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Need to learn how to play Kings Cup? There are many variations to the rules in this popular drinking card game, many of which I’ve played. But these were the rules that we agreed on most often, so I am now bestowing this knowledge onto you, the newb/person-who-merely-needs-some-refreshing.

This is the game you play when you don’t exactly have a long table on hand, like in the dorms. This was actually the first drinking game I’ve ever played because of that very reason. Like any drinking game, the rules of Kings varies by the group of people you’re with. I’m showing you the rules of the version I like best.

As a reminder, drink responsibly.

What You’ll Need to Play Kings Cup:

  • a deck of playing cards
  • a group of 4+ people
  • an empty cup
  • any alcoholic drink per person (can be beer or something fruity, your choice)

How to Play Kings Cup:

  • Place the empty cup in the center (can be on a table, on the floor, etc.; wherever you decide to set your game).
  • Spread your deck of playing cards around the empty cup, and have all the participants sit around it.
  • The game starts and ends with Kings — hence, the name of the game. Each time the King card is pulled, the player who chose the card must pour some of his/her drink into the empty cup in the middle.
  • The person who is unlucky enough to pull the very last King card in the deck must drink the contents of the cup. And that ends the game. (This is why it is especially interesting when people choose to play with different drinks.)

Kings Card Rules

  • “2 is for You”: Everyone but the person who pulled the card must drink.
  • “3 is for Me”: The person who pulled the card must drink.
  • “4 is for Floor”: Last person to touch the floor drinks.
  • “5 is for Guys”: Guys drink.
  • “6 is for Chicks”: Girls drink.
  • “7 is for Heaven”: Last person to point to the ceiling/sky drinks.
  • “8 is for Mates”: Pick a person as your drinking buddy. Whenever they have to drink, you have to drink. Whenever you have to drink, they have to drink. (**I think another rule for 8 would also be “thumbs”, in which the person who pulled the card can put their thumb on the table/floor at any time until the next King is drawn, and the last person to put their thumb down has to drink. So your choice.)
  • “9 is for Rhyme”: The player who pulled the card must pick a word or phrase, and, going clockwise, each following  player must come up with a word/phrase that rhymes with the first. The first person to mess up the rhyme must drink. Obviously, the starting word cannot be rhyme-less (like orange).
  • “10 is for Categories”: The player who picked the card will choose a category (e.g., characters from Harry Potter, candy bars, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavors, etc.). The player will then go on to name an example (e.g. Harry Potter character: Ron Weasley). Going clockwise, each person will have to name an example without repeating a previously stated one. The first person to fail naming a new example will drink.
  • “Jack Makes a Rule”: Feel free to get really creative/funny here, because this card can really make the game enjoyable. When the player chooses this card, he/she can make up any rule that everyone must adhere to throughout the rest of the game. Examples include, “if you swear, take a drink” or “if you have to drink, make an animal noise before drinking” or “if you laugh, take a drink,” etc. There are no boundaries here!
  • “Queen is Question Master”: The player who drew this card can ask questions, at any time and to anyone,  until the next Queen is drawn. The player asks any person he/she chooses a question, and the person can only respond by asking a different person a question. 2 catches: 1) you cannot respond with an answer, and 2) you cannot ask a question to the person who preceded you. If you do one of these 2 things, you have to drink.
  • “Kings is for King’s Cup”: The player pours a decent amount of his drink into the cup in the center. The fourth person to draw a King must chug the cup, ending the game.
  • “Ace is for Waterfall”: All players drink at the same time. It goes clockwise, starting from the person who chose the card. The person next to the first player (the chooser) cannot stop drinking until the first player stops drinking, and this follows through to the last player.

The joker is optional to me, but if you want to include it, the person who draws the card must remove one article of clothing/accessory. It can be a sock, necklace, t-shirt, etc.

Kings is fun, especially when people really get creative with their Jack rules. What are some of your favorite rules for the game?

Photo courtesy via Fotu Vaai via Flickr (licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0).

check out the video below on how to play Kings Cup!
How to Play Kings Cup


Do you have any different rules to Kings Cup? Post comments below!