card games with friends

The Best Drinking Card Games To Play With Friends

Published 22nd April 2021
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Separately, card games and drinking games are often hilarious and an awful lot of fun, so mixing them together is sure to get the party started! Regardless of whether you’re a student looking to let off some steam or you’re hosting an adults-only evening while the kids are being entertained by the babysitter, breaking out the drinking card games is the perfect way to get everyone in the celebratory spirit.

In this oh-so helpful guide, we’ll check out some of the best drinking cards games to please both you and your pals, as well as the numerous advantages of owning a card drinking game and how to safely participate in one! So, if you want to indulge in a few alcoholic beverages while sharing some light-hearted banter with your friends, keep on reading. After all, there’s nothing better than trying out some card drinking games!

Why crack out a card game for your next party?

card game drinking party

Strictly for over-18s only, card drinking games have many benefits when compared to other bulky or more expensive drinking games. As a result, they’re incredibly popular with students and anyone else looking to have a good time without spending too much money. Plus, thanks to the purse-friendly price tag, they can be easily replaced if they happen to be taken home by an envious friend or accidentally lost or damaged during your drinking session.

Not to mention, they’re also wonderfully compact! Unlike larger adult board games that wouldn’t fit comfortably in a bag, a pack of lightweight cards can be slipped easily into your pocket or purse for effortless portability. No matter where the party takes you, these adult card games can come with you to ensure you always have a trick up your sleeve (or in your back pocket) ready for that spontaneous student party or indulgent adult evening! 

Card drinking games are also a popular pick for many mildly inebriated adults, as the rules are often straightforward and therefore easy to follow when you’ve had a boozy beverage or two. Typically, many of the rules, tasks, and dares that the cards command you to do or follow are actually written on the cards themselves to prevent any confusion or mid-game squabbling. 

Suitable for playing with friends and roommates alike, card drinking games are designed to be enjoyed by lots of people at once, with the number of maximum participants being well over 10 people for most drinking card games. Subsequently, they make fantastic ice-breakers for large social gatherings and provide the perfect bonding opportunity to get to know new acquaintances.

How to play drinking games safely

safely imbibe

Everybody has different drinking limits. Some people can handle an impressive number of pints while others find a few small mixed drinks to be enough. During a fast-paced card drinking game, it’s easy to get swept up in the excitement and rules to push past these limits, especially when you consider that the ultimate aim of most of these games is to get drunk. However, setting yourself limits on your overall alcohol intake or simply knowing when enough shots is enough can help you to take part responsibly. Alternatively, you could even swap your alcoholic beverage to a soft drink to give yourself a break.

While the pressure to carry on drinking during an explosive round of Ring of Fire can feel immense, you should always listen to your body’s limits and refuse to take part if you no longer want to drink. Ultimately, drinking games should be fun and if you’re clinging to the toilet, feeling sick or simply uncomfortable - that’s not fun for anyone! Drinking card games are often fast-paced and aren’t for everyone, so it’s okay if you don’t want to join in. Allow yourself to become comfortable with saying ‘no’ to taking part - there’s an endless number of ways to have fun without drinking!

Are you old enough to play? Before you even consider snapping up a drinking card game, you’ll find that all of our hand-picked card drinking games are designed to be played by over-18’s only, as per current UK drinking laws. While some households can allow children aged five to 16 to privately try a small tipple in the comfort of their own home, drinking to the extent that’s encouraged in these adult card games is restricted to those aged 18 and above.

One of the many undesirable effects of drinking too much alcohol includes the dreaded dehydration that can lead to a rather nasty headache post-drinking session, so it’s important to keep your alcohol intake diluted with plenty of water in between your games or rounds. This is because drinking alcohol reduces the amount of vasopressin (an antidiuretic hormone that causes the body to retain water) that your body makes. As a result, you’re more likely to need a trip to the toilet when playing card drinking games, leaving you dehydrated at the end of the night. Our top tip is to alternate between drinking an alcoholic beverage and having a glass of water to ensure you remain hydrated and feel fabulously fresh the next day.

OnBuy’s top six drinking card games

drinking card games

Ready to explore some of the very best and most irresistible drinking card games on the market? Thankfully, we’ve got all your party games covered with our top six card drinking games. From decks packed with racy and challenging dares to point-scoring packs that’ll entice even the most non-competitive players to get involved with the drinking antics, there’s something for everyone in our hand-picked collection!

The ultra-affordable multi-game deck | Don't F**k With Cards

drinking card game

Pros: Pocket-friendly price tag, contains several different card games, no complicated rules

Cons: Will encourage you to make some brutal decisions, must read ‘how to play’ card to understand

Achieving a delicate balance of dark humour and popular culture, this daring drinking card game contains everything from charades and ‘would you rather’ questions to ‘do or drink’ cards to ensure your choice of cheeky adult entertainment is always exciting and never boring or predictable. Ideal for happening house parties, this affordable deck of cards is designed to get you drunk, but also helps you to learn more about your fellow players through the avalanche of bold questions, risky dares and thrilling tasks that are contained within this compact card drinking game. As a result, it makes the perfect present for any budding students that are on their way to university and hoping to make lots of friends along the way!

Unlike some drinking card games that write the rules directly onto the playing cards, this adult drinking game features a separate ‘how to play’ card that explains the meaning behind each card category and gives every participant the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the rules of the game before beginning. One of the best features of this drinking game is the fact that the cards can be shuffled together, meaning there’s no need to organise or sort the cards prior to getting started. Regardless of whether you’re planning a big night out, hilarious hen do, outrageous stag party or lively house warming, this captivating card game blends all the classics together to deliver a night that you’ll never forget.

For a no-nonsense game of strategy | These Cards Will Get You Drunk

card game drunk

Pros: Can be played by two to eight pals, boasts easy rules and speedy gameplay

Cons: Contains a moderate 100 playing cards, not the most affordable card drinking game

Vote, compete, and sacrifice fond friends to become the victor of this no-nonsense drinking card game! As the straightforward title suggests, the aim of this adult game is to get you terrifically tipsy, so bear this in mind before you start playing. Simply shuffle the deck, take it in turns to pick a card, and follow the crazy rules, tasks and competitions that are written directly onto the playing cards themselves for effortless and quick gameplay. In the course of this wacky drinking game, you could go from voting on who is the most likely to do something daft to drinking simply because you’re wearing a shirt with buttons. It also boasts a selection of sneaky cards that can be used as an attack or defense against a drinking card task, making this game incredibly enticing to anyone that adores strategic gameplay.

One of the most attractive features of this drinking game is that it can be playing by as few as two people, allowing you to have a more intimate drinking session if desired. However, the card game can also accommodate up to eight players for bigger groups of friends, but isn’t designed to be played by any social gatherings larger than this, so it’s important to take this into account if you’re planning a big blowout. Although this deck includes 100 individual playing cards to explore, some card drinking games can include hundreds more, so it’s worth shopping around if you want to get more original rounds out of your adult game.

A cracking crowd-pleaser for sociable students | Trunk Of Drunk: 8 Greatest Drinking Games

student drinking game

Pros: Perfect cheeky gift for students, variety of classic party games to keep things exciting

Cons: Needs at least three people to play, you might end up drinking the dirty pint in Ring Of Fire!

Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could choose from your beloved and go-to card drinking games? With Trunk Of Drunk, you can do exactly that! Thanks to this cool drinking card game that comes with a custom 52-card deck, you can play everything from Ring Of Fire (also known as King's Cup) to I Have Never and Screw The Dealer - as well as a further five traditional drinking games. Plus, you won’t need to remember the numerous rules anymore as they’re all clearly written down in the included easy-to-read rule booklet. Not only does this prevent squabbling among friends over the specifics of certain rules, but it also makes remembering the rules an awful lot easier after everyone has sunk a few drinks! Bursting with all the standard rules, there’s sure to be plenty of laughs and smiles as you make your way through these tried and tested drinking games.

If there’s one card you should avoid pulling at all costs during your Ring Of Fire games, it’s the fourth and final king in the deck! A part of the ‘King’s Cup’ rule, if you pull this card, you’ll have to drink the dirty pint that your pals have been topping up with their own alcoholic beverage throughout the game. While this certainly raises the stakes, it’s not a card we’d want to pull! Anyone else fancy a mixed pint of wine, beer and vodka? Didn’t think so…

Another minor downside to these classic card games is that you’ll need at least three people to play. Unlike some card drinking games that can accommodate as few as two players for a more intimate evening of imbibing, this generous pack of eighth party games is ideal for whipping out at bigger social gatherings and student parties. Not to mention, it comes complete with 20 American-style red plastic cups and four ping pong balls for an epic game of Beer Pong once you’ve finished with the deck!

The funny fast-paced route to getting tipsy | Buzzed Drinking Card Game

buzzed drinking game

Pros: Can be played by up to 20 people, ultra-simple rules, fast-paced to keep everyone’s attention

Cons: Requires a minimum of three players, on the more expensive side

Be prepared to put on your game face and let loose with the Buzzed Drinking Card Game! Featuring incredibly straightforward rules that anyone can follow (no matter how many drinks you’ve enjoyed!), as well as a speedy pace to retain the party’s attention, this tipsy card drinking game includes 180 individual cards for many hours of adults-only premium entertainment. To kick off the game, start by shuffling the deck, taking it in turns to pick up a card, and then read aloud the challenge to the whole group. Designed to keep everyone on their toes and sipping their vodka sodas, some cards ask the player themselves to take a drink, while others invite everyone to drink or just certain players to imbibe.

With the ability to include up to a substantial 20 players in just one game, this card drinking game is ideal for breaking out at big parties. However, with a requirement of three players at a minimum, this game can’t be used for private two player drinking dates. Downsides aside, one of the best aspects of this game is that the premium playing cards are adorned with a thick, high-gloss finish to keep them in pristine condition for as long as possible, despite the inevitable spilled drinks and raucous partying activities.

For a brutal banter-filled blowout | Bad People Card Drinking Game

bad people card game

Pros: Kind to your purse, suitable for stag and hen parties, various ways to play keeps it exciting

Cons: Expert-level banter may offend some players, different types of cards require organising

Calling all banter kings and queens, this professional-level card drinking game is not designed for the faint-hearted or the inexperienced! Despite the attractive price tag, Bad People is a self-confessed brutal drinking game that boasts a simple set of rules and some rather risqué humour on each and every playing card. Worth whipping out for a big celebratory event that you’ll never want to forget, like a hen party or stag do, this game can accommodate up to 10 players and uses a voting system to encourage the telling of crazy stories! To play, all you need to do is pick a card from the pack, read it out and vote for the player that the question describes the best - what could be simpler? The aim is to vote for who you believe the card reader will vote for (which may not be the same person you would choose) in order to score a point! The first to reach seven points is the victor!

In terms of the disadvantages, this deck comes with 290 playing cards which need separating into four individual piles depending on which kind of variant you decide to play out of the three available. Thanks to the optional drinking game variant, you can get tipsy as you play! However, you should also bear in mind that the level of advertised banter may be uncomfortable for some players, so it’s important to ensure that everyone is happy with the type of challenges before you get started. Once every player is aware of and excited to explore the banter-filled selling point of this savage card drinking game, you can crack on and embrace your inner bad person for the night!

Always drink responsibly!

drink responsibly

Anyone that’s ever had one drink too many is well aware of the rather painful and undesirable effects of overindulging in alcohol! From clinging to the toilet all night to suffering from a pounding hangover headache the morning after, these drinking games can have rather unpleasant effects if you suffer from a losing streak. However, consistently drinking too much or only drinking to make yourself feel better can also cause more serious and potentially dangerous health effects to raise their head. Therefore, we always recommend contacting your GP or health professional if you have any queries or concerns regarding your alcohol intake to ensure you only ever drink safe and responsibly.

Once you’ve mastered drinking responsibly, taking part in a drinking card game is a great way to let your hair down and share a giggle with your pals. If you’re searching for a drinking card game alternative, why not take a look at our impressive online collection of adult and drinking games? Chock-full with all the party classics, such as beer pong kits, shot roulette wheels, and even shot bingo, you’ll have plenty of daring drinking games to wet your whistle. Let the games begin!

Please note: The information in this buyer’s guide is correct at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.

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