During a recent college reunion, we had the opportunity to reflect on how one’s drinking habits can evolve, mostly for the better—like from dank, dimly lit fraternity basements to less dank, dimly lit beer bars. But for the sake of nostalgia, we also had the pleasure of indulging in some good old-fashioned competitive drinking.
After the age of 22, it becomes harder to find excuses to drink for sport. But TV premieres, awards shows, birthdays and other parties can inspire a renaissance of irresponsibility. For those occasions, here’s a guide to college drinking games for adult you.
In case you forgot what it is: A card game in which two or more players draw cards. (Do not play with two people if you want to live through the night.) Each card comes with a rule for who should drink and how much.
Why you should play: Because you are a type A, rule-oriented person. Since every move must be followed by a very specific action, the stress you normally feel with unstructured activities will fade away. At least until you have too much to drink and you start yelling at people for not following the rules.
In case you forgot what it is: Teams of two line up on opposite sides of a table and throw Ping-Pong balls into overly complicated formations of plastic cups filled with beer. (If you want more of a challenge you can try the version played by breaking the handles off Ping-Pong paddles and hitting balls into overly complicated formations of plastic cups filled with beer.)
Why you should play: Because you are a former college athlete or weekend warrior. It’s the closest that a drinking game will ever come to an actual sport, and for reasons that no one completely understands you will feel like you accomplished something.
In case you forgot what it is: A sort of drinking man’s bridge. Players lay down cards, trying to get rid of their entire hand. You may lay down only cards of a higher value than whatever came before. If two 9s are played before you, you have to put down at least two 10s. The game gets its name because whoever finishes last is called the Asshole and must give up his best cards to the winner.
Why you should play: Because you find the game to be an appropriate allegory for the struggles of jumping from one economic class to another in today’s America. Also because you know how to count cards.
In case you forgot what it is: Teams of five-ish drinkers line up, drink their beer and then struggle to flip their empty cups upside-down.
Why you should play: Because just chugging beer isn’t enough of a challenge for you, but you know you aren’t coordinated enough to play an actual game. Perfect for the overly competitive lightweight.
In case you forgot what it is: Like flip cup, two lines of drinkers take their places on opposite sides of a table in a room that—let’s hope—has no carpeting anywhere. They drink their beer as fast as they can and then turn their empties over on their heads.
Why you should play: Because just chugging beer is enough of a challenge for you, thank you very much.
In case you forgot what it is: Players try to bounce quarters into a full cup of beer. If they succeed, they get to make anyone else at the table drink.
Why you should play: Because you have been secretly practicing this game since you graduated and it is the only demonstrable skill you took away from your college years. And with the invention of the credit card parking meter there is absolutely nothing left to do with your quarters.
In case you forgot what it is: You and your friends agree to take a shot of beer every minute for an hour, while a mixtape of late ’90s/early 2000s alternative music plays in the background.
Why you should play: Because you know exactly how much time you have to drink before you have to return to responsible adult things like cooking your own meals or doing your quarterly tax estimate.