Are you a dedicated bar crawler looking for the ultimate icebreaker when partying with the locals? Then start practising these fun drinking games from around the world. They may seem simple here, but they're a lot more difficult to play in a foreign language after a few shots of the local hooch .
Dudo (Latin America)
Legend goes that more than 400 years ago, King Atahualpa of the Incas taught the Spanish conquistador Pizarro a game now known as dudo
(Spanish for "I doubt"). This game belongs to a family of dice game based on deception, called "liar's dice" which are popular all over Latin America, and also go under the names "Mexicali" in the United States, and "Mäxchen" in Germany.
To play dudo, you need two or more participants. Each player rolls five dice hidden under their tumbler. After taking a sneak peek, each player has to make successively bolder claims (often lies) about the dice numbers they're holding, until one player decides to challenge (call someone out a liar), by yelling "dudo!". The loser (whoever incorrectly challenged, or whoever was proven a liar) must drink and loses one dice. The last player with dice wins!
Drinking games (known as jiuling
) have been around for a long time in China. In 1982, a silver vessel used by scholars from the Tang dynasty (AD 618-907) for drinking games was unearthed in Dantu County, Jiangsu Province. It contained 50 gilded silver counters, each inscribed with a quotation from "The Analects of Confucius", and an instruction to "drink", "persuade others to drink", "punish" or "let go".
But these days, drinking games involving dice, with rules similar to Latin America's "liar's dice" are all the rage among Chinese youth. And, should you tire of singing cheesy Chinese pop songs, most karaoke bars come equipped with dice and tumblers.
However, one of the oldest and most pervasive drinking games in China must be the finger guessing game. It first appeared in the 11th century BC, and involves two players at a time. Both make a gesture of a number using their fingers, while shouting out a number from two to 20. To win, a player must shout a number that equals the total number of fingers extended by both players. Whoever shouted a number that's less loses the game and has to take a drink.
To make things trickier, players don't just shout a number but say a related phrase, such as "two kind brothers" to represent two, "three stars shining" or "making a fortune in four seasons", and so forth. Let’s face it, you're guaranteed to lose. But you'll make a heap more Chinese friends while you're doing it.
Beer pong (United States)
If there's any place that could be nominated as the spiritual birthplace of the modern drinking game, it must be America. Specifically, the frat houses of US college campuses. And of all the drinking games to have been spawned from the hallways of those illustrious dorms, there are none so infamous as beer pong, which now has its own tournaments, online community and even a Morgan Spurlock documentary.
The game is simple. Take two two-player teams. On each side of a ping-pong table (or indeed any table), setup six or 10 plastic cups one-third filled with beer in a triangular formation. Start throwing ping pong balls, and each time a player lands a ball in their opponent's cup, the opponent must drink all the beer in that cup. After all the cups are eliminated on one side, the losers must also consume all the beer in the winning team's cups.
Los Chunguitos (Spain)
Los Chunguitos are a 1970s rumba band from Madrid, who have the honour of being the inspiration for a popular Spanish drinking game of the same name. To play, take a group of jovial drinkers sitting in a circle or around a table. In the first round, each person must clap, flamenco style, and call out, "I am Chungitos number one", with the next person saying, "I am Chungitos number two", until each has their own number.
In the second round, each person calls out their own number, then the number of someone else, all the while clapping flamenco style. The new number must then call out their own number, then another new number, and so forth.
Sounds easy, right? Well to complicate things, the person directly to the right of the current player must also "play" the drums (mime and make drum sounds), while the person directly to the left must play the guitar. Whoever makes a mistake or is too slow has to drink, and the game starts again. Keep adding more 'instruments' to spice things up!
There are variations of this game all over Europe and Asia.
The true blue drinking game (Australia)
So what cultural delights has Australia added to the global culture of drinking games? Well, naturally, anything too complicated is out.Try this one next time you're keen to influence the evening's entertainment in a hostel halfway round the world:
Pick one of your new backpacker mates, and get everyone to sing the following popular anthem:
"Here's to [insert friend's name] he's/she's true blue!
He's a piss pot through and through.
He's a bastard so they say, and he's not going to heaven, he went the other way!
He's going down, down, down, down, down!"
And keep saying "down" until that person has downed their entire drink. As soon as they're done, follow up with:
"Hooray to [insert name],
Hooray at last!
Hooray to [insert name],
He's a horses arse!"
Now, doesn't it feel good to share your enlightened Western culture with the world?
Got any more drinking games you've discovered on your travels? Tell us about them using the comments form below: