Kings, Kings Deck, King's Cup, King of Cups, Circle of Death, or Categories is a popular drinking game similar to circle of death. It uses a standard deck of playing cards. The deck of cards are shuffled and spread down on a table, usually in a circle. In some variations, a cup is placed in the center of the table. The play goes around the table with each player drawing one card at a time. Each card has a different action associated with it, which are listed below.
'Classic Rhyme' Rules
2) You, as in you point to someone and say "you" making them drink
3) Me, as in you, yourself take a drink
4) Floor - everyone touches the floor or the table whatever you all decide, and the last one to touch the floor drinks
5) Guys - all the boys drink
6) Chicks - all the girls drink
7) Heaven - everyone must raise their hands as if they're reaching "heaven" and the last person to raise their hands drinks
8) pick a mate - Whoever drew the card must pick a partner to drink them for that one time
9) Bust a Rhyme - You can either say just one word or a whole sentence, but whatever you begin with you must continue with until someone doesn't come up with a rhyme; for example if you chose just one word like run, you must go in a circle and each person will say one word that rhymes with run, like gun. the last one drinks. if you say a sentence like the boy ran, then the next must say a sentence and the girl went to tan.
10) Categories - the person who drew the card must say a category like ice cream, and then go in a circle and a say something that goes along with the category
J) Never have I ever - go in a circle saying something you have never done, while holding up 3 fingers. the first person to lose all their fingers must drink
Q) Questions - go in a circle asking a question and whoever doesn't say one drinks
K) Make a rule - this person gets to make a rule that everyone must obey until the game is over or the next person who draws a king cancels it
A) 'Waterfall - go in a circle drinking until the person in front of you stops
There are probably as many variants of Kings as there are groups who play the game. For starters, any action whose name isn't somehow connected to the associated card (9 is almost always "Bust-a-Rhyme", and K is always the same) can be associated with any other card (for instance, A is "Make-a-Rule" and 7 is "Waterfall"). Also, in some circles, 4 is "Whores" (women drink) and 6 is "Dicks" (men drink). Another value is then assigned to 5. This variant is especially popular at fraternities.
In some versions of the game, the number cards 2-8 require a number of drinks equal to the card's number. If the card is black, the player must drink that many drinks. If the card is red, the player distributes that many drinks however he/she chooses. For example, a black 4 requires the player to drink 4 drinks, while a red 5 allows a player to assign one person 1 drink and another person 4 drinks, or any other combination of 5 drinks total.
Also, in some variants, the King's Cup will be filled with whatever the participants are drinking (typically beer) before the game begins. In this variant, each King drawn will be placed on top of the cup, and the person who draws the fourth will be required to drain the cup. Sometimes an especially large container such as a pitcher or coffee carafe is used as the King's Cup.
In addition, in some groups, the cards will be arranged in a ring around the cup. The first player to "break the circle" (that is, draw a card that leaves a gap in this ring) must pound the King's Cup, regardless of how many Kings have been drawn. The deck is then shuffled, and a new ring formed. Alternatively, if everyone has had enough, the game ends. This rule is nearly always treated as optional, as if the circle is broken early, the concoction in the King's Cup will be neither especially large nor especially foul. Alternatively, the player who "breaks the circle" may be required to finish his or her own beverage.
Another alternative rule will be to place a can of beer in the center of the table, and form a ring with the cards around the can. As you draw a card and play the rule, you place it under the tab of the can. The person who cracks the seal of the can must chug the beer. If they chug the whole can, they win the game. If they fail, a new can is placed in the center and the game continues. Under this rule, Kings are played as a social (everybody drinks).
A selection of variant rules follows.
5) "I am Spartacus!"
The person who draws this card is "Spartacus". At any point from then, that person can stand up and shout "I am Spartacus!", at which point everyone else must do the same. The last person to stand up and shout "I am Spartacus!" takes the designated penalty drink. Drawing another Spartacus card before the previous one is used nullifies the first Spartacus, i.e. there can only be one Spartacus at any point in the game.
J) Alphabet Game
Can be for Movie Titles, Song Names, Music Artists/Groups or Video Games etc. Play goes around clockwise (or counter) starting from A-Z and each person has to name an artist, movie, etc. that starts with the assigned name. Each player has 3 seconds (or as agreed) to reply. If not they drink and play continues until the letter Z or a certain amount of drinks. Keep to one category else it's too easy.
First player says any country they want, next player must use the last letter of the country as the starting letter of their country. Play goes until someone messes up.
A) In Your Face
You take a drink.
The Drawer of the card starts drinking. The player to the drawers left then starts drinking and this continues clockwise. When the drawer stops drinking the person to his left can stop, then the person to his left can stop and so-on until finally the person to the drawers right stops drinking.
3) Three's Company
Social. Everyone takes a drink.
In a clockwise fashion beginning with the card-drawer, each person says the next number in the natural number series starting with one. However, if the number is a multiple of seven or eleven, or has a seven in it such as 37, the person must say "buzz" instead of the number. For example, the first person says "1", the second says "2"...3, 4, 5, 6, buzz, 8, 9, 10, buzz, 12, 13, buzz, etc. Play continues until someone makes a mistake in the series and consequently drinks.
All women drink.
4) Hands of the Floor
Everyone puts a hand on the floor, the last person to do so has to drink. This rule is a nice equaliser since often the people with the comfiest seats have the hardest times putting their hands on the floor.
5) Hand Jive
Make a gesture, then point to someone. They repeat the gesture, add one of their own, and point to someone else. First person to make a mistake in repeating the sequence drinks.
5) Word Association
This is similar to "Categories". The drawer says any noun and the person to the left of him or her must say a word that relates in some way to the previous word. Play continues clockwise until someone either cannot think of a similar word or says a word that is considered "too far off" by the other players; this person drinks. An example goes: "blue", "orange", "banana", "monkey" etc.
5) Touch The Sky
Everyone must raise their hand. The last person to get their hand up must drink.
5) Thumb Master (or Nose Master)
See the 10) Make A Rule for details. Nose Master is the same, only player must touch his thumb to his nose. Drawing another five replaces who the Master is.
All players must put their thumb on the floor or the table, and the last to do so drinks.
The drawer must state a phrase such as 'I have been skydiving.' Then each other player says whether this is a lie or truth. Whoever is wrong drinks and if everyone at the table is correct in a unanimous right/wrong decision then the drawer drinks one drink for the number of players.
6) Mix or Flicks
The drawer says the name of a song title (or movie title) and then the next person must say a song/movie title playing off one of the words in the previous title. Generally words like 'A', 'The', 'Of' etc are out of play. For example, I start with 'All You Need is Love,' the next person may say 'All Shook Up,' next could be 'You Shook Me All Night Long,' and so on. Whoever can't come up with a song/movie title in a reasonable amount of time drinks.
The person who picks the card names one item available at 7-11 (hot dogs for example). The next player must name what each player before him named plus a new item (2nd player, "hot dogs, beer." 3rd player "hot dogs, beer, condoms.") Whoever cannot recite the entire list correctly drinks.
7) Seven Doubles Eleven
The person who picks this card starts by saying the number "1", counting continues in a clockwise direction until "6", the person just left of the person who says six then says "f*ck you!" and the direction reversed to counter clockwise with the person who just said "6" saying "8" and continues until the person who should say "11" instead says "f*ck you" and direction reverses again. This continues and EVERY multiple of 7 and 11 (7,11,14,21,22 etc. . . ) is replaced with "F*ck You!" and the direction changes. This continues until someone messes up and then they have to drink.
Opposite of "floor". Last player to throw their hands in the air drinks.
The player who draws the card says a word, then the next player says the first word and a word of their own, the third player adds on to the sentence by saying the previous two words and their own third word, and so on. The first person to mess up drinks.
Pick another player, that person must drink until you tell them to stop. If the player finishes their drink before being told to then the person who picked the card must drink until told to stop.
Dare another player to do something. If they won't, they drink (generally more than once).
The drawer starts with a Category and an example and everyone in turn comes up with another example. Again, if you repeat what's already been said or take too long, you drink. For example, I (being the drawer), would say 'the category is NBA teams'. I would give the example of the Bulls, the next person might say the Celtics, and so on.'
Say a word and the person next to you has to rhyme with it. Anyone who repeats a word or cannot rhyme has to drink
The player who has drawn the most recent 10 is said to have "thumb-control." This means that at anytime during the game this person may touch their thumb to anything they wish and everyone else must do the same. The last person to do it drinks.
10) "Prank SMS"
The player who draws this card must hand their mobile phone over to the rest of the group, who get to send one SMS to anyone they can find in the contacts list or a number they supply. Professional contacts are often off-limits for this, however. Typically, ex-partners or potential partners are targeted.
10) Never Have I Ever . . .
The person who draws the card makes a factual statement beginning with the words "Never have I ever . . ." All players who the statement DOES NOT apply to must drink.
10) I have or I havn't
I've Never or I have, tell something you have/havnt done and anyone who also has/hasnt has to drink. For example "Ive kissed a boy" and everyone who has kissed a boy has to drink.
The previous person in the rotation takes one drink.
The person who drew the card names a category, e.g. makes of car, and then names something from the category, e.g. Ferrari. Each person in the circle then has to name another thing from the category. If they cannot, or repeat something that was said by an earlier player, then they drink.
The person who draws the Jack picks a category and starting with that person working around the group everyone comes up with a sexual innuendo involving that subject or category. For example a category could be golfing, and an acceptable innuendo to follow would be "I have a 7 wood if you know what I mean." And you always finish off the innuendo with the phrase, "if you know what I mean". The first perosn that is unable to come up with a good innuendo drinks.
Much like "Hand Jive," but play continues counterclockwise instead of through pointing from player to player. First person to make a mistake in repeating the sequence drinks.
Only the person who has drawn the most recent jack may use the bathroom. All other players must hope to draw a jack or for the game to end (or beg the current jack owner to take them with him or her).
Everyone must put their naked ass on an object decided upon prior to the start of the game. The object is commonly the wall, but it can very well be the neighbours' front door, the railing of a boat, or your friends car. Whoever is last must drink and add some of his or her drink to the punishment jar.
Q) Hidden Category
Much like the Jack rule of similar name, in this a player has to think of a category, name something from it and then other players must do the same. The difference is that the first player does not announce what the category is until every other player has had their go. So if the first object was 'Elephant' then the category might be 'party mascots' or 'African animals' and it is up to each player to make their best guess. If they are wrong then they drink.
All players must put their thumbs on the table. The last player to do so takes one drink.
Q) Question Master
The player who draws the Queen becomes the Question Master. No player may answer a question from the Question Master. If they fail in this task, drink. The next Queen replaces the Question Master.
Before you start the waterfall, everyone should fill their drinks. Everyone starts drinking when the drawer of the card starts. The person to their left can't stop drinking until the person to their right stops. As you guessed it, the person to the right of the drawer is screwed.
Note that any of the rules can be assigned to any card, so long as an appropriate name for the action is chosen.
This game is also commonly played with the number cards (or most of the lower cards) dictating the number of drinks to be taken, and the colour dictating whether the person who drew the card takes that many drinks or orders another to take them. Example: Rules are as given in the opening section of this page for 9,10,J, Q,K, A. For 2-8 they are as described here. A person draws a red 3, takes 3 drinks. Next person draws black 5, orders whoever they wish to take 5 drinks (they may also order, for example, two people to take two and three drinks respectively). Note that 7 and 8 could retain the rules listed in the earlier section, as could 5 and 6. "Taking 3 drinks" refers to three swigs, three fingers, or any other predetermined quantity.
Example 'Create A Rule' Rules
Rules are normally created by whoever draws a particular card, often the King or Ace. The normal forfeit for breaking them is a drink, although creative rules are at the heart of Kings. In most games the rules become void while involved in game related activity (Rhyme, Questions, etc).
Aristocracy: Whenever a player addresses another player by name, they must give them a suitable title. For instance: Baron Edd, Queen Cleo, Mistress Kathryn.
Drink, Drank, Drunk (or 3D) Rule: No player may say any of these words.
Dyslexia Rule: People at the table must be referred to as their name backwards. Tom becomes Mot. If you do not remember and you say "Ha Ha Tom you idiot drink!" you have to consume as well.
First person rule: No one can use any articles that are in the first person (e.g., I, my, me, mine, etc.) Very interesting when combined with rule below (Chris thinks Anna should take her turn in John's pants). Some groups also disallow the use of the word "you."
In My Pants Rule: After the conclusion of any statement you must say "In My Pants". This rule can be modified to use other phrases besides "In My Pants" such as "In My Bed", "When I'm Naked", etc. This can create a very entertaining game with thing said such as "Chris get me another beer, In My Pants", "I have to go pee, In My Pants" or "Linda I wish you were on this side of the table, In My Pants".
"S" Rule: Any player to use say word beginning with "s" must drink. Makes for a very interesting game.
Orgasms Rule: Whenever someone says a certain word, the other players at the table have to fake an orgasm. Last person to do so has to drink.
Pointing: Often phrased something like "Whenever I point at Ronan he must drink" or "if a girl points at a guy he has to drink".
Polite society: No swearing, please. This can also be single word rules such as no F word, etc.
Srebmun (Numbers): All numbers must be spoken as if spelt backwards i.e. eno, owt, eerht, ruof, evif etc.
Thumb Master: One player becomes the thumb master. When they put their thumb on the table (subtley) other people must copy them; the last person to do so has to drink.
Vikings!: Make a rowing motion, last person to do it drinks.
Wee Man (A.K.A. The Little Green Man): Before any player takes a drink, they must remove an invisible "wee man" from the lip of their bottle/can, and place him on the table. After drinking, they must replace him. Whoever forgets their wee man must take another drink.
Saying Names: Can not say the first name of anyone playing. If you do you must take a drink (works out better for guys as a lot of the time they call their friends by their last names).
Left Hand and pinky: Must only drink with left hand and with pinky in the air. Sometimes, the rule can be more general and dictate that all players may drink with their non-dominant hands only.
Rick James Rule : When anyone says anything, they must end the phrase by saying "BITCH!". Makes for some funny conversations : "Bender you gotta drink, BITCH!" "Pick a card BITCH!"
Superheroes : You can't say any player's names, you have to replace them with a superhero's name. You can assign them, or just make them up.