Drinking Games

Drinking games are becoming more popular with teens. This article has information on different types of teen drinking games such as card drinking games, dice drinking games, beer drinking games, movie drinking games, bar drinking games, and more...

There are now many situations in which alcohol and entertainment are completely intertwined so that consumption of alcohol forms part of the entertainment by being linked to it in a substantive way. In these scenarios, the entertainment may become little more than an excuse to drink. These scenarios are referred to as drinking games.

For teens, drinking games present two problems: first, that the games will persuade them to drink illegally; second, that games will lead not only to illegal consumption of alcohol by teens, but to excess consumption (and all the accompanying dangers) as well.


Drinking games requiring only conversation and alcohol or commonly found household items, are easily discovered on the Internet by searching for “drinking games.” Because many drinking games have to do with movies, an innocent Internet search for “movie games” could lead to sites that promote drinking games.

In addition, published collections of drinking games, as well as board games that have a drinking component, can be found on the largest, most popular sites for purchasing books. As a result, a teen searching these sites simply for “games” could inadvertently discover the existence of drinking games. Though some large department stores stopped selling commercial drinking games in 2007, they are still widely available.


Drinking games can be categorized in several ways. The games often have drinking as a consequence of a specified situation or as a consequence or punishment for breaking a game rule (which one is more and more likely to do, the more alcohol one has consumed).

Here are brief examples of how exemplars of some of the most popular types of drinking game works, so that you may recognize them and the accoutrements that might signal them:

• Card Games

This category even includes variations of children’s games like Go Fish, in the drinking version of which at least one person is instructed to drink every time a player receives a card asked for, goes fish, or lays down a pair.

• Commercial games

An example of a commercial game is BEERopoly, a take-off on Monopoly in which beer is substituted for money. Owing money is construed as owing drinks, and receiving money means taking drinks.

• Dice games

These are games in which alcohol consumption is controlled by a roll of  dice, and there is no skill or focus other than drinking. In one called “Getting Drunk with Dr. Pepper,” for example, a drink that is said to taste like Dr. Pepper, but is made from ½ mug of beer, Coca-Cola, and a shot of amaretto, is consumed in quantities determined by the roll of each player’s die. It is possible that one roll of the die could lead to drinking 6 such drinks.

• Drinking Capacity games

Sometimes called endurance games, these games may even be planned around binge drinking. One example is Pub Crawl in which players pair up and do a three-legged race to a number of bars, trying to be the first to each drink a beer at all the bars on the list.

• Games of skill, including throwing, tossing, passing games

These games use items like quarters, spoons, or clothespins, which are moved around from player to player, with mistakes or successes signaling a drink.

• Movie/television games

Players must focus intently on the film or the television show in order to identify the cues upon which they are, by game rules, to drink.

• Party games (sometimes called ice-breakers, and including variations of children’s games and talking games)

These include a drinking version of Spin-the-Bottle in which the bottle pointing at you determines behavior, and Have You Ever?, in which if your answer to a question posed by another player is “yes,” you are supposed to take a drink.

• Pub/bar games

In E.G. or Empty Glass, on the other hand, the game takes place in a situation in which drinking is a focal activity, and the goal is to catch people breaking the rules and forcing them to drink more as a consequence. Breaking the rule is bound to be inadvertent and come about more often as one becomes inebriated.

But perhaps the most important way to categorize drinking games is by whether the player has control over the amount drunk or whether control is ceded to either the game rules or other players, in some fashion. In the rules of most movie games, for example, one drinks upon certain lines, actions, camera shots, products appear, etc., players take a drink. In many cases, the amount is not mentioned, so players who are legally able to drink, have the chance to control the amount they consume, and could well play and stay sober. Other movie games specify the amount to drink, and/or specify cues that are intended to result in one or more players drinking a great deal.


The first danger of drinking games is that people who are underage will be drawn into the activity because it seems fun. Secondly, they may become intoxicated, and suffer from the ill judgment that this can bring. Health dangers result form the fact that some of the games have a deliberate intention to encourage binge drinking, which can result in alcohol poisoning. And lastly, drinking games involve people in a culture in which nothing can be enjoyed without accompanying alcoholic beverages.

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