kings cup rules ace
Kings Cup Setup
alcohol for kings cup

Kings Cup, sometimes known as Ring of Fire, is one of the classic drinking card games played at most college parties. This game’s popularity can be owed to the fact that you don’t need much to play it. A game of Kings Cup only requires a standard deck of cards, some cups and plenty of alcohol. At company parties, we usually like to use a mix of beer, wine, harder drinks etc. Even though it sounds pretty simple, the rules of Kings Cup are usually forgotten after each game since it leaves everyone drunk out of their minds. For example, a lot of people forget the rule for the Ace cards in Kings Cup since it can have a double-meaning. So, if you’re one of those people or you just wanna play Kings for the first time, here’s an overview of those rules.

A Guide to Kings Cup Rules

The Setup

You first gotta start by arranging your deck of cards in a ring, where each card is touching each other and then place a cup in the middle of the ring. Now get some friends, sit around the ring and everyone should get something to drink.

What the Cards Mean

cards for kings cup

Each figure of the card in Kings Cup stands for something:

Ace (A) This card can have two meanings; you can decide whichever rule to enforce though.

Generally, an Ace means “waterfall”, where the person who picks it up has to chug their drink and everyone else has to do the same. Everyone can only stop drinking once the person who picked the Ace stops drinking.

But you can also choose to follow the “snake eyes” rule. This means that the person who picked the Ace has snake eyes and whoever looks into their eyes has to take a drink. Maybe this rule represents a public health concern since so many people will accidentally make eye contact and then get absolutely smashed, but it’s also pretty funny.

2 rhymes with “you”. and that means the person who draws the card can choose someone to have some of their drink.

3 rhymes with “me”. and that means that if you draw it, you have to drink.

4 rhymes with “whore”. Huh, I guess there’s a pattern here. All the girls have to drink but any guy who identifies as a whore can also drink.

5. Thumb Master. This breaks the rhyming rule, but it means that the person who draws the card can place their thumb on the table at any point during the game. Everyone else must follow and the last one to do it has to take a drink.  

6. Dicks. We’re back to the rhymes. Drink if you’ve got a dick.

7. Heaven. This card has the same idea as 5, where instead of being the thumb master, you can raise your hand towards the heavens at any point and last one to do so has to take a drink.

8. Mate. Choose a mate. You must now breed. Not really but you can apply this rule if you want. Essentially, after choosing a mate, they have to take a sip of their drink whenever you do. But it doesn’t go the other way around.

9. Rhyme. You come up with a word and then going one by one, everyone has to rhyme with your word. The person who breaks the rhyme has to drink.

10. Category is… Just come up with a category and start listing things in that category one by one until the chain is broken. The person to mess up the flow has to drink.

Jack (J) Rules. You can make up any rule and whenever someone breaks it, they have to drink.

Queen (Q) Question Master. You’re the question master until someone draws the next Queen. Whenever you ask a question and someone answers, they have to take a drink. Pretty easy to forget that you’re the master so there’s usually lots of sips taken at this point.

king and queen cards

King (K) This card can really lead to horrible consequences. If you draw it, you have to pour some of your drink into the cup in the middle. This keeps going on until the last King is drawn; at that point, you have to take a sip of whatever concoction is created in the cup.

Another Crucial Rule

The game is also known as Ring of Fire because if enough cards are drawn and someone eventually breaks the ring, they have to down their own drink. Make sure you don’t break it too often otherwise that will be your last memory of that night. After the rings is broken, the cards are rearranged to get rid of the gap.

Make it Your Own

Like many other drinking games, you can customise Kings Cup in many different ways. Kings Cup rules aren’t standardised and you can assign all sorts of meanings to the cards, making the possibilities are endless. You can decide that the game comes to an end when the last King is drawn or even when the last card is drawn. Although, if you feel like you’re on the verge of alcohol poisoning, it’s also a great time to stop.

Wanna Discover More Fun Drinking Games??

madpong drinking game

Check out our Party Guide which has all the info you need on drinking games and partying culture!

We also make games! We got Madpong, which is our improved version of beer pong, and Madwish, a variation on truth or dare, but with drinking involved. Any of these games will help you have a great time at the next party you go to!

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