Kings cup

Kings cup rules

Kings cup is probably one of the most popular drinking games. If you go to a party and see people having fun playing a card game, you can bet they are playing kings cup.

Even though this game is famous, the rules aren’t simple. The thing is that each card from aces to kings has a meaning, and it is not easy to remember what every single card means. Moreover, you will see that there are variants in which the rules change. But first, let’s start with the basics

How to play the kings cup ?


Here is what you will need :

  • A regular deck of 52 cards
  • A large cup
  • One table large enough to accommodate all players
  • Small cups for all players
  • Beverage

Set up

The set-up is fairly simple. Put the large cup in the center of the table. Distribute the cards all around the cup so that the cards make a circle. See below an example of such set up.

Kings cup set up
Credit :


One player starts and draws one of the cards. He returns it and shows it to everyone. Then an action is defined based on the card value (see below). When the action is completed, the next player draws a card. And so on.

As you know, this is a drinking game. It can be played with or without alcohol beverages. If you do play with liquors, make sure players use small cups. The game can go very fast, and you could get drunk within minutes.

For the kings cup rules digest, see table below:

Kings cup rules
Kings cup rules digest

For the comprehensive rules, here are the actions to perform according to the card value:

Aces : Waterfall

All players start drinking at the same time. The player who drew the card is the first who can stop drinking. Then only the player to their right can stop drinking. And so on until the last player stop drinking. When they can stop drinking, the players have the right to continue drinking, forcing all players to their right to drink. The last player to stop drinking is located on the left of the player who drew an ace. So it is definitely not a good sign when the player on your right picks an ace !

Two : 2 for you

This one is an easy one. The player who draws this card nominates another player. That player takes 2 drinks. If you draw this card, pay attention to the player you choose. This player will probably remember, and if he draws a two in the next rounds, he may select you to take 2 drinks !

Three : 3 for me

Another easy one : The player who picks this card takes one drink. You would prefer not to draw this card. Indeed, most of the cards hit the other players so if you pick a three, not only you drink, but you probably drank on the previous card, and you will probably drink with the next cards !

FOUR : floor

This one is a reaction game. All players must touch the floor as fast as possible. The last player who touches the floor drinks. It can be ever more funny if players are standing up ! It can be sometime difficult to find out who has lost as all players can touch the floor within the same second.

FIVE : Guys

Easy one again : All male players drink. If there is no man playing, then girls should define another rule when fives show up

SIX : Chicks

All female players drink. Similar to fives, if there is no woman playing, then boys should find another rule for this card

SEVEN : Heaven

This one is also a reaction game. All players must raise one hand in the air. The last player who does so drinks. As you probably noticed, this is the opposite of the four card, when all the players had to touch the ground.

EIGHT : Mate

This one appears simple, but you will see that it can affect the relationship between players! Indeed, the player who picks this card nominates another player. And that player takes one drink. So if you pick this card, will you choose your best friend, or the new player you have never seen before ? And how will they react to their nomination ? Then, if they draw an eight card when comer their turn, who will they pick up ?

NINE : Rhyme

Let the poets enter the game! This one is for the friends of words. The player who picks this card chooses a word. Each player going clockwise must say another word that rhyme. For example, the first player chooses “apple”, the second player says “grapple”, the third player says “dapple” and so on. No player can say a word that has been said before. The first who fails to find a rhyme takes a drink.

TEN : Categories

Another game for the brain. The player who draws this card chooses a category. Each player going clockwise must say another word falling in the same category. For instance, the first player chooses “football teams”. Then all players must say the name of a football teams, including the first player, when the first round is completed. Again, no player can say a word that has been said before. The first who fails to find a new word in the same category takes a drink.

JACK : Never I have ever

The player who picks this card starts one game of “Never I have ever”. This a quite popular game and it has a drinking version. If you don’t know about this game or would like to refresh your memory, clink on the link. It will redirect to a page about this game.

QUEEN : Question

Once again, a game for the brain. Ask a question to another player who must ask a question to a third player, and so on. The player who fails to find a new question takes one drink. For example, first players asks “what is the weather now?”. Second player responds, “is it raining?”. Third player, “Do you have an umbrella?” and so on. Of course, the response must be related to the previous one. In the above example, you must say something about the weather.

KING : Kings cup

Last but not least, the kings, the main cards of the game. The player who picks one of the 3 first kings pours some of their drink into the kings cup. The player who draws the 4th king drink the entire kings cup ! So you will see that the suspense grows with the quantity of kings being picked. When the third king is drawn, the tension is at max as the next player who picks the next king will drink the entire beverage mix !

Have fun and drink alcohol in moderation

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