Kings (king's cup, donut, jug oval, of fire, or ring of fire) is a drinking game that uses playing cards. The player must drink and dispense drinks based on cards drawn. Each card has a rule that is predetermined before the game starts. Often groups establish house rules with their own variation of rules.
- 1 Deck of Cards
- 2 or more players
- Alcoholic beverages – typically wine, beer, or mixed drinks - or non alcoholic beverages
- A large cup which will be used as the King's Cup
Setup and common rules
In this game, players perform actions associated with each card. Sometimes, rules on the cards "reveal interesting things about the participants".
Usually, cards are shuffled and dealt into a circle around either an empty cup or a full can of beer (or a shot/cup of spirits or wine). Each player takes a turn drawing cards, and the players must participate in the instructions corresponding to the drawn card.
This game is highly open ended and all of the cards can signify any mini-game, the rules and the card assignments are normally confirmed at the start of the game. Depending on house rules, the game either ends when the last rule card has been pulled, or when the king's cup has been consumed; or when the cards are placed on top of the king's cup the game is over when the cards fall off, the one that knocked them off must consume the king's cup.
It is also common for the players to make up and agree on a set of rules every time the game is played.
Common Kings Card Assignments
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|Ace||Waterfall||To perform a waterfall, each player starts drinking their beverage at the same time as the person to their left. No player can stop drinking until the player before them stops.|
|2||Give 2 & possibly a third||You point at two persons and tell them to drink. You can also tell one person to take two drinks.|
|3||Take 3||"Three is me." You take a drink.|
|4||Give 2 Take 2||You give out two drinks, and take two yourself.|
|5||Rule||Set a rule to be followed, e.g. drink with your left hand, tap your head before you drink, don't use first names, etc.|
|6||Thumbs||Place your thumb on the table, and try to do this without anyone noticing. As people notice, they will also have to put their thumb on the table too. The last person to place their thumb on the table drinks.|
|7||Raise your hand to heaven||Last person to raise their hand will drink.|
|8||Mate||Choose a person to be your mate and they drink when you drink for the rest of the game.|
|9||Rhyme Time||"Nine is Rhyme". You say a word, and the person to your right has to say a word that rhymes. This continues around the table until someone cannot think of a word. This person must drink. The same word may not be used twice.|
|10||You come up with a category of things, and the person to your right must come up with something that falls within that category. This goes on around the table until someone can't come up with anything. This person must drink.|
|Jack||Jack- Danielle drinks|
|Queen||Gals Drink||All the gals at the table must take a drink|
|King||King's Cup||When each of the first 3 Kings are drawn, the person who drew the card puts some of their drink into the King's Cup at the center of the table. When the 4th King is drawn, the person who drew the 4th King must drink the contents of the King's Cup.|
Common Circle of Death Card Assignments
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|Ace||Maddy drinks||Anyone named 'Maddy' drinks - anyone else participating can drink at their own leisure whilst observing the unfortunate Ethan.|
|2||You||"Two is you" Player points at a person and tell them to drink|
|3||Me||"Three is me." Player who draws card drinks.|
|4||Whores||"Four is whores" Women drink|
|5||Drive||"Five is drive" Everyone puts up their hands as if driving a car. The player who drew the card begins. They say "vroom" while tilting their hands to the right or left. The "driver" is passed to the player next to them in that direction. Players now have three options as the "driver" position is passed to them. They can choose to turn to same direction as the person before them and say "vroom", passing it one more person. They can turn their hands in the opposite direction and say "skert" (as in the screeching of car wheels) and pass the "driver" position back to the person who just sent it to them. Now that is the new direction and all "drivers" who turn that way must say "Vroom" until a "driver" decides to "skert" it back again. The last option is to say "beep" while mimicking hitting the car horn. This passes the game's position to the player opposite the current driver. The first "driver" who speaks or turns the wrong way has to drink.
e.g. Person A: *turns to left "Vroom" Person B: *turns to left "Vroom" Person C: *turns to right "Skert" Person B: *turns to right "Vroom" Person A: *hits horn "Beep!" Person D: *turns to right "Vroom"
|6||Dicks||"Six is dicks" Men drink|
|7||Heaven||"Seven is heaven." Last person to get both hands in the air has to drink.|
|8||Mate||"Eight is mate" Choose a person to be your mate and they drink when you drink, and vice versa, for the rest of the game. If one of the mates draws another 8 card they chose another player and now all three have to drink. You can also merge two mated pairs this way. If all players of the game become mated, then all ties are cancelled.|
|9||Rhyme||"Nine is Rhyme". You say a word, and the person to your right has to say a word that rhymes. This continues around the table until someone cannot think of a word. This person must drink. The same word may not be used twice.|
|10||Categories||You come up with a category of things, and the person to your right must come up with something that falls within that category. This goes on around the table until someone can't come up with anything. This person must drink.|
|Jack||Thumb Master||Whenever the player who drew this card places their thumb on the end of the table, however discretely, all other players must place their thumbs there as well. The last person who places their thumb has to drink. The drawer of this card has the power to do this at any point until the next jack is drawn, or the end of the game.|
|Queen||Question Master||The player who drew the card becomes question master. Whenever this player asks a question other players must answer with another question until the next queen card is drawn and a new question master is selected. Players who answer a question from the question master without a question must drink. Simply making the ending intonation of your sentence in a questioning manner does not count and you must drink. Ex. Questionmaster: "What time is it?" Player: "Is it around midnight?"|
|King||King's Cup||When each of the first 3 Kings are drawn, the person who drew the card pours some of their drink into the King's Cup at the center of the table. When the 4th King is drawn, the person who drew the 4th King must drink the contents of the King's Cup.|
Variations and other rules
Like almost all other drinking games, Kings has endless variations of rules, and individual drinking groups usually have their own set of card effects. There will be similar rules, but there will most likely always be some that some players have never encountered before. Some games specify that playing a certain card allows that player to make up a new rule which lasts for the remainder of the game.
A major variation in the US, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa or Canada is that the contents of the King's Cup are drunk by the player who breaks the circle of cards (known as the Ring of Fire in the UK).
A popular variation in Australia is the Smoko or Toilet Card replacing Give Two Take Two. In this version, a player needs to possess a Smoko Card to leave the table to smoke or use the toilet. A player can have multiple copies of the card and they can be traded, typically under conditions such as; the recipient must refill drinks on demand, crawl for the rest of the game, talk in a funny voice, etc.
Another popular variation in Australia is where the game is played with the addition of the Joker card. Upon drawing a Joker, the player must take a bong hit of tobacco.