It's been so long since I played any of these games I had to look up the rules! Below you will find only three common drinking games I happen to vaguely remember.

Presidents and A-holes

Generally, players attempt to get rid of their cards first. It is usually played as an aces-high game, although 2s are wild and the red 3 is highest, but 2s cannot beat red 3s. The black 3s are the lowest cards, and 2s can be played as black 3s. The player goes first if they have a 3 of spades in the first round.

Double 2s are not needed to clear doubles.

Special titles

There may be many titles used by players during the game.[1][4] Often, players move seats to sit in the order of their place, so as not to forget the order. There is generally at least a president, vice-president and scum.[1] However, this game is usually played with up to 6 players, and if so, more titles may be needed.

The rankings for four players are as follows:

  • President - the winner of the previous round, regardless of number of players.
  • Vice-President ("VP") - second place, regardless of the number of players
  • Vice-Scum (or other names) - next-to-last place. (For example, in a seven-person game, vice-scum is whoever placed sixth.)
  • Scum (or other names, commonly "asshole", "bitch", "bum") - last place in the previous round. If scum is last place, the scum gets to go first to start the round.

There are other titles for games with larger numbers of player with various names.

Rules regarding card passing can be changed to accommodate these two positions if desired. A large and/or odd number of players generally calls for having at least one Average Joe, but there can be as many as needed.

The President (or the Scum in some versions) deals the cards, starting with himself and proceeding in order of player hierarchy from low to high until all cards are dealt. If the Scum is the dealer, this ensures that the President begins with the fewest number of cards if the hands are uneven.

Burning Cards

Players can also play a card on top of another card which is called burning cards. This only is allowed with non-wild cards.


  • Single – a card that is played alone
  • Double (dub) – a pair of cards of the same value (ex. Two 5s are known as dub 5s)
  • Triple (trips) – three cards of the same value (ex. Three 5s are known as trip 5s)
  • Quadruple (quads) – four cards of the same value
  • Clear/table – when someone plays a hand and everyone else passes, it "clears" or "tables" or "burns" to the person who played the hand. This person may lead with whatever hand they wish. Also, if a player gets rid of all of their cards, it clears to the next person who can beat the hand, or if no one can or doesn't wish to, it clears to the player after the one who got rid of their last card. In addition, some rules have a certain card (usually a 2, one eyed jacks, joker or suicide king) as an automatic clear card.
  • Hand – any valid play (single, dub, trip, quads, etc.)
  • Kicker – a single card played with a four-of-a-kind to make it a bomb (in some variants)
  • Bomb – A single card that can be played on any card(s) to clear the pile of cards (often 2, 10, or 4)
  • Laser – having all four 2s
  • Go low - When a 10 is played and the person who played the card/s says "go low" the next person has to play a card lower than 10 or they have to pass.
  • Quick clear (completion)– One or more cards that are suddenly played by a player, regardless if it was their turn, which are the remaining cards that can complete the cards on the table, which also clears the deck (Example: John plays two queens, and Mary plays the other queens, even though it wasn't her turn, and clears the deck). This is only allowed in a few variants. (including 2s)
  • other variants triple 6's can burn anything even wild cards.
  • in some cases where jokers aren't available wild cards can go as follows low to high 2's, one eyed Jacks, king of hearts (suicide king). 2's beat any pair, one eyed Jacks beat everything but king of hearts.

How to play

The rules provided are merely one of many ways known to play the game; there are many different varieties with slight twists to the rules.


The person who is president (or the scum in some versions) shuffles and deals the cards. All the cards are dealt as evenly as possible in clockwise rotation.

After cards are dealt, the scum must hand over his best two cards to the president, while the vice-scum must hand over his best card to the vice-president. Variations with more than two top and two bottom positions sometimes require the scum to hand over more than two cards to the president, up to the number of top positions in the game. For example, a game with a secretary and clerk might call for the scum to hand over three cards to the president, the vice-scum to hand over two cards to the vice-president and the clerk to hand over one card to the secretary. In any event, the players who receive cards from the bottom positions always hand back an equal number of any "junk" cards they do not want. They are not obliged to pass back their lowest cards, but often do.


Play in president is organized intotricks, much like in spades or bridge. However, unlike those games, each trick can involve more than one card played by each player, and players do not have to play a card in a trick. Suits are irrelevant in the game of president.

The player on the dealer's left begins by leading any number of cards of the same rank (1–4; 5 or more are possible with wildcards, jokers or multiple decks). The player on the left may then play an equal number of matching cards with a higher face value, or may pass. (In a few variants, it is permitted to play cards with an equal value as the last cards played. Doing so may skip the player next in order.) Note that the same number of cards as the lead must be played. If the leader starts with a pair, only pairs may be played on top of it. If three-of-a-kind is led, only three-of-a-kinds can be played on top of it. (There are notable exceptions among the many, many variants in this game.) The next player may do the same, and so on. This continues until all players have had a turn (which may or may not be because the highest-value card has already been played).

Notes on game play:

  • The ordering of the face values is a little different from most American card games – the deuce (2) is the highest value (besides the joker, if that card is used) and is unbeatable, though certain variants allow a single 2 to be topped by a pair of 2s. The ace is next highest, the King the next highest, etc. with the 3 being the lowest. A few variants allow a single deuce to be played on top of any other combination, but typically games require the same number of deuces to be played as were originally led. In a few variants, the 2 (and no other card) can be placed at any time, even if it is not the player's turn.
  • When players pass, they can no longer play in that hand.
  • Players can pass at any time, even if the player has cards that could be played.
  • Players can never lead with a two or bomb.
  • Players can continue playing even after all other players have passed until the last player decides to stop playing.
  • The number of cards that can be led to begin any trick is only dependent on the cards in the player's hand and his/her strategy. In a game with two decks, it is absolutely legal to start out a trick with, say, seven 5s. (In this case, obviously, seven 5s are only possible if the owner of those seven 5s is the one who begins the trick. This adds to the necessity to "capture" tricks by being the one to play the highest card.)
  • Regardless if it is his/her turn, in variants that include "quick-clear"s, a player can complete the cards on the table by playing the remaining cards of the quadruple. This is valid even if the last card played of the quadruple before the clear was a face-down or face-up card the previous player "attempted" to play in a commonly accepted charade wherein that player shows the card before picking it up along with the pile. In this type of clear, timing is key and successfully pulling it off reveals the true skill of the clearing player.
  • If a player plays a card, and no other player can play, that card is discarded and the player puts another card to begin with. This continues until it returns to the player who played the last card and he can't play on his own card but must discard the cards and start with another card of their choice.
  • In some variants, a player cannot end on a 2 or a joker (or any card that instantly clears the deck), otherwise they immediately become scum/super scum, regardless of who actually got rid of their cards last. (For example, in game, Bob and Alice are the only people left. Bob has an ace and a 2 in his hand. He plays the ace, which Alice cannot play on. That card is discarded, however, Bob has ended on a 2, which means he immediately becomes scum/super scum, and Alice does not fall to the lowest rank.)

One can choose to not show how many cards are in their hand.

End of a round

When one player runs out of cards, they are out of play for the rest of the round, but the other players can continue to play to figure out the titles. A few versions hold that once a player goes out, players count remaining card values to establish titles, or simply count the number of cards remaining in each player's hand, and other versions have one player left with cards at the end.

When playing by traditional rules, once titles are decided, everyone needs to get up and move. The President is the dealer (or the Scum in some versions), and the players must rearrange themselves around them so that they are seated in order of rank, clockwise. Most American variants do not rearrange the seating of the players, so everyone plays in the same order each hand (though the president still leads the first trick).

The very first round of the game normally begins with whoever has the 3 of diamonds playing it, since there is no sitting President. If playing with more than four players and more than one deck of cards, another opener will be decided by the players. The 3 of diamonds may be played with other 3s. After the first round has determined player rank, subsequent hands are opened by the president.

President's choice and trading

In some variations of the game, after the president (or whoever deals) has dealt and everyone has received their decks, the players are able to trade cards with one another. In a group of four, the president gives two cards of their choice to scum (who responds with his two very best), and the vice-president gives one card of their choosing to vice-scum, who responds with her very best card. In some variants, the president may choose to allow a black market, in which any player can trade with any other player. When this happens, the President usually has a poor hand and needs better cards. The president may also allow table talk, which is when two given players (usually of adjacent ranks) let each other see each other's hands.


Certain variants allow for game-changing revolutions. If a player leads out with four of a kind, the hierarchy of all the cards will be reversed. For example, if 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,J,Q,K,A,2 is the typical order of power (from left to right), after four of a kind is played it would be the reverse of that: 2,A,K,Q,J,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3. If another four of a kind is played, the order would switch back. Revolutions are typically utilized in the game to create better balance and avoid having the same player remain in first position forever.

Around The World

Round One

In the first phase of the game, each player must make a prediction about the card to be drawn on their turn.

The dealer deals each player 4 cards face up but before dealing each card, the dealer asks the player a question about the card. If the player guesses correctly, they may "give" a drink ( a rival player who must drink). If their guess is incorrect they must instead "take" a drink. The players keep the cards that are dealt to them as they are required for the later queries and are the basis of the second round; The questions are:

Card One

For the first card, the player must predict the color of the card draw, "red" (hearts and diamonds) or "black" (clubsand spades).

Card Two

For the second card, the player must predict whether the value of the card drawn will be higher or lower than the first card they were dealt. A third, legitimate, but rarely chosen option is "same", where the card is predicted to be of the same value as the first card.

Values are usually ordered deucethrough ace, but other sequences, (such as ace low) are possible.

Card Three

For the third card, the player predicts whether the value of the card drawn will be between the values of the first two cards, "in", or outside of those values, "out". As with card two, there is a third option of "same", which is a prediction that the value will match one of the two cards already present.

Card Four

Unlike the second and third questions, the fourth card's question is not (directly) related to the cards drawn before it. Rather, the player simply predicts which suit the card will be. Depending on rules agreed upon before the game, the player will guess one suit, or simply guess "same" or "different" with regards to the suit drawn as to whether it is the same as the original three cards dealt or different to them.

Round Two

Unlike the first round, the second phase of the game is entirely chance based and all players participate at the same time, rather than taking turns as in round one.

The dealer deals eight cards, face down, from the deck, placing them in two columns, the "give" column and the "take" column.

The dealer then flips each card over in sequence, starting with a "take" card, then proceeding to the "give" card, and then moving to the next position in the column. If any of a player's cards (dealt to them in the first part) match the value of the revealed card, they must take or give drinks. If multiple cards in a player's possession match the revealed value, they are each counted separately.

The quantity of drinks each card is worth increases as the cards are revealed. The values are traditionally, "one drink", "two drinks", "four drinks", and "half a beer". If mixed drinks are being used, "half a beer" is considered to be the same as half a glass. If shots are being used (not recommended), there is no established value of "half a beer", but the implication is that a large quantity should be consumed.

When a player is giving multiple drinks, they may, at their option, split them up amongst multiple players. Splitting up a "half a beer" can sometimes be contentious as the precise relationship of this abstract quantity to an integernumber of drinks is undefined within the rules of the game, however, "eight drinks" is commonly used in lieu of "half a beer".

Kings Cup


  • 1 Deck of Cards
  • 2 or more players
  • Alcoholic beverages – typically wine, beer, or mixed drinks - or non-alcoholic beverages
  • A large cup which will be used as the King's Cup

Setup and common rules

In this game, players perform actions associated with each card. Sometimes, rules on the cards "reveal interesting things about the participants".

Usually, cards are shuffled and dealt into a circle around either an empty cup or a full can of beer (or a shot/cup of spirits or wine). Each player takes a turn drawing cards, and the players must participate in the instructions corresponding to the drawn card.

This game is highly open ended and all of the cards can signify any mini-game, the rules and the card assignments are normally confirmed at the start of the game. Depending on house rules, the game either ends when the last rule card has been pulled, or when the king's cup has been consumed; or when the cards are placed on top of the king's cup the game is over when the cards fall off, the one that knocked them off must consume the king's cup.

It is also common for the players to make up and agree on a set of rules every time the game is played.

Common Kings Card Assignments

Card drawnTitleInstruction
AceWaterfallTo perform a waterfall, each player starts drinking their beverage at the same time as the person to their left. No player can stop drinking until the player before them stops.
2Give 2 & possibly a thirdYou point at two persons and tell them to drink. You can also tell one person to take two drinks.
3Take 3"Three is me." You take a drink.[1]
4Give 2 Take 2You give out two drinks, and take two yourself.
5RuleSet a rule to be followed, e.g. drink with your left hand, tap your head before you drink, don't use first names, etc.
6ThumbsPlace your thumb on the table, and try to do this without anyone noticing. As people notice, they will also have to put their thumb on the table too. The last person to place their thumb on the table drinks.
7Raise your hand to heavenLast person to raise their hand will drink.
8MateChoose a person to be your mate and they drink when you drink for the rest of the game.
9Rhyme Time"Nine is Rhyme". You say a word, and the person to your right has to say a word that rhymes. This continues around the table until someone cannot think of a word. This person must drink. The same word may not be used twice.
10CategoriesYou come up with a category of things, and the person to your right must come up with something that falls within that category. This goes on around the table until someone can't come up with anything. This person must drink.
JackGuys DrinkAll the guys at the table must take a drink
QueenGals DrinkAll the gals at the table must take a drink
KingKing's CupWhen each of the first 3 Kings are drawn, the person who drew the card puts some of their drink into the King's Cup at the center of the table. When the 4th King is drawn, the person who drew the 4th King must drink the contents of the King's Cup.

Common Circle of Death Card Assignments

Card drawnTitleInstruction
AceEthan drinksAnyone named 'Ethan' drinks - anyone else participating can drink at their own leisure whilst observing the unfortunate Ethan.
2You"Two is you" Player points at a person and tell them to drink
3Me"Three is me." Player who draws card drinks.
4Whores"Four is whores" Women drink
5Drive"Five is drive" Everyone puts up their hands as if driving a car. The player who drew the card begins. They say "vroom" while tilting their hands to the right or left. The "driver" is passed to the player next to them in that direction. Players now have three options as the "driver" position is passed to them. They can choose to turn to same direction as the person before them and say "vroom", passing it one more person. They can turn their hands in the opposite direction and say "skert" (as in the screeching of car wheels) and pass the "driver" position back to the person who just sent it to them. Now that is the new direction and all "drivers" who turn that way must say "Vroom" until a "driver" decides to "skert" it back again. The last option is to say "beep" while mimicking hitting the car horn. This passes the game's position to the player opposite the current driver. The first "driver" who speaks or turns the wrong way has to drink.

e.g. Person A: *turns to left "Vroom" Person B: *turns to left "Vroom" Person C: *turns to right "Skert" Person B: *turns to right "Vroom" Person A: *hits horn "Beep!" Person D: *turns to right "Vroom"

6Dicks"Six is dicks" Men drink
7Heaven"Seven is heaven." Last person to get both hands in the air has to drink.
8Mate"Eight is mate" Choose a person to be your mate and they drink when you drink, and vice versa, for the rest of the game. If one of the mates draws another 8 card they chose another player and now all three have to drink. You can also merge two mated pairs this way. If all players of the game become mated, then all ties are cancelled.
9Rhyme"Nine is Rhyme". You say a word, and the person to your right has to say a word that rhymes. This continues around the table until someone cannot think of a word. This person must drink. The same word may not be used twice.
10CategoriesYou come up with a category of things, and the person to your right must come up with something that falls within that category. This goes on around the table until someone can't come up with anything. This person must drink.
JackThumb MasterWhenever the player who drew this card places their thumb on the end of the table, however discretely, all other players must place their thumbs there as well. The last person who places their thumb has to drink. The drawer of this card has the power to do this at any point until the next jack is drawn, or the end of the game.
QueenQuestion MasterThe player who drew the card becomes question master. Whenever this player asks a question other players must answer with another question until the next queen card is drawn and a new question master is selected. Players who answer a question from the question master without a question must drink. Simply making the ending intonation of your sentence in a questioning manner does not count and you must drink. Ex. Questionmaster: "What time is it?" Player: "Is it around midnight?"
KingKing's CupWhen each of the first 3 Kings are drawn, the person who drew the card pours some of their drink into the King's Cup at the center of the table. When the 4th King is drawn, the person who drew the 4th King must drink the contents of the Kings cup.

More From The Basin's Classic Rock