It’s not a secret that booze can lower your inhibitions and make you act silly or rowdy (remember to drink responsibly so you don’t become a drunken jerk). I’m all for people enjoying drinks and having a great time. You know what can make a fun time funner? Games. They are not just for children or for messed up people who toy with your head and/or emotions (you know the kind of sh!t#eads I’m talking about). It could be that drinking games were around since alcohol was invented. I can imagine our ancestors gathered around a fire, passing out lambanog and playing ‘Never have I ever’.


Virtually anything can be turned into a drinking game. The rules may vary but the end goal never changes: someone or some people have to drink. They may be the winner or the loser, depending on the mechanics, but the result is always the same. Alcohol has to be consumed. Now, there are different ways to employ the drinking game. Most of them are more fun when played with others, but there are some solitary games you might want to try out (or may have tried out already) to just mix things up when you want some alone time with booze, or just to see what would happen if you play it.

The most accessible, popular and doable solitaire drinking game is the TV show drinking game. There are different rules depending on the show that you would like to use. A popular one is the Game of Thrones drinking game, wherein one of the rules is that you should drink when someone says “Winter is coming.” And they say that a lot. You will feel the buzz midway through the show. Maybe it’s for the best. After all, beloved characters have suffered terrible fates. The alcohol will cushion the blow (plus another rule is to finish your drink when someone is beheaded, so, that should help too) of the grief that hits you when a character you’ve gotten attached to kicks the bucket. This game can also be played with friends; and it would be great to get some comfort while you tend to the trauma you’ve suffered at the hands of that show.


There are card games you can play as well. It can be as simple as everyone in the group picking a card and the one with the lowest card has to take a shot. You could also play poker, tong-its, pusoy dos, go fish, gin rummy, whatever card game you want and incorporate some liquor into it. If you want to be more current, you can play Cards Against Humanity instead. Any board game can be repurposed as a drinking game: Snakes and Ladders, where there is a shot at the bottom of each snake, or Scrabble where each word score you get is equal to the number of shots your opponents will drink (you get to show off your vocab words and get your friends buzzed). Even chess, a quiet, subdued game, can be used as a drinking game, where your opponent drinks when you capture one of their pieces. The possibilities are endless.


For the most part, the drinking games I’ve mentioned doesn’t require much physical activity and can be done at the comfort of your couch. But not this drinking game that was popular in the 1950’s and 1960’s (and is said to have started at Dartmouth College), and has come back as a trend (millenials think that this is a new ‘sport’ that they discovered). I’m talking about Beer Pong. Never has throwing Ping-Pong balls into solo cups filled with beer been so much fun. It requires some hand-eye coordination, concentration, aim, and most importantly, luck. This one requires a big space, so it is played in bars where they have this set up.


Here comes the boom! 😃🍻 #CableCarMakati #BeerPongPH #BeerPong

A photo posted by Keith Rosen Cariaga Arcena (@kitongskie) on

My fondest memory of playing a drinking game was when my friends and I would play drunken Jenga. We would take a shot of whatever spirit was available (mostly tequila or vodka) whenever we were able successfully pulled out a wooden tile. It got harder as the game progressed because we would get tipsy and inevetibaly one (or more) of us would topple the whole thing over. Then we would all have a shot to acknowledge the end of that game and start again. We weren’t playing politely either. There were no rules against heckling. And my friends and I are skilled hecklers. Between the buzz from the shots and the laughter from being heckled, it took everything we had to focus. By the end of the night, we would all be happily inebriated and our cheeks and stomachs sore from laughing. In the end, we all win.


Remember that this is all in good fun, even when your friends are whooping your ass in drunken Pictionary. Win or lose, you can always celebrate or sooth yourself with more drinks. Cheers!

Restaurateur, expert drinker, creative proprietor of steam punk bar Hooch, SMITH Butcher and Grill Room, Ebeneezers, Poulet Manille, and Ampersand. She wrote The Standard newspaper’s Tipple Tales cocktail and spirits column and co-hosted the Manila episode of the Travel Channel show Booze Traveler with cocktail connoisseur Jack Maxwell. She is DrinkManila’s resident mixology expert.

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