World Travel

Drinking games of the world

Beer pong

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!

Jiuling (China)

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:

User comments
Played the Whirly Pool Game back in the 80's at a trial game of Rugby League between The Narraweena Hawks and Popeye and the crew from Hawkesbury Ag College ... It goes as follows , everyone has a glass of beer in front of them , those who have played before tend to go for a midi or 7oz glass , first timer me took a schooner glass (all the fool me) You all sit in a circle and are given a number . Then you chant 'put your hands in the middle let your fingers twiddle let the whirly bird game commence ' clap your hands fast twice say your number and someone elses number then they must clap their hands fast twice and say their number and someone elses number , you cannot say the same number that was passed to you if you do or clap to slow (to think) you have to skull your glass ... It was hilarious and we got smashed needless to say and endured many a p... stop in the bus on the way home,
A variant of centurion or 100 nips in 100 minutes is simply 'Hour of Power', where you do a shot of whatever you're drinking (anything bar straight spirits, basically) every minute for a hour. Another classic drinking game is Kings. Bit hard to explain here, but there's a Wikipedia article that sums it up pretty well. Lots of fun to play.
aged 19 I played Spoof for 4 bottles Moet ,played by any number of players in a series of rounds. In each round the objective is to guess the aggregate number of coins held in concealment by the players. At the beginning of every round each player may hold any quantity of coins, from zero to a maximum of three OR FIVE in their closed fist, extended into the circle of play. The coins may be of any denomination, and indeed the values of the coins is irrelevant. In fact, any suitable objects could be used in place of coins. For the first round an initial guesser is selected in some fashion. This first guesser has the initial advantage in that all possible sums are available for his guess, but also lacks insight into what the others might be holding, as indicated by their subsequent guesses. Play proceeds clockwise and whoever gets the total right drops out , then again the play goes until the last person left pays the bet ,Igot so drunk i will never forget this game - what if ide lost
A fun game learned from some Canadian backpackers. We played this as we celebrated Territory Day and they celebrated Canada Day (July 1st). Get 2 teams of about 4 or 5 to line up down a side of a long table each and 1 referee at the head of the table. Fill a plastic cup for each player with beer, cruiser etc. At the ref's go, the first person on each team skulls their drink, turns their cup upside down with part of it hanging off the edge of the table and tries to flip it up the right way. After that person's cup is back the right way up, the next person down the line skulls and so on. First team to successfully tip their cups back up the right way is the winner.
Articles Version Here's to (insert friend's name) he's true blue! He's a *** pot through and through. He's a *** so they say, and he's not going to heaven, he went the other way! He's going down, down, down, down, down! My version Here's to Johnny he's true blue He's a *** pot through and through He's a *** so they say He meant to go to heaven but he went the other way He went DOWN DOWN DOWN DOWN.... (If they skull the drink perfectly sing this) What'd we think of Johnny? He's alright, he's got man *** but he's alright! (if they didn't skull so effectively) What'd we think of Johnny? He's *** weak, he's got a small co*k and he's *** week! hehe i love australia!
Unreal all the stories in print, tv etc showing the disastrous effects of binge drinking, and then this, what a joke !!
The first drinking game I learnt was called I Never. It is easy because all you really need is alcohol and people. Somebody starts by saying "I never (insert something that they have done)." Then anyone who has done that has to have a drink. The only rule is that the person who says it has to have done it. The things can get pretty wild and even down right weird as the game goes on and people get drunker.
I agree with DB. We do not need to give any more encouragement to binge drinking. It's not funny to get legless. It's dangerous to the people involved and anyone who gets in their way.
We visited friends in Arkansas, USA. They had a group of their friends around one night and we had a game of Tequila Tiddly Winks. Each 'player' had a shot of tequila in front of them. Players in turn bounced a quarter coin off the table towards the opposition's shot glasses. If it landed in someone's glass they had to drop the shot down. It was a fun night, and the locals were most impressed at the drinking capacity of the Aussies.
A nice easy one, to get quite centurion. Each person has a shot glass, and every minute, you drink a shot of beer. The peolpe who surivive to 100 shots of full strength beer (100 minutes) win. Rules are, you are not allowed toilet breaks, and not allowed to throw up. The best way to mark the minutes, is to have music on your computer set to change songs every minute. Another is Atomic Centurion. Every 10th shot is a shot of liquor.