When it comes to drinking games, anything goes. In the U.S., the Quarter Bounce, Bullshit, Shotgun, Moose, Fuck the Dealer, and Presidents and Assholes have all been favorites of many, but are now eclipsed by the popularity of younger rivals, like Beer Pong and Flip Cup. Some of us the States have become more than a little bored with Beer Pong, so we decided to look into the drinking games that people in other countries play. Maybe these games can even lead to some inspiration for our own party ideas — it’s worth a look.
We’ve all heard of Russian Roulette, the highest stakes drinking game in the world, but not all Russian drinking games are quite as intense. There are at least a couple that allow the drinkers to get their kicks, and get out alive.
Tiger has come or Enter the Dragon is a Russian drinking game that requires a lot of vodka, a table and cash. The weakest drinker starts out as the game leader, and he drinks only every other round, and holds his position until he passes out. A shot-glass of vodka is poured for each player as each antes up before the rounds hit the table. The game leader announces “tiger has come” or “dragon has entered,” at which point the players down their shots, then duck under the table and hide until the game leader says that the offending tiger or dragon is gone. As the game progresses, players who lose their balance coming out from under the table are eliminated. Winner takes all. Don’t think the winner too lucky a fellow, since he then hosts the next night of drinking — and provides the alcohol.
Bear Paw is also a popular drinking game in Russia, and it’s a bit cheaper. However, this game has no winners. An enormous beer mug is filled with beer and passed around, and wait for it — after each person drinks, the mug is topped off with vodka. This hilarious nonsense continues until everyone is passed out or the mug is full of pure vodka, at which point nobody would be left standing anyhow. If, by some miracle of alcoholism, the mug is full of vodka and players are still conscious, the mug continues to be passed around, this time topped-off with beer after every sip. This ridiculousness goes on until nobody is left awake.
Finger Guessing in China
Drinking is frowned upon in China, even more so than it seems to be in Amish country, so thirsty Chinese get together for parties as an excuse to play drinking games and get smashed. Sound familiar? One of the most popular drinking games in China is the finger-guessing game.
This one’s surprisingly simple: Players slyly make a shape with their fingers to represent a number between 1 and 20. Each player then tries to guess the total sum of all other players’ fingers. The closest guess is the winner, and the losers, of course, drink.
The alcohol of choice for Chinese drinking games is usually baijiu, a grain-based spirit with an alcohol content anywhere between 20 and 60 percent. Another favorite is Cantonese snake-wine, a potent, green concoction made by pickling snakes in a bottle of alcohol. A similar snake-wine is also popular in Vietnam.
Peer Pressure Ceremony in China
In Longi, China, guests at the Longi Rice Terraces are invited to rice wine ceremonies, hosted by the minority tribal villages of the Huang and Yao people. The local women sing before ambushing the guests and forcing them to knock back cup after cup of wine, in something similar to village-sized frat shots. The peer pressure is intense and the ladies constantly watch the glasses and refill them as soon as they are empty while ensuring the guests keep drinking. The ceremonies are as much a game for the hosts as for the guests, since the object is to get their chosen guests as drunk as possible, as quickly as possible. With this game, there’s fun to be had for all.
Rum and Jenga in Cuba
Many adults in Cuba play Dominos and card games while they gamble and drink, but Jenga and rum often come together at parties to form a drinking game. Discounting some regional variation, the participating Cubans basically play Jenga normally, except the consequences for mistakes are downing more rum. This goes on and on until the players are unable to even set up the pieces anymore, and a winner is declared.
A drinking game called Pon/Toma is played in Mexico with a six-sided dreidel. The sides of the dreidel are labeled with pon uno, pon dos, pon todo, tom uno, tom dos, tom todo. These translate to “give one, give two, give all, drink one, drink two, drink all,” respectively. Players start with a full glass of liquor, and an empty glass is placed in the center of the table. Each player spins the dreidel. If it lands on pon uno, the player puts a shot of their own drink into the glass. Toma uno, on the other hand, means the player has to drink a shot from the glass. When a player lands on a todos, they have to either fill the glass, or drink what’s in it.
One notorious drinking game known throughout the UK has never been successfully played through to finish, as far as anyone knows. Drinkers watch the film Withnail & I and attempt to match the characters drink for drink. Pints of beer are downed at ludicrous-speed until the players are either comatose or can simply drink no more. Technically, the end of the game is the end of the movie. Nobody knows what happens at the end of the movie.