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Do you know how to play quarters, the drinking game? You don’t need much space or coordination to have fun playing Quarters, which is the exact reason why it is such a staple drinking game in college parties. While it is perfectly manageable with only two players, the potential to consume large amounts of alcohol in a short period of time, Quarters is best played with a large number (no limits!) of participants. The more the players, the safer the game will be.

There are two versions of the game: one where you use a shot glass, and one where you use the actual cup of beer. As I am not a fan of the latter version (unnecessarily unsanitary, in my opinion), I’m going to outline the rules of the prior.

And as always, drink responsibly.

What you’ll need:

  • Drinking glass (for the sake of sanitation, one glass for each player)
  • Beer, or another alcoholic beverage of your choice
  • Quarter
  • Shot glass/another drinking glass (for beginners)
  • Table
  • 2+ people

How to play:

The object of the game is the be the last player standing. How do you do this? By making the quarter bounce into the shot glass (or empty drinking glass, for beginners) and ensuring that everyone else bows out (by being unwilling or unable to drink another glass of beer) before you do.

Place the empty glass in the middle of the table. It works best if it’s a round table, where the glass is about a foot away from every person. Depending on the alcohol of choice, you’re either going to have cans of beer ready for the person who must drink, or you’re going to have a second shot glass with the bottle of your choice beverage. Drinkers can either open their can of beer, or they can pour a shot to drink.

Playing the game:
Going around clockwise, players will take turns trying to bounce a quarter off the table and into the glass in the center of the table. You can hold the quarter in a way that’s most comfortable to you — either by holding the edge with your index finger and thumb, or holding the face and back in between your fingers. Lifting the coin at about a 45 degree angle from the table, aim and bounce the coin as you bring your hand down. The coin must bounce once and then land in the cup.  One attempt per person is allowed.

Missing the shot:
If you miss the shot,  you would typically just pass the quarter to the next player. But some people play it differently (i.e., they would like people to get drunk faster), and if agreed on, you are required to drink if you missed the shot.

Making the shot:
There are two ways this plays out if you make the shot. First, the person to the left of you must take a drink. Second, you choose who must take the drink. If you make it, you keep shooting until you miss.

Optional Rules:
As with all drinking games, there are variations within the different versions of the game. If you’d like to make the game more interesting, here are some extra rules you can agree on.

Hitting the rim:
If you hit the rim but miss the glass, there are two ways you can decide to carry this out. First, you have another opportunity to make it in the glass. If you hit the rim 3 consecutive times but miss, then you have to take a drink. Second, you can call ‘chance’. With ‘chance,’ you get to shoot again, but if you miss, you have to drink.

Make a rule:
If you make 3 consecutive shots on your turn, you can make a rule — any rule, just like Kings Cup. You can make it so that no one is allowed to swear, call each other by their first names, etc. Be creative with this one.

Photo courtesy of Chris Dlugosz via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

Do you play Quarters in college? Post suggestions on how to improve the game below!