every time someone forgets and messes up the rule, they have to drink and play starts over. The game is won when a rule has been made up for each number and the group has gone through the whole count successfully.
Fingers is another one of those chill party drinking games for a smaller group of people who are drinking motivated, but also kind of want to just sit around. It’s perfect for when the party is just getting started. Grab a partner, fill up a huge glass with beer, and you’re ready to get started.
How to Play:
Everyone sits in a circle around the glass of beer, close enough to touch it and semi-across from their partner. Each person then puts a finger on the rim of the glass. Per usual, each person takes a turn following the order of the circle. For your turn you count down (3…2…1…) and when you get to one the goal is to guess how many fingers will be left on the rim of the glass. People have the option to either lift their finger up or leave it down each time a guess is called so it’s a mental game to see if you can get right how many will be left down.
If you get it right, you get to take your finger off the rim and you’re free from possibly having to chug the whole glass. You are responsible for both yourself and your partner, so whichever team has the last person left in the game has to split and chug all the beer. Whoops.
Horserace comes from the high energy genre of party drinking games. You need a deck of cards, somewhere you can lay them down, and a fun crowd of people ready to shout. You’re all about to become heavy gamblers betting on the ponies, but instead of money your currency is drinks.
How to Play:
Pull out the aces of each suit. These are your racehorses. Let members of the group come up with a name for each horse and take bets, for example “I bet 10 drinks on Lindsey Lohan” or “I bet 6 drinks on Your Mom” (still funny). Once all bets are placed, the race can begin. As if they’re real horses side by side in the gate, line up the aces in a row. In a column perpendicular to the horses, you place 6-8 face-down cards. The horses “advance” by moving up each card in the column until they pass the last one, but they can only advance when the dealer flips over their suit from the deck.
When the last horse of the group reaches a “level” in the column, the column card is flipped over. Whatever suit is revealed, the matching horse moves back one level. The dealer acts as announcer, flipping over cards and narrating the horses’ movement as the race goes on–Lindsey Lohan is in the lead! Your Mom is catching up quick! He or she keeps flipping over cards from the deck with people cheering for their horses until the first horse passes all the cards in the column. This is the winner. Those who betted on this horse get to give out their drinks, those who betted on losing horses have to drink their bets, plus whatever they’re given.
9. Pizza Box
This is one of the party drinking games that has a lot of fun possibilities, and all you need is a pizza box (or really any cardboard), a coin, and a sharpie! It’s low key, but things can quickly get crazy. The more you play, the more things will descend into chaos.
How to Play:
Before the game begins, circles are drawn on the cardboard, one for each person playing, with their name written inside. You take turns flipping a coin onto the box, and if it lands on someone’s name, then they drink. If the coin lands on a blank piece of the box, a new circle is drawn and whoever flipped the coin gets to write a rule inside it. Finish your drink. Grab a partner (someone to drink when you drink and vice versa). Drink anytime someone says a name. Whatever you want. Now if anyone lands the coin in that space, they have to follow that rule. The game continues like this for as long as you want. It’s all a matter of how crazy you want to get and how crazy you make your rules.
10. Thunderstruck and/or Roxanne
Somehow this is both the simplest and the most harrowing of party drinking games. Everyone needs a drink (or maybe multiple) and you have to be able to play either the song “Thunderstruck” or “Roxanne.” whichever you choose. Players need to be ready for long chugging and no mercy if they happen to get unlucky.
How to Play:
Start the song and pick someone to start the drinking. Whenever “thunder” or “Roxanne” is said for the first time (depending on which song you play) that person starts chugging, and they don’t get to stop until it’s said again. The next time it’s said, the chugging moves onto the next person in the circle, and they chug until it’s said again. For the most part, the words are pretty evenly and easily paced throughout the songs, making you chug for a reasonable amount of time, but some unlucky person will get the long break where they just have to keep drinking and drinking until finally the word is called and the chugging switches once again. The suspense is wondering who will get the long drink, and hoping they can make it.
There are a ton of fun party drinking games out there, but here’s a solid 10 to start with. You can finally stop sitting around wondering what to say and start livening up the party with actually fun games and all the drinking they entail. There are games here for every crowd and every speed so pick whatever fits your group or your party best. Give them all a try to see what game your friend group will become addicted to, sacrificing their livers in the process. No matter what happens, kids, just drink responsibly, and try to stay off the bus.