The Romans had gladiatorial combats, colonials had duels, and college students have drinking games. Peruse the profile pictures on Facebook, and it will not take long to find a drunken student throwing ping-pong balls into one of those famous red party cups. Every generation has their drinking games, and since the discovery of alcohol, there have been thousands of ways for one to get ‘sloshed.’ What do people do today?
The two best known and most frequently played drinking games are beer pong and flip cup. Beer pong involves two teams of two throwing ping-pong balls into one another’s group of cups, all in accordance with a complicated set of rules of course. In flip cup, two teams participate in a relay race. The first player chugs a cup of beer and attempts to flip the cup so that it lands upside down from the edge of the table. Then the next player goes, and so on.
After walking into a party, it only takes moments to witness one of these games, learn the rules and begin playing. However, there is a large variety of games that remain relatively undiscovered. For instance, the epic challenge of Edward 40 Hands comes to mind. In this struggle of endurance and speed, a group of people duct-tape a 40-ounce container of beer to each hand. The participants are left without the use of their hands until they finish their respective beers. The first to finish wins.
The trick is that if you drink too quickly, you vomit, and if you drink too slowly, you need to urinate. This would not typically be a problem, except that the participants lose the use of their hands until they finish their beer. Indeed, the results of this game can be messy.
Drinking games do not always focus on speed. There is an entirely different category that can be referred to as thinking games. These games usually involve a group of players who must follow a specific set of rules or drink.
One such game is called Buffalo, in which the players are only allowed to drink with their non-dominant hand. If they are caught drinking with their dominant hand, they must quickly drink while the other participants chant ‘Buffalo!’ and bang the tables. This game is played for life, and the rules are valid anywhere, anytime and with any alcoholic beverage.
If you are looking for a slightly shorter experience, many drinking games involve cards. One example is King’s Cup, a popular game among students. To play this game, a large cup is placed in the middle of a circle of cards, and each player draws a card. Each card has its own rule and is essentially its own drinking game.
When someone draws a nine, the players must ‘bust a rhyme,’ and each participant adds a line to a freestyle rap begun by the person who drew the card. If someone draws a jack, they get to make up an entirely new rule for the game. These new rules are often no pointing, no use of names or that whenever someone shouts, ‘This is madness!’ the other players must respond with ‘This is Sparta!’ and drink.
When the players draw a king, they are allowed to fill the center cup with as much of their drink as they choose. The person who draws the fourth king is forced to drink the concoction that the players have created. Upon finishing it, the game is over.
Card games are often complicated and take several attempts to learn, but there are many other games that only take moments to learn. For example, Beer Race is a game in which a group of people each has a cup of beer, and the first person to hold his cup upside down over his head wins. This in no way requires you to drink your cup’s contents. Anyone willing to pour copious amounts of alcohol over themselves can easily win.
People often debate about the purpose of drinking games. They argue whether the goal is to win or become completely inebriated. Fortunately, there are hundreds of games to find the answer. From Flip Cup to Edward 40 Hands, college students have a myriad ways to entertain themselves, just as generations of people have done before.