How to Play the Circle of Death Drinking Game

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How to Play the Circle of Death Drinking Game. Drinking games are a veritable rite of passage for young adults, particularly those attending college. Circle of Death is one of those classic drinking games where the rules tend to vary from town to town, but the general idea is the same.

Things You'll Need

  • Playing cards
  • Beer
  • At least one non-participating player to observe the participants

The General Rules

Fan a deck of cards face down in a circle around an empty cup.

Decide who goes first, and have that person choose a card from the deck. Each card is associated with a specific rule. The player tells the crowd which card he's chosen and follows through with the corresponding rule.

Continue play in a clockwise direction until all of the cards have been played.

The Card Value Rules

Choose another player to drink two if you draw a two card.

Drink three if you draw a three.

Touch your hand to the floor if you draw a four. All other players must do the same. The last player to touch the floor must drink one.

Raise your hand in the air if you draw a five. All other players must do the same. The last player to raise her hand in the air must drink one.

Have the person to your left drink six if you draw a six.

Have the person to your right drink seven if you draw a seven.

Pick another player to drink with you if you draw an eight. The person you choose to drink with you cannot stop drinking until you do.

Say a phrase or word if you draw a nine. The person to your right must say something that rhymes with your phrase or word. This pattern continues around the table until someone pauses too long, repeats a rhyme or can't come up with a new rhyme. This person then drinks one.

Declare a category if you draw a ten. Name something from that category, then continue play counter-clockwise until a player is unable to come up with an item in that category. That player must drink one.

Have all the guys drink one if you draw a jack.

Have all the ladies drink one if you draw a queen.

Drink five if you draw a king. Then pour as much of your beer as you see fit in the "community cup." The person who draws the fourth king must then drink all of the contents of the community cup.

Make up a rule that must be followed for the duration of the game if you draw an ace. Rule breakers are subject to drinking penalties that are determined during the creation of the rule.

Tips & Warnings

  • Alcohol poisoning can easily occur when playing drinking games such as Circle of Death. Someone who becomes unconscious or cannot be roused is at risk of dying and needs to receive immediate medical care. It is important to make sure that someone in attendance refrains from drinking in order to monitor the condition of the participants and be able to call 911 in an emergency.
  • Do not drink and drive. Make sure each participant has a designated driver.

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