Drinking Games from Around the World
Drinking ‘Round the World
Wherever you are in the world, the people you see will probably love two things: drinking and fun. It only makes sense that they’d combine the two! Not every country has the same customs and traditions when it comes to their booze, but almost every modern culture has at least a few drinking games.
We’ve got quite a few of our own here in the US, but it never hurts to learn more. Besides, even lackadaisical college seniors can admit that beer pong and flip cup eventually get old. If you and your friends are looking for a few more creative ways to get drunk, check out these international drinking games.
Russia: Enter the Dragon
The Russians are world renowned for their vodka – and their abilities to handle it in large quantities. It’s only fitting that one of their best-known drinking games would be so simple and brutal. In “Enter the Dragon,” the biggest lightweight of the group starts out as the leader. Every player antes up a certain amount of money at the table, and then that leader signals the beginning of the round.
What happens at the signal? Everyone takes a shot of vodka, of course! They then duck under the table while still sitting in their chairs. The leader shouts “The dragon has entered!” at their discretion, and all players must struggle to retain their balance as they sit upright. Anyone who falls out of their chair is eliminated. Remaining players keep on adding money to the pile at each round, and the last drunk left in their seat takes all.
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Japan: Ping Pong Pang
In this fast-paced game, players must keep track of a dizzying chant. One player starts by yelling “ping,” followed by “pong” from the player to their left. The next person to the left must yell “pang” and immediately point to another player in the circle to start the cycle over again. If anyone misses their cue, the whole group shouts at the offending player, who must then down a shot or glass of beer. This game gets people drunk in a hurry!
Unlike many other games, finger-guessing only has one winner per round – everyone else has to drink! All players in the group begin by making shapes with their fingers to represent numbers between 1 and 20. Each person then guesses the sum total of all players’ numbers. Everyone reveals their hands, and the player who’s closest doesn’t have to drink. Amazingly, most people like to use forty to one-twenty-proof alcohol for this game.
Great Books on Drinking and Games
Cuba: Alcoholic Jenga
Jenga’s famous in plenty of countries, but the Cubans like to add a simple twist – drink when you mess up. This can be done with any kind of alcohol, but rum is the drink of choice. There rules aren’t very structured, and groups of friends will usually just play until they’re too sloshed to stack the pieces back up. Some people also like to incorporate “truth or dare” into the mix by writing little messages on some of the pieces.
Centurion - Watch These Guys Try It!
United Kingdom: Centurion
Brits are often thought of as some of the world’s heaviest beer drinkers, and this game shows why. The aptly-named centurion requires each player to take one-hundred shots of beer! That’s the volumetric equivalent of nearly seventeen 12-oz. cans – and we’re not talking Natty Lite or Bud, either.
As if that wasn’t tough enough, some players like to add their own little twists. A common variation requires everyone to take their shots at minute intervals. If they miss one, they can stay in – but only if they down two the following round. Even more difficult, Canadians like to up the ante to an even 24-pack, also divided among 100 shots. Finally, some people even play a version called “Spartan,” where everyone has to drink 300 times. People don’t usually finish that one before they pass out….
Legend has it that the Incan king Atahualpa taught this deceptive game to Pizarro – the Spanish conquistador infamous for his slaughter of native Central Americans. “Dudo” is Spanish for “I doubt,” and you’ve certainly got to be a skeptic type if you want to win. Each player rolls five dice in a cup, and then sets it down so only they can see the numbers. Everyone then makes claims about their dice, and each player is free to shout “dudo!” when they think another is lying. If you make a correct accusation, the liar has to drink. If you’re actually wrong – you have to drink! Things get really complicated when you’ve got a group of five or more people.
Could you do it?
Centurion requires you to drink 10 beers within the first hour! How many 12-oz'ers can you down in that time?
Spain: Los Chunguitos
Named after a one-hit wonder from the 1970s, this popular Spanish game tips the scales in favor of the musically-inclined. Players sit in a circle, and one begins the game by chanting “I am Chunguitos number one” while clapping in rhythm. Each successive player in the circle does the same until everyone has a number. Then the fun begins. Player one repeats the cycle but also chants a number of their choice, staying in rhythm the whole time. The selected player does the same, and thus everyone has to stay on their toes to respond when their numbers are called.
Sounds hard enough as it is, but there’s more! Whenever one player is selected, the person to their right has to make drumming noises, while the other has to imitate a guitar. The game gets faster and faster as skilled players ramp up the pace. Anyone who screws up their role, be it chanting, clapping, drumming, or strumming has to drink.
Australia: True Blue
Like their Brit cousins, Aussies are well-known for their abilities to knock down a beer or ten. One of their national favorite drinking games is “True Blue,” which is really just a funny song. It goes:
Here's to X, he’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!...
Where “X” is the name of the “player” for that round. At the last verse, everyone keeps chanting “down, down, down!” until the person of interest has finished chugging a beer.