Sure, college is supposed to be about expanding your mind and working towards the degree that will someday help to land you a job. However, for most college kids, partying is also a cornerstone of the college experience. Sitting around drinking with your friends can get pretty boring. This is why we need drinking games to liven the experience up.
There are some drinking games that are fairly ubiquitous and some others that aren’t as well-known. Here’s a list of the absolute best college drinking games. Some are old classics, and some are new, but they’re all perfect for livening up a Friday night.
Drink-A-Palooza is a board game that combines many of the games on our list into one package. Since party goers all have different strengths (some might be terrible at beer pong, but great at quarters and so forth) this game allows everyone to a chance to shine.
Drink-A-Palooza also helps a get together not become stale, since the drinking challenges are constantly changing. Drinking games included here are beer pong, quarters, make a rule, kings cup, flip cup, socials, waterfalls,high / low, steal a bottle, drunk tank, booze your turn, and pour in drink cup.
This is an easy way to get all the classics in one box.
Need some other ideas? We have you covered with a list of classic drinking games as well as some creative picks we bet you’ve never come across before:
Beer pong is practically a right of passage for all college kids. There have been tons of variations on beer pong throughout the years, and different groups of friends might have slightly different rules. However, here is the most basic set of guidelines for a classic game of beer pong.
First, you’re going to need a ping-pong table (we recommend a dedicated painted beer pong table and a pack of ping-pong balls (plan ahead and you can stock up for practically nothing). You’ll also need a package of 16-oz plastic cups; the classic Red Solo cups are perfect. You will need to set up two formations of 10 cups on either end of the ping-pong table. The cups should form a triangle, similar to how balls are racked at the beginning of a game of pool. Fill each cup with roughly three to four ounces of beer.
You can play beer pong in teams of one or two players. Each team stands on either side of the table. The goal is to toss a ping-pong ball into one of the cups on the opposing team’s side. You can toss the ball directly into a cup, and the opposing team is not permitted to try to swat the ball away. Or, for an easier shot, you can bounce the ball when you toss it, but in this scenario, the opposing team is permitted to try to swat the ball away.
When a ball lands in a cup, a member of the opposing team has to drink it. Each team should be permitted three attempts each turn. Keep a cup of clean water nearby to wash the ball between tosses. The team that clears the opposing side first is the winner.
Drunk Jenga is the classic board game, modified to be the perfect drinking game for any group of friends. To begin, you’ll need to grab a pen or a Sharpie marker and a box of Jenga blocks. Write different rules on a bunch of tiles. Rules can vary wildly. An example of some rules might be, “take two drinks,” “make someone else drink” or “don’t speak for the rest of the game.” Be creative.
Don’t feel like getting out the Sharpie? You can buy pre-made tower games with instructions already printed on each block.
Set up the Jenga game and play as normal. Whenever a player pulls a block with a rule, they must abide by it. When the tower collapses, the person responsible for the collapse must finish their drink. This is a drinking game where players are encouraged to add their unique rules to the game.
If you don’t have a lot of space to work with, Quarters is an easy game that requires nothing more than a glass and a quarter. Players sit around a table with the glass centered in the middle of the table. Each player places the quarter on the edge of the table in front of them and attempts to flip the quarter into the glass. If the player succeeds, he or she can order whomever they please to drink. They can also implement rules such as “no first names” or “no one can say ‘drink.'” If a player violates this rule, they have to drink. These rules are in place until someone new successfully lands the quarter in the glass, at which point they become the new rule-maker.
Chandelier is essentially a tabletop version of beer pong. It’s perfect for those living in dorms or small apartments. To play, you’ll need 16-ounce plastic cups and some ping-pong balls. Players sit around a table, each with their plastic cup of beer, placed at the edge of the table so that there is a circle of cups around the perimeter of the table. One full cup of beer should be placed in the center of the table.
To play, players attempt to bounce the ball into someone else’s cup. If they are successful, that person has to drink their beer. If the ball lands in the center cup, everyone has to drink, and the person who threw the ball has to drink the middle cup as well. When a player misses, whoever catches the ball gets to go next.
To play Avalanche, you’ll need a die and one glass. Each player sits around a table with their glass or cup of alcohol. To play a turn, a player begins by filling the “game glass” with either a small or large amount of their drink. They then roll the die. They do the following depending on what number they receive:
1: The player does nothing; they pass the glass and the die to the next player
2: The player adds more alcohol to the game glass and passes it to the next player, along with the die
3: The player must drink the contents of the game glass
4: The player yells “floor!” Everyone must either point downward or drop to the ground. Whoever does this last or fails to do it must drink the contents of their glass
5: The player can make anyone of their choosing drink the glass
6: Same rules as when a player rolls a 1. However, many groups choose to substitute an original rule of their choosing for a six play
Some groups choose to play by these simple rules. In other scenarios, some like to play Avalanche elimination-style, with players being removed from the game after three consecutive drinks.
Up & Down the River is played with two decks of cards. To begin, one player is appointed the dealer. The dealer provides each player with four cards, which are placed face-up in front of them. The dealer then draws a card from the deck and whoever has the card must take a drink. If they have multiples of that card, they must take as many drinks as they have cards. The dealer repeats this; however, with each new round, the amount of drinks one has to take for the card doubles.
After the fourth round, the dealer draws a fifth card, laying it on top of the previous card. Any player who has that combination of cards may give away four total drinks. They could tell one player to drink four times, or tell four players to each drink once. The dealer can lay a third card over the first two and players with a combination of those three cards may give away a total of eight drinks. After this, the game can be started again with a new dealer.
Flip cup is played by dividing your group into two teams, with equal players on each team. You will need some 16-ounce plastic cups. To start, each team stands on opposing sides of a table, facing each other. Each player gets one cup filled with beer. On the count of three, the first two opposing players drink their beer. When they finish, they place their empty cup on the edge of the table. They then have to flip their cup without touching the sides of the cup. Players should flip the cup by flicking the rim of it with their thumb and forefinger.
The cup should land top-up on the table. After the first player is successful, the next player on their team can take their turn. Whichever team finishes first is the winning team.
To set up King’s Cup, set an empty plastic cup or glass in the center of a table. Spread a deck of cards with the jokers removed around the glass, forming a circle of cards.
Players gather around the table, each with their drink. To begin, the first player draws a card. Each different card has its rules. However, one important thing to remember about King’s Cup is that the rules are fluid. Many groups have their set of rules for different cards. A sample set of rules is as follows:
Ace: Everyone must drink until the player who drew the card stops drinking. It is up to the player as to whether or not everyone finishes their glass or just takes a few sips
2: The player can tell any other player to drink
3: The player must take a drink themselves
4: All female players must drink
5: All male players must drink
6: Everyone must touch the floor. The last player to do so must drink
7: Everyone must point towards the sky. The last player to do so must take a drink
8: The player selects another player who has to drink every time they do. This lasts until someone new draws an eight
9: The player says a word. Going around the table, each player must say a word that rhymes with it. The first player to fail to do so in a quick manner must drink
10: If a player draws a 10, they say something that they have never done. If other players have never done it either, they don’t have to drink. However, any player who has done the thing in question must drink
Jack: The player makes a rule that must be followed for the rest of the game
Queen: The queen is a wild card. Groups are encouraged to create their unique rule for the queen
King: When a player draws a kind, they pour half of their drink into the center cup. When the final king is drawn, that player must drink the entire cup
Cheers To The Governor is the perfect group for a group of friends that wants to have a good time without remembering a bunch of rules. Where most drinking games follow a set of rules, Cheers To The Governor is extremely loose. It is also perfect for the outdoors or a hot tub, as it requires no cards, balls or dice.
Players sit in a circle, each with their drink. The players, in a counterclockwise direction, begin counting aloud, each saying a number. The player who gets to 21 can institute any rule they choose. It’s a good idea to base rules around one specific number; for example, a player could make a rule that one specific player has to drink on the number eight or that all female players must drink on the number three. The count begins again with the new rule in place. The next person to have 21 makes a new rule of their own. However, it does not negate the prior rule. This simply continues until there is a long list of rules. When it becomes too complicated, or your group becomes bored with the set of rules, feel free to start from scratch. The more creative the rules, the better.
To play Three Man, you’ll need a pair of dice. Players sit around a table or in a circle, each with their cup of beer or alcohol. One player is appointed as the “Three Man.” The Three Man rolls every time, with the other player rolling a die as well. What happens will be determined based on what the two die add up to. The rules are as follows:
7: The person to the right of the player takes a drink
11: The person to the right of the player takes a drink
9: Everyone drinks
A sum of 3: Three Man drinks
4 and an Ace: Everyone must touch the floor. The last player to do so drinks
Five and an Ace: Everyone must point to the ceiling. The last player to do so drinks
Doubles: When doubles are rolled, the player can make anyone drink, including the Three Man
Once every player in the circle has had a turn; a new Three Man is appointed.
Power Hour isn’t technically a game; however, it’s a favorite for college students who don’t feel like sitting around a table. To have a Power Hour, you will need to find a Power Hour mix. Many are available free on YouTube or can be downloaded. A Power Hour mix is typically an hour to two hours long and will contain many songs in 30 second increments. Whenever the song changes, everyone has to drink. Everyone is encouraged to dance to the songs in between drinks. This is a popular choice for those who are “pre-gaming” and want to get a slight buzz going before they head out to their destination for the evening.
This is perhaps the most extreme drinking game, but it’s an absolute blast. This game is played by a person having a 40-ounce bottle of beer duct taped to each hand. The individual may not have their hand freed until they finish the beer in the corresponding bottle.
Some groups choose to play with a timer set for a few hours. When the timer goes off, anyone who still has beer in their bottle has to either pour it over themselves or complete a dare.
Technically, Buffalo Club isn’t a drinking game. Well, it is, but it’s a game that never ends. A group of friends will declare a Buffalo Club. This means that every time they drink, they must be holding their drink in their left hand. They may hold their drink in their right hand without penalty, but they must never take a sip.
For the rest of their college careers – and perhaps their lives – all members of the Buffalo Club must follow this left-hand rule. If they are spotted drinking from their right hand at any time by another club member, they must finish their entire drink.
This requires some commitment. However, it’s a fun pact for friends to make. Many graduates will still honor the Buffalo Club rules when they get together in the years after college.
Beer roulette is a game of chance that will involve everyone getting a little messy. One player is appointed to take some as many cans of beer as there are players in another room. The player will vigorously shake one can of beer. That player brings the cans back into the room where the players have congregated and handed them out. Every player takes a can and opens it. Whoever gets sprayed has to chug their entire beer.
There are other variations on “roulette” style drinking games. For example, a circle of players could close their eyes while one player fills each glass with beer, except for one player, who receives something stronger. Everyone switches glasses, their eyes still closed, and then they chug. There are also spinning shot glass roulette boards available for purchase on Amazon or at novelty shops.
If you want a dice drinking game that is simple and easy, invest in a pre-made set of dice made specifically for drinking games. The dice will have different instructions, depending on what side you roll. Examples of instructions might be to finish your drink or assign another player a dare. There are different pre-made dice games available for different types of parties, including football parties, bachelorette parties and more.