The Games People Play

The Loaf's guide to 10 drinking games we sorta remember how to play.

This list is by no means meant to be an exhaustive survey of drinking games. There are numerous books on the subject, and, as with most things, the Internet is an invaluable resource for discovering new ways to get completely sloshed. We highly recommend the drinking games section of Wikipedia, which is quite comprehensive. Also, as with most games, play at your own risk!


Difficulty Level: As easy and refreshing as the inevitable vomiting that follows.

Number of Players: Two or more, but purists prefer mano a mano.

Supplies: A large supply of the alcoholic beverage of your choice; an amazingly high tolerance.

How It Works: Created by senior editor Eric Snider and music critic Wade Tatangelo, Tap Out is the official drinking game of Creative Loafing. Possibly inspired by the Nepal scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark where Karen Allen drinks a Sherpa under the table, Tap Out is a test of wills and endurance. Competitors have five minutes to down their entire shot, cocktail or beer. (Wine is not a sanctioned Tap Out beverage.) At the end of five minutes, the competitors start again with a refilled cup. And so it goes. And goes. Drink after drink. First one to "tap out" or pass out (or collapse into a heap) loses. It's still up in the air if this game actually has any winners.

Time To Drunkenness: 30-45 minutes.

Reason To Play: Snider made me do it.


Difficulty Level: Medium.

Number of Players: Minimum of four, max of 10

Supplies: One deck of cards, a whole shitload of alcohol (we recommend beer; three cases should do it), one hat (the more ridiculous the better).

How It Works: Asshole is a card game where the objective is to be the first drinker to get rid of all your cards, thus being "elected" president. The last one out is the "asshole." As the president, all the other players must bow down to your every request. As the asshole, you're everybody's bitch and subjected to all manner of drunken torture, not the least of which is wearing the ridiculous hat. Roles are reassigned after every hand, so treat the current asshole well, lest he become a vengeance-seeking chief executive.

Time To Drunkenness: Variable; depends largely on the maliciousness of your friends. Averages about a half hour.

Reasons To Play: The ultimate power trip. Mastering the game of Asshole means mastering and dominating your friends. What really drunk person doesn't understand that impulse?


Difficulty Level: Easy

Number of Players: One (kind of sad) or more (only relatively sad).

Supplies: One de-germed quarter, one shot glass.

How It Works: Deceptively simple. Bounce a quarter off a table and attempt to land it in a shot glass. If you're successful, your friend has to drink it down.

Time To Drunkenness: Varies based upon your skill and the skill of your opponent. Figure about 17 minutes.

Reason To Play: Sometimes you just need to liven up a night of shot-taking.


Difficulty Level: Medium

Number of Players: Two or more.

Supplies: A long table, a ping-pong ball, cups full of beer or alcohol.

How It Works: Set up drinks at either end of a table. Bounce a ping-pong ball across the table. If it lands in a cup your opponent must drink it. Sounds painless, but have you considered how dirty a wet ping-pong ball gets when repeatedly bounced to the floor?

Time To Drunkenness: 30-45 mintues.

Reason To Play: Ping-pong balls are fun! Drinking is fun! Both at the same time is fun!


Difficulty Level: Easy to medium.

Number of Players: Four or more.

Supplies: Disposable plastic cup, beer, a table.

How It Works: Chug a beer in a plastic cup, place it on the edge of the table right side up, flip it into the air and get it to land upside down. If you fail, repeat the chug and flip again. Keep going until you stick the landing.

Time To Drunkenness: About 20-30 minutes, depending on your flipping abilities.

Reason To Play: Peer pressure; exam week's got you down.


Difficulty Level: Hard.

Number of Players: Three or more.

Supplies: One deck of cards, one drink per player, the rules printed out on paper for each player.

How It Works: Insanely complex card game, where players draw cards one at a time, drinking or making others drink based upon what each card means. Red means something. Black means something. The number, the suit, the face cards mean something. We'd tell you how it ends, but we don't remember.

Time To Drunkenness: 20 minutes, sip don't chug.

Reason To Play: The cards were there.


Difficulty Level: At least as hard as Circle Of Death, only with dice instead of cards.

Number of Players: Three.

Supplies: Three dice each.

How It Works: A Chilean game in which players roll their dice and drink varying amounts of alcohol based upon the results.

Time To Drunkenness: Could be 10 minutes, could be 30.

Reason To Play: Honestly, we found this one on Wikipedia and thought it hilarious that the game was named "The Best Game Ever" because the inventors couldn't come up with an actual name but kept repeating that it was "the best game ever" the more they played it (and the drunker they got). Disturbing Wikipedia tidbit: "The game is slowly increasing in popularity and following (especially among high school students)."


Difficulty Level: Easy.

Number of Players: One or more (you sad, lonely bastard).

Supplies: A television, a reasonably clear signal of WTVT-Ch. 13, a mixed drink or beer.

How It Works: Take a drink every time Jack kills or tortures or defies orders; if the screen splits; if something bad happens to Audrey; or if somebody says "Fayed" (or any other Middle Eastern proper name). Take two drinks when a CTU employee other than Jack kills somebody, or when there's a lapse in continuity. Take three drinks if a character from a previous season shows up. Take four drinks if the main villain changes. And so on.

Time To Drunkenness: Depends on how dramatic things get and what other "take a drink" factors you want to add. So, 30-45 minutes.

Reason To Play: The plot becomes way more plausible.


Difficulty Level: Easy.

Number of Players: Three or more.

Supplies: One full drink per person, one deck of cards.

How It Works: One of the most basic of drinking games, Waterfalls is pretty much a drinking marathon. Each person picks a card from the deck until someone gets an ace. At that point, said person begins drinking. Then the person to his or her left starts drinking. Then the next leftie, and so on. Everyone has to continue drinking until the person who started the "waterfall" stops, and each person stops in the order they started.

Time To Drunkenness: 15 minutes.

Reason To Play: Chugging is better than sipping.


Difficulty Level: Ranges from impossible to remarkably easy.

Number of Players: As many as you want.

Supplies: One shot glass per person; enough beer to fill each shot glass 60 times.

How It Works: Take one shot of beer every minute for one hour.

Time To Drunkenness: 15 minutes to not at all. (Bardi has never finished; Snider tried it once, finished, then got up and grabbed another beer.)

Reason To Play: It's harder than you think.

Click here for more Summer Guide