RIDE THE BUS rules title

OBJECTIVE OF RIDE THE BUS: Get drunk and have the least amount of cards in hand.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 4-8 players

MATERIALS: Beer, A Standard 52-card deck

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

TYPE OF GAME: (Skill) Drinking Card Game



Ride the Bus is a competitive drinking game that demands the player’s logical skills and a dose of luck to not get plastered. If you cannot guess correctly, you drink!

As far as drinking games standards, The Ride the bus rules are on the more complicated side but is still one of the most fun drinking games there is.

The game utilizes an entire deck of playing cards (52 cards) and the goal of the game is to have the fewest number of cards in hand at the end of the round.

Prior to starting the game, players must pick one person to be the dealer and arrange themselves in around a table with some beer in hand.

The dealer may be chosen randomly. Or, to start the game in the spirit of drinking, a chugging contest is in order. All active players chug a beer in unison, the player to finish last (or first) is the dealer.

RIDE THE BUS drinking game

Don’t like beer? Here’s a list of some other great drinks for this game.


The dealer starts the game by asking all the active players a question- “Red or Black?” The dealer then reveals the top card of the pack to the 1st player, if they are correct in their guess, they pick one player to drink. However, if they are wrong, they drink alone. This continues around the table until each player has seen their 1st card.

RIDE THE BUS round 1 red black


The question of round two is, “HIgher or lower?” Reminder, ace is the highest-ranking card in this game, twos are the lowest. Players must guess if their next card is either higher or lower in value than their first card. This, albeit a guess, can be strategic.

For example, if your first card was a Queen, it is more likely than not the next card will be lower in value. If they are correct, they pick one player to drink. If they guess wrong, they drink alone.

This continues, again, until all players have seen their second card. In the event, the second card is of equal rank as their first, the player drinks as it is an automatic penalty.

RIDE THE BUS round 2 high low


The question in the third round the dealer poses is: “In between or outside?” Players guess if their third card will be in between the values of their first two cards or outside.

Again, while this is somewhat based upon luck, through logic and statistics players can deduce whether or not (to a certain extent) their card will be within or outside the values of their first two cards.

For example, if a player’s first 2 cards were a 10 and an 8, they can assume in the third round, the card will be outside the value of those 2 cards. But, if their cards were an Ace and a four, it is more likely the card will be in between those 2 cards.

As usual, if a player guesses correctly, they choose 1 person to drink. But, if they guess wrong, they drink. If the card is identical to the two cards pulled so far, they drink, again. And, maybe again, because that is some strange luck and it must be celebrated.

RIDE THE BUS round 3 between outside


In the last round, the players must guess the suit of the final card they are dealt (spades, clubs, hearts, diamonds). If they guess correctly, they have 5 people drink. If they are wrong, they only consume one drink. Players may split their 5 drink OR force them all on one player.

Then, players take all their cards (four cards) in hand while the dealer forms a pyramid (face-down). The pyramid has a 5 card base (then 4, 3, 2, 1… you know the drill).

Each row is assigned a value with alcohol, with the top row being worth more drinks than the bottoms ones (the rows ascend in number/potency of drinks). So that, they top row, for example, is 2 shots while the bottom rows are a drink, a couple drinks, and so on. This can be determined by all the players before starting the pyramid.

Here is an example of what the layout of the pyramid drink values can look like.

The fifth row, or bottom row, will have 5 cards in it and can be worth one drink from your beverage. The fourth row can be worth two drinks from your beverage. The third row values can be worth three drinks. The second row can be worth 4 drinks, and the final row, consisting of one card, can be worth five drinks.

Beginning with the bottom row, cards are flipped over one at a time. Players who have a card in hand of equal rank place their card on the pyramid and gives a player the assigned number of drinks for that row. More than one card can be laid at a time.


Once the last card of the pyramid is flipped and drinks are drunk, the player with most cards in their hand is the loser and they must ride the bus. (If there is a tie, the player with the highest-ranking card is the loser.

If they are equal, players draw cards and the highest-ranking cardholder then rides the bus.) When riding the bus, players must complete all four of the questions in a row:

  • Red or Black
  • Higher or Lower
  • In between or outside
  • Suit

If they answer a question incorrectly, play starts the back to question one (taking the necessary drinks).

The game ends once the entire deck is used OR if they correctly answer all four questions consecutively. If the player was able to answer all the questions consecutively they win, otherwise they remain the loser.

As always when playing drinking games, please drink responsibly and make sure you and your friends all make it home safe.


How many people can play Ride the Bus?

Ride the bus is a fun drinking game played by 4 to 8 players.

Can Ride the Bus be played as a non drinking game?

You could modify it to be a non drinking game. A way to do this is to instead of taking drinks you could pay an ante to the pot, and play Ride the Bus as a betting game.

Is Ace high or low in Ride the Bus?

Ace is always played high in this game.

What happens if you draw a matching card while you play Ride the Bus?

In round one of the Ride the Bus game, there are no other cards to match with. You will have to wait till the second round when your next card is pulled to have the potential to match.

In the second round of the Ride the Bus game when you draw the same card as round one, you are penalized and must drink alone.

In round three of Ride the Bus if you draw a matching card to the first two rounds, or even a third identical card, you would drink once for each of the identical cards.

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