Food & Drink

The Best Drinking Games From Around the World

Published On 11/03/2016 Published On 11/03/2016
beer pong with a globe
Jason Hoffman/Thrillist

America can lay claim to easily the best drinking game ever created: beer pong. But even games you once loved can get tiring -- when's the last time anyone you know played Duck Hunt? Know this: A lot of the world outside of the USA likes drinking too, and they've got games you can learn and play in a heartbeat. So in the interest of giving you new, fun drinking games when flip cup gets mad boring, here are the best ones from around the world.

Flickr/Rodrigo Tejeda

Toma Todo

Country of origin: Mexico
What you'll need: A dreidel/pirinola
The best booze for the game: Tequila
How to play: If you have a dreidel or a pirinola (a top used for a children's game in Mexico) in your house, you're in business. The rules state that depending on what you spin, you either pour your individual drink into the community cup in the center (if you spin pon 1 -- pour out one glug, pon 2 -- pour out two glugs, or todo -- pour everything), sip from the community cup (if you spin toma 1, 2), or drink everything in it (if you spin toma todo). We also like the gambling-filled, tequila-based variation on Toma Todo that the two co-creators of Workaholics outlined in their book, The Party Bible: The Good Book for Great Times. In their version, if you spin toma todo you do a shot of tequila and take all your friends' money. What's not to love?

Electricity

Country of origin: United Kingdom
What you'll need: A deck of cards
The best booze for the game: Beer
How to play: If you're playing a drinking game with cards, it's usually Asshole. But the UK has a fun, easy alternative you might want to consider. First, deal out all the cards in the deck, one per player. Each player flips over one card at a time. Players drink in a few situations: if two suits match, if the number matches, or if the number is one off from the original card (as in, a 3 and a 4 are drawn in succession). And here's one more fun rule: If two people's cards match -- one draws a King of diamonds and one draws a King of clubs -- they drink. But if the person next to them draws another King (another face card or another club), all three people drink. This game would be much less complicated if everyone were just flipping cards into a circle and constantly drinking.

Kastenlauf

Countries of origin: Germany, Austria, Switzerland
What you'll need: A crate
The best booze for the game: Beer, duh
How to play: The exact length of this drinking game depends mostly on how skilled at running with booze you and your friends are. The goal is simple -- you want to cross the finish line three to six miles away while carrying a crate full of beer faster than your friends. That may sound simple but here's the rub: The crate of beer must be finished by the time you cross the finish line. Strategically, you must figure out if it's better to drink all the beer first and run with an empty crate, get to the finish and then start drinking, or just drink and run at the same time. This shouldn't be called a drinking game, this should be called a drinking work, am I right?!

Gong, Gong, Chil

Country of origin: Korea
What you'll need: Hands, the ability to sit in a circle with other people
The best booze for the game: Beer
How to play: If you like sitting in a circle and pointing at your friends, boy do we have the game for you! The rules are simple: One person points at someone else and says "gong." Then that person points at someone else and says "gong." The "gong" person says "chil" and points to a fourth person. That fourth person says "bang." At that point, the people on either side of the "bang" person have to raise their hands. If they don't, they should be ashamed of themselves! And then they also have to drink.

Flickr/Amy the Nurse

Kinito

Countries of origin: Spain, France
What you'll need: A pair of dice, a glass
The best booze for the game: Beer, kalimotxo (wine + cola)
How to play: To go over every single rule in this game in a few sentences would be like trying to explain algebra to a gorilla. And not even one of those smart gorillas like Koko. Here's the short version of how to play this game: You throw a lot of dice (do it away from the group so no one can see you!) and lie about what you threw to everyone. If people catch you in a lie, you drink. If you're not bluffing, they drink. That's just the beginning. Basically, if you like throwing dice and lying, this is the game for you. Check out more detailed rules (and a very fancy chart) at Everything2.

Goon of Fortune

Country of origin: Australia
What you'll need: The bladder of a box of wine, a clothesline
The best booze for the game: Red wine
How to play: First things first: A "goon" is Australian slang for the bladder of a box of wine (or the lining of the inside of the box, if you will). And since the drinking game involves boxed wine, you know the game is going to be fun. Goon of Fortune is also not complicated, unlike all those other silly drinking games that require you to use your brain. Australians know that all a drinking game truly needs is booze and a backyard. When it's your turn, you spin the clothesline. If the hanging bladder of booze lands on you, you drink. This keeps going until the bladder is empty. Want to take the game to the next level? You can institute rules like forcing everyone to stand on one leg and drink.

Tiger Has Come

Country of origin: Russia
What you'll need: A table, a high tolerance
The best booze for the game: Vodka
How to play: This is a perfect minimalist game for the group of friends that only has a table, a bottle of vodka, and gambling addictions. Everyone at the table receives a shot of vodka and must put in an ante bet. When the leader of the game (it should be the lightweight of the group, because they only drink every other round) decides that the tiger has arrived, everyone has to drink the shot and scramble under the table. Once the leader says the tiger is gone, everyone must come back up without stumbling or falling. You can imagine how this might get more and more difficult as the night (and the drinking) progresses. The winner is the last person to come up for air without being a real klutz, and gets to keep everyone's money.

Jiuling

Country of origin: China
What you'll need: A pair of dice
The best booze for the game: Dealer's choice
How to play: It's funny to note that while beer pong was a game developed by college students in the '50s and '60s, Jiuling dates to the 11th century. That's a difference of… a lot of years. Look, we're good at drinking games, not math, OK? Like Kinito, Jiuling requires dice and the ability to lie with a straight face, but unlike Kinito, it is a guessing game. And the only thing you have to guess is the total amount on the pair of dice that someone rolls. If you get it right, you don't drink. If you get it wrong, you drink. It's like craps, except in this case, losing can be a very good thing.

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Lee Breslouer is a senior writer for Thrillist, and takes tiny sips of beer when he drinks. Follow him to drinking in moderation @LeeBreslouer.

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