Buffalo (game)

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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.[1] Thus, recreational activities such as playing cards or drinking were done with the left hand only to avoid severe consequences.[2] The game is now popular around the world.


The rules are fairly simple, though widely varying,[3] and involve which hand a player may use to drink. One version of how to play the game:

  1. A player can only drink with their non-dominant hand.[4] 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.[5][6] 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.[4][7][8]
  2. 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.
  3. Once a player begins playing Buffalo, they are playing it for the rest of their life.[4][5]
  4. When someone is drinking non-alcoholic beverage, they need to drink it with their dominant hand.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Balkissoon, Denise (July 25–31, 2013). "Road Trip A: Buffalo". The Grid.
  2. ^ "The American Buffalo Club Association". American Buffalo Club Association.
  3. ^ "ABCA Rules". American Buffalo Club Association.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ a b c Kevin Pease (Nov 26, 2007). "Let The Games Begin!". New University. Retrieved Jan 18, 2010.
  5. ^ a b "Beer Game: Buffalo Club". Real Beer. 2008. Retrieved August 7, 2009.
  6. ^ Melissa Ludwig (March 26, 2009). "UTSA frat kicked out for hazing". San Antonio Express-News. Archived from the original on April 1, 2009. Retrieved January 18, 2010.
  7. ^ "The 5 Lamest Drinking Games". Coed Magazine. March 19, 2009. Retrieved August 7, 2009.
  8. ^ "Buffalo". Student Drinking Games. Retrieved August 7, 2009.