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Welcome to the Drinking Games Guide

Cocktail Mixing Master has traveled around the world to bring you the best in classic and popular drinking games

Drinking games are about as old as drinking itself. Since the earliest times people have figured out ways to make drinking more interesting by combining it with games. Not to say that these games need to be played with alcoholic beverages, but it’s not nearly as much fun then, is it?

Games are generally popular among students – college and high school - and others in the 18 to 26 age range. Some people become just about legends based on their skill at a particular game(s).

The games essentially revolve around outsmarting your opposition players or teams and causing them to drink so much that they become too, uh, incapacitated to play.

Given this, most games (think card, board and dice games) can be “converted” to a drinking games. For example, Poker – instead of bidding with chips, bid with shots or chips and shots. The winner of the round can then nominate who has to drink all the shots won (and the winner of course keeps the chips).

As always, Cocktail Mixing Master encourages you to be creative. The games we explain in this Guide should give you a general idea, but feel free to change, add or subtract rules.

Games can be classified according to numerous categories including:

Probably the most popular and common of all drinking games involve playing cards as they are so versatile, easy to play with and familiar to most people. As mentioned above, most non-drinking games like Poker, can be converted into drinking games by adding a drink-rule or two.

There are many dice games, played with both normal and poker dice. You also get dice designed to be used specifically for drinking games.

This of course involves one or more coins. Often the coins will be bounced or tossed.

These games involve mentally outsmarting your opponents. It often involves thinking while drinking, which generally make them either-you-love-them-or-you-hate-them. Not suitable for “slow” people.

Any board game can be converted into a drinking game. For example 30 seconds - the losing team in each round wins. There are also board games designed to be played as a drinking game, like Pig Out.

Ø ENDURANCE GAMES These include games (well, not really games) like Power Hour and Century Club, requiring you to drink a shot of beer every 60 and 100 minutes respectively. Sounds easy? Try it – it aint.

These are of course not all the types of games there are, but covers the most popular from around the world.


Success events in games (e.g. winning round) often results in players having the opportunity to “make a rule”. Rules are often creative and intended to make the game more interesting, more fun and usually more difficult for your opponents. The person violating the rule has to take the punishment associated with the rule for example consuming a drink.

Popular rules are:

Ø No swearing
Ø No finger pointing
Ø No use of first names or proper names
Ø Swapping around of names
Ø Drinking only with your left hand
Ø No use of the word “drink”
Ø No showing of teeth
Ø Master of Thumbs – the rule maker puts his thumb on the table first, usually discretely and whenever they want. Other players need to do the same and the last player to do so has to drink. The loser then becomes the new “Master of Thumbs” and can start the ritual again at any time.

What’s more, the rules explained here and elsewhere are guides. Make up your own rules as you play to make play more interesting and fun.

Note: Drinking games have a tendency to lead to excessive drinking. Cocktail Mixing Master in no way encourages excessive or binge drinking. Please play and drink responsibly and never drink and drive.

Here’s a story from – don’t say you haven’t been warned:

An electrician from Russia who spent a night with a ten-inch (about 25cm) kitchen knife in his back only realised when he got home and his wife saw it.

A drinking pal of Yuri Laylin, 53, plunged the knife into his back after playing a variation on Russian roulette during a boozy night out in Vologda.

In the game, a blindfolded pal was given a knife and made random stabbing motions as his pals danced around him after drinking large amounts of vodka.

Yuri said he had no idea his pal had actually stabbed him and did not feel any pain when he went home.

He only realised what had happened when his wife saw him on the bed with the knife in his back and called an ambulance.

"We had a few vodkas and I remember playing some silly games and someone had a large knife. I came home, went to sleep as usual and woke up when my wife started screaming. Only then did I realise what had happened," he said.

Doctors who treated him said the knife had gone four inches into his back but had missed vital organs. It was removed and Yuri was sent home soon after.

"The alcohol he drank must have acted as an anaesthetic, otherwise he would have been in great pain," one of the doctors who treated him said.

His alleged attacker reported the crime to the police himself. Yuri meanwhile apparently feels fine and bears no ill-will.

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