Buffalo or Buffalo Club is a drinking game where participants must chug their drink if they drink with their dominant hand. Buffalo is commonly understood to continue for the players' entire lives. People who play the game refer to themselves as "Buffalos", and groups of players may refer to themselves as a "Buffalo club", though the game itself is also sometimes called "Buffalo Club". If ever you drink from a glass not using your less dominant hand it is a buffalo and can be called so.
The history and origin of the Buffalo Club are obscure and many versions are in existence. A folk origin of the game states that Buffalo Club stems from the gunslinging days of the Wild West where the use of one's right hand (the shooting hand) was at times a matter of life or death. Thus, recreational activities such as playing cards or drinking were done with the left hand only to avoid severe consequences. The game is now popular around the world.
The rules are fairly simple, though widely varying, and involve which hand a player may use to drink. One version of how to play the game:
- A player can only drink with their non-dominant hand. If any other Buffalo players spot them drinking with their dominant hand, they call Buffalo on the player and that player must finish their drink as quickly as possible. If the player hesitates to finish their drink, the other players will usually proceed to make a ruckus chanting "Buffalo!" and banging on the table until the player finishes.
- If the player calls Buffalo on somebody when they are actually drinking with the proper hand, they may return with a call of "False Buffalo" and the player is obligated to finish their own drink. If the buffalo-er does not currently possess a drink, the False caller must drink the nearest alcoholic drink available.
- Once a player begins playing Buffalo, they are playing it for the rest of their life.
- When someone is drinking non-alcoholic beverage, they need to drink it with their dominant hand.
- The Game (mind game), another game in which the players are perpetually playing.
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