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Everybody Wins at Drinking Games

Deal 'em in for a buzz

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There were times during my misspent youth that I engaged in silly drinking games that had basic rules: someone yelled “Chug!” and I did. Ah, those were the days. Well, they probably were, but I can’t seem to fully recall. Since then, drinking games have progressed. We have a wider variety than just games like Quarters, Spin the Bottle or 1960s Pass Out.

Drinking games have been around as long as there has been alcohol. Ancient Greeks played a game called Kottabos. The object was to throw the dregs of your beverage, usually wine, at a cup balanced in the center of the room until you knocked it over by filling it. In Medieval Europe, drinking games were often used to settle disputes. These usually consisted of two quarrelling parties drinking beer until one has to get up or pass out. It beats dueling and had a considerably lower body count.

Today drinking games are usually confined to fraternities on college campuses. But go to any local brewery and you’re likely to see a variety of games. While many aren’t strictly drinking games, I’ve often observed these seemingly innocuous amusements being turned into boozy competitions.

Many breweries offer Giant Jenga, Corn Hole or Giant Connect Four. Often, the person who topples the Jenga pile, scores points in Corn Hole, or wins at Connect Four has to drink. One local beer bar, Dahlia’s Pour House, even had a giant game of Battleship with shots of beer instead of pegs. If your opponent got a “hit,” you had to drink the shot in the corresponding location.

Don’t forget the two most popular drinking games: Beer Pong and Flip Cup. In Beer Pong, players stand at opposite ends of a table that has cups half-filled with beer on both ends, arranged like bowling pins. Opponents take turns tossing Ping-Pong balls at the cups across the table. Get a ball in a cup and your opponent has to drink it. First side to clear all the cups wins. In Flip Cup, opposing sides drink a beer, usually only partly filled, then set the empty cup on the table’s edge and flip it with one hand so that it lands upside-down. The first team whose members all successfully flip their cups wins.

Board games are also popular drinking games. An internet search will turn up a plethora of options. And the old Pass Out game is still out there! One of the newer board games brings your taste buds into play. Unlabeled–The Blind Beer Tasting Game has two or more players drinking mystery beers and trying to identify the type, even the brewery and name. The more specific a player is, the more points he or she accrues.

It should be said that you should never drink in excess or drive after playing any of these drinking games. So grab a cab, amass a group of friends and indulge in some friendly competition.

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