King’s Cup

King's Cup, King's Cup game rules, title

OBJECTIVE OF KING’S CUP: Drink alcohol and have fun with some friends!


MATERIALS OF KING’S CUP: Standard 52 card deck, lots of alcohol (typically played with beer), 1 large cup (1/4 L)

NUMBER OF CARDS OF KING’S CUP: standard 52 card deck

RANK OF CARDS: A (high), K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2

TYPE OF GAME: Drinking Card Game



King’s Cup, as it is more commonly referred to, also bears the names Donut, Jug Oval, and Ring of FireIt is a drinking game that uses a standard deck of playing cards, each of which has a rule associated with it.

Rules are predetermined prior to starting the game. Rules vary from house to house, and it is common before the game starts for players to argue about what cards mean. But, that’s all part of the fun. Below are common rules.


Place the large cup in the center of the table- this is the King’s Cup.

After shuffling the deck, distribute the cards evenly around the King’s Cup. Some players opt to keep the shuffled cards in a deck to draw from: this is dependent upon personal preference.

Pick a player to start the game. There are all sorts of fun ways to go about this, get creative. You can pick the youngest player to start or have a chugging contest to kick off the game.

The first player starts off by drawing a card and following the rule associated with it, play passes to the left.



The prevailing majority of players consider Ace to be waterfall. Everyone chugs until the player who drew the card stops, then the player to their right can stop which allows the player to their right to stop, and so on.

However, the Austrailian version, which has seen increased popularity in recent years, has a different use for the Ace.

Whoever picks up the Ace may call “snake eyes” on any active player. No one is allowed to look at the player who has snake eyes until another Ace is drawn or they must drink.

King's Cup, King's Cup gameplay, waterfall, snake eyes


Two is you which means the person who drew the card can another player to drink. It is also known as Give 2, in which the drawer points at two other players to drink or one player to take two drinks.

King's Cup, King's Cup gameplay, give two


Three is me, the drawer takes a drink.

King's Cup, King's Cup gameplay, three is me


Four is Girls, either women drink, or it may be played that people who have sex with women drink.

King's Cup, King's Cup gameplay, four is girls


Five is jive or bust a jive. The player who draws a five must come up with a dance move, the player to their right has to copy that same move and add to it, and so on.

This continues until someone messes up, they must take a drink.

King's Cup, King's Cup gameplay, bust a jive


Six is dicks. Similar to four, either guys drink or players who have sex with guys drink.

King's Cup, King's Cup gameplay, six is dicks


Seven is heaven; players raise their hands to the sky once they notice a seven has been drawn. The last person to raise their hands’ drinks!

King's Cup, King's Cup gameplay, seven is heaven


Eight is Mate, pick a mate or partner, everytime you drink they must drink, and vice versa, until the game ends. If a mate draws an eight again during the game the mates merge and three players must all drink in unison. If all the players end up mated, it all cancels out, and the ties are cut-off.

King's Cup, King's Cup gameplay, eight is mate


Nine is Rhyme or bust a rhyme, the player who draws the card says a word, players take turns going around the table of naming a word which rhymes with the original word. For example, the drawer says “lime,” players which follow may say dime, crime, styme, time, mime, etc. The person who is unable to come up with a new rhyme first drinks.

The more advanced version works well with creative groups, rather than rhyming a single word, try to rhymes phrases or sentences.

King's Cup, King's Cup gameplay, bust a rhyme


Tenis the game categories. The player who drew the 10 picks a category, then players take turns naming something which fits in that category. Fun categories include: Plants, Sex Positions, Books, Types of wine/local craft beer/liquor, Painters, Types of candy bars, etc.

King's Cup, King's Cup gameplay, categories


Jack is either Never Have I Everor I Have for seasoned players and the wild ones, which is Never Have I Ever reversed. You can learn about both those games, which are often played on their own, using the link above.

Essentially, players will follow the prompt “Never Have I Ever…” and will call out things they have not done, and if you have done them, you are supposed to put down a finger.

Players may put up anywhere between 3 or 5 fingers (although the full game is played with 10) to play with.

However, in I Have, players call out things they have done, and a player who has not done something puts a finger down.

The first person to put all their fingers down first is the loser and must drink.

Jack may also be played as Thumb Master. This is similar to seven, the palyer who drew the card places their thumb down on the table, and all other players follow, discretely. The last player to place their thumb down must drink.

King's Cup, King's Cup gameplay, never have i ever


The Queen is Question Master, and the player who draws the queen becomes the question master.

That player asks people questions, they must respond in a question. If they answer the question, they must drink.

This continues until someone else draws a queen and becomes question master.

King's Cup, King's Cup gameplay, question master


Lastly, the king. King is Make a Rule. 

If the rule is broken, the violater must drink.

The first player who draws a king can make a rule for players to follow. They will then pour some of their drink (ideally a third of the cup) into the king’s cup.

Once the second king is pulled the old rule ends and the player who drew the second king makes a rule. They will also fill the cup to about 2/3rds full.

For the third king pulled it follows the same mechanic. the old rule ends and the new player makes a rule. They will then fill the cup.

However, the last player to draw a king must chug whatever amount of alcohol is in the King’s cup.

And if you are looking for some other fun drinking card games to play with your friends, check out our rules for Ride the Bus and Horserace!


How do you play king’s cup?

Above we have detailed instructions for how to play king’s cup, but I will summarize it all together.

Each player will have a drink and the deck of cards will be shuffled. Players then take turns pulling cards from the deck and following the above prompts for each card pulled this way.

The game does not have a standard end to it, so play until you would rather be doing something else. As with all drinking games, please play responsibly and make sure you and your friends make it home safe.

Can you play king’s cup without it being a drinking game?

It would be difficult to play King’s Cup as not a drinking game.

However, I believe if you take every instance of drinking and replace it with “gains a point” you could make it a game where the player with the highest point total at the end loses.

How do you win King’s Cup?

King’s Cup is a drinking game and those often do not have a standardized end to them. So in most games, there will be no winner.

However, if you want to play for a loser, you could say the player that must drink the king’s cup is the loser of the game.

How many cards do you use for King’s cup?

While the standard game is only played with one standard deck of 52 cards, larger groups may need to add a deck or two to make sure the deck doesn’t run out. Alternatively, you could just shuffle the deck when it empties.

Want some drink ideas to fill your chalices? Check out some drink ideas here.

Nakoa Davis

Leave a Comment

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.