This set of Instructables will be teaching you how to play the popular drinking game Kings. There are many different names for the game such as King’s Cup, Circle of Death, and Ring of fire, but for the sake of this document it will be referred to as Kings. It should also be known that there are many variations of this game. It is very open ended and can be tailored to the players’ preferences. This document serves to outline the basic principles of the game, from which modifications can be made. The variety of ways that Kings can be played and the few materials needed for the game have attributed to its success as a popular activity, especially at college parties.
Warning: It is unlawful to consume alcohol in the United States if you are under 21 years of age. Likewise, it is unlawful to provide alcohol to anyone less than 21 years of age. As stated by the Surgeon General, women who are pregnant should not consume alcohol due to risk of birth defects. Alcoholic beverages will impair your ability to drive or operate machinery. It is never okay to drink and drive. Lastly, it is important to drink responsibly. Kings is a game that encourages actions similar to binge drinking. One must know their limits and be careful when participating in this game to avoid alcohol poisoning and/or death. Know the people that you play with, watch your own drinks, and remember to enjoy the game responsibly.
Note: This Instructable was made for an educational project; therefore, an appropriate substitute for alcohol is present in the visuals.
Step 1: Materials
For this simple version of Kings, the list of materials is fairly short. You will need:
1. One standard deck of 52 playing cards (Jokers excluded)
2. Two or more players, preferably 4 to 6
3. Drinks for all of the players (anything is fair game)
4. An unopened can of beer (this must be a can)
5. A place to play such as a table to accommodate all players
Step 2: Setting Up the Game
Once all of the materials are gathered it’s time to play! Setting up the game is simple. All players sit in a circle with the full, unopened can of beer at the center of the circle. Whoever chooses to deal needs to thoroughly shuffle the deck of cards. Through whatever means necessary, the cards need to eventually end up face down on the table and need to be distributed evenly around the can of beer in a circle as demonstrated in the pictures.
Step 3: Playing the Game
The game can be played in a clockwise or counter-clockwise manner. As long as the direction is consistent it does not matter which way is chosen. The player in the circle after the dealer then chooses a card at random from any part of the circle. Every card in the deck has a specific rule that corresponds to the value of the card. The player who draws the card reveals the card to the group, and everyone acts accordingly to the rule. A list of the card value rules exists later in these instructions and can be used as a reference during game play.
Step 4: Playing the Game
After the player has revealed the card and everyone has responded to the associated rule, the card is then returned. The proper way to return a card is by carefully wedging it under the tab of the can of beer. As players keep taking turns, cards will accumulate under the tab of the can. The game will come to an end when a player returns a card and it pops the tab on the can, or if any player knocks cards off of the top of the can. The unfortunate player that pops the tab or knocks the cards off must then chug the beer.
If the players were lucky enough to make it through a game and wish to begin another all that is needed is a fresh can of beer. Then the dealer needs to gather and reshuffle all of the cards, distribute them around the can, and let the madness ensue!
Step 5: Card Rules
Here is a list of rules for the value of each card.
1. Aces – “Waterfall” - Player chooses a direction to start the waterfall. All players begin to drink and cannot stop until the player prior to them stops drinking.
2. Twos – “You” - Player chooses someone to take a drink.
3. Threes – “Me” - Player has to take a drink.
4. Fours – “Hit the Floor” – All players place a hand on the floor. The last player to do so must take a drink.
5. Fives – “Guys” – All gentlemen playing must take a drink.
6. Sixes - “Chicks” – All ladies playing must take a drink.
7. Sevens – “Heaven” – All players point to Heaven. The last player to do so must take a drink.
8. Eights – “Pick a Mate” – Player must pick a partner. For the rest of the game, whenever the player has to take a drink, so does their partner.
9. Nines – “Bust a Rhyme” – Player says a word. The next player in the direction of play must say a different word that rhymes. The first player who can’t rhyme a unique word must take a drink.
10. Tens – “Never Have I Ever” – Player says a statement along the lines of “Never have I ever, ___”. Whoever has not done "___" must put up a finger. This continues around the circle until a player has three fingers up. This player must take a drink.
11. Jacks – “Thumb Master” – The player to draw a Jack becomes the "Thumb Master". When the Thumb Master places their thumb on the table, all players must follow. The last to do so must take a drink. When the next Jack is drawn, a new Thumb Master is assigned.
12. Queens – “Question Master” - The player to draw a Queen becomes the "Question Master". If the Question Master asks anyone a question and they answer, the player that answers the Question Master must take a drink. When the next Queen is drawn, a new Question Master is assigned.
13. Kings – “Create a Rule” – The first player to draw a King gets to create a rule for the remaining three Kings. Any rule is fair as long as all players agree to the proposed rule. When the remaining Kings are drawn, players must abide by the created rule and its consequences.
Step 6: Alternative Options for Playing the Game
While King’s is primarily a drinking game, it does not have to be limited to individuals at least 21 years of age. In replacement of a can of beer, participants are more than welcome to use a can of their favorite pop instead.
Players are also more than welcome to change the rules for each card in the game. More conservative or explicit rules can be defined before the game begins as long as all players agree to the proposed changes. The versatility of Kings helps to keep it popular by adapting to a wide range of audiences. There is no one correct or incorrect way to play and enjoy this game.
Hopefully this Instructable will help you to learn and enjoy the game Kings.