Drinking games are a sacred and fundamental human activity. Whether you’re breaking the ice with strangers or having fun with friends, when an evening involves drinking, a good drinking game always helps to grease the wheels.
There are plenty of drinking board games you can buy in 2024 to whet your whistle, as well as limitless drinking card games for anyone with a deck and a knack for playing card games. But what if you want to keep your drinking games even simpler? When you’re too muddled for a multi-page rulebook (even if it is for one of the best board games there is), what you need is simple, silly entertainment.
So, grab your friends, your cups, and your beverage of choice – these are the best drinking games of the year. You’ll be downing pints, shots, or a responsible glass of soda in no time.
These are the best drinking games in 2024:
- Kings Cup – best for big groups
- Ransom notes – best for laughs
- Beer Pong – best for parties
- Flip Cup – best for bars
- Never Have I Ever – best for flirting
- Sevens, Elevens, and Doubles – best with dice
- Mr and Mrs – best for couples
- Quarters – best for skilled players
- Movie drinking games – best for film night
- Pizza Box – best for the recently hungry
The best drinking game for big groups
King’s Cup is a classic drinking game – you might also know it as Ring of Fire, Circle of Death, or Waterfall. You just need a deck of cards, some drinks, and some mates – it’s so good, we have a dedicated King’s Cup rules guide.
The point of King’s Cup is to start a drinking session off with a bang and get you part way hammered right at the start of the evening. Start by laying out the cards face down, in an even circle around a central cup. That’s the King’s Cup, and it’s going to fill up with a nasty mix of everyone’s drinks over the course of the game.
Players take it in turns picking a card from the circle – each card in the deck has a different rule for making people drink. You’ll find different forfeits in different playgroups, but here’s a common set of rules:
|When the first three Kings are pulled, add some booze into the King’s Cup. Then add a new rule to the game – for example, ‘Reverse the words Yes and No’. Anyone who breaks the rule drinks.
Whoever turns over the last King has to drink the King’s Cup, and the game is over!
|Become the question master. Any time someone answers a question you ask, they have to drink.
|Never Have I Ever – say ‘Never have I ever’ and then something shocking or scandalous that you’ve done. Everyone who hasn’t done it drinks.
|‘Categories’ – pick a category. First player who can’t name something in that category drinks.
|‘Rhyme’ – say anything. Players have to say something that rhymes. First one to fail drinks.
|‘Mate’ – pick a drinking buddy. Whenever one drinks, the other drinks
|‘Heaven’- last person to point to the ceiling drinks
|‘Dicks – men drink
|‘Jive’ – throw a dance move. Players have to copy the move and add something extra to it. First one to mess up drinks.
|‘Whores’ – women drink
|‘Me’ – You drink
|‘You’ – pick someone to drink
|‘Waterfall’ – Everyone starts downing their drink. Players can’t stop drinking until the person before them in player order finishes drinking.
The best drinking game for guaranteed laughs
Ransom Notes is a simple, quick, and hilarious game – and it only improves with booze. Each player grabs a handful of fridge poetry magnets and a little metal tile to stick them to. Players take it in turns to be the judge who flips over a prompt card for the other players to respond to using fridge poetry.
Trying to answer a prompt like “break up with someone by text” or “an inspiring phrase a nineteen year old on a gap year would get tattooed on their ankle” using only the garbled words from your fridge magnets always results in gold. Adding alcohol even provides the perfect balancing mechanic: if the smart aleck English teacher (or game journalist…) in your group keeps winning every round, make them down a shot every time and they’ll soon be no wittier than anyone else.
Although we’d suggest grabbing the boxed set to keep on hand, you can build your own Ransom Notes set by harvesting any “prompt” cards you might have in another game – say the infamous Cards Against Humanity – and whatever collection of fridge poetry magnets you’ve accumulated in your house.
The best drinking game for parties
Here’s one from the Drinking Game Hall of Fame: Beer Pong!
Bounce the ball and sink your shot into a beer, your opponent drinks. They land theirs, you drink. Beer Pong is always a hit because, at any given party, no matter the size, there’s always at least two people who reckon themselves Beer Pong pros, and will be itching to prove their prowess the second they get a glimpse of those distinctive shiny red cups.
It’s also a drinking game where everyone gets worse as the night goes on, and hand-eye coordination steadily goes out the window, which is always a laugh. Sometimes you can’t beat the classics!
The best drinking game for bars
How lucky were you when they were handing out Dungeons and Dragons Dexterity scores? The classic drinking game of Flip Cup is the best way to find out.
The rules are straightforward, simply down your drink as quickly as possible, place your cup on the edge of the table and hit its base as many times as it takes in order to ‘flip’ it and have it land, balancing, face down. Then move onto the next one – the first to complete a whole row of cups is the winner.
Unless you’re planning on drinking an ungodly amount (or only pour a little alcohol into each cup) Flip Cup works best as a team game, played as a relay race. This multiplies the excitement and also the stress of the race, as your teammates cheer you on or (more probably) belittle you and your lack of flipping talent.
Never Have I Ever
The best drinking game for flirting
Never Have I Ever is such a famous game that you may have played it long before you were old enough to drink. However, the concept works far better with alcohol-related consequences attached.
In this game, players take turns beginning a sentence with “never have I ever”. They must finish the sentence by naming an activity of their choice, and anyone who has ever done the activity must take a sip of their drink.
If no one has done the said activity, the person who suggested it must drink instead. Rinse and repeat until you’re all drunk – it really is that simple. If there’s any hint of sexual tension between anyone at the table, this is an incredibly flirtatious game as people tease out each other’s secrets!
Sevens, Elevens, and Doubles
The best drinking game with dice
You don’t hear about drinking dice games as often as card and board games. But worry not – Sevens, Elevens, and Doubles (also known as ‘sloppy dice’ or ‘hero’) is here to broaden your beer-based horizons.
Start the game by placing a glass of alcohol in the middle of a table, then take it in turns to roll two dice. The first person to roll a seven, an 11, or any double gets to choose another player to drink – and we’re not talking about baby sips.
The person chosen must attempt to down the entire glass before the person who made them drink is able to roll another seven, 11, or double. If the glass isn’t empty by the time another seven, 11, or double is rolled, the process begins again – and again, and again, until the drinker can beat the roller.
Several versions of this game have extra rules to make the odds a little fairer. You might agree to only fill the glass a quarter full, or you might agree to carry the game on after the drinker fails more than five times. Wargamer always encourages you to drink responsibly, so use this knowledge wisely.
Mr and Mrs
Best drinking game for couples
Mr and Mrs is typically played by new spouses at their weddings, but it can be a great drinking game for any occasion. There are two main ways to play.
In version one, seat two players who know each other well back to back so they can’t see each other. This could be two romantic partners, for example, or just two good friends. Someone else needs to ask the pair questions like ‘who is the funniest?’, or ‘who is the most likely to end up in jail?’ – get as creative as you like.
The pair put on the spot will need two ways to signal their answer (written cards or a hand signal can work fine), as they’ll have to indicate to the other players whether their answer is ‘me’ or ‘them’. If both players choose the same person, they’re safe – if not, both drink.
Now onto version two. In this game, two players take turns answering personal questions about each other. This might be ‘if your partner could go anywhere on holiday, where would they go?’, or ‘who does your partner hate more than anyone in the world?’. If a player guesses incorrectly about their partner, they take a drink.
Best high skill drinking game
Quarters is one of the most popular drinking games around, so there are a lot of variants with slightly different rules. To keep things simple, here’s just one that we think you’ll enjoy.
All you need to play Quarters is a coin and some cups (or glasses, or shot glasses – you can use whatever works for you). Place one container of your choice in the middle of the table, and fill it with an alcoholic drink. Everyone playing gets a coin (typically a quarter, if you’re in the States). Two people on opposite ends of the table each get an empty glass, and they must attempt to land a coin in the glass by bouncing it off the table.
Once they’ve shot their coin into the glass, they pass the glass to the next person, who then has to land their coin in the glass. This continues until someone at the table ends up with both glasses in front of them – when this happens, they must drink from the glass in the centre of the table and refill it. They then pass one glass to someone else at the table, and they must land a shot in their remaining glass before the second glass gets back to them.
Movie drinking games
best for film night
Movie drinking games are a great way to squeeze some more fun out of a flick you and your friends have watched time and time again. It’s simple, decide on an appropriate time to drink, like every time there’s product placement in Transformers, or each time Captain Jack looks bewildered in Pirates of the Caribbean. Then watch the movie, and look out for your cue.
The best thing about movie drinking games is how easy they are to customize. For instance, say you’re watching Lord of the Rings. If you want to go light, drink every time Gandalf uses some magic. Or if you want a more raucous evening, drink every time Gollum mentions the Precious. You can also have more than one drinking cue in a film, or give each ‘player’ a different rule.
Cheap pizza tastes a million times better when you’re drunk, so if you’re enjoying a drunken night in, chances are high you’ll have an empty pizza box lying around. But did you know this makes the perfect board for an impromptu drinking game?
The rules to Pizza Box are simple. You just take an empty pizza box, and everyone writes their name and circles it. Then take it in turns flipping a quarter onto the box. If the coin lands on someone’s name, they have to take a drink.
If (and this is quite likely at first) it lands on an empty space the flipper gets to write a challenge or rule onto the box, circling it. This could be a simple dare like a prank call or a dirty pint, but you can get very creative and come up with some hilarious challenges. Keep going until there’s no more room left on the box.