Freshers 2015: An A-Z of Drinking Games

There’s more than just Ring of Fire

Enter drinking games, a way to freshen up your night. 

A new drinking game is created every time a bunch of winos gather round a deck of cards, but here are some classics you’ll want to know to freshers’ week.

Amy Winehands

An import from the other side of the Atlantic, where it;s known as Edward Fortyhands, this British take is dead simple: tape a bottle of wine to each hand, and don’t remove said bottles until both are drunk. Not to go for a piss, not to pick up the phone – not for anything.

They can pry those bottles off your cold, dead hands if alcohol poisoning takes you before they’re finished.

“One of the best nights of my life”, says Biomedical Sciences second year Rachel.


Everyone gets a drink, and an empty pint glass goes in the middle.

Take it in turns to pour as much or as little of your drink into the glass, then flip a coin and call it. If you call right, move on. If you call wrong, down the dirty pint.

Beer Pong


Bonus points for use of red Solo cups and for taking Cindy to prom after the Superbowl

A frat party fixture, this one requires arguably the most set-up.

First, find a long, thin table and 12 plastic cups. Fill the cups with a drink of your choice and set them up in a triangle, 6 at each end of the table. Teams line up at each end and take it in turns to chuck a ping-pong ball at the opposing team’s cups.

If the ball lands in a cup, someone on that team downs the drink. Repeat until one team’s cups are empty, and then give them the other team’s remainders to polish off too.

Political sciences fresher and American Chuck describes it as “a classic, almost flawless.”

Boat Race

Assemble two or more teams of equal members. Give everyone a pint.

The person at the front of each line downs their pint and then upturns the glass on their head to prove it. The the person behind them does likewise.

Repeat until one team is finished.


There is every chance that these people have been drinking

There is every chance that these people have been drinking

Back in cowboy times, if a man was caught by some bandits whilst drinking in the saloon, he had two choices: shoot them or get shot.

However, if he was caught whilst holding his drink in his dominant, shooting hand, he was as good as dead. Protect your friends from this fate by calling “buffalo” if you see them holding their drink in their dominant hand.

If you called it right, they repay you by downing whatever it is. However, if you called on an empty drink, or forgot which was their dominant hand, you acknowledge your mistake by downing yours.

You are technically playing from the moment you hear about the game until you die.


No, not shagging over 100 people. 100 minutes to drink 100 shots of beer. Whether that sounds more or less fun may depend on how much of an alcoholic you are.

Fuck You


Three drinks in

A fantastic game to just hear being played. Lay out cards face-down in a pyramid, usually 6 lines high. Distribute the remainder to the players. Starting at the bottom-left, flip the card and ask the first player who they’re fucking. They choose a player to take a drink, unless anyone has another of the card in their hand and chooses to play it, in which case they choose to fuck someone.

When the dust settles, the last person to be fucked drinks once for each card laid, and then move to the next player and the card to the right. At the end of the row, move up one, and double the number of drinks per card. At the end of the game, everyone drinks for each card in their hand.

A good strategy is to pick someone everyone finds funny drunk and coordinate an effort into getting them spangled.


Strong showing from clubs as spades lags behind the pack

Strong showing from clubs as spades lags behind the pack

Lay out all four aces side-by-side. Lay about 6 cards face-down extending up from the left of the aces. Take bets (e.g. 3 on clubs, 5 on hearts) and record who bet what on which.

Holding the rest of the deck upside down, reveal the top card. Whichever suit it is, move that ace one up. Repeat. If all of the aces pass a row, flip the card beside it and move the ace matching that card’s suit down one.

Whoever bet on the winning horse (the first to reach the end) can distribute their bets amongst the others as drinks; losers have to drink all their bets.

Mr & Mrs

Place two chairs back-to-back and sit two people who think they know each other on them. The audience take it in turns to ask questions (“who is the best looking” is always a classic). If one of the players thinks it’s them, they drink. If they disagree, by either neither drinking or both drinking, they both drink again. If they agree and only one of them drinks, the audience drinks.

Never Have I Ever

Could hardly be simpler: take it in turns to say something you’ve never done. Everyone who has, drinks. Usually, the game then pauses as people interrogate the drinkers about the time they were spitroasted, or killed a man in Reno, or whatever. If no-one drinks, you drink.

A great Freshers icebreaker, but of limited use after a couple weeks when you already know everything about each other. Beware the shitheels who say things they have to drink for so everyone knows how cool they are – they are not your friends.


Take it in turns to whisper a question to the person to your left. That person then points at the player they think is the answer to the question. If that person wants to know the question, they have to drink. If they don’t drink, the person who nominated them drinks.

Reverse Paranoia

Similar to regular paranoia, except the question is asked to the group and whoever gets the most fingers pointed at them drinks. An alternate version has everyone drinking for each finger pointed at them.

Ring of Fire

Probably an idea to lock the rules down before everyone gets spangled

Probably an idea to lock the rules down before everyone gets spangled

A game as seemingly complex as it is divisive, Ring of Fire isn’t actually as difficult to grasp as it may seem. Each type of card has a different rule attached, sure, but that’s only thirteen rules you have to remember. Get a group of four people together and that’s 3.25 rules each. Hell, most of them even rhyme with their card value.

Also, here’s the most common ruleset, so you don’t even need to remember a thing:

A) Waterfall – everyone starts drinking until the person on their left stops, starting with the person who drew the card
2) You – pick someone to take a drink
3) Me – you drink
4) Whores – girls drink*
5) Question Master – every time you ask someone a question and they answer, they drink; every time you ask someone a question and they reply “fuck you question master”, you drink
6) Dicks – guys drink*
7) Heaven – last to reach for the sky drinks
8) Mate – pick someone to drink every time you do
9) Rhyme – going left, everyone has to pick a word that rhymes with one of your choice until someone either repeats a word or draws a blank, whereupon they drink
10) Snake Eyes – anyone who makes eye contact with the holder of this card drinks
J) New Rule – make a rule that everyone has to follow
Q) Nazi – make new rules on the fly for as long as you are the Nazi
K) King – pour some drink into the dirty pint in the middle; if you draw the fourth King, down the dirty pint

If you get bored of that, you could also try Drinking Game of Thrones.


Choosing a path doesn't actually make any difference so don't spend too long on it

Choosing a path doesn’t actually make any difference so don’t spend too long on it

Lay out the cards in a diamond shape. Starting at the bottom, call red or black and flip the card. If wrong, drink and put another card face-down on the face-up card.

If correct, move on. Pick a direction and call higher or lower. The penalty for losing here is two drinks. Call the colour for the third row; the penalty is five seconds’ drinking.

Call the suit for the fourth; the penalty is half your drink. Call the number for the fifth; the penalty is downing your drink. Repeat until you make it all the way to the other end.


Play The Police’s ‘Roxanne‘, with guys drinking on every repetition of “put on a red light” and girls on every “Roxanne”.


Place one less spoon than there are players in the centre and divvy up deck between the players. Trade cards with each other until someone has a 4-of-a-kind set, at which point they can pick up a spoon. Once they have, everyone else lunges for the remaining spoons. Whoever is left spoonless downs their drink.

Stabby Stabby

Fill a dirty pint or other receptacle with some of everyone’s drink, and place clingfilm over the top. Put a coin on the clingfilm and pass a knife around (maybe don’t do this one after too many of the others). Take turns stabbing the clingfilm, with whoever’s stab drops the coin into the drink downs the dirty pint.

Second year business student Thea, who suggested the game, said “it’s a great laugh”.

Vodka or No Vodka

Get about six shot glasses and someone to fill some with vodka/gin and others with water (usually roughly equally split, but that’s no guarantee). Two players take it in turn to down a shot. The other player must then determine which they just necked. If they get it right, the first player drinks another. If they get it wrong, they drink the next one.


Drink cans of beer (or whatever your canned preference is). Tape the cans together into a staff. Whoever has the longest staff at the end of the night is the wisest wizard. What you do with the staffs afterwards is up to you, but Fine Art second year Alex recommends “fighting with them to assert your dominance”.

This is by no means an exhaustive list. If you polish off everything on this list, just Google anything + ‘drinking game’. The Lord of the Rings drinking game. University Challenge drinking game. Exam drinking game.

Happy alcoholism, everyone.