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The 411 on the Latest Drinking Games and Parties 
by Mieko Lindeman May 26, 2005

Having a great time doesn't mean having to get completely drunk anymore at parties. Many more people today prefer the much more fun and intimate setting of small drinking-game parties. In these settings you can get tipsy in a moderate, steady fashion while enjoying the company of your friends and accquaintances. A few drinking games are described, along with tips on how to put together your evening.

“Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son.”

So said Dean Wormer in the raucous Animal House-- he was right about the fat and stupid part probably, but getting a little drunk now and then is something everyone can enjoy. The "CHUG CHUG CHUG" chants aren’t exactly everyone’s scene however, at least not for life after college. Partying is no longer associated with crazy keggers, but it shouldn't mean you are doomed to an endless parade of quiet couples' dinners. Just sitting in an apartment with four to ten close friends and guests, a couple of handles of vodka and rum, along with a great drinking game is the one of the best ways to spend an evening. No more waking up the next day with a splitting headache and cringe-worthy memories or feeling bored with monotonous get-togethers; remember a fun, relaxed night with people whose company you genuinely enjoyed.

Why Drinking-Game Parties Work

A drinking game keeps people actively involved and included. No one need hang awkwardly about the walls sipping from a plastic cup here! The best benefit is probably that people are less likely to drink at their own pace (super fast or not at all), rather the entire group steadily, moderately gets tipsy together.

Essential tips

Drinking game parties are always best when done with a mixture of good friends and accquaintances. Use it as an opportunity to invite some favorite accquaintances and/or encourage friends to invite friends of theirs you don’t know yet. Three or more people is not a prerequisite for a drinking game, in fact some of the best experiences with drinking games are done with merely two very close people, especially romantic duos or best friends. If you are interested in trying out a game with just your significant other, the best game would probably be "Never Have I Ever," which is described in the following (under "Drinking Games"). The following drinking games use shots, so have six to twelve cups ready, shot glasses are ideal, but anything will do. Try to have a variety of alcohol, usually two varieties will do it, the best being rum and vodka. Chasers are important too, especially if you’ll have many ladies at the soiree (since women tend to prefer mixed drinks). Coke or Pepsi go best with rum, orange or cranberry juice with vodka. Depending on the group of people, sharing a chaser (drinking straight from the bottle) is not a big deal, but if a communal chaser is not welcomed, just give everyone extra cups. Try to avoid using beer or wine since they are not conducive to shots. If you must use them, always avoid using beer and wine together! The combination is widely known for making people quite ill in the stomach. Most importantly, hard liquor will likely last the game, whereas someone is bound to try chugging beer or wine. Few people will want to chug hard liquor. Now here are some of the best drinking games hitting parties today!

Drinking Games

Circle of Death

Probably one of the most complicated to play, but also one of the most interesting once you get the hang of it. Requires a deck of cards. In the center of your group, make a circle of the cards (overlapping) and faces down. One person draws at a time going around the circle of people. The type of card determines the manner in which shots are taken. RED Ace through 6 -- everyone takes one shot except person who drew the card BLACK Ace through 6 -- two times the number of the card drawn shots are given out by the card drawer to whomever they please, ex. black 4, 8 shots to whomever the card drawer designates (2 shots to four people, 3 to one person 5 to another, etc.) 7 -- ladies drink one shot 8 -- gentlemen drink one shot 9 -- card drawer picks a word and the next person in the circle must pick a word that rhymes with it (Card drawer: Bat, Next Person: Cat), continue going round the circle rhyming until someone pauses too long thinking up a rhyming word or repeats an already given rhyme, this person takes a shot 10 -- person to card drawer’s left takes one shot Jack -- person to card drawer’s right takes one shot Queen -- card drawer picks a general category of "types" (ex. types of vodka, types of dog), go round circle giving answers, first person to pause/repeat an answer takes a shot King -- card drawer chooses a word that can no longer be spoken during the game (until another king is drawn, and a new word is chosen) ex. "go," whenever someone says the forbidden word they must take a shot (at any point during the game until the word is changed).

Drinking Catchphrase

The loudest and most socializing game-requires the electronic party game Catchphrase. Players must understand how to play Catchphrase first (a very easy game, similar to charades or pictionary). Whenever the player with the Catchphrase is unable to make other players guess her/his word, this player must take a shot (or more shots, depends on the decision of the group as to how much the penalty should be).

Drinking Never Have I Ever

The most intimate, personal game. Great for laughs and getting to know people very well. Issues in this game are usually oriented to sexual history or dating, so be prepared to really dish. Requires no materials besides yourselves and liquor. Going round a circle each person must ta'ke a turn by stating "Never have I ever....” and supplying truthfully something they have "never ever" done. Ex. "Never have I ever slept with a friend’s girlfriend/boyfriend." After this person states their "Never have I ever" anyone in the group who HAS done the named act must put a finger up (go through 10 fingers or 5, depending on needed length of game). Whoever puts a finger up must also take one shot. When a player has put up all their fingers, they are "out." Whoever is the last player wins. In some versions of this game the players who are "out" may continue to keep taking shots when it applies to them. In this version, the most "naughty" players are punished (most sexually active, etc.). Of course, it is simple to reverse this dynamic by making whoever does not put up a finger, someone who also can say "Never have I ever" done the named act take the shot instead. Thus the most "innocent" people end up taking the most shots.


Always exercise caution when consuming alcohol. Use common sense while playing these games-especially if you are the host! If someone is getting tipsy more quickly than others due to a low tolerance level, make their shots smaller than others. Try to designate someone in each game to be in charge of pouring so that no one is sneaking too much extra or someone who doesn’t know how much they can handle pours themselves too generous of shots. Have fun, but don’t let someone unhealthfully keep taking shots for the sake of continuing the game. Remember that to most drunk people, everything is fun, they don’t have to keep drinking to play the game and have fun. If someone wants to play but wishes to do so without drinking, don’t try to pressure them to do otherwise, the more the merrier! If anyone just wishes to sit by but not play, this is acceptable too of course. Enjoy!


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